Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Pastry

Pepperidge Farm announced the newest flavor in its pastry line this morning:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Utah 48 BYU 24: A Eulogy


It was a good season. 10 wins and only 2 losses to ranked teams on the road. As two-time champions, a third-place finish underachieved our quest for perfection. But there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.

The enemy grounds were not as hostile as I expected. Props to our Ute supporters who sat in front of us this season. They were actually some of the most cordial rival fans I ever met.

As a Coug, I shall be fully invested. Max, Harvey, Pitta, Collie, and Jorgensen return for another go around next year.

The Vegas Bowl is our new Holiday Bowl. The only positive from the game is that Boise State and the WAC didn't steal the MWC's money.

Max is a competitor. He'll use his poor performance as motivation for the next 363 days. When his career is over, he'll be remembered one of the Top 3 to 5 BYU quaterbacks ever.

And now, for a long winter... hopefully spring will come with BYU basketball finally winning a game in March Madness.

Maybe the Jazz will finally get healthy and do some damage in the playoffs. Deron's ankle injury really put a damper on this season.

Until next year, RIP Cougar season 2008.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Only 24 more hours

Only 24 more hours left until the big game!

Here are some of my favorite Ute trash stuff. (see pics)

I hope for a big win from BYU tomorrow, but I expect the game to be in the 20's due to Utah's good defense and Utah's average offense.

My guess is BYU 28 Utah 26 with BYU getting another miracle win as BYU blocks a Louis Sakoda field goal to win the game. That would show that the UCLA bowl win from last year and the Washington close win this year was no fluke.

Plus, I don't want Brian Johnson to record one single win against the Cougars.

If BYU wins, I'll give up McDonald's food for a year.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why I Hate the U

I can't really begin to describe my disdain towards the University of Utah, its athletic programs, and especially its fans.

I grew up in the state of Washington, so I wasn't really exposed to this rivalry until my 20s.

I went to BYU my freshman year when I was 18 and living in the dorms. I remember that the U won the game in Provo that year, but I wasn't fully aware of the hated rivalry.

After my mission, I worked for the BYU sports information department and I started to learn more about BYU and its rivalry with the U. I remember listening to Lavell Edwards' final game as a coach as Brandon Doman led a miraculous comeback to beat the Utes at Rice-Eccles stadium in 2000.

Then I remember being in the press box for the 2001 game when an undefeated Cougar team scored on an option pitch to Luke Staley for the game winning touchdown to keep our undefeated hopes alive.

I think that game was the turning point of when I really started to understand the hatred between the two teams.

BYU lost the following four years to the Utes, including the infamous 3-0 defeat in 2003 at home, marking the first time the Cougars had been shutout since the 1970s. I was in Baltimore at the time, so I was thankful that I didn't witness that.

The following year I moved to Salt Lake only to witness all the bandwagon Ute fans jump on the undefeated 2004 season with Urban Meyer. I think Urban was key to get this rivalry really fueled up again. He only referred to BYU as "the school down south," and this really got things going for me.

Since Urban's departure as he used the school for a footstool to get the Florida job, Rice-Eccles stadium can be seen half-full as usual on Saturdays as the Ute fans crawled back into their duplexes for some hibernation as Klassless Kyle Whittingham brought them back down to respectable mediocrity.

But after the Michigan win to start off the season, Ute-mania was back. Although the yewts failed to fill the stadium against the likes of Weber State and Colorado State this year, they have had their highest attendance ever this season as they have filled up the stands for UNLV, Oregon State and TCU.

But what I am trying to say is being around all the Utah fans in 2004 with their program being at their peak and BYU being at its worst really helped intensify my hatred toward the school and its fans.

In 2005, I accepted a job at the University of Utah for a summer and I really grew to dislike their second-rate facilities and atmosphere. I won't lie. The campus is kind of dumpish.

It's funny. Utah owned basketball in this region under Rick Majerus and his crazy ways for nearly twenty years (including a national runner up finish to Kentucky in March Madness in 1998). So Utah was considered a basketball school.

Side note: My boss with the Baltimore Ravens was the roommate of Rick Majerus' back in Marquette in the 1970s. His wife always told the best stories on how much of a slob Rick Majerus is. Terrific basketball coach, but a polarizing individual. Caring, but crazy would be the best way to describe him as this Sports Illustrated article points out.

During Urban Meyer's two grandioso seasons there, all of a sudden it was a football school for its fans and its basketball program didn't even exist anymore. Interesting...

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that my hatred towards Utah and its fans is still in its budding stages and will only continue to grow as I live in SLC.

I guess if I were a lifetime Utah fan, and all of a sudden moved to Utah County, I would probably feel the same growth in angst towards my rival with the submersion into a different culture.

If it's this bad here with only 45 miles of distance between the schools, I cannot begin to imagine what Duke and North Carolina basketball fans feel towards each other with a much deeper tradition and only 7 miles of separation.

Speaking of Utah basketball, how about that season opening loss to Division II Southwest Baptist at the Huntsman Center?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rivalry Week: Best Prank Ever

It's rivalry week! Time for Cougs to make fun of Utes and Utes to come back with witty retorts. It's the only week of the year where Mormons really do hate other Mormons.

The "Holy War" is on! BYU vs. Utah. It's the biggest matchup ever! BYU is 10-1 while the hated Yewts are 11-0 and looking to bust the stupid BCS for the second time in the past five seasons.

BYU has won the past two games on some miraculous plays, thank you. But this year, more has been on the line than in any previous season in a century!
The following is a true story.

To get the week started off on the right foot, a few Cougar fans who work at Zions Bank decided to pull a sweet prank on one of the big wigs, who happens to be a big University of Utah fan.

They actually found and hired a window washer for the corporate building in downtown Salt Lake City. (notice the blue collar contractee is wearing a Utah hat received when he got his degree in commercial window washing from the U, plus he's a SELLOUT for accepting the bid.)

Then, they had him climb up the building.

The professional then applied big "Y" logo to the outside his office window

This way, he would be unable to rip the sign down.

Oh, the ingenuity!

Here is the official quote of the boss who was punked:

"We will hunt you down and kill you!"

Paying a guy to put up a "Y" sign on the outside of a building: about $150
Paying a guy to take down that same "Y" sign a week later: $150
Rubbin it in a Utes face: Worth every single penny

Monday, November 17, 2008

Game 10: The LeBrons 105 Utah Backups 93

No Deron, no Memo, no AK47 and no Harpring = another Jazz road loss.

I will have to say, LeBron James has the ability to be the best player in NBA history by the time he retires. Yes, better than Wilt, better than Oscar Robertson, better than Kareem, Magic, Bird and Kobe. And yes... better than Michael Jordan. That's right, I said it!

LeBron is a freak of nature. He has the body of Karl Malone, the quickness of Michael Jordan, and the passing ability of Magic Johnson, all combined into one. With his body and talent, he makes plays that no other player can make: jumpers, 3-pointers, drives, dunks, steals, passes and even blocks. There isn't anything he can't do!

The only thing that could make Jordan better is the number of championships and his desire and competitiveness to win every single game. LeBron hasn't shown us that killer instinct that Jordan possessed that even drove him to his first "retirement" (remember when he played minor league baseball) because of his gambling problems.

Jordan wanted to win everything! But he taught us a lesson that nobody can beat the casinos, nobody! Not even his Airness. Kobe has that drive, but last years NBA Finals taught us that he is no Jordan.

LeBron can be the best ever, but only if he wants it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Game 9: Bobkittys 104 Jazz 96

No Deron, no Memo, no AK47 = Jazz loss. But really, the Charlotte Bobcats? Really?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Game 8: Washington DC 95 Utah 87 + DILEMMA

Remember that Michael Jordan played for the Wizards? That was the only time I ever saw Jordan in person. His final game at the Delta Center. He scored only 11 points and the Jazz won by 40. But hey, I can tell my grandkids that I saw Jordan play.

So the Wizards were 0-5 before this game, but leave it up to the Jazz to blow this one on the road in the final 2 minutes. Nuff said about the Jazz on the road.


Back in July, my friend Rhett had a great idea. We both knew that Utah and BYU had very good teams and very winnable schedules, and we decided after Beck-to-Harline in 2006, that we wanted to be at the next BYU vs. Utah football game.

He researched every angle to purchase tickets to the game. Single game tickets were expensive and not guaranteed. The BYU Cougar Club only got tickets for its biggest sponsors, and we don't have that kind of cash. Finally, he purchased 4 Utah season tickets in the north end zone at only $87 bucks for the entire season. We decided that the BYU game on November 22 was worth the money spent before the season ever started.

Well, Utah took care of business at Michigan in the season opener, and BYU looked really, really good until the TCU game. Right now tickets are going for the highly anticipated matchup on November 22 for an average of $250 dollars on craigslist.

I've been in this mental dilemma since the TCU game about whether it's worth it to just sell the tickets and triple my initial investment. After watching Utah defeat TCU, I'm convinced that if the two teams played right now, Utah has a 70% chance of winning. Before BYU lost to TCU, I would have said that BYU had the 70% chance of winning.

If BYU wins at Air Force next week, I'd say that Utah would only have about a 60% chance of winning the week of the BYU vs. Utah game.

Anyway, if I sell my tickets and BYU loses, I'd feel good 'cause I'd make some money. But the decision to buy the season tickets this summer was not about the money. It was about watching BYU win at Rice Eccles Stadium. If I sell the tickets and BYU wins, it will nullify the decision I made 5 months ago.

If I go the game and BYU loses, I'll have to sit there and watch Utah fans celebrate not only their favorite victory of the season (the one that usually redeems Kyle Whittingham and his typical mediocrity), but I'll get to watch Utah bust the BCS for their second time (2004 and 2008), where BYU will have fallen short of busting the BCS for the second time (2001 and 2008). I can't imagine being present to witness this nightmare.

But.................... If I go to the game and BYU wins and ruins the Utes chance to get into the BCS, I can stand there in my blue shirt and hold up my fingers to let them know who is No. 1 (I can't tell you which finger I might choose for this expression of glee)!

I don't think I am emotionally ready to handle a Cougar loss to the in-state rival, but if Max Hall and company to generate a win, I'm totally there, which was the plan the entire time.

I guess I may have to wait to make my decision to see what happens at Air Force. It's nerve racking to be a Cougar alumnus.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Game 7: Utah 93 Philadelphia 80 PLUS Forever Strong

Deron Williams is back! My mancrush is back! With Mehmet Okur's father in intensive care back in Turkey, I believe Deron came back to the team a little earlier than he wanted to, but hey, we won!

Rookie Kosta Koufos (C) started for the Jazz in Okur's absence. I dunno how many white 7-footers who don't block shots the Jazz need to draft, but the 19-year old did okay in his first start. A little nervous and tentative at first, but he did okay.

Ronnie Brewer (SG) is just simply amazing. I'm so glad the Jazz did not draft another Duke washout in J.J. Redick or undeveloped Sene, the 7' 3'' shot blocker who isn't even in the league anymore. Brewer is improving and even hitting three-pointers now!


Yesterday was Veteran's Day and I didn't have to work. So we went to the movies and decided to watch the movie "Forever Strong" about the Salt Lake City high school Highland High's rugby team.

I'd have to say it was a very good movie considering it was about a sport no American understands, rugby.

The main actor, Sean Faris, looks a lot like a young Tom Cruise. He was also in a recent teenage sports movie about mixed martial arts called "Never Back Down." Although that terrible movie had its moments, "Forever Strong" was much, much better. Not even in the same league.

The movie featured Gary Cole (Mr. Lumberg from "Office Space"), Sean Astin ("Rudy") and Penn Badgley from "Gossip Girl." Ladies, I think Penn Badgley should have been Edward Cullen in "Twilight" instead of British lame-o Robert Pattinson.

Even Chris Farley's girlfriend from "Tommy Boy" makes an appearance as the mom.

The only girl in the movie looked way too Mormon and had some funky blond mom hairdo that kept throwing me off. But this movie never really developed any relationships except for the important relationship between the main boy and his coach and the boy and his domineering father.

The movie was very well done for a local story and a local budget. It is one that you should definitely see on a date, or just to see a sports movie or take the family to it.

The Highland High rugby team has had such starts as current BYU running back Fui Vakapuna, and current Baltimore Ravens star defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, who is on the verge of making his first Pro Bowl as the Ravens are on a four-game winning streak.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Game 6: New York 107 Utah 99

Well, this is the first loss of the year, so I should rip this team apart. I won't. Although the Knicks aren't very good, they have a lot of perimeter scorers, which is ideal for their new system under head coach Mike D'Antoni.

New York SG Jamal Crawford got hot and stayed that way the entire game. The Jazz held the lead most of the game, but lost it toward the end of the third quarter and could not get it back in the fourth.

AK47 continues to play great in his new role as a 6th man coming off the bench as soon as C.J. Miles picks up two quick fouls because he is not capable of playing defense.

But the one guy that stands out to me is SG Ronnie Brewer. He just keeps getting better and better. He can score, slash, play a little defense and shoot from the perimeter. He has been the most pleasant surprise of the beginning of the season so far. He's just plain awesome and the Jazz need him to stay for a really, really long time.

So the Jazz are 5-1 without Deron Williams, I can accept that. I'm grateful for such a good start without their best player.

Mehmet Okur left the team after this game to attend to a family illness back in Turkey. My guess is it's either his grandparents or one of his parents. With him out, my mancrush PG Deron Williams will return from his ankle sprain a little early. I just hope he doesn't get hurt.

Also, first-round draft choise Kosta Koufos will be starting with Okur being gone. It'll be a little weird, but a great chance to see how good he does. Boozer will need to lead this team against the 76ers on Tuesday night.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Game 5: Utah 104, Former Sonics 97

In this game, which was decided in the first quarter, Jerry Sloan notched his 1,000th win with the Utah Jazz over 21 seasons. Since Sloan joined the Jazz, no other team in the entire league besides the Spurs, have had a better record. Congrats.

Now, I've been known to criticize coach Jerry Sloan before. I personally believe a lot of coaches could have done what he has done. Look at the facts:

1) He had Stockton and Malone, the two best at their position during his tenure with the Jazz. They are the two most consistent players in NBA history! Plus, since Stockton and Malone retired, he has a super GM in Kevin O'Conner (although he is a bigtime jerk) who delivered him Boozer, Okur and Deron Wiliams.

2) So to win 60% of your games by having Stockton and Malone, then Boozer and Williams doesn't show me much. I think any average coach could have done that. Plus the fact that the Jazz have ZERO titles to show for having the two best players at their respective positions since 1988 means that he could have celebrated his 1,000th victory.

3) But did he? No! Immediately after the final buzzer, he ran into the locker room and wouldn't even do his local media the courtesy of an interview. Instead we had to listen to Kyle Korver talk about his only dunk of the year, yippee! Some people think that it's awesome that Sloan is so "humble," but I just think he is a old cantankerous sourpuss.

Dear Jerry:

Please retire soon so that Williams and Boozer can win us a title, and you won't be the one holding them back. Because you've never won a playoff series as the lower seed, even if you had the better players. But shucks, you've lost plenty of playoff series where we had the higher seed, and always blamed the players lack of effort. How about your lack of mental effort to always be outcoached by a less talented team?


Disgruntled Jazz fan with an ultimatum.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Note From the Editor: The Haka Is Stupid

Hello. This is Jon, the editor of Average Joe's Sports Blog. For those of you that don't know me, I upload Joe's posts, put pictures in and correct any misspellings i happen to come across.

If you don't mind, I'd like to voice a sports opinion that has been bugging me lately and this is a better venue for it than my own blog.

You know the "haka," that "intense" dance that some BYU players perform for the east stands before home games? Well, It's stupid. I know that may potentially be offensive, but it's true. Trust me on this. It sucks and I think it's a silly deterrent to BYU football.

I may be culturally insensitive, but I'm not culturally ignorant. I served my mission in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand and I'm very much aware of the haka. That's probably the biggest reason I hate it actually. I've seen the haka performed 4 1/2 jillion times. The first jillion times was, honestly, pretty cool. Now, after being home for like five years or so I'm sick of dealing with it here as well. It was cool when I first saw it, but it's played out now. And when I say "now" I mean the last two centuries.

Also, the haka they perform is the Maori haka. I haven't bothered to do the research, but I'm pretty sure the percentage of Maori or New Zealand players on the BYU football team is less than 2% (and I think I'm being plenty generous there). What are these guys doing performing someone else's war dance. We have plenty of other Polynesians on the team. Why not do a Samoan war dance? Doesn't that make sense? Wouldn't that stir up more legitimate emotion? Perhaps if it was a rugby match the use of the haka would be slightly more justified, but we play football in Lavell Edwards Stadium.

But here's the biggest reason why the haka should be stopped. It's not, and never has been, for the entertainment of the home crowd. The haka is a war dance. It's meant to be directed at the enemy. The BYU players who participate in the haka need to be facing the opposition when they perform it. Why would our players be attempting to intimidate the fans?

Check out this picture of the New Zealand All-Blacks. Notice that they're facing the rugby team they're playing. In this case it's the hand-holding nation of South Africa. They're performing the haka just like the Maoris used to -- just before battle and facing their foes. Of course that's also when the British open-fired on them. See, that's another reason not to do it.

The haka doesn't work. It doesn't do anything. And I think we can all see why.

Game 4: Utah 103 Portland 96

So, my car wouldn't start (dead battery) and I couldn't teach my usual Wednesday night financial class. I decided to watch the Portland game live (instead of the usual TiVo'd recap).

The pre-game introductions still bug me, but hey if Chicago won six titles with those, maybe the Jazz can get just one, so that I can remain a Jazz fan for the rest of my life.

Portland was on fire in the first half. They couldn't miss a three pointer in the first half, and led at the half by four points. AK47 still impresses me off the bench. Kirilenko plus Paul Millsap just wreaked havoc as a second unit.

The Jazz finally started to get in gear in the second half. Mehmet Okur was money all night long and finished with 22 points. I'll take a 4-0 start without Deron Williams all day, no matter who we play. I think he can help this team immensely with the offense upon his return. I have been impressed with the Jazz defense through the first four games.

Side note: I went to the TCU vs. Utah game Thursday night. The entire stadium wore black and the effect worked. Utah saved its best for last -- similar to the Oregon State game. Some of the meanest, crudest, b-tchiest girls I have ever witnessed sat in front of us during the first half. It was a train wreck. I couldn't keep my eyes off their behavior and tried to figure out why they thought they could act like that. If they would have messed with us, I might have dropped a few choice words, but I am glad it didn't come to that.

The upcoming game on November 22 looms with even greater purpose. I may be willing to sell my ticket to the highest bidder...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Game 3: Jazz 89 L.A. Clippers 73

THIS IS AN ANNOUNCEMENT for all you ladies out there who love Kyle Korver. If you go to the game on Friday night against the Thunder and bring in a new coat to donate to charity, you and a guest will get a voucher for an autograph session after the game with Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer Kyler Korver. Maybe he'll even sign like Happy Gilmore...

Since the game was in Los Angeles, there were no pregame introductions to rant about.

1st Quarter: The Jazz looked a little lethargic. Boozer played well, but C.J. Miles and Kyle Korver cannot guard anybody.

2nd Quarter: Andrei Kirilenko coming off the bench is just awesome. He gets rebounds, scores, passes and plays incredible defense. It's nice to have him back and in a role he can excel at. It's not even awkward if he takes a long jumper anymore with his new role.

3rd Quarter: Somehow the Jazz cannot seem to break this game open like they did on Saturday night in Salt Lake.

4th Quarter: The game is close, then Paul Millsap takes over. He scores 15 straight points, capping it off with an in-your-face-dunk over 7-foot center Chris "Caveman" Kaman. He played so well that Carlos Boozer didn't even have to come back into the game and got some rest for the upcoming Blazers game.

I still mean it that this is the year for the Jazz to win the title, or else I pick a new team to follow. It's like trying to date a girl who won't commit to a all-out relationship, but she likes to keep you close and gets stupidly jealous even when you're not boyfriend & girlfriend. The Jazz have just been teasing me all these years, and unless they commit to my fanhood desires for a championship, it's time to find someone who will.

Boozer, Korver, Okur and Millsap are up for a new contract. Not to mention that Sloan may just retire after this year. I'm getting the feeling that it's coming very soon for him.

Now is the time to take advantage of it! Hopefully Kobe's decision to not get surgury on his pinky will come back to haunt him so the Jazz can win the West, then take care of business in the Finals. We need homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs for this to happen, so 3-0 without Deron Williams is a good start. Thanks lowly Clippers!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Game 2: Utah 101 L.A. Clippers 79

I missed most of this game because I was working. But I was able to watch it on TiVo.

Pre-tip: I still can't believe that the Jazz spent 2 million dollars for the introduction of the starters, then copied the 1990 Chicago Bulls. Way to be original.

1st Quarter: Ronnie Price looked good running the point. Clippers forward Tim Thomas is the biggest waste of 6' 10'' and basketball talent ever. He plays the power forward because of his height, but he plays like a shooting guard. He doesn't rebound and can't play a lick of defense.

2nd Quarter: Andrei Kirilenko will win the 6th man of the year award since All-Star Manu Ginobili of the Spurs is missing the first two months of the season. AK47 was the difference in the game: rebounds, passing, scoring and defense. He does it all!

3rd Quarter: The Jazz blew this game open late in the third, but I missed how because my TiVo wouldn't work.

4th Quarter: Garbage time. It was interesting to see the trade the Jazz made in the offseason, where we gave up PG Jason Hart to get PG Brevin Knight from the Clippers and the Jazz saved money. These two battled a bit in the 4th quarter and Brevin is clearly the better player, and better for the Jazz. Jazz color commentator Ron Boone, who should be stripped of his media credential for being a moron, keeps calling him Brever, rhymes with Trevor, Knight. He is by far the dumbest color commentator I have ever witnessed, and there are some pretty lame ones out there.

In all, the Jazz move to 2-0 against a Carmelo-less Nuggets team, and a Baron Davis-less Clippers team. Granted, the Jazz are missing their best player in my man crush Deron Williams. The Clippers are so bad that head coach Jerry Sloan missed the game due to the flu.

Side note: BYU barely beat Colorado State 45-42 in dramatic fashion in Fort Collins. Utah barely beat New Mexico 13-10 in Albuquerque. Texas Tech upset No. 1 Texas is an amazing finish. And Real Salt Lake won their first ever playoff game 1-0 with a goal scored in the final minute. All exciting stuff! Go state of Utah.