Letter to BYU

Tuesday, 31 August 2010, 2:58 | Category : College, Football
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Dear BYU,

I am writing to help you get a better perspective of reality.  While I know you have never actually released any statements on the matter, it’s something we have to address.  Many around town think you are arrogant and it is important that you realize this.  I can’t believe that you think you can just get up and leave the conference because you think you can make more money elsewhere.  Since when has making money been a part of college football?  That has never been an issue!  Just because you can make around 10 million dollars of TV revenue elsewhere compared to 1.5 million in the conference does not give you the right to explore other options.  Don’t think that just because ESPN contacted you about televising several games each year means you may be relevant.  I don’t care if you have ready-to-use HD technology for your own channel, don’t you realize it isn’t about money?  Why shouldn’t Wyoming and New Mexico make as much money as you?  It’s not their fault fans don’t decide to come to their games or watch them on TV.  We are all in it together.  It is just plain selfish to explore other options.

Also, a lot of people think that you are just plain scared of Boise St. and TCU.  The conference has just gotten too good for you hasn’t it?  How many BCS games have you been to?  Exactly.  It doesn’t matter that in the last four years, BYU has 3 conference losses, TCU has 7, and Utah has 8.  Do you really think consistency is important?  No!  Why do you think Utah is considered a good football program?  You have 2 MWC championships in the last 4 years?  Please.  That doesn’t mean anything.  It seems a little too coincidental that you are doing that as soon as Boise St. came along.  Looks like you were scared to play the big boys after all.  Having them scheduled for 4 straight years before they joined the conference doesn’t mean anything.  You are scared of them.

Also, you really think you are the Notre Dame of the west?  Do you really think you could handle two ranked teams on your schedule this year like they have?  Don’t you know how hard it is to schedule teams like Notre Dame does?  You really think the likes of Tulsa, Western Michigan, Army, and Navy would play you?  So what if Texas jumped on the opportunity right away to schedule a home and home series.  They probably won’t even be good by then.  You are just plain cocky, BYU.  The MWC will be better off without you.  You are digging your own grave.  I just thought you should see what everyone sees and you just choose to ignore.


College football writer

European Imports Hope to Spark Interest in MLS

Monday, 30 August 2010, 4:13 | Category : MLS, Soccer
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In this economy, the “Buy American” mentality has increased almost everywhere, except for in the MLS.  The arrival of Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez has created quite the buzz in the MLS, helping to carry the New York Red Bulls (last year’s worst team) to compete for the top place in the east and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.

As of this year, the MLS introduced the Designated Player Rule, which allows each team to have up to three players outside of their salary cap.  The third comes at a cost of $250,000, which gets distributed evenly to the remaining 15 teams in the league.  The hope is to bring in more high profile, international players.  It appears to be working.

Both playing the last few seasons together for Real Madrid, Henry and Marquez are looking to wind down their careers on a high note while jump starting American interest in soccer.  In total, seven new designated players signed this season, joining players like Landon Donovan and David Beckham for a grand total of 14.

All the talk after the U.S.’s minor success in this year’s World Cup was about whether or not soccer would begin to gain popularity here.  For me, a major part of why the World Cup is great is because of exposure.  Lack of exposure to the top European soccer leagues in the U.S. makes it difficult to care about them.  I don’t know about the teams, cities, or players.  Why would I care who won?  Bringing in big names and talent not only makes the league more legit, it gives us a reason to care.

Beckham thought he would single-handedly change soccer in the U.S., but quite frankly, I still didn’t care.  The only time I made an effort to watch the MLS was to see Real Salt Lake in the championship.  They won, by the way.  However, Beckham may have been the catalyst for the changes to bring in more big names.  I am now excited to watch one of my favorite players, Rafa.

If more and more big names and talents continue to relocate to the U.S., will the MLS become the fifth major sport?  Will soccer ever become significant in the U.S.?

The “B”ees’ Knees

Saturday, 28 August 2010, 19:53 | Category : NBA
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Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

With the Dream Team resting peacefully in the Hall of Fame and the Redeem Team busy taking its talents elsewhere, the nation has turned to its b-list players to bring home the gold from the FIBA World Championship.  Besides Kevin Durant, none of the members of the are in the top three in their position in the NBA.  Some are referring to them as the B-Team.

The roster has been in flux all summer as Coach K and the other coaches tired to find the best combination of talent.  I’ve been trying to make my mind up about the lineup, but its been hard without access to the NBA channel.  On Sunday, I finally had the opportunity to watch Team U.S.A. play.  What they say is true: they are young, inexperienced, small, and still developing chemistry.  The upside is that they hustle on defense, are fast, and have lots of options on offense.  Overall, the teams consists of a good group of guys that I am proud to have represent our country.  I’m just not sure that’s going to be enough to win the gold.

I’m not going to take time to go over every player, but I do want to point out a few things that stood out to me:

  • Andre Iguodala is supposed to be a defensive stopper and a go-to-guy on offense, but he let me down on both accounts.
  • I have had little chance to watch the Warrior’s Stephen Curry play, and I’ve expected him to just be a shooter.  He was making excellent passes and playing solid D on Ricky Rubio (who was the first of two point guards the T-Wolves selected over him).  I’m buying in on Curry.
  • Odom needs to worry about playing some of the Lakers’ famous D and rebounding, not launching up unbalanced three-pointers.  To put it in perspective, Chauncey Billups is pulling down more boards.  There are enough scorers on the team, they need to take advantage of the little height they have.  For that reason I think Kevin Love is due for more minutes.
  • I have not watched Eric Gordon play a whole lot, but apparently he’s so good the staff wasn’t even aware of it.
  • Not sure what happened with Rondo before he resigned from the team, but I thought he was a good fit.  He may be the worst shooter of the guards, but the team doesn’t need more scorers.  He is an excellent passer, which is what this team needs.  Rondo was minutes away from leading a star-studded team (on which he was the most consistent player) to its second championship for the second time in three years.  Did I mention he plays defense?
  • Westbrook may not be the best guard on the team, but they have to take advantage of the already existing chemistry between him and Durant.  They had a couple great plays against Spain.
  • Kevin Durant will be MVP this year.

Apparently, the World Championship has been more important to the rest of the world than the Olympics.  The U.S.’s lack of emphasis on this tournament may explain why the it hasn’t brought home the gold since ’94.  Even this year the U.S. failed to bring back a single member of the gold medal team from two years ago.  However, every other powerhouse team is also down at least one of its A-list players.  This is good considering all that Team U.S. “B” has at stake.  Besides their continued struggles in the first quarter, they handled their first match, against Croatia, easily enough.  Let’s hope that they can continue to piece things together and finish what the Redeem Team started.  If they prove themselves bring home the gold, the “B” in B-Team can stand for bling.

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