The following post is rated PG-13. It is not suitable for readers under the age of "I-think-BYU-sports-are-the-best-in-the-Nation". If you believe such non-sense... stop reading. Reader discression is advised. ... Seriously. You might cry.
Now that all that political correctness is out of the way... I've been waiting some time to write this. But as the new year is upon us... I shall wait no longer. (It's kind of a new years resolution. Oh and the title of this post almost symbolic. Or maybe I just confused the word 'symbolic' with the word 'graphic'.)
Let's start with the BYU Men's Basketball team. Dave Rose has done a good job with this club. They love to run in transition and can shoot three's like it's nobody's business. But you know what they say... live by the three... die by the three. They aren't going to be able to rely on the trey-ball all year, and they don't really have anyone to go to inside. Their big guys play okay defense, but are not a factor in the offense. This is going to be a problem come tournament time. Oh and by the way, good job convincing Trent Plaisted to stay for his senior year instead of declaring NBA draft eligibility. Smart move. (That last little bit was completely sarcastic. Plaisted, who averaged almost 16 pts 8 reb, is in Europe somewhere, lost in basketball detention.)
So I've been to a few games and overall the team is exciting to watch. A lot of energy, steals, and three pointers. But Coach Rose is anything but classy. Usually when you're up 20 points with a couple minutes left in the game, you put in your scrubs, your reserves, your benchwarmers. Not Coach Rose. Okay, so maybe 20 isn't as 'safe' as it used to be. But 30+, yeah, now you can put in the freshmen to finish out the game. Not Coach Rose. Well, how about 40+... you're as safe as you can get, right? Up 40 with 5 minutes to go? Not Coach Rose.
Against Rice, Weber State, and Boise State, Coach Rose left his starters in almost the whole game. These guys were still running and gunning, bombing threes and throwing alley-oops. The average margin of victory: 34 points. That's right. The opposition will remember the day they played the Cougars. Stay classy Coach Rose.
Now, lets change gears here. I think the BYU Football team's motto for next year should be 'Quest to fire Bronco Mendenhall'. Only 3 big games this year and they lost every one of them. All the blame goes to him for the shelacking TCU gave them... and after a byeweek... seriously Bronco? What are you concentrating on for those two weeks prior? Firesides?
The Utah game wasn't all Mendenhall's fault. Max Hall had the worst game of his career with 5 INTs and a fumble. But after the third interception you'd think Bronco would realize Max wasn't up to the task. As a coach, you want to show your team you trust your guy... but Bronco should have shown some sort of fire, some sort of indication that that game was important. Chew him out. Throw your headset. Do something for crying out loud! Football players feed off each other. They're like a pack of rabid velosa raptors. But if Mama raptor is indifferent on whether they have chicken fried stegasaurus or beer battered triceratops, then the baby raptors won't care either! In other words, passion is an admirable quality in a leader.
Now the AZ game. Yay for the Las Vegas Bowl, again. ... Awesome. We just lost to a 7-5 football team... oh wait 8-5, my bad. BYU was complaining all year that they weren't getting enough love from ESPN and the BCS. We would have been DESTROYED by any other ranked team. How do I know this? Because we just got owned by Arizona.
Give AZ credit. They're a good team. Us getting pounded by them means we're less than good. It probably didn't help BYU any that Max Hall, Austin Collie, and Dennis Pitta were playing pick-up ball on campus during the few weeks before the 'Big Game'. (I played with Max and am convinced he made a smart move by choosing football over basketball.) But honestly, Bronco, that's a smart coaching move: "Yeah, guys... go play basketball on campus with all the washed-up married guys, 18 year old spazzes, and uncoordinated exchange students. Don't worry about the fact that our next game is nationally sponsored and that if we win we all get Nintendo Wii's for the 3rd year in a row. Just don't get hurt." (Did anyone notice Dennis Pitta's knee injury? Wonder how that happened?) Enjoy your Nintendo Wii's Wildcats!
And seriously... he named his kids Breaker, Raider, and Cutter. Some might call that cute, I'd call it child abuse.