Matthew Jelalian 01

Matthew Jelalian poses for a portrait in the Daily Herald studio on Friday, March 6, 2015. SAMMY JO HESTER, Daily Herald

When I first came to Utah, and heard about the “Holy War,” I thought they were talking about a football game between Notre Dame and Brigham Young University.

I’m not from Utah, as most of you know, and aside from the occasional MMA fight, I don’t care much about sports. Besides, calling a game between Notre Dame and BYU a Holy War just makes so much more sense if you think about.

After all, a lot of people who go to the University of Utah are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And I’m pretty sure a lot of high-ranking church officials graduated from the U instead of BYU.

Nonetheless, I learned that I was wrong and that BYU has been consistently losing that game. So much so that I wonder why it’s still called a rivalry?

I mean, how many times do you have to beat someone until people stop considering it a competition?

This week, my wife and I watched the Holy War Game. My wife is a big BYU fan and she likes watching games when possible.

It was during the most recent game that I learned that BYU hasn’t beaten the U since Nov. 22, 2009. And I couldn’t help but think of all the things that have happened since then.

I graduated from community college, went on a mission and had a companion try to drug me so he could escape and go home. I broke mission rules and brought a sick puppy into my apartment, watched it die over the course of several days and got mugged. I also found out that my mom was dating, found out my mom got engaged and found out that she was selling the house I grew up in.

And that’s just the first year or two of BYU’s losing streak.

In addition to all of those things, I came home from my mission and went from being an only child to one of eight kids.

I came out to Utah, started attending BYU, left shortly after classes started to attend the Republican National Convention, changed my major, met a girl, went to the seedy part of Mexico with my best friend, started dating that girl, got a dog, and then I got married. Not only that, but my mom got divorced, my wife and I bought a townhome, my mom stayed with us for a couple of weeks and not-too-secretly judged us for getting late-night milkshakes.

We got a second dog and I graduated from BYU. I got in a car crash and lost some mobility in my right arm. We had a kid. She then lost her job and a couple of weeks afterward, we went to Europe. She got a new job and started making twice as much as I do in spite of her being a college dropout and I, a college graduate. Her father died, and so did my uncle. Most of our friends got married and we had a second kid.

And just this week, all deadlines for the sale of our townhome finally ended. And save the possibility of an untimely demise of our buyer, we’re selling our townhome and moving to a bigger place that’ll better fit our needs.

I don’t think I’ve had a single boring year in the entirety of BYU’s losing streak.

What about you? How has life changed for you since BYU lost won? Has life been good to you? Has it been bad? Was it a mix of the two? How much have you changed? How much have you stayed the same?

I’m hoping things haven’t been too bad for you, whoever you are. Hopefully, you’ve gone through a lot of growth since 2009 and it’s made you a better person.

Also, think of how much growth Utah has gone through. Gay marriage is now legal here. So is medical marijuana, sort of. There’s a construction cone on every corner of Provo and, thanks to construction, the city of Lehi is now an hour away from the city of Lehi.

The Utah Valley Express was created, the FrontRunner station made its way to Provo, and hipsters are riding scooters downtown. John Curtis became a congressman and Jason Chaffetz became a deep state conspiracy promoter. Silicon Slopes continues to grow and the westside of Provo still doesn’t have a grocery store.

I mean, not everything can change.

The point is, so much has happened over a not-too-long period of time. I don’t know about you, but I look forward to seeing what the next string of BYU losses have to offer us all. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, but I hope that even the downs can teach us something.

Hopefully, we’ll all grow together. And hopefully, one day in the distant future, after a lifetime of rich life experiences, BYU’s football team will honor my dying wish and be the pallbearers at my funeral.

So they can let me down one last time.

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