BYU Cougars Football: Was Ty Detmer as Big as Jimmer?

Ryan TeeplesCorrespondent IMay 31, 2011

29 Aug 1991:  Quarterback Ty Detmer of the Brigham Young Cougars throws a pass during a game against the Florida State Seminoles at the Pigskin Classic at Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, California.  Florida State won the game 44-28. Mandatory Credit: Stephen
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Jimmer-mania is now in our rearview mirror. Sure, it’s subject to return later if Jimmer goes J.J. Berea in the NBA playoffs in a few years. But for now, the sports world is on to the next fad.

But if we take a little time to reflect on the last time a BYU athlete monopolized his sport’s spotlight, visions of Ty Detmer  flood our collective memory .

From his 576 passing yards in the 1989 Holiday bowl against Penn State, to his leading of the slaying of Goliath when the Cougars knocked off all-powerful No. 1 Miami in Cougar Stadium in 1990.

But for all the amazing memories permanently engrained on Cougar Fan’s minds, did it ever reach Jimmer-mania levels nationally?

Jimmer had a video and song, numerous appearances on ESPN and other national radio shows, professional athletes singing his praises and his own freakin’ verb, for crying out loud.

So was Ty as popular nationally as Jimmer? Probably not. But what if Ty had played 2008 – 2011 instead of ’88 – ’91?

Would “Ty” have trended on Twitter? Would Tom Brady have tweeted that Ty Detmer is the greatest passer in the world? Would Scott Van Pelt interviewed Ty weekly? Would the nation have called Detmer “The Ty?”

While the Internet and proliferation of social media has given us much more to talk about, it’s also united our frenzy into widespread trends. Jimmer was “The Jimmer” because the world was able to share him.

Sadly, the collective sports world missed much of “The Ty.”

I have a little fun with this in my next article: “BYU Cougar Football: Ten Ty Detmer Headlines we Never Got To See.

But for now, we revel in the amazing ride that was Jimmer-mania, and we look forward with anticipation to “The Jake.”

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