What Gryffindor’s Quidditch team can teach BYU football

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After four losses in a row, BYU fans are losing hope in the football team. People are calling it the worst season in 10 years. Cougar nation is struggling to keep the faith. But if there is one team that can understand how we feel, it is Gryffindor.

BYU has lost its star quarterback, its undefeated record and its hope for a big bowl victory at the end of the season. But we are not alone in having a season seemingly erupt in flames. Gryffindor lost its star seeker, its undefeated record and its hope for the Quidditch Cup.

But Gryffindor did not give up.

Harry Potter watches the Gryffindor Quidditch Team practice.
Harry Potter watches the Gryffindor Quidditch Team practice.

During Harry Potter’s sixth year, he was named the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain. The team was hopeful because with one of the best seekers they’ve ever had as an older, wiser leader, they were bound to win the Quidditch Cup. Chaser Katie Bell was returning to the team, along with a few players in their second year on the team keeper Ron Weasley and chaser Ginny Weasley.

The outlook on Gryffindor’s season seems eerily familiar. In his second-to-last season, junior quarterback Taysom Hill was named as one of BYU football’s team captains. For the same reasons that Gryffindor was excited about Harry, the Cougars were excited about Hill. Running back Jamaal Williams was back with experience not only on the team but also playing with Hill. Other key players like linebackers Bronson Kaufusi and Alani Fua were back, ready to have a great season.

Both teams had a game in the beginning of the season that was a little too close for comfort. Gryffindor played Slytherin in its first match of the season. Slytherin’s replacement seeker Harper nearly caught the Golden Snitch, but Harry just got a hold on it, giving Gryffindor the close victory.

BYU had two close games toward the beginning of the season that people assumed were going to be more of a blowout, similar to Gryffindor’s game. The Cougars defeated Houston 33-25 and Virginia 41-33, two games that were closer than they probably should have been.

The hype was out of control surrounding BYU and more specifically Hill. He was considered a strong Heisman canditate and could be heard on ESPN many different times throughout the day. Harry Potter was also bringing a lot of attention to Gryffindor. In chapter 11 of the Half Blood Prince, Hermione Granger said, “Oh, come on, Harry. It’s not Quidditch that’s popular, it’s you! You’ve never been more interesting, and frankly, you’ve never been more fanciable.” Both Hill and Harry had become campus celebrities, recognized anywhere they went.

There were more similarities between the two teams relating to injuries. In “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” Ron misses a match after accidentally drinking Professor Slughorn’s poisoned mead intended for Dumbledore. Up until that point, Ron had been playing well (without the help of Felix Felicis, of course). His replacement, Cormac McLaggen, did not do as well. There is no “McLaggen is our king” chant. Gryffindor also lost Katie Bell toward the beginning of the year after she touched a cursed necklace given to her by Draco Malfoy.

Ron Weasley celebrates after saving a goal during a Quidditch match against Slytherin.
Ron Weasley celebrates after saving a goal during a Quidditch match against Slytherin.

There are a few different BYU players Ron could compare to. Some key players who were injured were Jamaal Williams, Fua, Kaufusi and plenty more. When these people were out, the team was lacking. People stepped up to try to fill their roles, but there is a reason they are starters. Once everyone is back to full health, the team should be able to pull together just like Gryffindor did once Ron was back.

Unfortunately, the hype didn’t last for either team. Hill broke his leg against Utah State on Oct. 4, which took him out for the rest of the season, and Harry got detention from Professor Snape for using the sectumsempra spell on Malfoy and was forced to miss the Quidditch Cup.

Gryffindor did not give up hope, however. The whole house rallied behind the team. Ginny stepped up to lead the team as the seeker, and Dean Thomas filled in as a seeker. When Harry got out of detention, he discovered that Gryffindor had defeated Ravenclaw to win the Quidditch Cup. The seemingly hopeless situation proved to be possible as the team won the championship.

We can channel the faith Gryffindor had to cheer for the Cougars. Though our fearless leader Hill is gone, we should still root for BYU. Christian Stewart has proved he can lead the offense. No, he is not as good as Hill, but he can get the job done. We can still have the pride and joy that comes from winning a bowl game at the end of the season.

If Gryffindor could win a Quidditch Cup without Harry, the youngest seeker in a century, then BYU can win a bowl game. This season can still end on a positive note if we keep moving forward and have hope for the future of this team.

As Albus Dumbledore said in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

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