Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A much-needed break

What's the best way to deal with a most disappointing Bowl appearance? Take a couple weeks off. That's what I plan on doing.

I will not be udpating this blog until sometime in the year 2009. Please come back often, though, to read your favorite articles from the past. Like this one, for example.

And since I try to remain totally neutral in the world of holidays, let me leave you by wishing everyone a very happy Winter Solstice.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm on your side, Tav

Sometimes I think life must suck for Jonathan "JT Monaaaaay" Tavernari.

I mean, he hides it well under his snappy blazers and sunglasses, but I bet Tav is nursing his own private pain deep down inside.

I mean, we're talking about an awesome basketball player who possesses some pretty freaky skills and an unquestioned team leader for the BYU Cougars.

He's a leading scorer, he's a former MWC freshman of the year, he's got a sweet secret handshake he does with Michael Loyd Jr. before every game--how could life not be all smiles and sunshine for the Brazilian Bomber?

I'll tell you how. Fans like YOU make JT's life miserable.

Sorry, I shouldn't be so specific. I'm not talking about you, you. I'm talking about all the BYU fans that constantly give JT crap no matter what he's doing, you.

JT is on a very short leash with BYU fans. Even when he's playing well. All he has to do is miss one wide open three pointer and he's in the dog house for about a week.

"What a chucker!"

"Pass the freaking ball, Tavernari!"

"Get that guy on the bench!"

For some reason BYU fans have very little patience for JT, but are willing to give other players all the leeway they need. Guys like Jimmer Fredette and Lee Cummard can have off nights and still be fan favorites. The second JT misses a few shots, though, he becomes the team villain.

Additionally, JT has to put together a huge string of good games to even think about getting in the fans' good graces. And even then the best the fans will muster is "I guess he played okay tonight... but next time he'll probably blow it."

I don't get it. I get frustrated with JT, sure, but I get frustrated with every BYU player on occasion. I'm an equal opportunity BYU fan.

What's more, I like the guy. I love what JT brings to the team, and I love that he's a little different from the other guys. The flash, the cockiness, the way he speaks so freely and so ethnically--it's all gold.

I just want you to know, JT, that I feel your pain and I'm out there fighting the good fight. I'll continue to defend your honor.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Student Section

Finals are wrapping up over at the ol' BYU, so I would like to write an open letter to the fine students before they all go home for Christmas break.

I can only assume, after all, that every single BYU student reads my blog, right?

Students, I respectfully request that you go home and get a good week of rest over the holidays. Eat a second helping of Christmas ham, break open the non-alcoholic bubbly, reconnect with that girl in your home ward that suddenly looks a lot older these days... do whatever you need to do to recharge the batteries.

Then come back on January 3 ready to break some skulls.

Why? BYU basketball hosts No. 10 Wake Forest on January 3, and I expect the student section to shake the very structural foundations of our beloved Marriott Center. I expect passion, unity and a chorus of hoarse throats the following Sunday.

Students, you are vital to our basketball success. Do you know why BYU has a nation's-best 53-game home winning streak? Do you know why absolutely NO ONE in this country wants to play BYU in the Marriott Center? Do you know why teams like UNLV lose by 20+ points when they come to Provo? IT'S YOU. You are the team's lifeblood. Even when the Cougar Club blue-hairs are sitting on their thumbs, the BYU student section is carrying their team to victory. You, in the words of your head coach Dave Rose, make the Marriott Center magic. We'll need that magic when we play the Demon Deacons.

I've always said we are invincible when we play in Provo. Students: I'm relying on you to not make me a liar.

I know classes don't officially start until January 5, and that a lot of you are thinking about staying home that last weekend, but I would like to invite you to reconsider. Come back on the third, get yourself settled, and get to the game.

Oh, and bring all your crazy. Summon your inner Stan Watts, and get freaking loud. Wear your white (it's a white out), bring your fly swatters, think up some clever slogans for posters and get your butts in your seats 90 minutes before tipoff, minimum.

BYU is counting on you. Jimmer needs you. Get to the game.

Utah County residents and non-students: Do me a personal favor and send this letter to every BYU student or BYU supporter you know. UVU student sympathizers especially. I expect a lot out of you guys since you don't live under the confines of an Honor Code.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jazz Brass: Please trade this man

Carlos Boozer pictured here on the bench after suffering a hard shove in the back. Boozer is expected to miss another 6-12 weeks with a back strain.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This looks familiar...

Another win over the hapless Trailblazers. When are we going to get some competition in the Northwest Division?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My apologies, Mr. Anderson

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to BYU forward/center James Andeson for any snide remarks I've made to friends and family about him, his basketball skills or his wiry skinny frame.

I was wrong to judge, and Anderson drove the point home last night.

James played great. He twisted his way to the basket, pulled down boards and got his fill of blocked shots. Sure, he'll probably get backed down a few times, but at least his lanky wingspan will make sure every shot is contested.

James, I am impressed. You're A-#1 in my book.

Also, I'm really excited about the prospect of using Matrix quotes to cheer him on.
"Do you know what that sound is Mr. Anderson?"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maybe government is the answer!

After years of living the life of a free-wheeling, fast-living, small-government conservative, maybe it's time I finally admit that the government has the answer...

...to the BCS.

First it was Barack Obama calling for a college football playoff on a nationally televised interview, and now this, as reported on ESPN.com: Congressman wants to replace BCS with playoff

Is this it? Will the government finally solve our problems???

If the DMV, the tax code and the airline industry are any indicators, they'll probably only make it worse.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Write it out: Where do U stand?

Yes, that clever insertion of the letter U into my title does in fact signify that this post is about the Utes.

But rather than force my stuff down your throats, I want to hear from U, the reader.

Okay, that's the last time I'm going to do that.

So the bowl games have finally been organized, and I'm sure you've heard by now that Utah will be facing The Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl. This is a far cry from Pittsburgh, the also-ran Utah had to face in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. In fact, Alabama is one of the best teams in the country (some might argue the best).

My question to you BYU fans is this: Who will you be rooting for?

Do you fall in line with the rest of the non-BCS and pull for the underdog?

Do you harbor ill-will toward Utah at all times and in all places?

Do you just like Alabama (roll tide)?

This is the question that divides families, ends marriages and makes family parties awkward. Nevertheless, it's a question we must all face: When your biggest rival is playing in the biggest game of their lives, who do you root for?

Please, discuss.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I spent the night with Aggie fans

I’m sorry I have to do this, but I wanted to talk a bit about Saturday night’s game.

Actually, I don’t want to talk about the game so much, but I would like to comment on Utah State and its fans.

I know you don’t care about Utah State. In fact, I know no one outside Cache Valley cares about Utah State, but I’ll risk boring all you true sports fans out there for a bit while I speak my mind.

First of all, I want to say that the game was awesome. My heart was pumping like an overweight Texas Sherriff the entire time. Both teams delivered a great game, and I’m happy BYU won.

Second, Aggie fans totally showed up their Cougar counterparts. I was sitting in the middle of the court so I could clearly see both student sections. The USU student section showed up earlier, they were louder, they were more organized and they had a bigger impact on the game. I was disappointed in my fellow BYU fans (especially the students), and I was also impressed with Utah State. You can’t say they lack passion.

And that’s all the good I’ll say about Aggies.

By and large, Aggies are pathetic people and I don’t understand them. I was looking at the rabble they call students and I was just bewildered. Hicks, dullards, pseudo-rebels, jack Mormons, degenerates and uglies. Every single one of them.

Their entire identity is that of a whiny, insufferable little sister. They are constantly throwing a tantrum because they live in the shadow of two bigger, better universities. Their only pride comes from envy/hatred (the “yBu” shirts that were so prevalent at the game are evidence).

They’re more animal than the cow that founded their college, and everywhere I looked I saw more and more prime cut, Grade A examples. The Aggie fan who won a contest on the court and then ran over to the BYU student section to give the Degeneration X “Suck it” sign, the group of Aggie students that started to give BYU the bird after a BYU point, and the twenty-something Aggie chick scratching, clawing and swearing at a middle-aged BYU dude after the game (all personally witnessed by yours truly) just confirm that USU students and fans probably shouldn’t be allowed in public.

What’s the deal, Utah State? Why do we BYU fans irk you so much? In the words of Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves: “Did we wrong you in another life?”

I just don’t get it. I don’t get their whole mentality. You can’t build a program around hate, it just doesn’t work.

I remember thinking to myself after both this basketball game and the football game back in October that if USU fans could get this emotionally involved and excited for every game—and not just BYU games—then maybe they’ll be able to compete with the Louisiana Techs of the world. They may even make a name for themselves.

But they can’t, and won’t. Aggies are too pathetically simple-minded. They’ll concentrate all their hate and energy on their “Holier than thou” neighbors to the south, and keep being outraged at all the perceived indignities they suffer at the hands of us BYU fans.

And that, to a T, is Aggie Agony—hating us so much, but never, ever being able to do anything about it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Let the healing begin

It happened--I crawled out of my hole. I knew it would happen, but I didn't think it'd be this soon. I thought I'd be in for at least another couple of months of black mourning.

But I did it.

I'm not saying I'm completely out of the woods, but I'm getting there. This post, for example, is a big step in the right direction.

Needless to say, as Trevor found out yesterday, you'd all be well-advised to refrain from talking to me about BYU or Bronco Mendenhall. Bronco and I have a few things we need to work out.

Anyway, as I try to recover from the embarrassment that was the 2008 holy war, I've noticed a few things in the sports world today that are both hurting and helping the healing. Let me present a few:

This year's MWC post-season awards
BYU's bowl projection
The Jazz
Hollywood CONTINUES to whine about Prop 8

BYU basketball (JT Monaaaay!)
The Poinsettia Bowl projection (Go Frogs. Murder the Broncos.)
Band Aid
Guitar Hero World Tour

I'll get back to my snarky old self here pretty soon. Just give me some time to heal.