Meet the man behind the popular BYU Sports Flash Instagram page
When BYU first introduced collegiate football in 1922, fans had to scour the newspaper to discover the score, learn the injury updates and hear any scheduling news. Now, nearly one hundred years later, fans can just take out their phones and open up Instagram.
One Instagram account in particular, the BYU Sports Flash (@the_byu_sportsflash), has provided timely, credible information about BYU sports since its inception in 2017. In fact, the page often releases breaking BYU sports news before other traditional media sources. The account boasts over 14,000 followers, including a bevy of current and former BYU athletes. But who is the incredibly connected individual who runs the page, and how does he always have information before everyone else?
His name is Mike, and he’s not a reporter. He’s not even a member of the media. He’s just a fan.
“When I started the page, I had no idea that people were going to make it this big deal. It was just fun,” Mike said. “But then, as the page grew, people started reaching out to me, telling me all this information. I was not expecting that.”
Mike, who generally goes by “Flash” when interacting with sources, prefers to keep his full name a secret. However, despite his anonymity, he was willing to provide a few tidbits about his life.
For one, Mike is a native of Hawaii. He grew up watching BYU football when the Cougars were in the Western Athletic Conference, but because of limited broadcasting on the island, he could only watch the Cougars when they played the hometown favorite, the University of Hawaii. Unsurprisingly, Mike’s favorite BYU football player was Kevin Feterik, the quarterback of his childhood. Mike graduated from BYU in 2010, “just prior to Jimmer,” as he puts it.
Mike takes the confidentiality of his sources seriously, but he did give some information on some of the people he talks to and follows to learn the happenings with BYU sports.
“My sources consist of players and even the children of sponsors,” Mike said. “Sometimes, I’ll even have the family of players reach out to me and give me information.”
Mike also shares info from BYU reporters he follows on Twitter, and once had a conversation over direct messaging with star quarterback Zach Wilson. While not a primary news outlet, the Sports Flash page has become a valuable source for curated and aggregated Cougar content from around the web.
The page started as a group effort between three friends, but within just a few months, Mike was the sole proprietor. The Instagram page took off just months after its launch, propelled primarily by a picture that featured two University of Utah students. The men had jokingly put a Ute flag on the classic “World is Our Campus” sign near the edge of campus. Within days, the picture had millions of views.
Despite the page’s success, Mike has refused any monetary compensation. There is no paid advertising, no commercial intent whatsoever. The page started out as a fun hobby, and as Mike puts it, “I’m just having fun.”
“Yeah, I really do enjoy this,” Mike said. “To be honest, it’s a lot of fun. I never expected something like this to happen. I don’t take it for granted.”