Posts Tagged ‘Utah Football’

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.

Heaps vs. Wynn

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Uncategorized

On behalf of everyone here at Rhombus Magazine, we hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Now, let’s talk football.

In my last post, I talked about how BYU and Utah have very similar offenses. One of the things that I mentioned was that both teams have young quarterbacks that are either feast or famine. Like everything else with these two teams, the two quarterbacks weren’t even comparable a few weeks into the season. Now, with most of the season gone, the two signal-callers are on the same playing field.

The only significant difference between these two has been their individual progression. Jordan Wynn performed very well in his first five games, despite missing action against UNLV and New Mexico with a thumb injury. However, in the last few games, he has been a model for inconsistency. Jake Heaps, on the other hand, started out the season looking like a wide-eyed 18 -year-old, throwing for only one touchdown and six interceptions. Since then, Heaps has hit gangbusters, tossing nine TD passes and one INT.

How do they stack up in each phase of the game? Who will have the better game on Saturday? Let’s take a look.

Mechanics

You are going to be hard pressed to find a quarterback that has better throwing motion and footwork than Jake Heaps. His fine tuned mechanics propelled him to be one of the highest-rated quarterbacks coming out of high school. He was groomed in spread systems and came to BYU without many, if any, flaws. Jordan Wynn isn’t horrible with his mechanics, but lately he has started to sling the ball around and throw off of his back foot. He looked a lot better in the game against San Diego State, but who knows if he can have a repeat performance. ADVANTAGE: Heaps

Accuracy

Both of these quarterbacks have proven this year that they are able to make all of the throws to all parts of the field, but neither has been consistent in doing so. Heaps didn’t really find his touch until as of late. In his last three games, he has a completion percentage of 63 percent and has started to establish a connection with wide receivers Cody Hoffman and Luke Ashworth. Wynn has a better overall completion percentage, in large part due to his improvement in throwing further downfield. BYU fans will remember last year when Wynn had multiple opportunities to hit a wide-open receiver downfield but failed to connect. Expect him to have a few more completions over 40 yards this time around. ADVANTAGE: Tie

Decision-making

If anyone remembers the Utah State game from earlier this year, you will remember Jake Heaps throwing two interceptions and four other passes that also should have been picked. A lot has changed since that game, but even in the last few contests there have been multiple passes that should have been intercepted. For most of the year Jordan Wynn has done what he needed to do to get the win. He doesn’t try to force the ball or throw into high-risk areas. The only time I see him getting into trouble is when the defense gets in his face. Then again, what quarterback isn’t flustered by a good pass rush? ADVANTAGE: Wynn

Experience

There is no question that Jordan Wynn has more experience in that he has started and played in more games than Jake Heaps, but, of the two, who has played tougher opponents and performed better under pressure? Heaps has had all of his success this season against the riffraff of the Mountain West. He did beat San Diego State as the starter but he didn’t have to do much as the running game took care of business. Wynn looked like an All-American last year in the bowl game against Cal and was lights-out against Pitt and SDSU. You might not know which Jordan Wynn will show up but he has shown that if he is on, he can beat good opponents. ADVANTAGE: Wynn

Swagger

There is no question that Jake Heaps has ridiculous amounts of confidence. I remember watching him get thrown around like a little rag doll against Florida State, but never at any time did he look like he was shaken. He may look like he is still 12 years old, but he is playing with the swagger of a veteran. Jordan Wynn is the exact opposite. That game against SDSU might have helped him, but I’m not sure he is fully recovered from the booing he had to endure in their last home game. You can just tell by his body language that he is unsure of himself. ADVANTAGE: Heaps

Who will have the better game?

It’s really hard to say at this point who is going to have a better game. Jake Heaps has been on the rise but is still very young and makes rookie mistakes. Jordan Wynn can get the job done but his confidence has been shaky (not a reference to Utah punt returner Shaky Smithson) the past few games.

When it comes right down to it, I look at the defense of each team. BYU has been playing stellar defense since Bronco Mendenhall took over. However, the Cougars haven’t been tested since SDSU. Also, BYU’s defense is infamous for letting no-name Utah quarterbacks have huge games. (See Brett Ratliff.)

Utah is playing at home and Kyle Whittingham always has his defense prepared. Sure, they gave up big numbers to the Aztecs last week, but they still have the talent to shut down BYU.

PREDICTION: Wynn will have the better game.

Keeping It Balanced

Written by Jake Welch on . Posted in Uncategorized

I’m going to describe the offense of a certain football team and you try and figure which team I am talking about. This team is a run first offense that relies on multiple running backs to grind it out on the ground. They have a young quarterback who has been either feast or famine most of the year and wide receivers that aren’t amazing play makers but have their moments. The offensive line is the real star unit of this team as they clear holes for the run game and provide near-perfect protection for their quarterback.

Starting to sound familiar? Of course this sounds like the offense of BYU but it is also a very accurate reading of Utah’s offensive situation. Utah has put up a lot more points that BYU, but both teams operate in an eerily similar fashion.

If you know anything about football, you know the best kind of offense is a balanced offense. As people yuck it up this week about the big game, there is no doubt this topic will be thrown around in conversations. Allow me to put a little twist on things as we talk about offensive balance.

There is no doubt that BYU’s offense has been the dictionary definition of balanced in their offensive attack in the last few games. Let’s take a look at the splits in total yardage.

BYU v. UNLV- 300 yards passing, 216 rushing

BYU v. CSU- 242 passing, 284 rushing

BYU v. New Mexico- 236 passing, 258 rushing

There is no doubt that if the Cougars want to win on Saturday, they will need to run the ball and run it well. Aside from simply running the ball, they need to get good mileage from each running back. J.J. DiLuigi has been fairly consistent, especially in the early going when he averaged over 100 yards of total offense per game. The key to the offense will be the performance of Bryan Kariya and Joshua Quezada.

In the first five games of the season, Quezada and Kariya were anything but effective as they ran for 130 yards total. That’s not a misprint. After Robert Anae realized that throwing the ball 50+ times a game was going to get him fired, these two got a few more carries. And not only did they get more carries, but they made the most of them.

In the next game against San Diego State, Quezada and Kariya doubled their total yardage on the year as they ran for 50 and 85 yards, respectively. Since the meltdown that was the TCU game, the tandem has averaged over 120 yards on the ground per game.  If they can combine for over 100 yards and DiLuigi can get his 60+ yards against the Utes on Saturday, things will be looking up for the Cougars.

The ground game will face a difficult task as they go against the 10th best rushing defense in the country. If BYU can find a way to crack Utah’s front seven then they will be able to open things up in the passing game. Usually Utah has a strong passing defense but that was disproved as SDSU torched their secondary for 528 yards. This is great news for Jake Heaps and the passing attack. Heaps can have a big game as long as the running backs are doing their part.

When it comes right down to it, if BYU can stay balanced, they can win.

SPORTS: All Things Football

Written by Adam Stevens on . Posted in Sports

Holy smokes, people! It’s time for football! Since my last (and first) post, the Jazz have done nothing with Carlos Boozer and for good reason. I really hope I’m not the only one who thinks, and knows, that the Jazz are a much better team with him than without him. Let him leave after the season if he wants, but if the Jazz trade him they’ll be lucky to be the 8th seed in the west. They’d be lucky to be the 8th seed in the east. But I’m not talking Jazz or basketball today. I’m more excited for football this year than I ever remember being. And let me tell you, it’s not because I thought BYU would go undefeated and bust the BCS.  In fact, nobody had any reason to believe that they would. And so we’ve reached my first topic, apparently.

BYU football.  I love watching BYU’s offense, and occasionally they’ve been able to put a pretty good defense on the field but, from what I had been hearing through fall camp, the Cougars would be fielding Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee at cornerback, and their traveling mates Merry and Pippin at the safety positions. I heard one radio show caller who watched them practice refer to the defensive backs as “little piglets.” BCS, here we come! I sure wasn’t counting on it. I was 100% convinced that Oklahoma was going to wipe the floor with the questionable Cougar defense.

Personally, I wasn’t doubting BYU’s secondary because they were unknown. I merely questioned their ability to be shut-down defenders, because I’m quite certain BYU has never had a shut-down defensive back. Last season Oklahoma scored over 60 points in 5 straight games! Only thrice did they score less than 40, one of those times being a 35-10 win over TCU, another a 45-35 loss to Texas, and the other a 24-14 loss to Florida in the BCS title game. Oklahoma’s receivers were huge and fast — exactly the opposite of BYU’s defensive backs, who are always short and slow. But this time BYU went pound-for-pound and step-for-step with an Oklahoma offense that looked stagnant and timid. Sam Bradford was the unfortunate recipient of a beautiful pass-rush scheme that sent Coleby Clawson flying through the line of scrimmage untouched, ready to use Bradford as a tackling dummy.

The Cougars, despite four turnovers, ten penalties, and trailing the whole game, played tough and never quit. It was the relentless defense that seemed to inspire the brilliant fourth quarter scoring drive by the offense that consumed nearly nine minutes of the game clock. Max Hall was incredible on the drive and Dennis Pitta made huge catches to keep BYU in possession.  I had to laugh though when Mckay Jacobson caught the go-ahead touchdown pass, but didn’t quite realize what had just happened.  If you were to go back to watch a replay of the touchdown, Jacobson catches the ball then simply turns to walk toward the goal post and, after a couple steps, I think the magnitude of the play hit him and he began the fist-pumping and celebrating with teammates. Congratulations to the BYU Cougars for an incredible win.

I’ve already heard more than one nationally known sports commentator talk about BYU’s excellent chances of playing in the BCS National Championship game. I can smell the growing hype, but I won’t get too caught up in it. I offer fans this piece of advice: Like the players, take this season one game at a time. Florida State, TCU and Utah are going to be very difficult opponents. But should BYU run the table with this schedule, hello Pasadena.

Florida State looked beatable last weekend, even though they scored 34 points. The environment will be nothing short of an electrical storm and the Cougars will be eager to put on a show for the home fans. BYU should win. A lot of people seem to be assuming that because TCU comes to Provo this year, BYU will win.  Before Saturday, I didn’t see any reason why TCU can’t handle BYU the same way they did last year. They’re almost exactly the same team, and they’ve got the best shot of anyone in the MWC to go undefeated this year. They’ve got weaker non-conference opponents than BYU, but going undefeated puts them in the BCS. TCU was able to dominate BYU last year because of their ability to spread the defense. When TCU came out with four or five receivers, the Cougar defense was lost. Utah possesses that same ability. Realistically, BYU still has three scary games on the schedule. Luckily, they’re all home games. The rest of the conference games should be fairly easily won.

Speaking of Utah, I was excited to see who ended up being Utah’s full-time quarterback. A true freshman in Jordan Wynn and JC transfer Terrence Cain have been battling it out since the spring and, while Wynn was named first string going into fall camp, Cain was named the starter to open the season against Utah State. Certain logic would say that if the race is this close when there’s a freshman involved, you start the freshman and head straight ahead into the future. Others would say to start the guy who’s played some kind of college football before. Cain was very impressive in his Ute debut, completing, I believe, something like 20 of 30 passes for over 300 yards. I’m glad to see that there will likely be no quarterback shuffle at the U. There were a few seasons in which Utah was constantly making changes at quarterback, and from game-to-game nobody was sure who would lead the Utes on the field or how well that quarterback would perform.

I believe Kyle Whittingham will pick one guy and stick with him, barring a complete disaster two or three games into the season.  Even with a brand new quarterback, I believe the Utes will be right in the mix of the MWC championship race, although they probably won’t win it. Not til next year at least. Maybe. Either way, the Utes will probably continue to offer some high-flying offense, savagery on defense, and be just as exciting to watch as almost any spread offense in college football. I know I sure enjoyed watching them against the Aggies.

(As for those Aggies… Utah State looked intriguing. Their quarterback was actually quite awful, but the defense had such life and energy and they seem to be a much more proud organization. Keep an eye on the Aggies this season. They seem to have a bright future in the hands of Gary Anderson.)

It just so happens that I also love the NFL. I even enjoy everything that goes on during the offseason: Rookies, trades, free-agents, even new uniforms. By the way, the 49ers will be donning the uniforms of the glory days from now on, and I love it. Unfortunately, they will not have No. 10 overall draft pick Michael Crabtree, because he’s a baby and doesn’t think $20 million is enough money for him. I’m waiting for his head to pop out of his backside and announce “April fools,” even though it’s August. I would play football for $20 and he won’t play unless he gets more. If he doesn’t sign, he’ll be eligible to enter the NFL draft again next year. He can’t be stupid enough to think he’ll get drafted higher than tenth next year after not playing football for an entire year! Or can he be?

Now that I mention stupid — I heard a rather disappointing SportsCenter update on ESPN Radio a couple weeks ago. After several baseball scores, the person giving the update proceeded onto the NFL, stating something along the lines of “Tom Brady left tonight’s game against the Redskins with a sore shoulder after being hit by defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.” (That is not a direct quote, but it’s the same general statement.) And that was it.  So, what I can take from that update is that, although it was just a meaningless preseason game, nothing from the game was even worth mentioning, including the score, besides poor li’l Tom Brady’s shoulder. I’ll bet Tom Brady didn’t even care about his shoulder “injury” as much as the ESPN people did. Perhaps it would have been more relevant had the injury been to the same foot that kept him on the sideline all of last season. I was just curious as to the outcome and maybe some statistics from that game. Can anyone help me out with that? Maybe I should try another sports network? By the way, Brady’s shoulder is fine.

Elsewhere in the NFL, Michael Vick is back in football after signing a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.  I won’t say much about this, because my opinion is simple and I’m tired of hearing about it every day in sports talk radio. Michael Vick did horrible things to dogs and it makes me sick that so many are dead because of his dog fighting ring. But he took responsibility, served his prison sentence, apologized many times (whether or not I buy into the sincerity of said apologies is irrelevant), and now he is Donovan McNabb’s back-up. Hopefully everyone will stop talking about dog fighting and sit back to enjoy the dynamic he brings to the Eagles’ offense. He’ll play receiver on occasion, run some plays at quarterback and do anything else he’s asked, just to prove he wants nothing more than to win back any fans he most likely lost.

To that I say God bless you, Michael Vick, for picking yourself up after being in some serious dumps (although self-inflicted) and getting back out on the field to continue pursuing your lifelong dream of playing in the NFL. How many of us would assume that nobody would want us and not even try? I’m not calling Vick a hero; He’s not even a future Hall of Famer. I’m only saying I admire his drive to come back and face the NFL. Let’s hope his bad choices of such magnitude are behind him. It would be a shame for the league to lose such an exciting player for good.

And speaking of losing players — last but not least — I wish Brett Favre would go away. He needs to go find a cow to milk or some dudes in Wranglers to play mud-football with. I don’t think the Vikings are much better off with him. He’s thrown a ton of interceptions as of late and hasn’t been to a Super Bowl since 1997! Who is the guy telling the Vikings that Favre is a winner and that they can go all the way with him? After this season there won’t be such a guy, because he’ll get fired. I would like to quote a statement I’m just now making up in my head. “The last time Brett was in a Super Bowl was 12 years ago. He definitely knows how to win!” Somebody undoubtedly said something like that, and too many other people believed that person.

I’m not a Vikings fan, or even a fan of a rival team, so I don’t really care from that perspective. I’m just tired of so much attention being broadcast onto one super-old guy who blames every interception on his shoulder, instead of the fact that he dances in the pocket and throws off his back foot all the time. One day we will be free of Brett Favre, and he can go back to his Mississippi mansion and play catch with his late-20′s Wrangler buddies to pass the time until he enters the Hall of Fame. In the meantime, I would like to watch Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, Kurt Warner, Matt Cassel, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning. Some are the great ones of the present, others are the great ones of the future — and Brett Favre was the great one of 1996.

Get ready for football season, everyone. The collegiate season kicked off with a huge bang and the NFL is only a few days away. Football is electric, passionate, gut-wrenching and so fulfilling. Soak in all the action from the local teams, but awe at the true power and splendor from other football powers across the nation. You don’t know what you’re missing until you’ve tried it. I dare you to take a bite.  Good luck, and watch out for my article next April before the NFL draft, entitled “Michael Crabtree really is that stupid!”

Adam Stevens is an occasional sports correspondent for Rhombus. There’s nothing better than Brett Favre endorsing jeans sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. Pure class.