Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I remember sitting in McKale Center last year.  I was home for the holidays and was excited to go see Sean Miller's new team test their sea legs against BYU.  I hadn't heard much about Jimmer Fredette yet, but I speculated that a white guy from BYU, with a name like Jimmer, probably meant trouble.  I was right, it meant big trouble.

As I watched the game unfold I wallowed in emotions that ranged from dissappointment, to shock, to horror to amazement.  Ol' Jimmer proceeded to hit every shot he took: fade aways, 15 footers, 45 footers, underhand, overhand, eyes closed--whatever he was puttin' up was going in.  I half expected the PA announcer to do his best NBA Jam impersonation and scream, "HE'S ON FIRE!"

Yup, Jimmer was trouble.  I could only shake my head as I left McKale Center awfully early for a Wildcat loss.  As it turns out, Jimmer scored more points than anyone had ever scored in McKale center.  Ouch.  What could possibly be worse than watching Jimmer Fredette and his Latter Day Saints methodically torch your childhood heroes to the tune of 99-66?

Excluding Jay Williams fouling out of the 2001 National Championship game--8 times--I could not imagine what could be worse than the Prophet Jimmer Fredette breaking the scoring records of every Wildcat to play in McKale, en route to 49 points, and a drubbing of my favorite team.  Unfortunately, I had to wait just less than a year to find out...

The answer came to me as clearly as though written on golden plates.  You see, on a Saturday afternoon I treated myself to a broadcast of Jimmer dropping 33 points on Arizona, and blowing Arizona out of the water again. This might sound better than Jimmer detonating a 49 point explosion in Tucson, but this time the game was in Salt Lake City; and the game was on BYUtv.  Maroni have mercy!

At first blush this might seem like no big deal.  After all, any sports fan has watched regional broadcasts of his or her favorite team away from home.  In fact, many sports fans appreciate a couple of homers calling a game--seriously, watch a Blazers game sometime.  But BYUtv takes it to another level.

First off, the backdrop for the entire game was Jimmer's performance last year in Tucson.  After he scored the first seven points for BYU the love fest was on!  Commentators speculated about his point total for the afternoon; fans held up signs with Jimmer's points tallied for the day; and the Wildcats rolled over and played the dutiful roll of the Washington Generals--again.  However, this was all on the court, and this was all before halftime.

The broadcast at half time blessed spectators with two feature pieces: a heart felt tale of Jimmer returning to his home town in Glens Falls NY to play a game against Vermont.  That tear jerker was quickly followed by a recap of Jimmer's record setting performance last year in Tucson.  BARF!  Although nauseating, I must concede that this sort of treatment is no different than watching Klay Thompson on a Wazzu telecast, or watching Kyle Singler on an ESPN, CBS, ABC, NBC, QVC or Al Jazeera telecast.

The torture that is watching your team get blown out by BYU on BYUtv is that BYU never stops flickering across the screen.  Every damned commercial is for BYU.  Each commercial break you are treated to a montage of BYU Football history.  This might be followed by the promotion of "TrueBlue," which is essentially a Sportscenter for BYU athletics.  And obviously a testimony as to the greatness of BYU as an institution is a nice bookend to every commercial.  But it didn't stop there.

Nestled in between the BYU-sports-circle-jerk were advertisements for BYUtv original programming, which are billed to "help you see the good in the world."  I can tell you, I can't wait to watch "A Christmas Angel," which is a heartwarming tale of a nonbeliever finding the Christmas spirit of giving, and falling in love.  Or better yet, I want to catch an episode of "Wind at My Back," which is Little House on the Prairie bonnets squared + the great depression + the bible.  And boy am I clamoring to see the next installment of "The Generations Project," where Judge Boyd Mossman will trace his genealogy back to Hawaii where his ancestors Issac Davis and John Young married Hawaiian women.


I suppose, even if you've read this far, you you might chalk this rant up to only the mutterings of an angry fan. But let me make this more clear to anyone not yet exposed to BYUtv: watching your team on BYUtv is like watching your team take on Duke while Dick Vitale calls the game, sits in the stands, does the interviews, and the commercials.  Then again, I suppose that is just what ESPN is. 

Good riddance Jimmer!


  1. Your post did give me a laugh, since that does seem like a horrible way to watch one's team play.

    Don't knock "Wind at My Back", though! It's a family drama that was made in Canada a long time ago, and BYU TV just bought the rights to it. The show has nothing to do with the bible, but it really gives the series a certain impression when it airs on a network like BYU.

    Anyway, cheers!

  2. Jared, thank you. That is more depth on "Wind at My Back" than anyone knew was even possible. Happy New Year to you.