Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

Thursdays with Raider: Edition Two Electric Boogaloo

Editor’s Note:  This is edition two of Thursday’s with Raider.  Essentially, myself and out new Resident Scholar Raider Ute begin the week with a subject, start writing about it, respond back and forth and see where it takes us.  Then we post it for y’all to read.  Yeah it seems long but it goes quick and there is some amusement here.  So enjoy.

Since I have now been bestowed the honor of being the Hoyos Revenge Resident Scholar and all, I feel like I should make some kind of esoteric statement to back up that title. True, not all of us are products of the Uinta County School System, so we sort of have to make do with what we have.

I do however need to interject one bitch into this conversation and that is the fact that the spring game occurred once again on the same day as the Salt Lake Marathon. Yes, I am probably overreacting for literary effect, but I am convinced that the braintrust who organizes things around here must think that “oh, hey, no one will show up to the spring game, Ute fans are still sleeping it off from the night before”.

Thoughts while I wonder if my decision to embark upon a Sharks Elimination Drinking Game may come back to haunt me (because I’m not sure the current Sharks roster comes back beyond this season):

–All of the sudden we have a QB controversy when by all accounts, Jordan Wynn really needs to be the first string QB. Jon Hays is around in the sense that one may have extra yarn in a lint drawer, but Travis Wilson will be great by the time Lane Kiffin ends up with NCAA violations of his own at USC.

–Unless I’m convinced otherwise, I will be convinced that Wynn is made of the same thing that Darnell Arcenaux was made of. Yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that some quasi-smart ass will say “yeah, he’s made of flesh and bone just like you and me”, and this is where I defer to you, Uinta County man. Make the point I’m trying to by whatever means necessary.

–Lucky Radley strikes me as the type of player that Al would have loved. He runs to the outside quickly, but what I expect to see from Taiwan Jones in the NFL preseaaon is what I am almost expecting from Radley.

(Keep in mind that I am positive that one of your readers will tell me everything I would ever care to know about Lucky Radley. That’s all well and good, but I do write this so you can be entertained and that I can get laid, because women are really info guys who have nebulous sorts of entertainment projects….so the sooner we all calm down the better.

–I will attach a photo I tweeted during the game featuring theoretical Heisman candidate John White. I can’t put my head into the vise grip of seriousness that is the one and only Juan Blanco being Heisman worthy but somewhere in the athletic department, someone has a refined sense of humor. I must salute them.

(Don’t get me wrong, I would be perfectly happy with White going to New York this year for some other reason than to watch the Knicks lose, but this obligatory PR more than anything else is the reason why I really don’t like the Heisman Trophy).

–You posed the question on Twitter concerning why Ute fans don’t have much respect for Wynn, and at least in my case, I know he’s from Oceanside, and I don’t know if I want that kind of riffraff in our program. Maybe I’m wrong here, but I think you and I spend a lot of time on the interwebs psychoanalyzing the fan base, but I’m setting up a question for you to expound upon at length and that is the subconscious need for a lot of Ute fans to still have this BYU envy (or, wanting to be BYU-lite, as I have referred to it). Everyone loves a good amateur psychiatrist, so have at it.

Hey, while I’m thinking about it, I would like to make a humble suggestion for music to introduce the team before games. I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but South Carolina has done this for a lot of years, where the Gamecocks will blare the opening theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” as the team runs out onto the field.

Now, a good chunk of the traditions we have center around BYU, so I would like to approach the athletic department to see if, at the very least for the BYU game this year, that we introduce the Utes to “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode. Bear in mind that I’m catering to an “older” crowd with that, because I highly doubt the MUSS would have any idea about the sheer ironic awesomeness this would entail. But if this catches on, we would have to do it for the USC game, and then all the rest. This is how you start traditions, University of Utah.

(The other idea I’ve been mulling over is for the next few basketball seasons to have at least one Controlled Substance Night where fans can bring in their preferred Schedule I drug of choice and the event staff will kindly “look the other way”. It could be the post-modern update to the Cleveland Indians 10 Cent Beer Night from the mid 70s.)

I have other spring game thoughts, but it’s a Sunday afternoon and I’m kind of hungover, and by “kind of” I mean very. So these will have to be my meager offerings for now.

Mac’s Response
So many wonderful thoughts to respond to, its a little hard to wrap my brain around it all.  Although we both know that Natrona County was the hip school system, although I suspect you won’t acknowledge that because Kelly Walsh was the academic school (if anyone else who reads this gets that, I owe you a beer).
I think the best place to start is with all things BYU.  I think for so many of our fans BYU is a kind of a Stockholm Syndrome kind of thing.  When you spend 20 years of your life being chained in a basement and raped nightly, even when its over and you can beat the person who held you to within an inch of your life nearly anytime you choose, you do it, but part of you starts to miss the nightly rape.  I think a lot of our fans are stuck in all of this.
The second theory I think I’ve decided on is that our fans have decided that they are all somehow Billy Beane disciples.  Somehow we remain proud that we win more games per dollar spent.  When just once I’d like to know what it’s like to be USC, Alabama or the New York Yankees.
Now on to the Spring Game…
Seriously couldn’t we have written this story line about a month ago?  Wynn wasn’t perfect in the spring game, some walk-on threw one good pass and that is who should start.  If the plan is anything other than this, I’m going to freak out.  Wynn is the starter.  If he has to miss a play, series, quarter, half or maybe even a whole game, Jon Hays is the #2.  If Wynn suddenly bursts into flames then Bodhi (Travis Wilson) becomes the man.  And if anyone mentions Adam Schmidt or Schultz or whatever his name is, they get punched in the vagina.
In fact I’ll write the story for the Northern Colorado game right now.  The offense runs 3 plays.  Wynn’s completion percentage isn’t 100% and the game is closer than expected.  The entire next week will be about how Wynn sucks, BJ doesn’t have it and in general the sky is falling.  Considering we head to Logan the next week, this story line will continue for a 2nd week.  Utah fans will be beside themselves by the time our former basement rapists come to town.
But your discussion of Juan Blanco’s Heisman campaign does make me jealous of the boys down south in one regard and that is their ability to mount a PR campaign.  Juan Blanco won’t win the Heisman but with the proper backing he could be the guy some expert mentions on the Scott Van Pelt show saying don’t forget about that guy in Salt Lake City.  But alas the extent of our backing of him for Heisman will be the mention in the program that he is a Heisman candidate.  America’s most well funded exhibition team is almost certainly launching a Hollywood Squares Themed Heisman Campaign with Riley Nelson as Charles Nelson Riley in the Center Square.  But alas we are who we are and I’m certain JW4 will get more votes per dollar spent on his Heisman Campaign than any other candidate.
Which brings us to Jordan Wynn’s durability.  And I just have to think this.  Didn’t Luke Staley stay healthy once for almost an entire season, with one of his balsa wood bones breaking just in time to stop the Zoobs from being humiliated in a BCS bowl and as such allow them to revel in excluded.  Isn’t it Jordan Wynn’s time for a sort of healthy season.  IF NOT HIM WHO IF NOT NOW WYNN.  (See what I did there)
I’m so in love with the idea of our team entering especially the BYU to Personal Jesus I am
1. Pissed off I didn’t think of it
2. Going to leave my wife and son and run away with this idea and marry it.
But then I will weep softly to myself because I know it will never happen, because ours is a fanbase who once debated how should we explain the lyrics of Soulja Boy to our children.  I could never decipher the lyrics to Soulja Boy, I just read them and I still don’t think they will cause our kids to smoke the crack rock (crack rock even that reference dates me).
However to bring this full circle, being a fan of Depeche Mode in Unita County Wyoming in the late 80’s was clear proof of homosexuality.  You have no idea how hard it was to pretend to enjoy Headbangers Ball whilst dreaming of 120 Minutes (if you’re old you get those MTV references).
My last musical point is, I don’t know how the University of South Carolina comes out to any song but this.
In short I think my feelings are this.  I’m drinking the Kyle Kool Aid hard this year on all of it.  Wynn has to stay healthy at some point doesn’t he.  Why not Juan Blanco for Heisman.  Our Child OC is a genius and our DEFENSE is all that and a bag of chips (or whatever modern equal to this the kids are using.  Hell in my dreams we even have a kicking game.
It all beats musing over what the hell we’ll do if we don’t sign these two JC hoopers and we’re trying to recruit without official visits.
So this leads me to some questions, is Jordan Wynn our Joe Kane from The Program only instead of an alcoholic father and a drinking problem he has osteogenisis imperfecta?  If you see Star Lotulelei headbutting a window, will you simply look the other way?  Is Lucky Radley or Jerrell Oliver our Omar Epps (who I thought brilliantly took over for Wesley Snipes in Major League II).  And finally why didn’t the chick who was Joe Kane’s girlfriend and the original Buffy from the movie have a bigger career
Raider’s Retort

A former Wyoming governor (Mike Sullivan I believe) once said that the Cowboy State is “a small town with very long streets”.  As such, there are a few basic things one needs to know about small towns:1. Any home built after 1980 is probably owned by one of “the rich people” in town.2. One hates the denizens in the next few towns over but in actuality, both towns are strikingly similar to one another.

If memory serves, the east side of Casper contained the lion’s share of the housing built after I was born, and since Kelly Walsh was on that side of town, it would give people the perception that they were tougher academically.  But that end of town just had more money by late 90s Wyoming standards.

Then there were the haughty, coal mining bastards in Gillette, whose townsfolk I’m convinced were using the same enhancements Bill Romanowski used late in his career.  When I was still in my teens, I made a joke about Gillette girls resembled the East German women’s swim team.  You weren’t sure if they really were girls or not and it wasn’t worth the trouble to find out for sure.  My Dad, who I’m certain had never laughed at anything in his entire life, laughed hysterically at that.  So my adolescence wasn’t all hormonal angst and self-pity.

One thing I have mentioned rather frequently is the fact that we could use a new rival.  I think that, as a long term project, we should focus on Colorado as our new rival.  I shall initiate two salvos to get the thing rolling:

Salvo 1: I have a theory that CU folk may be partially responsible for keeping Woody Paige in a steady job that doesn’t involve the phrases “Bushwood Country Club Groundskeeper” or “professional meth addict”.

Salvo 2: Respond to as many Buffs fans as possible with “hey, that’s Cliff Branch and Greg Biekert’s alma mater!”  And we’re playing the feud!

For further emphasis, what would CU be without Bill McCartney?  Is there enough of a comparison between him at CU and Urban here?

I really feel like this is the therapy a lot of people in our fan base need, but I’m sure amateur psychotherapy (especially from the two of us), would be problematic among certain members–if not large swaths–of our fan base.

One thing I didn’t mention with regards to the spring game was the defense, and I kind of did that for a reason.  Overall, I’ve seen this defense before in a general sense.  Stuff the run and see what else happens in the secondary.  If, for example, I saw RBs of all shapes and sizes running for gobs of yardage on every carry, I would start chugging coedine for the summer.  While I am continuing this paragraph where it likely should have ended, I am doing all I can to warm up to calling Travis Wilson “Bodhi”.  However, I’m worried that the world didn’t learn a thing from George Costanza trying to get his coworkers to call himself T-Bone.  Yes, Wilson isn’t giving himself the nickname, but that Seinfeld episode predates most of the interwebs we enjoy and I gave myself the handle “RaiderUte”.  I am willing to kick the tires on it at the very least.

(By the way, what are your thoughts on shameless plugs?  People who are reading this jive, follow me on Twitter, @RaiderUte.  I talk about stuff and tweet while intoxicated, so that should be worthy of a follow from someone that isn’t a porn bot.)

You keep mentioning the Billy Beane type of fascination (or at least that cheap bastard mentality) of this athletic department, and I have to interject a bit of my Bay Area fandom into this reply.  You see, us NorCal fans have this odd fetish for general managers.  Take the Giants with Brian Sabean.  His early days started with trading Matt Williams to the Indians during one of our mid-90s last place finishes.  Granted, Jeff Kent was included in that deal, but bitter grouches like myself weren’t happy, and Sabes went to every Bay Area media outlet at his disposal to scream “I am not an idiot”.  Beane, from my estimation, seemed to benefit more from the A’s farm system–they’ve always drafted extremely well–than anything sabermetrics could throw at you.

For all of the Beane/Moneyball devotees, keep in mind that the A’s have won a grand total of one playoff series in the past 20 years.  Maybe if Walter Haas had never sold the A’s, things would have been different, but if that hadn’t happened, the A’s wouldn’t have ever needed something like “Moneyball”.  I thought it was funny when an A’s fan on my timeline taunted Giants fans by asking where was our movie about our team.  I’m sorry, but I’ll take our one World Series title that was at least within recent memory over Brad Pitt playing our GM trying to Zoob his way into baseball relevance.

I took a few minutes out of my day to read the IMDb page of Kristy Swanson, who for all practical purposes is my type.  That’s probably not saying much, but still.  I enjoyed the trivia portion of her page until I got to this portion: “Dated Alan Thicke when she was 17 and he was 40”.  Really?  Alan Thicke?  This is why I can’t be convinced that women are completely sane.  You’re 17 years old and you see something in…Alan Thicke?  Jeremy Miller, sure.  Hell, Joana Kearns would have been a bit of a curiosity.  But not Alan Thicke.

I must let you know this factoid ruined my afternoon, and there was a good chance that Tim Lincecum’s start this afternoon was destined to do that.  So I apologize for killing the messenger in such a fashion.

Alan Thicke…jeez, what the hell is wrong with girls these days?

Mac’s Re-rant
Here is the ultimate story on how small Wyoming was.  I was able to secure a copy of my birth certificate from the State of Wyoming with only a phone call, based on the fact that the woman who answered, her mother worked with my grandmother at Sweetwater County Hospital and she remember my Grandmother made great fried chicken and apple pie.
As for how Gillette came to power, that was a bit of a mystery to me.  When I was a high school kid, my state title was stolen from me by the power back then, Cheyenne Central and their ability to put upwards of three African-Americans on the field at any one moment.  By the time my nephew was leading Rock Springs to an undefeated State title, Gillette had become the team to beat. (that’s right folks now you know about Wyoming High School sports who else is giving you this.
I suspect Gillette rose to power the same way BYU did.  The powers that be noticed that a bunch of money spent on athletics could pay dividends in all kinds of way.  The Campbell Camels became what LaVell Edwards called, being blessed.
The Kristy Swanson-Alan Thicke thing I suspect is a Canadian deal.  Remember what brought us the glorious song You Oughta Know was Dave Coulier of Full House banging a 17 year old Alanis Morrisette.  Maybe in Canada famous dudes are allowed to have their way with one underage lady and Kristy Swanson got caught up in this mess.  What I do know about Canada is that I was in Nelson British Columbia once in a bar and they kept ringing this bell and it meant we got another drink free of the drink we just ordered.  It led to me offering two girls on the street $20 to “have a piece of me” and that they should do it because I was offering, “American Money.”  Honestly if Canada was warm I’d move there.
I honestly find it quite easy to start disliking Colorado fans.  They are some crappy combo of dirty hippies and rich frat boys that literally makes me want to piss on them all.  Colorado made up a rivalry with Nebraska that I’m not sure Nebraska was ever aware of, SO WHY NOT US, WHY NOT NOW.  Although our fans will have to get used to going from being the liberals in the rivalry to being the conservatives.  But it will help some of us to live out our being like a BYU fan fetish.
There are few people I respect less on this earth that Bill McCartney.  He literally brought criminals to that campus and then professed Christianity while he looked the other way.  He then sold out his daughter because she got knocked up by a real thug who happened to get stomach cancer and die and parlayed it all into a 5th down 1/2 national title with McCartney leading the way as a sanctimonious dick.
Urban never struck me as full of crap like that.  He came to Utah and kicked the program in the balls dragging it to show it what real success looked like.  *PREPARE FOR CONTROVERSIAL STATMENT*  Honestly I think Kyle becomes a slightly better version of Ron McBride without Urban.  Those two years showed Kyle the difference between being good and being great.  Any Ute fan who ever badmouths Urban Meyer should be kicked in the vagina.  If I had Phil Knight money, I’d name the field for Urban Meyer and put up a statute to the man.
Of course maybe I’m splitting hairs because I never took to being a Colorado fan, not even when I lived there, so who the hell knows.
BTW did you see the story about how Larry cluster-effed the guy at SLCC?  I wonder how many more screwups this guy gets, because outside of Jordan Loveridge, his staff looks like a bullfrog trying to fuck a football. (Which is how Joe Tiller once described me in a football drill).
Could you have a better night at a bar than if you went out with former Wyoming football coaches Joe Tiller, Pat Dye and Dennis Erickson.  That night would probably end up at a whore house.
Thank you for the Bodhi endorsment.  I realize its a long shot.  I don’t ask for much in life anymore but I’d really like this one.
How does Peyton Manning make you feel?
Have you ever ordered Animal Style Fries at In N Out?
Are Boise St people pissed Kellen Moore won’t be the #1 overall pick?
Raider Re-rambles
Reading over this and other things made me realize that I would love in a way to see Kellen Moore don the Silver and Black if for no other reason than I would love to see just how apoplectic and offended Boiseans would be over it.  It would likely be a late round pick (which we happen to have) if he’s lucky.  But if you thought it was tough for me when San Diego drafted Eric Weddle, this would be that times 275 for Boise dwellers.Ten years ago if a caliber of player like Manning had signed with what Daniel Tosh once called “the chanting hill people”, I would have looked for the nearest 80 proof liquid I had on hand.  But since it happened in 2012, my reaction was something to the effect of “well, damn…but we have our own problems right now.”  And that’s not a defense mechanism either.  Let me clue you in on the current philosophy of the new guy the “hill people” have to hate, Reggie McKenzie.  He let go of the following players:–Stanford Routt, who held the job title of “guy opposing QBs threw to whenever a PI call would get you the yardage an incomplete pass wouldn’t”.

–Kam Wimbley, who helped us make the Chargers look like…well, the Chargers in the first game against them in SD.

–Michael Bush, who was a fan favorite, but the man moved at half the speed of foreplay.  Which is fine if you’re a defensive tackle, but problematic if you’re a running back.

All this is fine, I guess, but let me list the following free agent signings by Reggie up to this point:

–Mike Brisiel (OT)

–Ron Bartell (DB)

–Pat Lee (DB)

–Philip Wheeler (LB)

Now, if all this works out, we can be a surprise, but I’ve gone under the assumption that we are for all intents and purposes an expansion team with some solid playmakers on offense–one of which (Darren McFadden) can have a career year if he doesn’t get hurt again.  So I’m talking myself into the Reggie/Dennis Allen project paying dividends by at least 2014.  So enjoy your few years of fun, hill person.

Allow me to add a 4th person to your Wyoming head coach drinking night and that would be Vic Koenning.  He seemed like a guy that could have used a shot of something flammable.  After watching a few of his teams lose game after game, I’m surprised he didn’t start bright and early.  Truth be told, that’s a Cowboy Joe Club fundraiser that needs to happen.  For the low price of one raffle ticket, that quartet of Pokes head coaches will take you out and get you drunk.  And maybe Paul Roach can DD too.

So get this: I have run into multiple Ute fans here locally who can’t stand Urban, because he “sold out”, like he’s Smashmouth or something.  Look, you and I were both on the field after the 2004 Holy War and saw his postgame press conference.  Urban made one comment in that presser that went something along the lines of “Salt Lake has been very good to us”.   I had a bad feeling about that when he said it, but I couldn’t be mad at a guy who just won back to back conference titles and mixed in an undefeated season.  Bear in mind, these are the caliber of people who I often say phrases like “oh hey, my Grandpa has a bunch of shirts like that.”

Speaking of Grandpa (and Canadian women), my Grandpa married my Grandma, who is Canadian.  Any time I would spend a day or two at their house once I became an adult, I’d be awakened to the sounds of the two of them arguing back and forth.  It would get so intense that I’d drive to my Mom’s house with this worn out look on my face.  Mom would ask “they were arguing again, huh?”  I had to ask her if they have always done this and she said without missing a beat “well, Dad was still drinking when I was growing up, so its not hard to imagine why.”

(Yep, this is where I get it from for those of you scoring at home.  It did turn me off of Canadians for a lot of years).

Here is another Gillette story.  During my junior year, Gillette made it all the way to the state semis in basketball.  This was 4A, so a lot of the bigger schools made it to Casper for the state basketball tournament and the Camels were playing Rock Springs.  Let me tell you, every person that wasn’t from Campbell County was cheering on RS that night.  Not only was it by far the biggest crowd of the entire tournament, but everyone (and I mean everyone, including the fans of the 3A schools in town that weekend) got into cheers for the Tigers.  Gillete lost that game and the students from the other schools all stormed the court.  But looking back on it, Gillette managed to turn an entire state against them.  If you’re from Wyoming and you’re by and large born and raised there, that’s hard to do.  But that may have been the Wyoming equivalent of USA 4, USSR 3 on 2/22/1980.  I’d like to think I’m exaggerating, but I’m probably not.

Now that I’ve had a jolt of caffeine this morning, I’m about to embark upon the most frightening task of my relatively brief life: buying a house.  I’m positive I haven’t been more scared for anything else in my life besides this.

Mac’s (not-so) Big Finish
To the end of time I’ll never get the people who call Urban Meyer a sellout.  It’s not like he went to SMU just for the money.  It’s freaking Florida, almost certainly a top 5 job IN THE NATION.  People whine that he lies and stuff.  So what.  We’re the real deal now because of him.
See I have a different view of Canadians.  The hottest girl in my law school class was Canadian.  And probably two of the top five.  One of them made a very big run at Maxim’s Hometown Hotties (does Maxim still exist)?  Of course they were both from British Columbia, maybe that makes a difference.
And I think to wrap this edition up, I’ll comment on this mornings signing of a Brazilian big man Renan Lenz we signed today.  I know we are where we are, but it is always amazing to see how far we have fallen that a 13 and 9 guy from a JC in Yuma generates excitement among our fanbase.  That being said, its nice to have something not embarrassing happen during recruiting and other D-1 schools actually wanted Lenz, so yay us.
And with that I’ll close this 2nd edition of Thursday’s with Raider.

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Tags: Brian Johnson Depeche Mode Jordan Wynn Kellen Moore Kelly Walsh High School Kristy Swanson Kyle Whittingham Pac 12 Travis Wilson Urban Meyer Utah Utes

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