Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do some good. Come to BYU.

I wish I could put my brain in Jabari Parker's body.

If you're a BYU fan, you probably already know all about Mr. Parker. He's the 6-8 high school junior from Chicago who might just be the No. 1 basketball prospect in 2013. He's an incredible player. He's a lottery NBA pick for sure.

Oh yeah, and he's LDS.

That last little beauty has BYU fans like me all aflutter. Like it or not, the church connection means BYU has to be in the conversation when it comes to Jabari's recruitment.

Realistically though, Jabari-to-BYU has to be considered a long shot. This kid literally has his choice of schools. Duke, Kentucky, Kansas... They all want him. Dave Rose is making a strong play for Parker, but it'll be an uphill battle.

I've never been a No. 1 anything before, so I can't imagine what Jabari's recruitment must be like. He's got a tough choice to make, but if it was me it would be the easiest choice in the world: I'd pick BYU.

Here's the thing, JP is going to the NBA. That much is certain. And he's most likely going after one year. So if your college experience is going to be limited to just one year, I ask you this: does it really matter what college you pick?

Actually, that all depends.

if he goes to Kansas or Kentucky, no. He'll be another flash in the pan. Don't get me wrong, the fans will love him, but in a school with 500 legends it's pretty easy to get lost in the mix.

At BYU, though, he would be the ultimate ambassador for the school and the church. He would spark countless conversations about Mormons, the mission of BYU and faith, and it would extend well beyond his one year in college. He would do all sorts of good for BYU with a long and successful career in the NBA.

In other words, Jabari Parker's future is already taken care of. He'll be just fine. However, he is now in the unique position of being able to do something extremely good for his church, and his church's school.

And if JP is worried about exposure or draft position or whatever, I've got two words for him: Jimmer Fredette. Jimmer showed the world you can play at a mid-major school and still be the most popular player in the universe. Jabari could do that. And if he does indeed come to BYU, he'll even have the advantage of having regular games on ESPN, a luxury Jimmer never had.

Like I said, I'm not Jabari Parker. I'm a 27-year-old BYU fan who has no idea how it feels to have every major college in the country beat down your door. It has to be flattering. But if it WAS me, I'd take a good hard look at the big picture. I'd go to BYU so I could do the most good for myself and my church.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The MWC is full of morons

I'm just gonna come right out with it: the Mountain West Conference is full of morons, dullards and ignorami. As a BYU fan, I'm deliriously happy we won't have to deal with those hicks anymore. Let me tell you why.

When BYU announced it would be leaving the MWC in favor of Football independence, our conference family almost immediately greeted our decision with anger and bitterness. Commissioner Craig Thompson issued a terse statement in which he failed to acknowledge BYU's move or even the school's name. Fans around the conference responded to the news with a bizarre combination of envy, disgust and relief. Relief that they'd never have to see the BYU Cougars ever again.

Several schools, TCU, Wyoming and SDSU for example, vowed publicly to "punish" BYU by never scheduling them again. They knew scheduling would be the hardest part of our jump, and they were determined to make independence as difficult for us as possible.

And these were supposed to be our friends. Our conference allies.

I can understand the jealousy and the bitterness, but try as I might I can't wrap my head around the sheer idiocy of not putting BYU on your future schedule.

BYU's independence and its partnership with ESPN mean more money and more exposure for the Cougars. What these MWC simpletons don't realize is it provides money and exposure for BYU's opponents too.

Imagine you're the athletic director for an MWC school like, say, Wyoming. If you schedule a home-and-home series with BYU, you can instantly count on more fans in your stadium. You can also charge a premium for tickets, knowing that your fans and the traveling Cougar fans will gladly pay it. Every team does it when the Cougs come to town, after all. Boom. Suddenly you've got bigger crowds who are spending more money in your stadium. Isn't that what every AD wants for their school?

Then, next year, you play the Cougars in Provo. Thanks to BYU's deal with the Worldwide Leader, you'll probably get your game on one of the ESPN family of networks. Suddenly you've got a game on ESPN, and if you're Wyoming, that happens about as often as a Cheesecake Factory customer walking out the door not feeling like he's gonna yack. And even if you're not on ESPN, your game against the Cougs will be on BYUTV, and that's still about a billion times better than the paltry offerings of The mtn.

Money and exposure. That's what BYU gets, and that's what BYU can give.

I should point out not all the MWC schools are so stupid. Boise State, Hawaii and TCU all have BYU on future schedules, and all will benefit greatly for it. I'm telling you, putting BYU on the schedule is a great idea.

Not that I'd expect the brain dead bubbas around the new MWC to recognize it

So glad we're out of that tire fire.