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.


Travis said...

Tavernari has been a breath of fresh air - a force on this team who has delivered a swagger that has become contagious. If he decided to transfer, 95% of the programs in the country would welcome him with open arms. You don't think Louisville would like JT swishing threes for them?

I am a huge fan, and not just for the reasons laid out above. Anyone who has played ball with me has had their JT experience.

The guy has a lightning fast release, sneaky post moves, and a great turn-around. I did enjoy seeing him rock out to his Ipod while walking around campus too. That guy is living the dream.

And another thing for you JT haters: if it were really not worth it to have JT shooting all the time, don't you think Dave Rose would plant his backside to the bench? Rose sees it in him, and so do I.

Justin said...

I can't help but think that this post is in some way related to the conversation we had this morning about JT. So let me defend myself against the accusation of being a hater.

The question posed was whether JT was the team MVP or not. I suggest that Lee Cummard is both the MVP and leader on the court. That doesn't mean I want JT on the bench, it just means that I believe Cummard has the upper hand in the Most Valuable Player argument.

I have gotten to the point that I don't mind all the threes he jacks up in a game. I have come to realize that he is going to shoot a lot, and it is ok for good shooters to shoot a lot. Heck, I chuck it a lot in the RB as well. I feel what he feels. The one thing that bothers me more then anything about JT, however, is his "look at me" attitude. You may disagree, but this is my observation and opinion. I don't think that the way he comes out and warms up on the opposite end of the court of his teammates with his ipod in during pre-pre-game is a very good show of leadership. So he is getting in his zone. Fine. But that is not the leadership I am looking for. I don't like how the whole team dresses the same for pre-game, except for the very noticeable long sleeve tucked into warm ups of JT. I may be old fashioned in thinking that the guy that is trying to stand out (compared to his own team) is the first guy that is going to sell out. I have had this opinion for a while now.

On the court, he is a baller. But my argument isn't that BYU doesn't need him, just that he isn't the MVP and isn't the definitive leader that Cummard is and Jimmer is becoming. Show up early to a game and you will see all the evidence that you need.

Adam said...

For the record, I've been meaning to post this for a while. Our conversation about team MVPs just finally pushed me to it.

Evan said...

Admitted JT hater.

Jennifer said...

I think most JT haters are still holding him accountable for that 32 foot 3-pointer he jacked up in the waning moments of our tournament game vs aTm. It wasn't the deciding factor in that game but it was a the last and most memorable poor shot choice that JT made in the 2007-2008 season.