Thursday’s With Raider: Episode 15 “If You Can Change and If I Can Change”


Raider Starts

Okay, I feel like I need to discuss at length the fact BYU has been clandestinely orchestrating the collapse of Ute basketball.  It’s kind of like the one episode of South Park where everyone goes to hell only to find out the Mormons were right after all–and this does sound like something that would happen to me in the hereafter.  I have a few bullet points to add:

–it’s no wonder they aren’t a research institution, look at the effort they expended to destroy our hoops program.

–I tried on three attempts to ask a girl out who worked at Lone Peak High, but it took me doing some “research” (Facebook stalking seems like the harsh way to describe it) and it turned out she was not only LDS but went to the Y.  I don’t know why she couldn’t have just said that to begin with.  Maybe the fact that I said that Trent Whiting should be set on fire to find out if he’s a witch or not that made me seem less sexy to her?

–Wait, are we that sure that Jimmer just isn’t a reconfigured version of Danny Ainge?  To that end, what’s to say that a few of their software engineers wouldn’t just say “hmmm, well the Ainge version of our software was kind of whiny, the Lee Cummard version was basically our Betamax, so this Jimmer upgrade should be free of any glitches!  Let’s try some C:/defense.exe….what!?!?  “Bad command or file name”???

God help us if they ever upgrade from DOS 6.

Let’s discuss trap games for a moment.  A few folks that both of us know do believe that the USU game falls into that category.  I mean no disrespect to the Aggies whatsoever by saying this, but if you’ve seen one Utah/USU football game, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  Unless Gary Anderson runs into John L. Smith and tells him “aim for the groins, dude”, I just can’t envision this being the trap game.  Yes, I’m every bit the typical “grouchy pessimistic jerk” of a Ute fan, but even I can’t get that carried away.

The dangerous thing about writing this on a Saturday night is that I am probably in an altered state and as such, something dumb will come out of my brain.  But do you think Cam Newton might have a better NFL career than Tim Tebow?  If you think my angle here is that Auburn would have beaten Florida yet again, well I suppose you’re right.  But at least if Tebow can’t catch on with the Jets, he can track down Ken O’Brien, Glenn Foley, and Vinny Testaverde and start some kind of Former Jets QB Support Group where they all can make their own Joe Namath voodoo dolls.

Mark Richt at UGA is fascinating to me, because he has been the head coach there about the same amount of time Ron McBride was coaching here.  Given that fact, isn’t it a relief that we ended things with Mac when we did?  Get this: Richt is 106-38 at Georgia and  has two SEC titles.  To quote the line from “Goodfellas” you quoted recently (and that I rewatched the other night) what I wouldn’t give to see him say to the UGA athletic department “so what if I don’t have a BCS title and Florida has owned me?  I have over 100 W’s and 2 SEC titles!  F—- you, pay me!”

Thank heavens that Mac didn’t have that kind of mentality.

Mac is Second:

You know the funny thing about MAC.  A lot of people view MAC as a failure.  But when he took the job Utah football was a whole lot of nothing going nowhere fast dreaming of our once a decade win over BYU.  I wonder if Wayne Howard hadn’t lost his mind if he’d have been our MAC.

As for Richt, I don’t get it.  There is no reason Georgia shouldn’t have 5 or 6 SEC titles and at least 1 maybe 2 national titles.  I’ve got a buddy who is a UGA fan but one of the ones who hates Richt and says nothing short of Richt molesting kids gets him fired.  It seems a lot of people want him to keep his job because he’s a good Christian.  I never thought I’d see the day where Christianity topped football in the south.

I think Cam has a much better arm than Tebow.  So in a traditional offense Cam will win more.  But I’ve wondered, what if you really committed to a Tebow offense in the NFL.  Something, they don’t see.  And if you can make Tebow’s arm enough that you can’t just set 10 in the box, could it work.  I really think it could.  Honestly, I wish Josh McDaniels hadn’t exploded in so many other ways because I’d have loved to have seen his plans for Tebow.

But as I’ve said, it’s Peyton Freaking Manning, so I’m going to slap on a number 18 and ride that pony.

Utah St. isn’t a trap game.  Utah fans remain so damaged from the BYU era, part of them expects this all to come to an end.  It’s why people worried about Montana St. last year and they’re worrying about Utah St., this year.  I wonder how long it will take us to heal.  Or will we never heal, is it like PTSD or something and it will always be a part of us?

I was tweeting about basketball just today, about how Utah should stop trying to recruit these legacy kids.  I’ve grown to find the whole process irritating.  Their dads say they can go anywhere they want and then they always end up at BYU.  It’s just wasting a whole lot of time.  Is it wrong to just say no more of this.

My one real nightmare.  What if BYU signed Jabari Parker.  It would make Jimmermania look like Lee Cummardmania.

Raidermania continues

Somewhere in the recent past, I told you that I think it will take a generation for that kind of emotional scarring to completely go away.  So by the time your son’s generation makes their way up to the U of U, hopefully they’ll be well past any sort of pensiveness.  Hopefully.  I mean, I’m reasonably certain that my unborn children will probably end up at the U, so I’m at least trying to prepare myself for when Raider Jr. asks me “Dad, how come you’re always so nervous and scared whenever we play crappy teams?”  It’s probably so inevitable in fact that I’m sure I will say “Raider Jr, you know that one school down in Provo we hardly play anymore?  Well, for years they tormented us.”  He will laugh and then I will probably tell my wife to take his allowance away.

When you mentioned the name of Jabari Parker, my kneejerk reaction was “wait, if he did sign with them, he’d basically be the post-modern Chris Burgess, right?”  Then, I realized that Dave Rose doesn’t fancy himself as a moral arbiter quite the way Roger Reid did.  And that Parker is probably a better player than Burgess was.  And that their stereotypical M.O. is more of the Great White Hope rather than the Half Black Tongan Guy that Parker is.  Or maybe he would be that program’s version of Andrew Bogut where they have a dominant player and a skinflint supporting cast?  (I think you “went there” once when you said that if Bogut had Nick Jacobsen in our last genuine NCAA tourney run, we’re at worst a Final 4 team.)

I’m not sure I’m quite as convinced as you are that Georgia should at least have a MNC under Richt.  When I look for a single reason Richt might have for not winning a national title, I simply look at Florida.  Observe: 2002, UGA wins the SEC and goes 13-1.  Their only loss?  Florida.  2005, the Dawgs win the SEC and during that year they went into the Florida game undefeated.  They came out of the game with a loss.  Not only that, but they followed that up with a loss to Auburn the very next week.  Also bear in mind that one of Richt’s UGA teams were beaten by Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky all in the same season.  So he very well could be their Ron McBride in that he’s certainly light years ahead of the Ray Goff’s and Jim Donnan’s of their past.

And of all the things I would have expected out of a former Miami Hurricane, Christianity isn’t one of them.  So good for Mark Richt I guess.

Everyone else it seems is sharing an opinion on Penn State basically being fed to the lions (and methinks that most folks are rooting for the eatin’ lions in that scenario and not the Nittany Lions).  Thus, it is probably my turn to do so now.  But let me look at this from a different angle and draw upon your legal background.  Pick an SEC school, any of them.  Okay, not Vanderbilt, so pick what’s left.  Say this school has some sort of Nevin Shapiro type of scandal like Miami had a few years ago, but on some kind of steroid/meth cocktail and the NCAA goes as hard after them as they did to Penn State.  Would that be enough to get that program and the rest of their conference brethren to say “alright, that’s it, we’re walking away and breaking away from the NCAA”?  This way, they can pay players, give them cars, offer virgin sacrifices, and whatever else goes on in the SEC.

Yes, it’s unofficially Pick on the SEC Day here at Hoyo’s Revenge, so I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on this.  There’s a shiny gold nugget of entertainment in this Les Miles story, so I’ll recap it:

–Les’s daughter is nicknamed “Smacker”.  Do you think he started calling her that because he couldn’t remember what her first name was?

–“I was coaching. We’re crossing the bridge way up in the air and I took an open bottle of water and threw it at her, drenched her.”  Only Les Miles could get away with this.  If you or I tried throwing water at our teenage daughter, she might transmogrify into this hormone fueled maniac!

If such a book were ever to publish, I would definitely purchase a copy of “The Les Miles Reader”.

And Back To Mac

Is Les Miles the only coach in America who can coach like he’s playing XBOX and get away with it.  I mean I’m not sure what else there is to explain him.  Like maybe instead of a coaching staff, he has a 12 year old playing NCAA 12 and calling all the plays.

He is a fascinating man.

BTW, since the day I’m writing this is the day of the Pac-12 Media Days, Kyle had a great dig at the SEC.  He said he’d like to play 8 home games a season, like they do in the SEC.  I really like the way Kyle will mix it up, like on-side kicking up 40 points.  I can imagine Kyle as Liam Neeson from Taken giving the, “I have a special set of skills speech.”

I’ve always wondered if the SEC at some point just won’t break away and form some kind of semi-pro league.  Think you can either go to class or go play for Georgia for 40-50K a year.  I mean if they had to stop playing all other sports, so what, they don’t really care anyway.  They also don’t care about competing with the rest of the nation.  In fact they prefer not to.  They could be like the old CBA in basketball only with vastly larger amounts of money.

Maybe one day, if we don’t get this concussion thing figured out, all the football we’ll be left with is SEC football.  And would SEC fan notice the difference?

The thing about college football penalties now is, you can’t really penalize a school in a major conference the way they deserve.  Like take Miami, if any program has ever deserved the death penalty, its Miami.  But if you do that, what do you do with all those games and all that money they were going to bring to the ACC or Big East or whatever conference they’re in, I have no idea.  And you can’t take away TV appearances because that hurts the other schools as well.  I don’t have any answers here just pointing out problems.

BTW 3 people voted that Arizona St. would win the Pac-12?  Think about that.

Ok in the span of about 2 weeks, I’ve gone from off MLB to wanting to mate with Mike Trout.  Is it wrong to name him AL MVP?

To wrap this segment up, if Jabari Parker does sign with BYU, and we finish dead last in the Pac-12 (like Mr. Gottlieb at ESPN predicts) can I officially not follow Utah Basketball anymore?  I mean I hate to just give up but come on how much is a man supposed to take.  And I say this to you, a Raider fan.

BTW a buddy of mine said he enjoys this segment and he’s one of the funniest guys I know, so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

More Raider

Everything I ever wanted to know about Les Miles, I learned from the end of this game:

Now, if it were me, I’m not sure I would go around telling people I played in, let alone watched, a game like that.  First of all, you have Derek Dooley, who as a legacy in that part of the world is probably a hated man by some in the south if for no other reason than the sins of his father.  (Vols fans are getting in on the act now, too, but its mainly due to job performance.  Clay Travis, the proprietor of Outkick the Coverage might lead the angry mob if it ever came to that with Dooley).

Then you have The Hat.  I remember quite well the game that I posted above and LSU had no business winning that game.  Some LSU fans might even agree with me on that.  But to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for simply no other reason than Vince Dooley’s son can’t distinguish between the number 11 and the number 13…well, that is something that modern medicine can’t explain.  Its almost as if its something…from above.

(I believe this is my first Seinfeld reference since we started this series.  Surprised it took this long).

What would make the SEC schools breaking away from the NCAA fascinating is that I sort of doubt that it would be limited to just SEC schools.  Now that Texas A&M is in that conference, you just know that Texas, OU, and possibly Oklahoma State would want in on that action.  Same thing for a lot of Big 10 schools.  Imagine Ohio State pounding Georgia to win a title, hearkening back to their very first matchup in 1864.  (Yep, I “went there”).  The implications of that, at least in my opinion, would stretch far beyond the SEC.

Kyle gets a lot of crap even from our own fan base for idiotic reasons.  I even have heard people actually tell me that Kyle is McBride 2.0.  That kind of comment nearly drove me to Seventh Day Adventism.  However, after I got to thinking about it people who slighted Kyle like that were my age and younger.  It would be one thing if an old fart were to say he’s Bill Meek 2.0 or a clone of Chuck Stobart.  But its entirely another to have that short sighted of a perspective.  Let me put it to you this way: if the worst thing to happen to you as a Ute football fan is the Doink Game, you’ve had it pretty good.

You asking me if there would be any hope for Ute hoops from the perspective of a Raider fan is intriguing in this sense.  For many years, what was the conventional wisdom even from a vocal portion of Raider fans?  That things would get better once Al died.  I always retorted that I would agree if and only if the right people were hired to steer the ship.  The new guys have yet to do anything to offend me yet, but by the same token, they haven’t coached a down of football yet either.

To apply that comparison to Ute basketball, would one make the argument that basketball won’t turn around until Chris Hill retires?  Understand, that position is one of a vocal minority, similar to what I would assume my spirited defense of Al was almost to the day he died.  But could we truly be at that point with the basketball program?  Truthfully, I hope that isn’t the case.

Mac From His Deathbed

So let me start this final section by stating that I have somehow managed to get some kind of stomach flu in the middle of summer, in Arizona.  I’m not even sure how bacteria and viruses survive in this heat.  By my point, if this close is off my game, forgive me.

We live in interesting times as an athletic program.  The good doctor will be gone in a few years and his replacement will be interesting.  Will it be someone who has vision and drags our donors along or will it be someone who pats our donors on the head?  That is the big question facing us. had a writer who had a theory about how the end of football could come in this country and come quickly.  Essentially, if these concussion settlements get too big and we can’t find a way to protect players, if insurance companies stop underwriting the game, it would be done quickly.  Combine that with a lot of people sending their kids to other sports and football could get in trouble in a hurry.

The guy theorized that football would become something played by the poor mostly in the south.  Doesn’t this fit, Alabama and Texas paying chump change to people who don’t have a lot of better options.

Finally I have to close with the SLC media.  Did you see that Lya took away from a stock comment from Pac-12 media days about all players competing for their position blah blah blah that we have a quarterback controversy.

Your point about stirring up controversy, it seems that extends to the print media as well.  I guess I’m old enough to remember when reading the paper was a pleasure.  Seems its mostly gone.  Or maybe I’m just old.