Posts Tagged ‘Holy War’

Jake Heaps 2

SPORTS: Podcast: BYU-Utah Recap, BYU Basketball Update, Derek Anderson Freaks Out

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

Harrowed by the memory of last Saturday’s Holy War loss, the PB&J Report crew reflect on the somewhat disappointing BYU football season that was 2010 — and look forward with hope to the impending era of “Big Game” Jake Heaps. Meanwhile, the BYU basketball team is winning ugly, but winning nonetheless. What does the future hold for Jimmer Fredette and the boys as they prepare to tackle some high-profile non-conference opponents? And why does it seem Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson is always freaking out on ESPN? You can find all this and more on this week’s PB&J Report. Enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 030 — The PB&J Report (2010.12.01)

Who Will Dish Out the Hate Speech This Year?

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Uncategorized

As we get closer and closer to game time, there is one question that should most definitely be on our minds. I know for a fact that someone is going to fill the shoes of Max Hall and dish out some hate speech after tomorrow’s game. The only thing we are left to wonder is who it will be. Let’s take a look at the possible candidates.

Bronco Mendenhall

I know most of you think there is no way that Bronco would ever spout off on the U., but you never do know. I know he will never admit it, but every defensive coordinator has a little crazy in them. Just look at other defensive-minded head coaches, namely Nebraska’s Bo Pelini and Arizona’s Mike Stoops. Bronco doesn’t seem like he is capable of a complete and utter meltdown like Pelini had last week, but you better believe that he gets fired up. ODDS: Did hell freeze over yet? No? OK then. Not happening. 1,000,000,000,000,000-1

Travis Uale

I have a good feeling about this guy because he used to play for the Utes back in 2005. Well, he didn’t actually play for them, but he did redshirt and practice with the team. I could see him going up to the podium and making a very logical case for his hate because, after all, he was there to experience the school for himself and, therefore, has the credibility to make a reasonable judgment. This would also open the door for Kyle Whittingham to say a few things about BYU, seeing that he spent his playing days here in Provo. ODDS: I bet he has some beef that he wants to get off of his chest. 8-1

O’Neill Chambers

For some reason I have a feeling that our ole pal O’Neill could come out of nowhere and surprise us by saying some hateful words about BYU. He is still here in the state of Utah finishing up his classes, so it could happen. How about this for a hypothetical? Maybe he decides to come up to SLC for the game for fun and Sammy Linebaugh from The Mountain finds him in the stands wearing a Florida Gators hoodie. She figures it would be insightful reporting if she asked him a few questions about his former team and heads into the stands. O’Neill tries a few spin moves to get away from her but, as we all know, the vaunted spin fails him. Frustrated by his attempts to get away, he gets caught up in the moment and unleashes a substantial amount of profanity, which not only gets The Mountain in all kinds of trouble but also makes for the most awkward moment in television history. ODDS: For those of you who are going to the game, you might want to set this one to record on your DVR. This might just happen. 2-1

Jake Heaps

Ever since he has been allowed to speak into a microphone at the BYU press conferences, Heaps has pretty much said all the right things. The way he talks about execution and preparation makes you wonder if Bronco has threatened to take away his dining privileges if he said anything besides those two words. There is a chance, however, that Max Hall personally contacted Heaps and told him that he needed to carry on the tradition of excellence. With this being Jake’s first Holy War, he just might go against Bronco’s wishes and unleash hellfire and damnation from the postgame podium. ODDS: This will actually happen next year after Jake’s parents get drenched with beer during this year’s game. 30-1

Matt Reynolds

I want to say there has never been an offensive lineman that has used hate speech in the Holy War. Defensive linemen have been guilty many times, but not those guys on offense. Pre-season All-American Matt Reynolds just might be the guy to buck the trend. I could see a Utah defensive player questioning his toughness after he gets hurt for the 377th time this season. He would then decide to grow a pair, live up to his All-American billing and then talk some trash after the game. Trust me when I say that the Reynolds brothers are capable of a mean streak. One of them may or may not have accidentally punched me in the face during drills at BYU football camp when I was 13. (I got over it quickly after LaVell Edwards handed me an ice pack and called me son. That was about as close as I came to playing BYU football. Those were the glory days.) ODDS: Pretty sure they don’t let people over 300 lbs speak in the postgame press conference. 300-1

Andrew Rich

I just got done reading a lovely article about how Andrew Rich’s brother is a huge Utah fan. That would make it really tough for Rich to replicate Max’s performance from last year. I can see it now. “I don’t like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, I hate their fans, I hate their… wait. I actually don’t hate my brother, who is a big Utah fan. He’s a pretty good guy. I actually don’t mind their coaches either. I played a round of golf with Whittingham during the summer and I took his daughter out on a few dates. I guess I just hate their alumni.” ODDS: This guy is pretty much Bronco Mendenhall reincarnated. There is no way he slings any hate. Unless he actually did date Whittingham’s daughter and it ended badly. 500-1

Matt Marshall

I find it very interesting that one of the more insignificant individuals on the BYU football team happens to be the most arrogant. I actually shouldn’t say that. He came up huge on two fake punts and has done a great job holding extra points. That said, it seems like every single game I see Matt get in someone’s face to talk at little trash. Marshall is also from the SLC area so I’m sure he has plenty of beef with some folks up on the hill. If he does decide to run his mouth, let’s hope tsomeone with a little more substance, like Terrance Brown, will have his back. I’m afraid of what someone might do to the little guy. ODDS: I’m taking this bet to the bank. Well, to Vegas first, then the bank. 2-5

Jordan Pendleton

Correct me if I am wrong, but JP might be the scariest person alive. He has this look in his eye that screams, “I’M SO FREAKING CRAZY! I WILL EAT YOU!” You think I’m kidding, but I’ve seen it. I nearly wet myself. Anyhow, nobody knows if he is going to play in this week’s game, but I’m going to say he will tough it out and suit up. It seems as if BYU coaches have done their best in keeping JP away from the media, but I think after this game a reporter will shove a microphone in his face and he will go crazy and let the hate spew from his mouth. ODDS: He’ll probably eat Matt Asiata’s leg instead. 50-1

Key Unit in the Holy War: The Front Seven

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Uncategorized

You would think that, after a festive day of Thanksgiving, I would want to take a break and relax. But the fact of the matter is I can’t stop thinking about the game this Saturday. This probably has to do with the fact that I have been watching the replays of past BYU-Utah games. Anyhow, here are my latest thoughts on the ensuing Holy War.

Much has been said in the last few days about what is going to determine the outcome of Saturday’s game. If you look at my previous posts, I wrote extensively about the offenses of each team and what they need to do to get the victory.

After finishing a hearty slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast, I came to the conclusion that while it is important for BYU to establish its offensive presence, the defense will have to win this game for the Cougars. In order for that to happen, the front seven has to come up big. It’s all about the battle in the trenches.

Unlike years past, the defensive linemen and linebackers are somewhat of a no-name crew. Ever since 2005, this group has produced a hard-nosed playmaker that became the face of the defense — guys like Cameron Jensen, Brian Khiel, Jan Jorgensen, David Nixon and Colby Clawson come to mind.  This year, the front seven has yet to produce one of these kinds of players, but all of them have played with consistency.

The defensive line is probably my favorite unit because of how unique each player is and how well they have responded to injuries to their two horses, Romney Fuga and Jordan Richardson. First, there is Matt Putnam, who is stranger than a three-dollar bill. He doesn’t get a great pass rush, but he has a knack for batting down passes with his massive wingspan. Vic So’oto has put on a few pounds since moving from the tight end position but he is still pretty darn quick. And Ethan Manumaleuna has taken over the nose guard spot and does a good job plugging and chugging.

The key for these three will be taking on multiple blockers. In the 3-4 defense, the linemen aren’t supposed to be big playmakers. This explains why Albert Haynesworth threw a massive fit when Mike Shanahan brought in the new defensive scheme in Washington this summer. Haynesworth wanted to be a big time sack master, when what they needed him to be was a gap-filler. It’s a good thing no one on our defensive line has a massive ego. If the defensive line does their part in taking on blockers, then the linebackers should have a big game.

The linebackers for BYU have been a pleasant surprise in the second half of the season. I know most us have gone through intense psychotherapy to forget those games against Florida State, Nevada and Utah State, but they are a good reference for noting progress. In the middle, Shane Hunter has been serviceable and Brandon Ogletree is living up to his supposed nickname “The Hammer.” (Side note: One of the talented announcers on The Mountain said that everyone in Provo calls Ogletree “The Hammer.” As a resident of Provo for the past few years, this was news to me. If this has been the case, I apologize for my lack of nickname knowledge.)

The outside linebackers are probably the most intriguing of the group and play a very important role in this game against Utah. Jordan Pendleton was the big name of the defense before being sidelined with an injury. From what I hear, the decision on whether he will play will come sometime today or tomorrow. With Pendleton sidelined, Kyle Van Noy and Jadon Wagner have filled in. Van Noy has the capability for making big plays as he has had a few sacks and tackles in the backfield in the past few games. Both of these guys need to have a solid game in order for the Cougars to win.

The most important thing for these two is to play smart pass defense in the short to intermediate routes. On passing downs, Bronco will usually send one of the outside backers while the other drops into coverage. If the backer who goes into coverage can stay on his man or cover his zone, then the blitzer will have more time to get to Jordan Wynn. I suspect that Bronco will dial up the blitz early and often on Saturday, putting pressure on Wynn to beat them downfield.

So will the front seven be the big name playmakers in Saturday’s game? No — and they don’t need to be. If they play consistent, smart football then they will put BYU in a position to win.

SPORTS: Max Hall and BYU Students Behaving Badly

Written by Jim Dalrymple on . Posted in Sports

Jim Dalrymple

Jim Dalrymple

In the past few days, I’ve noticed some of my friends joining a Facebook group called “Max Hall said what everyone was thinking.” Max Hall is, of course, BYU’s quarterback and the group refers to these comments (taken from the group’s page) that he made after the game last Saturday:

I don’t like Utah. In fact, I hate them — I hate everything about them. I hate their program. I hate their fans. I hate everything. So, it feels good to send those guys home. … I think the whole university and their fans and organization is classless. … I don’t respect them, and they deserve to lose.

This article gives more context, but unfortunately it doesn’t mitigate the inflammatory nature of the remarks. Now, before I comment on anything else, I should say that Hall made these comments right after a tough game during which there was undoubtedly a lot of adrenaline pumping through his system. I know that sort of situation can cause people to say things they would otherwise keep to themselves and, though I think Hall is an idiot for what he did, I can understand making a mistake. (On the other hand, Hall would no doubt like to go pro, but if the emotion of a game prevents him from controlling himself then he’s hardly NFL material.)

In any case, Hall’s comments were a mistake. He admitted as much and was also officially reprimanced for them by the Mountain West Conference. What is much more troubling than Hall messing up is the fact that BYU students have created a group to honor and perpetuate his mistake. Though Hall’s comments reflect poorly on him and his school (which is my own alma mater too), the Facebook group serves to further endorse this negativity and unsportsmanlike conduct. Hall at least had the weak excuse that he was riled up by the game. What excuse do BYU fans sitting at home on their computers have? That they’re ill-mannered jerks?

The comments posted by users on the group’s page vary. Some mention that the University of Utah’s football team was playing a dirty game. Others mention that U football players have said similarly insulting things about BYU before. However, that type of excuse is so flimsy it’s laughable. Both teams played a dirty game and, even if the U had worn brass knuckles onto the field, BYU students should have taken the high road once the game was over. Do they really hate U fans? Seriously? Isn’t BYU all about service and showing Christ-like love? Even to people who chose to get an education at a different university? Ultimately, this whole thing makes BYU look like it’s filled with mean-spirited bullies.

I think it might be useful to imagine this whole episode as an inspirational sports movie in the vein of Rudy or Remember the Titans. On BYU’s side, we have a fifth year senior who didn’t even play very well. Maybe the U deserved to lose, but Hall’s performance hardly justified a win. On the other side, the U had an 18-year-old freshman as their quarterback. As the announcers on the The Mountain said during the game, Jordan Wynn didn’t show that he was a freshman during the first half, but it was readily apparent in the second. Nevertheless, the Utes held BYU at bay the entire game until Max Hall finally got lucky and threw a complete pass to win. Then, despite the win, the much older Hall went on to ice the cake with an insult.

If this were a movie, BYU would — without question — be the bad guy. Most sports movies include some brutish, mean antagonist and BYU fits that bill almost perfectly. The only problem is that Hall will never have to face the U again, so there won’t be a rematch during which the older, more experienced bully is crushed by the resilient underdog. In other words, the U was Rocky. The U was Rudy. The U was every sports movie hero, and BYU ended up playing the part of a stock bad guy.

I think this movie analogy is useful because the Facebook group supporting Hall has 2,065 members at the time I’m writing this. It makes me wonder: does everyone want to come off as a vindictive bastard? Do people like perpetuating the worst parts of a dirty game? Does this group strike any of its members as being somewhat at odds with the values they claim to believe in? I’m not saying that BYU fans (and many of my friends) are bastards or hypocrites, but this particular group certainly makes our school appear to be extremely bad sports.

My guess is that most people aren’t thinking very much about this issue. Rivalries are fun and the conflict they allow can be a much-needed outlet for a lot of people. Perhaps BYU supporters who have joined the group simply feel like they’re showing school spirit. However, I hope BYU students and fans realize that sports rivalries are not worth being a fool over. Going to another school and (passionately) supporting that school’s team doesn’t make someone a bad person. One bad apple shouldn’t be used to generalize the bunch (which BYU must appreciate, in light of Hall’s comments and the unfortunate actions of some BYU fans after the game). This seems obvious, but the existence of a group like this makes it seem like BYU students have lost sight of things that really matter. If the world is actually going to be the campus of BYU students, there isn’t room for hate groups.

Jim Dalrymple is a regular correspondent for Rhombus and writes on various topics.

SPORTS: An Open Letter to Ute Fans From Max Hall

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

Max Hall

Max Hall

Dear fans of the University of Utah,

I know there has been a lot of bad blood between us, but I really want to set the record straight and apologize. I know that I sent out an official apology on Sunday, but I didn’t really get the opportunity to truly express my concern for each of you. I honestly had no idea that you were so sensitive. If I would have known that you were going to be so hurt by what I said, I would have eased off.

I thought, after so many years of hateful speech generated from your fans, that you would be able to handle a little bit in return. I mean you are a bunch of tough people, right? The “outcasts” of the state of Utah? The “hardcore” kids that scoff at the hypocritical “righteous living” of BYU fans? I mean, you guys are so hardcore that you don’t even drink your beer. Once again, I had no idea you were all a bunch of softies.

I also had no idea how much you valued my opinion. I would have assumed that you couldn’t care less about what I say. I mean, usually when someone from your school says something, the BYU fans don’t really care. Like back in 2004 when Morgan Scalley said he had hated the “pricks” from BYU. Or how about when Alex Smith said he hated BYU and that we were the most arrogant people. Paul Kruger and Stevenson Sylvester have made similar remarks, yet I’ve never seen a “Morgan Scalley thinks I’m a prick” t-shirt in Provo. Usually when people can dish it out, they can also take it. I’m sorry I made such a rash assumption.

I am very glad that you took the time to remind me about my imperfections though. I thought no one would see me swearing or trash-talking on the sideline. I must have forgotten about the commitment to the “I will be perfect in every way” Honor Code I signed when I arrived at BYU. Silly me. I promise I will be perfect in the future, because if I’m not then everyone at BYU will also see my imperfections and judge me harshly, because everyone at BYU is perfect.

After seeing how you took my comments, I will think twice about saying anything remotely unkind about your university or fans. I will also inform future quarterback Riley Nelson that he should only use love and kindness when speaking of Utah in the coming years. After I was so mean and abrasive this year, I would hate to see what would happen next year if Riley said anything. Most assuredly there would be another Facebook group formed, and heaven knows that means so much.

Once again, Ute fans, I am so sorry about what I said and that I offended you so greatly. Please find it in your hearts to forgive me.


Max Hall

P.S. I was wondering who actually won the game last Saturday? With all this talk about me and my hateful comments, I have completely forgotten who actually won the game. It sure would be swell if we won. If we did in fact win, that would mean I now have a 2-1 record against you. Does that make me your daddy? I guess I didn’t really perform all that well numbers-wise against you, but the last I checked no one cares that Ben Roethlisberger got statistically outperformed by Kurt Warner in last year’s Super Bowl. Then again, what do I know?

Jake Welch is a sports correspondent for Rhombus. His tongue has recently been permanently planted in his left cheek via surgery.

SPORTS: Podcast: BYU-Utah, "Mad" Max Hall and More

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Sports

In our second sports podcast, Jake Welch, Ben Wagner, Preston Johnson and Steve Pierce rap about the weeks big topics, including last weekend’s big BYU-Utah football game, Max Hall’s controversial post-game comments, and even a little NFL mixed in. We’ve mostly corrected the audio problems from last week, but we’re still trying to master the art of sound levels, so bear with us on any inconsistencies. We’ll continue our quest to perfect the sweet science of podcasting next week. As always, thanks for reading — and enjoy!

You can stream the podcast by simply clicking on the link below, or you can download it to your computer by right-clicking the link and selecting “Save Link As” from the menu.

Listen to: Rhombus Podcast 003 — Sports Podcast (12.02.09)