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BYU And Utah Football Teams Come Together To Help Those In Need

Dec 13, 2021, 2:47 AM | Updated: 9:15 am

BYU - Utah Football - Foster Care...

Players and coaches of the BYU & Utah Football programs came together for a "Sunday Supper" for Utah Foster Care. (Photo courtesy of @NickFord55/Twitter)

(Photo courtesy of @NickFord55/Twitter)

DRAPER, Utah – The BYU/Utah football game is one of the most heated rivalries in the nation. But when the intense rivalry isn’t played the other 364 days out of the year, the two programs have a lot of common ground.

The in-state rivals showed that common ground on Sunday, December 12 at Cultivate Craft Kitchen as they helped those in need during this holiday season.

Started by Utah offensive lineman Nick Ford, “Sunday Supper” was formed to provide a Sunday dinner for families of the Utah Foster Care. Along with the Athletes Strong Foundation, Ford began serving dinners earlier this fall.

Cooking has always been part of Nick Ford’s life

“We wanted to start that here; there wasn’t anything here,” said Ford. “Figured it would be cool. I love cooking and there is a lot of people in need and I love giving back to the community, so I just took the opportunity to go out and cook and give some good people some good food. I feel like football is a platform to get in this position because when you play football, nothing is nice about it at all. So when I come over here, it gives me time to relax and give back.”

BYU defensive lineman Lorenzo Fauatea teamed up with Ford and both players had some of their teammates lend a helping hand.

“The BYU versus Utah game –pregame– I ran over to [Nick Ford]’s sideline and everybody was looking at me like, ‘what the heck is this guy doing on our side,'” said Fauatea. “I ran straight to Nick and was like, ‘Hey bro; I’m a big fan of what you do outside the field. I would love to be a part of it.’ So lo and behold, I’m here working with his foundation for the Utah Foster Care.”

The Utah Foster Care holds a close spot to Fauatea’s heart as his family has foster kids. According to data from Utah Foster Care, more than 2,600 children are in foster care at any given time because their own families are in crisis.

“Kids like these, who don’t have homes, you know, and what these families are [able to do] and bring them into their own home, I think it’s very special,” Fauatea said.

Kalani Sitake & Kyle Whittingham showed their support

The Sunday Supper fed more than 500 kids and their families. The night also included visits by the two head coaches of the rival programs in Kalani Sitake and Kyle Whittingham.

“You look at what Nick’s done, just spending so much of his time to help others. And then not only that but to allow our players to be involved with it –allowing Lorenzo to be part of it–, what a great human being,” said BYU coach Kalani Sitake.

Rivalries can be intense both at games and sometimes on social media, but rivalries can bring people together, as witnessed with the Sunday Supper.

“Everyone loves to go to the games and cheer and rally around their respective team. But this is so important to people in their everyday lives –especially the kids– and that’s what it’s all about,” said Kyle Whittingham. “Being able to give back and do anything we can to help out is a far more important and a greater cause than what you see on the football field.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU And Utah Football Teams Come Together To Help Those In Need