Interview with BYU Coach Bronco Mendenhall

Roscoe and ESPN a match made in the Celestial Kingdom.
Roscoe and ESPN a match made in the Celestial Kingdom. /

(Editors Note: Coach Mendenhall insisted we meet at the Orem Village Inn for this interview.  Upon my arrival I asked for coffee where I was told no one knew how to work the coffee maker and that coffee was bad for me anyway.)

Crimsons Corner (CC):  Coach Mendenhall, thanks for agreeing to talk to us.

Bronco Mendenhall (BM): Call me Roscoe.

CC: Why would I call you Roscoe?

BM: As part of our ESPN contract, ESPN is allowed to change the name of up to four BYU coaches.  They said I reminded them of Roscoe P. Coltrane, the famous law enforcement official.

CC: Uhhh

BM: Dave Rose’s new name is Wilbur after the pig from Charlotte’s Web.  ESPN sure does love BYU.

CC: (Silently Staring without knowing what to say)

(At that moment the waitress approaches for our order)

BM: Hey before we start do you mind if we just share a short stack of pancakes?  It will be cheaper that way.

CC: I’m buying coach.

BM: Call me Roscoe please, it is my name.  And in that case, I’ll get two orders of Steak and Eggs, and I’m calling my wife and kids so they can come down to eat as well.  So might as well get five more orders of Steak and Eggs going.  Also can I get a Club Sandwich to go, that way I don’t have to buy lunch.

CC:  Uhh ok, Coach, do you mind if I ask you a few questions now.

BM: Please, its Roscoe, and would you mind if I said a prayer first?

CC: Really?

BM: Oh yes, I try to execute a highly effective prayer right before every interview, usually the anti-LDS media cuts it out.

(At that point I’m startled by the table being bumped below and nearly freak out when I see there is a grown man hiding under there)

Not Creepy
Not Creepy /

BM: Oh don’t mind him, that’s Dick Harmon of the Deseret News, he always hides under my table when I eat.

CC: (Again Silent)

BM: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you once again for the opportunity to expose the world to the glory of kids from two parent households competing with highly effective execution and for our broadcast partners at ESPN.  We ask thee to allow us and especially future Heisman trophy winner Jake Heaps to continue our highly effective execution on our way to our seventh straight SNC, We say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

(An Amen comes from underneath the table)

CC: Amen.  Uh Coach I mean Roscoe, I almost hate to ask because it was in your prayer, but what is an SNC.

BM: Its a Spirit National Championship of course.

CC: A Spirit National Championship

BM: When you coach, play and cheer for BYU, the forces of the adversary are working to stop your highly effective execution at all turns.  And sometimes, on the scoreboard at least, they are successful.  Which is why at BYU we have developed other measurements for success.

CC: Such as …

BM: Well any incompletion by future Heisman winner Jake Heaps that fails because of interference of outside forces counts as a completion.  Similarly, Tackles we know in our heart we made count, as do games we feel we won.  At the end of the season we pray about how we did and if we feel the spirit tell us, we award ourselves the Spirit National Title.  We’re going for our seventh straight.

CC: But Coach I mean Roscoe, that seems just weird.

BM: When the forces of evil are working so hard with the media to fight against you, you can’t let their efforts tear you down.  Besides, we’re not normal, we’re BYU.

CC:  Ok, Coach why do you keep calling Jake Heaps a future Heisman winner, up until now he hasn’t been better than Utah QB Jordan Wynn, who even Utah fans continually whine about.

BM: Jake Heaps, after consulting with his PR firm, changed his name to Future Heisman Winner Jake Heaps.

CC:  Why did you fire Robert Anae after you’d had so much success with him and hire someone who at any other school would barely be a graduate assistant?

BM: You mean for reasons other than Future Heisman Trophy Winner Jake Heaps threatened to transfer if we tried to do things like actually win games instead of just trying to further his goal of winning the Heisman Trophy.

CC:  Were there other reasons?

BM: No, and I’m fine with that, Jake’s glory is our glory.  BTW have you met his wife, I was scared he would be our first white honor code violation?

CC: Was Jake violating the honor code?

BM: Lets just say he was doing a lot of (Bronco uses air quotes here) floating on the Provo river.  But he has two parents and is LDS so we looked the other way as long as we could.

CC: Coach what are your thoughts about Utah?

BM: Well this is obviously a big game for them.

CC: What about you?

BM: Oh we never think about the other team especially when its Utah. To us, Utah is just a blimp on the radar.   I start each Utah week by saying we’re not going to talk about Utah.  Then I give a variety of examples of the ways we’re not going to talk about Utah.  Being obsessed with BYU is a Utah thing and I spend hours telling our players not to be obsessed with Utah.

CC: Finally coach, I’d like to ask you about your roll in the Harvey Unga cover up of his girlfriends pregnancy.

BM: I did no such thing.  If you think a cover up is telling Harvey that we can get away with the honor code office not finding out about his pregnant girlfriend, then concealing that till the information came out in another way, well then maybe I did.  But what person in their right mind would call that a cover up?

CC: Roscoe, that seems like the very definition of a cover up.

BM: Well Fudge you in the fudge making place.  I’m not going to sit here and be insulted when I’m about to effectively execute my breakfast.  Waitress make all the food to go.

Also not creepy
Also not creepy /

(At that point Coach Mendenhall gets up and storms off, from underneath the table pops Dick Harmon who slaps my arm and calls me a meany and then chases after Roscoe.  Then at the next booth a chocolate milk is hurled at me and Greg Wrubell screams, “NO, THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE THAT YOU TREATED BRONCO LIKE THAT YOU JERKY FACE!” and then he storms off.)

The interview ended at that point.