Boise State Football

Some conflicted fans celebrate game, birthday

GLENDALE, Ariz. — You've got to feel a little sorry for Jacob Bottles, 13.

His brothers and sisters, his mom, his aunts and uncles, his 70-year-old grandfather — most of the 25 members of his Boise-based family — were rooting against him Monday night. Jacob was the lone openly pro-Oklahoma fan in his family.

But Mark Bottles, the dad, looked a little sheepish before the game when he lifted his Boise State T-shirt to reveal an Oklahoma shirt underneath.

"My dad is an Oklahoma fan,'' Jacob said. "I learned it from him.''

Aha. What was going on here?

Bottles explained: "I grew up in Bartlesville.''

His wife, Geri, explained further: "I talked him into rooting for BSU. OU has already had their shot at it.''

And then, Bottles showed his true self: "My heart is red."

"Oh, you traitor,'' said Geri, before herding their party inside the stadium.

The whole family — Jacob included — came to Arizona courtesy of Jacob's grandfather as part of the celebration of his 70th birthday.

A big family, they were just a small slice of the thousands of fans who descended on the Fiesta Bowl for an amazing evening of football.

They ranged from people who wore orange T-shirts and small, temporary Bronco tattoos on their cheeks, to those who wore hot, itchy blue wigs for the entire game.

Scott Clark, of Houston, was sitting in his sweet seats at the 50-yard line and cheering for the Broncos.

A fan?

"Are you kidding me?'' Clark said. "Passion. Blue. Orange. Being the underdog. I wouldn't want to root for any other team. Not (Texas). Not Texas A&M. It's Boise State all the way.''

Reach reporter Emily Simnitt