Boise native Tac Anderson is a two-time Boise State graduate a bachelors in 1998 and an MBA in 2008 and he met his wife on campus.
The Andersons also are Mormons and have many friends who are alumni of Brigham Young University. The talk in the halls at their Seattle church in recent weeks has been about the BSU-BYU matchup at Bronco Stadium on Thursday.
Ticket sales for the game are a school record. The 3,500 new seats at the stadium bring its capacity to 37,000, and just a handful of tickets remain.
I was telling my friends, depending on how ticket sales go, there are enough BYU alumni in Boise that it could be almost neutral territory, said Anderson, who works in social media marketing. Youre going to see a very large BYU contingent in the stands.
He wishes he could be at the game but his kids are in school. The Andersons will watch the game on TV with a group of Cougars fans.
BYU fans have a healthy respect for what BSU has been through, as an underdog, Anderson said.
He expects a healthy rivalry to develop over the next decade: BSU and BYU will play annually for 12 seasons.
Anderson is among many longtime Boise State supporters optimistic about the Broncos prosects this year despite a young roster and a tough season-opening loss at Michigan State. He believes the team is capable of winning the rest of its games.
As fans, I think wed all like to see them win the conference before they move on (to the Big East), Anderson said. We werent able to do that last year. TCU got that.
WHAT IS SUCCESS?
Krislee Moss, a 34-year-old Meridian mother of four, agrees.
I think success would be to win the Mountain West, said Moss, who became a fan after her family moved to the Treasure Valley from Idaho Falls in 2006.
Moss and her husband, Brett, traveled to see the Las Vegas Bowl in December. They stayed at the same hotel as the Broncos.
We were on the 11th floor and saw the players practicing in the parking lot, she said.
Moss works at Intermountain MLS in Boise. She has a co-worker named Chris Peterson, a Boise State alum and Nampa resident who many on Twitter confuse with seventh-year BSU coach Chris Petersen.
He gets a lot of followers during football season, said Moss.
FUN TO WATCH, EVEN IN LOSING EFFORT
Dennis Stevenson, administrative rules coordinator for the state of Idaho, has seen many football highs and lows since he was a student at Boise State in the 1970s.
Hes optimistic about the 2012 team.
Even in the Michigan State game, one touchdown and we win that, Stevenson said. I thought the defense played extremely well.
Stevenson gave the young team kudos for starting the season with a difficult road game.
I wasnt being blindly optimistic that we were going to run over the top of those guys, he said. With the big turnover (in players), it was a lot to ask for.
Stevenson said hes excited about the new talent on the team and looks forward to seeing what Coach Pete cooks up next.
Even when Boise State loses, its still fun football to watch, said Stevenson. The play-calling, just everything, is a lot of fun.
Gloria Miller is married to former Bronco lineman Tad Miller, and they are expecting their first child a girl in November.
She said fans need to rein in their expectations a bit.
Were spoiled, Miller said. We lose one or two games and we think its an absolute failure. Other teams would kill to have that record.
Miller said she doesnt get to watch the games with her husband because hes now a Boise police officer who works nights and weekends. But he gets to see some of the action at home games.
He does crowd control, she said.
Fourth District Judge Ronald J. Wilper, a proud Boise State alum, says whats most important is that the team continue to improve.
That will be a successs, he said. Theyve got some tough ones BYU and Fresno. I hope they win them all, but Im not going to despair if we lose one or two more.
He admits to feeling horrible when the team lost in the past, and he often marvels at the irrationality of being a sports fan.
Wilper has season tickets and often attends games with his elder son, Andy, the acting medical director at the VA Hospital in Boise. The two text frequently before, during and after games with Andys brother, Mike, who lives in San Diego.
Its one of those threads that ties us together, said Wilper, who went to law school at the University of Idaho but says hes not a Vandal.
Both sons earned their degrees from Idaho, but on game days, theres no question which team has their support.
Were true-blue Broncos, Wilper said.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413