I swore I wouldn't do this. I swore I wouldn't go there again, even while other sports pundits and on-air happy faces gnaw at it like a bulldog on a rawhide bone. But here I am anyway, writing another 700 or so words on the BYU-Utah football rivalry, which is neither gone nor forgotten.
What's that line from The Godfather III? "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."
Suddenly I'm Michael Corleone? Sheesh.
I wrote about the rivalry last weekend, hours before the game had even kicked off. Because the game -- which the Utes won 20-13 -- started so late, we didn't have time for an updated column or a game recap in Sunday's paper.
So I shared my thoughts on the rivalry itself, which I've determined is both wonderful and pathetic all at the same time. I mentioned my friends and neighbors and the annual block party they throw, which I believe represents all that's good about the rivalry.
I also mentioned the wackos on the fringe of either sides, those who tend to ruin it for all of us. I said I thought it was a good time for the rivalry to take a break. Things had gotten too heated, too hateful and far too vindictive. But I didn't get to write about the game itself.
It was a good one, from start to finish. Lots of excitement and tons of drama befitting a game between bitter rivals.
The refs missed a few for both sides and, yeah, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill was about as accurate as third-hand information. But looking at it from an objective point of view -- the key word being "objective" -- it really was a thrill ride. The better team and the better coach won.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham came up with a solid game plan and he stuck with it. His players didn't always execute it to perfection, but that never happens anyway.
Still, Utah came up big in the biggest moments.
As for the Cougars and coach Bronco Mendenhall, they responded to the challenge. There's no reason not to be proud.
In hindsight, I've heard fans and media complain about Hill's accuracy and the offense's inability to score in those big moments. And while it's impossible to overlook the deficiencies in the passing game, it's too easy to discount Utah's defensive effort.
Blaming the loss on the officials too simplistic. Laying it at Mendenhall's feet or Hill's arm is a cop out and it's anything but informed.
But that's the problem, isn't it? Like most good rivalries, it's so divisive there's hardly any perspective to it. There's a lot of gray area between the red and the blue; unfortunately nobody can see it.
And that brings us back to the idea of the rivalry itself and whether or not this upcoming hiatus is a good thing.
I say it is. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing it go away for a few more years after that.
But it's a moot point anyway. The fact remains, it is going away and it's not coming back until 2016.
It's funny, I've been working here at the Standard-Examiner for more that two decades and when I first started back in the early 90s, BYU vs. Utah wasn't much of a rivalry at all.
Oh sure, it was an ongoing thing and had been for years. But it had become lopsided to the point the Cougars had won 19 of 21 games between 1972 and 1992.
It seems strange now but back then there was actually some debate as to whether or not it was still a "rivalry."
I still remember someone from the BYU side telling me, "The hammer doesn't have a rivalry with the nail."
Now, with the Utes on a four-game winning streak, the hammer and the nail are being put on the shelf for a couple of years.
Utah's people says it's a necessity. After all, they're in the Pac-12 now and that's the big time. BYU's people, on the other hand, say it's a disgrace, a travesty and a farce. The game should be played every year, regardless.
Well, so much for swearing off this whole red-and-blue soap opera. I thought I was out, but they pulled me back in.
See you in 2016 ... if not sooner.
Jim Burton is the Standard-Examiner's sports columnist. He can be reached at 801-625-4265, email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @StandardExJimbo.