Friday, March 4, 2016

BYU Basketball Seniors: Farewell to Kyle, Chase, & Nate

We may have seen the last of 3 of the most-loved BYU hoopsters on the court at the Marriott Center. Here's my tribute to BYU Basketball seniors Kyle Collinsworth, Chase Fischer, and Nate Austin.

Kyle Collinsworth
Kyle Collinsworth

Jimmer's senior year (which was Kyle's freshman year), one of my roommates, Traci, decided that since everyone else loved Jimmer, she wanted to direct her attention to someone else, and she wisely chose Kyle, despite his unfortunate hairstyle choices. One time that winter, I saw Kyle at a BYU gymnastics meet and decided to get his autograph for Traci. I walked up to him (he was with a couple of friends out on the track at the SFH after the meet) and told him my roommate Traci was his biggest fan and asked for his autograph for her. He agreed, and as he signed the paper I handed him, the friend standing next to him asked me, "So why does your roommate like Kyle so much?" I said, "Um, because he's good at basketball?" Kyle's friend said, "Yeah, and he's really handsome, too!" Kyle turned bright red and handed the autographed paper back to me, then gave his friend the death stare. After walking away, I noticed that he had written: "Tracy- Thanks for being a great fan!" and signed his name at the bottom. When I gave her the paper that evening and apologized that he spelled her name wrong, she said, "That's okay! I'll go down to the courthouse & change it tomorrow!"

That's a fun memory for me, especially seeing what Kyle has become post-mission and post-ACL surgery. He's definitely gained in confidence, swagger, and talent over the past 6 years!

What more can you really say about Kyle? He's the undisputed triple double king. With 11 NCAA triple doubles, he is arguably one of the best players to ever take the court at BYU. He's definitely one of the most versatile. No one else stuffs stats like he does. I hope KC gets a shot in the NBA because I really don't want to have to stop watching him play basketball!


Nate Austin
Nate Austin

Another story. Nate was in my stake a few years ago. One time at institute, our stake president was teaching the lesson, and he asked the question, "Where are the gates of Hell located?" With no hesitation, I heard a booming voice to my left shout out "The University of Utah!" Lo and behold, it was one Nate Austin. I have no idea how I didn't notice a 7-foot-tall guy sitting 2 chairs away from me until then, but it was hilarious. We definitely know that Nate is true blue, through and through.

Nate now holds two BYU basketball records-- most games played, and he recently passed Russell Larson for most fouls committed. I hope he is equally proud of both those accolades. :) I'm really glad Nate was able to come back as a 5th year senior. He's definitely not a high-scorer, and he hasn't even started very many games this year, but I think a lot of people don't realize just how much work he does to get rebounds, block shots, and scramble for loose balls . . . and things like that have the potential to win games. Without him, we probably wouldn't have beaten Gonzaga in the kennel for the second year in a row. Way to go, Rex!

Chase Fischer
Chase Fischer

Chase has been a great addition to BYU. He transferred from Wake Forest, so he was only able to play 2 years for the Cougars, but he has already scored 1,000+ points-- one of very few players to achieve that goal in only half a standard college career. Despite not being LDS, he has really embraced the BYU culture and has made a mark here both on & off the basketball court.

Chase's favorite spot in Provo is Sprouts market, and he wants to open a gym called "Chase Fischer's Aesthetics Gym" after graduation. He has great hair, an even greater accent, an awesome sense of humor, a beautiful long-range shot, and he loves God, Guns, and America. What more could you ask for? I really wish I was married just so I could join the "Married People Who Admire Chase Fischer Club." You will be sorely missed, Chase.


Hopefully we will be able to avoid the NIT and send these boys off with an NCAA tourney bid-- they definitely deserve it! Thank you, Seniors!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

BYU Hoops vs. Gonzaga: An Epistle

From Spokesman.com
Behold, I write unto you an epistle, inspired by the words of my fellow Cougar fan & Twitter friend Jess following the Gonzaga game in the Kennel last year. Enjoy. :)

1. And it came to pass, on the fourteenth day of the first month in the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen, the Cougars did again journey to the land of Spokane to go to battle against the warriors of Gonzaga.

2. Like unto their battle in the year previous, the Zags had received a national ranking. They had not earned as high a ranking as the year before, but they had obtained a respectable ranking of twenty-five, and I say unto you, the Cougars had no such ranking; therefore, they were not expected to be victorious, and some critics did mock and revile them.

3. Yet the Cougars did proceed with much confidence and a knowledge that their forefathers, led by Captain Tyler Haws, had defeated the Zags in the land of Spokane last year, yea, they believed they could do the same.

4. And the Cougars did fight with much valor, yet much to the dismay of the Cougs, the Zags did also show much fortitude in battle.

5. And with nine minutes and forty-five seconds remaining in the first half, the Triple Double King, Kyle Collinsworth, did proceed to sit on the bench, for behold, he had obtained two fouls. Woe, woe, woe unto the referees! Yet, the remaining Cougar warriors did take courage and did return to battle without him.

6. And behold, the Cougars were down by four points at the half.

7. Yet in the second half, Captain Collinsworth was permitted to return to battle. And he did fight valiantly and did obtain many points for the Cougars, yea, even twenty points. Yea, he was nigh unto unstoppable.

8. Yet behold, the Zags did obtain a large lead, yea, even a lead of thirteen points. Yet the Cougars did not surrender, for they knew the Lord was with them, and they did cut that lead down to one.

9. For with little time remaining in the battle, yea, only one minute and thirty-eight seconds, the mighty Nick Emery, who is but a freshman and had yet to score any points in this contest, did obtain the ball and did shoot it from a long distance; yea, I say unto you, it was from Jimmer range.

10. And the ball did go into the hoop to obtain three points for the Cougars, and there was much celebration among the other Cougar warriors, for BYU was now ahead by two points.

11. Yet the battle was not over.

12. Behold, despite having been wounded prior to a battle against the forces of evil, also known as the Utes, one year ago, the mighty Nate Austin did obtain a shirt of red and did return to battle with the Cougars again this season.

13. He did receive yet another battle wound being struck mightily in the head during  the first half of this contest, yet he did gather his courage and continued to fight in the second half. And behold, this did become quite fortuitous for the Cougars.

14. For with only three seconds remaining in the battle, the Zag called Wiltjer did attempt to make a shot that, were he successful, would earn Gonzaga the victory.

15. But behold, the mighty Nate Rex Austin did rise up, and he knew the BYU Sports Nation Karma was with him, and he did jump with a hand held high and a mighty roar; and behold, he did swat the ball out of the air; therefore, it did not reach the basket.

16. Austin then did swiftly pursue the ball, yea, all the way to the sideline that the Zags did not lay hold on it again. Yea, he was fouled and did proceed to the free throw line with less than one second remaining in the battle.

17. Austin did not make the free throw, but behold, it mattereth not.

18. And Wiltjer did score thirty-five points in the battle, yea, a new career high, but behold, it mattereth not.

19. For the desperation full-court shot of the Zags did not go in. And behold, the buzzer did sound, and the Cougars did defeat the Zags once again in the Kennel. And there was much rejoicing among the Cougar faithful and in the land of Provo.

20. Yea, no other team in the Conference of the West Coast has ever defeated the Zags in their own land two years in a row since the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, save the Cougars.

21. But behold, the time is not far distant that there shall be another battle between the Cougars and the Zags; yea, it shall take place on the twenty-seventh day of the second month of the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen in the land of Provo.

22. The Cougars shall be prepared and shall rise up again unto battle with courage and fortitude, prepared to obtain the West Coast Conference crown; and great shall be the battle thereof. And I say unto you, Go Cougs!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Coach Krystkowiak Cancels 2016 Basketball Game with BYU: Here's My Reaction

I'm trying not to be angry about this, but it's not working. I've never liked Larry Krystkowiak. I think the only Utah coach I've disliked more is Rick Majerus. And maybe Jim Boylen. But the little teeny, tiny bit of respect I had to Krystko is now completely gone. 

I'm not really upset about the game being cancelled. If it were up to me, I'd have BYU never play Utah ever again in any sport. I wish we could just go our separate ways and never interact with each other again because the rivalry has become far from fun. What I am upset about is the "reason" behind it-- both the stated reason and the real reason. The stated reason:


"Potential for serious injury", huh? Gag me. If you're really worried about your players' safety, then you'd better just cut the team altogether because who knows what could happen out on the court tonight or the next night or the night after that? Sports bring emotion and the potential for injury with them-- it's unavoidable, no matter who you're playing. One of your players could blow out his knee or his ankle or break a bone in a game with Podunk State University, but you're not worried about that, are you?

The real reason? In my opinion, the University of Utah has just decided they are better than BYU in every way, and they are not even going to bother with playing sub-standard opponents like us. Because the most recent "dirty" play came from a BYU player (Nick Emery) and the Utes are on a winning streak, they think if they bow out now, they'll come out looking like the better team in the long run, both on the court and off. In their minds, they are the perfect model for how all student athletes should be, and they're not going to risk having that wonderful "reputation" ruined by playing BYU anymore.

I like how Greg Wrubell put it:



I'll be the first to admit that what Emery did was really stupid. But the Utah players are far from innocent. First, Nick punched Brandon Taylor in the stomach / chest area, and he fell to the floor holding his face. Can you say "flopping"? Second, Taylor wasn't even close to "seriously injured". He was perfectly fine a few minutes later. Third, while it's not an excuse, Nick was provoked. Taylor was playing dirty with him all night long. It didn't just come out of nowhere, like Taylor claims. Third, what about that exact same Brandon Taylor kicking Tyler Haws in the crotch last year? Or when Utah's Marshall Henderson punched Nick's older brother Jackson Emery back in 2010?

Yes, there are some stupid things that have been done by BYU players and fans over the years. But there are equally stupid things that have been done by Utah players and fans over the years-- it's a two-way street, people! I'm so tired of Utes claiming they are perfect little angels, and 100% of the "dirty" play comes from BYU's side.

One of the first tweets I saw yesterday after the news broke was from a Utah fan: "The lack of respect from BYU has led Utah to not value the rivalry." Again, I think I'm gonna throw up... Please give me one example in which Utah showed some respect for BYU. Anybody? Bueller?

Even Coach Krystko himself wasn't perfect in his college basketball playing days...



And the way he flipped his lid and essentially tried to attack Nick Emery after the punch and had to be held back doesn't exactly portray him as a saint.



Let he who is without sin cast the first stone... What a bunch of childish hypocrites.

Play the game or don't play the game. Take the money and move on. I don't care. But man up and admit that both sides are at fault when it comes to playing "dirty". Maybe something does need to change to make the rivalry more civil (if we ever do play again), but it's certainly NOT just something BYU has to do.

I've never been a Ute hater before -- really and truly -- but I think I'm becoming one now.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Bronco is Leaving BYU for Virginia... So Who Will Be the New BYU Football Coach?

Farewell, Bronco...
(From BYU Football Facebook Page)
I'm still in shock from yesterday's news that Bronco is leaving BYU for the head coaching job at Virginia. Not to be sacrilegious, but I feel similar to the way I felt when President Hinckley died. I've only been a BYU fan since 2004-ish, so Bronco is the only coach I've ever known!

I guess I must have missed something because I thought Bronco was fully committed to BYU and would be with us until he retired from football. I must have been living in a hole to not know that he's said several times before that someday he wanted to coach somewhere else... I'm totally baffled by the whole thing.

As much as I hate the fact that Bronco is leaving, I'm more worried about the aftershocks spreading to other members of the staff and current and future players. Is Taysom going to transfer to Virginia now? What about Jamaal? What about recruits coming in over the next few years? What members of the staff is Bronco going to take with him? Gah, my head is still spinning!

But of course, the most important thing and the question highest in everyone's minds is, who is going to be the new coach at BYU?

Here are the 4 names I've seen most often in the last 21 hours, ranked from who I think would be the worst choice to the best:

Kyle Whittingham- Please no. Please no, no, no. I know he played at BYU. But I don't like him and I don't trust him. I could totally see him coaching BYU just long enough to sabotage their game against Utah, and then quitting and going back to Salt Lake with a smug smile on his face. I can't believe any true BYU fan would actually want him to coach our team... y'all are crazy.

Robert Anae- Bad idea. His performance as offensive coodinator has been a roller coaster at best. Um, didn't he get fired a few years ago? Pretty sure there was a good reason for that... I also don't think he has the personality or the "bedside manner" that's necessary for a head coach to have. Plus, he'd have a much larger role with speaking to the media, and that would just be a disaster-- he's the opposite of eloquent, sensible, or even appropriate. Most of the time, he comes across as downright rude when speaking with the media, which would not be good for BYU's image. 

Kalani Sitaki- Now to the decent options. I admit I'd never heard Kalani Sitaki's name before yesterday, but from my new limited knowledge, I think he'd be pretty good. As the current defensive coordinator at Oregon State, it sounds like he'd be similar to Bronco in football philosophy. He seems to be the most popular option among BYU fans from what I've heard & seen. And rumor has it that he has expressed interest in coming to BYU at some point... so there's a really good chance he'd be interested & invested in making it work.

Ken Niumatalolo- Continuing in the interest of full disclosure, almost everything I know about Niumatalolo I learned from "Meet the Mormons", but I think he's my first choice right now. Assuming he is similar to the way he was portrayed in the movie, I think he'd be a great fit for BYU. He can be tough, but he's also smart and sensible. Plus, his son is already on the BYU football team. I think he'd be a great choice. Maybe we could even have Niumatalolo as head coach and bring on Sitaki as DC. I like that idea most of all.

Then again, what do I know? The pool of potential candidates is smaller than at most other schools because the head coach has to be LDS, but it still could be a wide range of people. No matter what happens, brace yourself because a lot of interesting things are going to happen in Provo in the next few weeks...

Friday, October 2, 2015

BYU in the Big House: Knife. Heart. Twist.

I've "written" about a dozen different versions of this post in my head over the last week. Before the game, I was thinking about how I would talk about how cool the stadium is, what a great opportunity it was to be there, and how confident I felt that BYU would come out with a victory (and preferably how I turned out to be right). But by halftime, I was having radically different thoughts.

As I spent most of halftime fighting back tears in the bathroom under the stands (yes, I'm serious...), the only thoughts running through my head were, "What in the world was I thinking coming all the way out here for this game? Why did I ever think this was a good idea?! I can't believe I spent all that money for THIS!" While I was obviously upset about the way the game was going, I was even more upset with myself for thinking there was no way I could be disappointed enough in the game that I would regret spending thousands of dollars on this "vacation."

After my prayers for "just one touchdown" and "just one field goal" turned into "just one good play" and eventually "just one first down...", I was totally devastated. On the long 2-mile walk back to the hotel after the game (because I refused to pay $50 for parking), I was seriously considering throwing in the towel on BYU sports all together. Not because I was upset with the team (I am NOT a fair weather fan), but because I was upset with myself for thinking it could never get this bad. If BYU had lost 31-24 or even 31-14, I would have been disappointed, but I'd be over it by now, and I wouldn't regret going. But honestly, I walked out of the Big House permanently traumatized. I've never been so ashamed to be wearing a BYU shirt as I was when I left that stadium.

To those who have said, "Well, at least you go to see a football game in the Big House like you've always wanted..." My response: That wasn't a football game. I'm not even sure I can call it football. It DEFINITELY wasn't a game. That was like paying $400 for tickets on the 20-yard line (plus airfare and hotel) to watch a mediocre high school team get steamrolled by Alabama. I'm pretty sure even most Michigan fans weren't having much fun from the 2nd quarter on... It was the most boring, embarrassing non-game I've ever seen. The BYU defense kind of showed up in the 2nd half, but the offense never did. That was literally the worst performance I've ever seen from a BYU team. EVER.

I think the thing I was most disappointed in was the fact that it looked like the team just gave up by the 4th quarter. I could see the look of dejection on Tanner Mangum's face after each 3-and-out, but I kept wondering, why are they not even trying anymore? Why not take a shot at the end zone to try to at least get one score? Why not go for it on 4th down? What have you got to lose? Seems like Anae just threw in the towel and decided getting 1-yard gains from Nate Carter and short (incomplete) passes were adequate in the 4th quarter. Not acceptable. What happened to fighting til the end, no matter what?

While I am certainly not excusing Tanner Mangum's poor play, I think he tried harder and did better than most of the other players. I'd probably give him a D grade, but the receivers and o-line definitely get an F. The receivers dropped several catchable passes, and the o-line let Michigan's defense rattle Mangum and sack him several times.

I'd also give an F to the coaches. The team clearly wasn't prepared or conditioned properly. I think one of the biggest mistakes was the fact that the team didn't arrive in Ann Arbor until Friday afternoon. I don't see how they would have been able to practice at all before the game-- they had the fireside on Friday night, and then the game was on Saturday morning. You can't win a football game with so little preparation.

Yes, I know it's just one game, and the team will move on and hopefully show up to fight tonight vs. UConn. But to me, this was way more than a game. I was expecting to have one of the best days of my life, no matter the outcome, but instead, it turned out to be one of the worst. 

I am not going to throw in the towel on BYU altogether... but I am going to temper my expectations. Anything can happen in sports, and while this was the absolute last thing I expected, I guess that's life.

I'll end with a few thoughts from the Friday night fireside. Taysom rolled into the chapel with his walking boot & little scooter that we've seen him use way too often. He was the first speaker, and he started out by saying that he doesn't know what his future holds yet (so don't ask...), but he loves his teammates and his family and is still grateful for the opportunity he has to be part of this team. He spoke briefly about his injury and said he was grateful that, right after his injury, he was surrounded by worthy priesthood holders. He asked for a blessing and was in a room full of people who were willing and able to give him one. You won't find that anywhere else...

He concluded by saying, "As difficult as this has been, I know the Lord will provide blessings to make up for it." 

BYU Football is more than football, and I'm grateful for that. As hard and depressing as this week has been for me, I am proud to be a Cougar. You definitely won't find this anywhere else... #GoCougs #BeatUConn

Not a bad view of the Big House... at least I got a few good pictures!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Time Has Come for BYU vs. MICHIGAN!

I've been looking forward to this week's game for almost THREE YEARS. I can't believe it's finally here! I'm having a hard time thinking about anything else right now except excitement for the game and wondering what I'm forgetting to pack, but I figure I should say more in this post than "I'M SO EXCITED FOR THE MICHIGAN GAME!" so here are a few thoughts on Boise State & UCLA.

The Boise State game was crazy. I was lucky enough to wrangle myself a ticket and sat with my awesome BYU fan home teacher & his sister in the student section. I'd almost forgotten how much I hate sitting in the ROC, though . . . No, 5 more people cannot fit there! It's a claustrophobic's worst nightmare. But it was an amazing atmosphere, especially on those 2 final scores, #MangumMiracle #2 with the long pass to Mitch Juergens on 4th and 7 ("WE'VE SEEN THIS BEFORE!"), and Kai Nacua's 3rd interception of the night for a pick-6. I don't think I've ever heard it be so loud in LES before! Best of all, they did it #4Taysom.

Now about UCLA. I always say before games like this that I'll be ok if BYU loses, as long as it's a fair fight and they don't get blown out. But then when they lose by 1 point, I'm never ok with THAT. They really should have won that game and deserved to win that game, so it's frustrating, but definitely not the end of the world. We're still far exceeding expectations.

I'm impressed with Tanner Mangum more each game. He has amazing maturity and poise and the ability to keep calm under pressure, which is so rare among QBs in general-- and he's a freshman!

The Cougs are still ranked going into the Big House, and despite being an underdog again (this time, I hear by about 4 points), I'm confident that they can pull it off. Yes, I am a Michigan fan, too, but I'm going to channel all my BYU fandom into this one-- believe you me! I am definitely cheering for COUGAR blue on Saturday! Watch for me on ABC!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Never Forget Our Fallen Warrior, Taysom Hill

Poor Taysom . . .
From heraldextra.com
Yesterday was a roller coaster of emotions. And as bad as it was for me, I'm sure it was a million times worse for Taysom Hill.

Last night, I decided to join the crowd of fans at the airport to welcome the team home. Taysom & his wife were the first ones off the plane. There were probably a few hundred people in front of me in the "tunnel" through which the players were walking (although it was more like a mosh pit, if you ask me . . .stand back and let the guys breathe, people!) But I didn't even notice Taysom was coming until he was practically right in front of me. Why didn't I see him coming? Because no one was even cheering. Most people were just mumbling his name and a few people touched his arm or patted him on the back, but most people just let him walk through without a word and disappear into the parking lot.

This morning, I saw this video (credit to @DavidFiso's Periscope), which made me feel a little better, since some of the people up by the fence were cheering and clapping for him, but from where I was standing, his appearance was super anticlimactic. 

Watching Sports Center & the local news from last night and this morning, I'm surprised that Taysom's injury is still a major afterthought to the Hail Mary. Yes, the Hail Mary was beyond amazing, but the loss in that game was so much greater than the win. I understand that dwelling on injuries or other bad things is not typically a good idea, but simply saying "Oh, and by the way, Taysom's out for the season." seems like a huge disrespect to #4.

Maybe I'm being overly dramatic about all this. Maybe the tributes and rightful respect will come later. I really hope so. And don't get me wrong-- I have seen some. I've even seen a few tweets today from people who are trying to think of a way fans can honor Taysom throughout the rest of the season, and I think that's a great idea. But from the way I saw the scene at the airport play out, I'm very disappointed.

I thought he might have been in a wheelchair or something, but he was walking. His hands were full of stuff and he had headphones on and was obviously trying to smile and fight back the tears . . . But he mostly just kept his head down and avoided eye contact with everyone as he walked through the crowd. He was hardly acknowledged. It wasn't until the other players came out that the cheers really erupted. Just a few hours after his 3rd season-ending injury, it's like Taysom's already been forgotten.

I'm #TeamTaysom Forever!
I know the title of this post is especially cheesy . . . but I'm dead serious when I say that I hope we never forget who Taysom Hill really is. 

He should have received the loudest cheer of all last night . . . but he definitely didn't, and that makes me sad. We wouldn't have won that game without him. I saw one tweet this morning that said the Hail Mary has largely "numbed" the BYU fan base about Taysom's injury. I'm not numb at all about it-- I feel the pain completely, fully, and I'm sure he does, too.

I've had my fair share of rough times in life, but I can't even imagine what it would be like to work so hard for 11 months to come back from a badly broken leg. He worked his butt off and was FINALLY healthy and ready to go . . . and then it was all taken away from him again in less than half of a football game. 

Yes, we should support Tanner Mangum and get excited about the future. But let's not forget about the guy who worked his tail off to come back from 2 season-ending injuries, only to receive a 3rd, which is probably career-ending, just a few hours later. Taysom Hill is a true warrior, hero, and BYU Cougar legend.

Ok, I guess I'll get off my soapbox now . . . But not without saying THANK YOU to Taysom Hill and giving him the loudest cyber cheer I possibly can and standing ovation from my living room. He's one of the best football players and human beings that Cougar fans have had the privilege of watching play sports.

Instead of ignoring and forgetting him and "moving on", let's get behind him! Even if he never plays another down of football again, he has done enough to seal himself in the Cougar history books as one of the greatest QBs to ever play here. Never forget that THIS happened one year ago today. My heart still hurts for #4.


Mayhem at the Provo Airport: Welcome Home, Cougars!

I'm working on another post about my experience at the Provo airport last night to welcome the football team back to Provo, but for now, enjoy my blurry pictures!

The man of the hour, Mr. Tanner Mangum

This was right before he held my hand . . . that's another story! Ha.

This picture is especially poor quality, but I loved the elation from Nick Kurtz.
He was really soaking it all in!
Algie Brown
 
Can someone help me out with who this is? I swear his name is right on the tip of my tongue...

We don't see a smile like that very often . . .


Way to go, Bronco!



Saturday, September 5, 2015

BYU vs. Nebraska: Extreme Joy & Extreme Despair

High highs . . . Low lows.

I don't think I've ever gone from so happy to so sad in such a short period of time.

I watched today's season opening football game at the BYU broadcast building on the awesome 27-foot screen they set up. It's always a great atmosphere there-- you're surrounded by some of the biggest BYU fans in Provo, and it's probably the 2nd best thing to actually being at the game (plus, they give us free pizza and cookies at halftime!)

We were down by 1 point with 1 second left. We had been hoping for a field goal, but time ran out and we weren't in range. A Hail Mary was the only option. The only thing that was running through my head was, "These situations never seem to work out for BYU. I'll assume we're going to lose the game. That way, I'll be expecting it and maybe my disappointment will be minimal when that's what actually happens . . ."

But then this happened.


I don't think I've ever seen quite the scene that ensued when Mitch Mathews brought down that Hail Mary TD pass from Tanner Mangum. I think I just sat there with my mouth hanging open for at least 5 seconds before I even realized what had happened. Everyone was running & screaming. It's probably good that one of the BYU TV employees had the presence of mind to go up front and prevent people from running into the giant TV screen & other equipment so it wouldn't get damaged in the mayhem. Spencer Linton & Brian Logan ran into the room screaming and hugging each other. David Nixon & Michael Alisa were high-fiving the crowd. The woman next to me (a complete stranger) grabbed me in a bear hug. Pure joy!

The refs reviewed the play (during a brief moment of silence), confirmed the TD, and then the room erupted again. We had actually won. I just kept saying "WOW" to myself over and over again... Did that really just happen?

Things calmed down a little bit, and the post game show started filming.

And then joy turned to despair.

RIP Taysom's Football Career :(
From sltrib.com
Taysom Hill is out for the year with a broken foot. What the?! Twitter traffic & the game commentators had just been reporting a sprain. It didn't even look like he'd done anything to it . . . And he came back and played on it . . . they wouldn't let him play on a broken foot, right? Tyler Haws magically healed his badly sprained ankle in like a week . . . those BYU trainers could do the same thing for Taysom, right? There's no way he has a broken foot.

I'm still in shock. Are they really sure he has a broken foot? Really, really sure???

He's done. Yes, he probably could get a medical redshirt, but I don't think he will. It would just be too much to handle coming back from 3 season-ending injuries. He's got a good non-football career ahead of him, and I think he'll take it.

People on Twitter & fans at the broadcast building were saying we need to stop complaining about not having Taysom anymore and embrace Tanner Mangum as the new leader of the team. We need to "move on" and forget about it . . . Really? You just want to forget about Taysom? I never want to forget about Taysom.  Maybe that's not what they meant, but it hurts that people think we can't even mourn his loss.

Yes, we should embrace Tanner as the new BYU quarterback, and I hope he'll do great things. But at the same time, my heart hurts for Taysom. So much.

At the Cougar Kickoff a few weeks ago, I heard a fan say to Mangum, "Is it ok that I hope you don't play very much this year?" Tanner laughed & replied, "Yeah, that's totally fine! I hope I don't, either! I'd be ok with just taking a few snaps in the 4th quarter when we're up by like 30!"

I'm sure on some level, he's excited to get this opportunity. He'll likely be the starter for 4 straight years, and if what he pulled off today is any indication of his potential, those will be a great 4 years!

But Taysom . . .

Some fans on Twitter who were at the game said he was "crying like crazy". I feel so bad for the guy. He had so much potential, and he hardly got to use any of it. I never imagined this would happen, as pretty much the whole offensive strategy was built on protecting him. It's yet another "freak injury" that will likely end his football career way too soon.

Because of the Taysom news, I'm having a hard time even being happy about the win today. I almost feel bad about tweeting or sharing anything about the amazing win or even feeling happy because of the news that came afterward.

I know it would be so much worse if the Hail Mary had failed and we had lost, but I'm really bummed. I'm going to the game in Michigan in a 3 weeks, and I've been so excited for THREE YEARS. I still am excited, but one of the main things I was excited about was seeing both Taysom and Jamaal play in the Big House in their senior seasons. And now neither one of them will be there. I'm sure it will still be fun and a good game, but I'm just plain depressed now. I really hope Taysom's going to be ok . . . and not just physically. He doesn't deserve this. It's times like this that I really don't understand that whole "trials will work out for your good" thing.

I mean, we beat Nebraska, a quality opponent, on national TV, in amazing fashion! But I just can't be happy about it . . . because the loss in this game was so much more than the gain. 

If I could trade the win for Taysom's health, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I'm hopeful that the Cougars can still pull out a good season, but they've got to make a lot of adjustments, and they've got to make them fast. Now we're down 3 of our best players (including Travis Tuiloma, who is out for 4-6 weeks with a knee injury) and we're going to have to make some major changes on both offense and defense . . . and Boise State comes to town in only 7 days. Not to  mention the emotional strain that I'm sure is hitting the team hard from losing Taysom AGAIN. I'm a little overwhelmed just thinking about it. Sigh . . .

Because I don't want to end on a sour note, even though that's how I feel, let's watch the Hail Mary play again, followed by Bronco celebrating & Terenn Houk hugging the ref. :) Let's hope this is a sign of great things to come!




Monday, June 15, 2015

I am an #ELITE Member of BYU Sports Nation

Couldn't fit all this in 140 characters, so here's my "application" to be the most #Elite member of BYU Sports Nation!

First, this is a sampling of the BYU clothing I own. I counted 65 shirts, 5 pants / shorts, and 5 hats. And I'm pretty sure this isn't all of it . . .


Second, this is what my apartment looks like.

My bed, complete with BYU t-shirt blanket that I made

Bedroom Wall #1

Bedroom wall #2, complete with "Jimmer shrine"
(Tyler Haws shrine is under construction)

Bedroom wall #3. Most of the posters in my bedroom are autographed and laminated.

Hanging on my living room wall

I always know when it's time for BYU Sports Nation to start...

A smattering of my BYU memorabilia, including several autographed balls
& another blanket that I made

Office wall #1

Office wall #2

Office wall #3

Office wall #4
If that wasn't enough, this is what my former apartment looked like during Jimmer's senior year, before my landlord made me take it all down. Each of the large posters is over 4 feet tall.


Last but not least, the lifesize Jimmer.


I am THE #Elite member of BYU Sports Nation! Vote for me! :)

My name is Tasha, and I approve this message.