Steve Smith Sr. Refers To Utah Football As ‘Gremlins’ At Night

Sep 13, 2023, 2:26 PM


"Gremlins" The Brain Gremlin. Deseret News Archives Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (Utah) talks with teammates on the sideline in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Baltimore. (Photo Cred: Deseret News)

(Photo Cred: Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – If you’re a Utah football fan, you know Rice-Eccles Stadium gets rocking at night. You’re also probably a little proud of the chaos too since outsiders seem to have a different idea of what Utah is about until they experience it.

Former Utah football star and NFL legend Steve Smith Sr. had a funny take on what happens in Salt Lake when the sun goes down at RES referring to the Utes as “Gremlins”.

Obviously, if you are a fan of a certain age, you appreciate the reference from Smith Sr. to the ’80’s cult classic that is part horror story mixed with Christmas and some dark comedy.

Mogwai, Gremlins, and Utah Football

“Gremlins” in their original form are a folklore that came about during WWII of mischievous, mythical creatures that caused technical malfunctions to the British Royal Airforce.

The movie took that concept and based it around main character Billy who received a cute, cuddly pet (a mogwai) his father bought from a Chinese pawn shop. The mogwai- named Gizmo, had some very specific rules of care that needed to be followed:

  1. No sunlight. (It kills them.)
  2. No water. (It multiplies them.)
  3. Don’t feed it after midnight. (They go from cute, Furby-esque-like creatures to lizard-like demons called Gremlins.)

As you can well imagine, those rules were broken pretty quickly which is where the chaos of the story ensues.

Why The Utes Are Like Gremlins

If we are looking at this from purely a fan perspective, let’s be real. Utah fans (mostly) don’t love day-games. Day games are inconvenient with kid activities and early in the season they can be kind of hot. So yeah, sunlight is a death sentence.

Utah fans also love themselves a good tailgate which means plenty of eats and drinks that gather the masses and get them pumped up and energized for game day.

If we are looking at this from a team perspective, well, Kyle Whittingham has built his brand on chaos plays on defense which is exactly what Gremlins do- cause chaos. Offensively, the Utes are opportunistic, also a Gremlin trait. Combine that with the crazy, watered, and fed fans hanging out in the dark?

Yup. This totally checks out. Steve Smith Sr. may be on to something here.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Steve Smith Sr. Refers To Utah Football As ‘Gremlins’ At Night