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Utah, BYU football coaches take on ice bucket challenge to help fight ALS

The ice bucket challenge is officially a trend among famous people and sports personalities. Along with silent auctions, you can put this philanthropic dare on the list. Braving large buckets of ice water being dumped upon your heads--and the surge of interest in it--is proof that this ice bucket challenge, designed to benefit ALS research, is here to stay.

Utah Utes wide receiver Dres Anderson.
Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

It reportedly started as a dare by a Boston College baseball player afflicted with ALS in 2012--and has blossomed since. In this month alone, the ice bucket challenge has reportedly raised over $4 million this month, according to the ALS Association.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham allowed his players to drench him on Friday, Aug. 15, all in the name of raising money for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotropic lateral sclerosis. Persons afflicted with ALS have a life expectancy of between two to five years, and gradually lose control of their muscle movements--stripping one of the ability to sleep, eat and eventually, breathe.

Whittingham put his reputation as a tough guy on the line Friday afternoon and fared well, as did Utah kicker Andy Phillips--while the other players he enlisted, namely Utah wide receivers Dres Anderson and Kenneth Scott, struggled mightily.

Phillips stood motionless, smiling as he basked in a pool of icy cold water that gradually trickled down his bare torso. Since Phillips used to fly down death-defying K12 slopes for fun as a US ski team member, a challenge of this magnitude was probably a walk in the park for him, as he exulted in this cool-down for a good cause.

Not so for Anderson and Scott who whimpered like babies, cradling their arms against their chests as they shuffled nervously back and forth, questioning aloud Whittingham's reasoning in including them in this challenge. That was how they felt before Utes teammates waited until the very last moment. Then one cold bucket of ice water was drowned upon the heads of Anderson and Scott who at that point had huddled together in fear.

The cold shock sent both Anderson and Scott lunging 15 feet forward, wailing like hyenas at the 1:45 mark of the YouTube video. Whittingham not only accepted the first bucket by barely flinching as it hit, he took on the second bucket that skimmed Anderson and Scott after they barely escaped getting nailed by it, too.

Whittingham also called on former Utes Eric Weddle, Paul Kruger, and Tony Bergstrom, now in the NFL, to take up the ice bucket challenge. According to the unofficial rules, the person who completes the ice bucket challenge then dares a minimum of three people to complete the challenge in the next 24 hours. Those three then have two choices: complete the icy challenge themselves or donate $100 to ALS research. Often, the person completing the challenge will also donate money.

Meanwhile, in Provo, BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall's ice bucket challenge on Thursday, Aug. 14 didn't have near the entertaining outcome as Utah's, but BYU's certainly didn't lack in creativity.

Bronco, who was called out by KSL Television personality Rod Zundel, proceeded to call out scores of Utah media personalities to accept the challenge. Not only did Bronco dare them all to do the challenge, he also ordered them to donate another $100 to Thursday's Heroes, a foundation that Mendenhall and his wife Holly run--should they choose to decline Bronco's offer.

In true Bronco style, the BYU football coach then proceeded to have two giant buckets dumped upon his head by his players--then fell backwards into a children's swimming pool filled with more water.

Getting that many buckets of water dumped on Anderson and Scott? Well, even if this was all for a great cause, the ice bucket challenge might be the last thing those two would ever want to see in their lifetimes.

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