If you had any doubt about the impact of the announcement yesterday that missionary service for men and women can begin earlier, just read the reactions in the bloggernacle, on facebook and twitter and even in major newspapers. The largest of the blogs in the bloggernacle have already weighed in on the change… multiple times… in less than 24 hours. I have to wonder; has anyone not put in their two cents?
Writing about the punch after the Boise State-Oregon game, Gene Wojciechowski at ESPN notes, (emphasis added) Sportsmanship isn’t dead in Football Bowl Subdivision programs, but it’s on a respirator. I covered the Minnesota-Syracuse game Saturday, then watched large chunks of the Charleston Southern-Florida, BYU-Oklahoma and Alabama-Virginia Tech games. On Monday night I watched the Miami-Florida State game. You know how many times I noticed a player helping an opposing player off the ground? Zero. Is good sportsmanship dead in college football? Is it dead at BYU? And if so, what can or should we do about it?
In priesthood meeting a couple of weeks ago we discussed fasting and prayer and how long you need to fast or pray for it to be effective. It occurred to me then that many male members of the Church have a tendency to approach spiritual isssues like this as a macho exercise.
If a story about football brought tears to my eyes, you know it’s gotta be good.
Last weekend I went to the penultimate game in Yankee Stadium, and the next night watched the last game on television, complete with its post-game wake. Over nearly 20 years I’ve attended meetings there, letting a place and a culture become an almost religious part of my life. Its a Temple of baseball.
Utah’s NBA team needs to change its name, period. The name is silly. There is no jazz in the state of Utah. They should give the Jazz name back to the good folks of New Orleans, for whom the moniker actually makes sense, and pick a new one that actually makes sense for Utah. Which new monikers might work?
Many of you have heard about the latest sex scandal associated with BYU’s football program. For those who haven’t, four members of the football team are being investigated in connection with the following events: The 17 year old told detectives she met the men at the mall on Sunday August 8th, and willingly went to their off campus apartment. Inside she claims she was accepted their offer to drink vodka, a pornographic DVD was playing on a TV, and that she later passed out and awoke to find herself undressed. She says she was raped by three or four men over a period of 20 to 30 minutes. If the story is true, I feel very sad for the young woman. Unfortunately, many such events go unreported and unpunished because of ambiguities of proof and ambivalence about blame. And, of course, even those cases that are reported do not attract the same amount of media attention as this case, though the Kobe Bryant case reminds us that media attention can be a very bad thing for the vicitms.
The issue of Sunday play is a perpetual discussion-starter in Mormondom. Some celebrate as courageous those who refuse to dishonor the Sabbath by participating in sporting events. Then there is this story. On Saturday, Todd Miller, BYU golfer and son of golfing legend Johnny Miller, qualified to play in the Sunday final of the Utah State Amateur, then declined to play. Miller said: “What I do on Sunday is way more important than winning a tournament. I don’t look down upon people who play on the Sabbath. I would just feel like a hypocrite in my own heart if I did. I made that decision, and I’m going to stick with that.”
Adam’s post about Rafael Araujo started me thinking about a debate that rages from time to time on BYU sports boards: whether Church members should feel obliged to be BYU sports fans. The reasoning in favor of this proposition goes something like this: BYU is supported by Church funds and managed by the Prophet and other General Authorities of the Church; in furtherance of BYU’s mission, the Board of Trustees and BYU’s President have endorsed an athletic program, partly because it performs a missionary function for the Church; therefore, all Church members should rejoice when BYU fields a successful team. And, of course, the natural corollary: Church members who root against BYU are on the road to apostacy. Now, I assume that there may be some dissidents in these parts from this line of reasoning, though I can’t think of any coherent counterarguments. ;-)