I’m Not Trying to Convert You.

This year, our district signed a contract with Apple, and every teacher now has a gorgeous MacBook Pro. Many teachers have outfitted their new computers with colored cases and stickers–my favorite is a teacher in my department who has a turquoise case with a sticker of Snow White, perfectly positioned so Ms. White’s hands appear to be holding the Apple logo.

I have my own MacBook Pro at home, and I keep thinking a colored case will help me tell them apart. So I thought I would get a blue case and some BYU stickers for my school laptop. I don’t hide my BYU fandom–every Thursday, when several staff members wear “Husker Red,” I wear BYU Blue. Two years ago, during Jimmer Fredette’s senior season, a photo of him was my desktop on my computer. And I’ll tell anyone who listens why Jabari Parker should go to BYU (even though he’ll probably end up at Duke).

But I haven’t pulled the trigger just yet because plastering BYU all over my classroom screams to my students “MORMON.”

It’s not that I’m ashamed AT ALL of being Mormon. But in our litigious society, I worry about parents accusing me that showing my fandom for BYU athletics is a thinly veiled proselytizing effort for the LDS church. (It’s not. If anything, my fandom for BYU athletics just proves to my students that I’m an eternal optimist, always rooting for the underdog.)

I wonder if Notre Dame fans ever feel the same way. Or TCU fans. Or SMU fans.

BYU plays Independent in football, but all other sports are in the West Coast Conference. The WCC is home to Pepperdine (Christian), Gonzaga (Catholic), Loyola Marymount (Catholic), University of Portland (Catholic), Saint Mary’s (Also Mormon–KIDDING–Just seeing if you were still paying attention. They’re Catholic.), San Diego (Catholic), San Francisco (Catholic), and Santa Clara (Guess. Just guess. It starts with a C and ends in atholic). 

Do any of their fans ever think twice about showing team love? Am I just hyper-sensitive because of Mitt Romney and Harry Reid and the so-called “Mormon Moment”? Even though I had friends and at least one professor at BYU who wasn’t Mormon, it’s impossible to escape the inductive reasoning that accompanies disclosing my attendance there.

So the case and stickers sit in my Amazon cart for now. Maybe once football season starts, if BYU wins any of their first 3 or 4 games, I just won’t care and I’ll get it anyway.

But for now, I should go to church. That’s something else BYU alums do.

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