Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Podcast catch-up

Hey sports fans,

I've neglected to post links to the lastest CougarCasts. I guess with all the LSAT stuff I've been pretty busy. Hard to imagine, I know.

Anyway, here's what you've missed:

CougarCast: BYU vs. Utah State

This one was fun, because I did it with a sports editor from USU's student newspaper, The Utah Statesman.Tavin Stucki was really nice...especially when there were some technical difficulties and I had to redo the whole podcast.

CougarCast: BYU vs. San Jose State

I was out of town for my grandma's funeral, so I didn't do a podcast to recap the Utah State game. But we combined that with the San Jose State preview. For this podcast, I got Briana Carr, broadcast journalism student extraordinaire and fellow New York City intern, to join me. We talked about a lot of stuff - including Jimmer's wedding.

CougarCast: BYU 29, San Jose State 16

For this one, I finally got together with Aaron Sorenson, one of the DU's football beat writers.

Later this week, when we preview the Oregon State game, we're going to have a surprise special guest. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The UCF Knights edition of the podcast

CougarCast: BYU 24, UCF 17

Another podcast, this one with Dallin Turner.

To preview Utah State, it looks like I'm going to be talking with a sports editor from USU's student newspaper, The Utah Statesman. Should be interesting.

Friday, September 23, 2011


It's another CougarCast. This one is a class in "UCF 101."

CougarCast: BYU vs. UCF

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

CougarCast: BYU vs. Utah

The latest and greatest Daily Universe podcast, with my good friend David "Sparky" Mortimer!

CougarCast: BYU vs. Utah

The sound wasn't too great on this one, because I was using different equipment to record Sparky on the phone, which meant using a different sound booth and different microphone. But, I think I'm still comprehendible.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another CougarCast

The latest podcast for The Daily Universe, all about the sad, sad weekend:

CougarCast: Texas 17, BYU 16

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Long Time No Blog

Hey Man Stuff fans,

I guess all of us have been too busy to blog lately! But that doesn't mean nothing manly has been going on.

I'm back at The Daily Universe, this time as a web editor. My main job is to add photos and other multimedia to the online stories and make the website look nice. So I'm more behind the scenes, and don't get to write as much. But I still am pretty involved with BYU football.

I get to host the "CougarCast" this semester, which has been a lot of fun. I listen to quite a few podcasts, from ESPN, NPR and Slate magazine. I was even mentioned in an ESPN College Basketball podcast! Not by name, but it was definitely me. (Click here and go to the 6:47 mark.)

I've done three so far:

CougarCast: Ole Miss and the 2011 Season

CougarCast: BYU 14, Ole Miss 13

CougarCast: BYU vs. Texas


Even though I won't be writing as much anymore, I did write something the first week of the semester. This is what I think about Brandon Davies returning to the basketball team:

A happy ending - Honor and forgiveness go together

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BYU and the ESPYs

I didn't watch all of the ESPY awards last night, just the important parts.

First, Jimmer won the award for Best Male College Athlete. I thought he gave a great speech and handled himself very well. Of course, compared to other LDS kids or BYU kids, it might not be that special. But in the real world, Jimmer still proves to be an impressive young man. (And his girlfriend Whitney looked good and modest, way to represent.)

I can't find a video of his acceptance speech yet, except for this home recording of a news report on Fox 13:

Another big reason for watching the ESPYs is Seth Meyers, I'm a big fan. He's usually hilarious on SNL Weekend Update* and even funnier as the show's head writer, and he killed at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.

Back when the Brandon Davies news broke out in March, I was disappointed by the response from both The Daily Show (skip to 1:47) and, as a matter of fact, Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (skip to 2:53). I wasn't too offended by the jokes, I just thought they weren't that funny. Jon Stewart and Seth Meyers let me down.

But, Seth redeemed himself at the ESPYs with the first funny Brandon Davies joke I've heard. (It only took four months.)

(I don't know why this video copied and pasted twice. Try to ignore the double vision. Skip to the 11:00 mark for the Brandon Davies joke.)

*This is Seth Meyers' rant about the Arnold Schwarzenegger sex scandal, so naturally there is some PG or PG-13 rated humor. Just to warn you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tis The Season to BBQ

Summer is officially here, so it's high time someone made a post about grilling. We recently bought a house, and to make our homeownership complete we finally bought a grill last weekend. Here she is in all her glory:

We used it for the first time on Sunday, and we've used it every day since then. Sunday was burgers. Monday was Steak. Tuesday we grilled some potato wedges. Tonight we grilled chicken. It has been fantastic so far.

One of the best parts about grilling is that we don't heat up our house from cooking. Next I need to try my hand at ribs. Any tips from my fellow BBQers out there?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dane's Trip to Washington Pt. I

My fellow Man Friends,
I have put together these posts for your viewing and reading pleasure. Please, feel free to take a while to read them. There is a lot of verbiage here. I am of the opinion that there are few things manlier than taming a wild machine and forcing it to fly you to far off lands. You tell me if you agree after reading these posts. I have broken them up into 4 parts for your convenience.

I am currently working on my commercial license and I have been busy trying to balance being a stay-at-home dad, flying,a full load of classes, work and my church calling. About 2 months ago my flight instructor, Matt, and I were discussing how I would accomplish some of the flight requirements for my license. I told him that I really wanted to fly back home to Washington and fly into the little airport in the town my parents live in. He thought it would be fun, but he is also as busy (if not more) as I am, and said it would have to wait until the end of the semester. We decided on a date at the end of April and hoped for great weather.
We got to the week before the flight, and Matt and my eyes were checking the weather forecasts a dozen times a day. We were checking the forecasts for 3 cities too... Provo, Boise (a halfway stop for the trip to Washington) and Prosser (my "hometown"). We were actually biting our nails all week long because of precipitation. That was surprising, because of the (for you weather buffs) relative high pressure over the entire area, Provo included. In fact, Provo was looking the most threatening as far as cloud cover and precipitation (For those of you who don't know, we can't fly through clouds in UVU planes because of insurance risks, even though Matt and I are technically certified for flight through and in clouds).
Our day of anticipation came and Matt came to our house for breakfast and to be my ride out to the airport. We had a delicious breakfast bagel, did a last minute check of the weather, called in our flight plan (again, FYI... we have to call a "flight briefer" and give them our planned route so they can work us into the routes of all the other air traffic out there. They also give us a weather observations, forecasts, special notices for airmen, etc), and brought all of our maps, charts, calculations, info manuals, emergency gear and overnight clothes. As you can see, a lot to prepare for!

This is an example of a "sectional chart". It is one of two types of maps I used to plan my route to Washington and back. 
Matt and I got out to the airport, dispatched our airplane (334TS), and printed off some last minute weather reports for the flight. On a side note, I have to tell you about our plane from a plane nerds perspective. Our plane is a DA42 Twin Star. It's a twin engine, carbon fiber airplane with turbo charged diesel engines. In normal planes without turbochargers, performance decreases dramatically as you climb. In our turbocharged aircraft you can keep climbing to significant altitude without degraded performance. Well, our specific plane, 334TS (you have to say it like this... three three four tango sierra) was fresh off of a visit to the Diamond Aircraft factory to get a new set of engines... upgraded engines! The old ones had a lot of problems, but were still great. They produced 135 horsepower and were a great upgrade from the single engine planes I've trained in as far as speed and climb performance. Let's be honest, those are two of the funnest parts of flying... horizontal and vertical speed! Well, these new engines have 168 horsepower each, and have bigger turbos too. What does that mean? Better high-altitude performance... more on that later.
Matt and I did our pre-flight inspection and walk around. We had all the tanks topped off (we have four fuel tanks... one 25 gallon tank in each wing, and one 13.5 gallon auxiliary tank in each engine nacelle. About 77 gallons total... enough for almost 6 hours of non-stop flying) with Jet A and got settled in the plane.

The weather looking east. Normally you would have a beautiful shot of Mt. Timpanogos here.

The weather looking west. Much better, with some holes in the clouds to shoot through.

A great view of the new engines and fresh paint job.

334TS. You can see here that the flaps are down for part of the pre-flight check. Matt is in blue.
Matt and I did all of our necessary preflight prep, including hooking up the oxygen (we would be flying at 18,000 feet to stay out of the clouds, pick up favorable winds, and... just because we could! Above 12.500 in an unpressurized aircraft it is required to be on oxygen per Federal Aviation Regulations), getting local weather conditions and other info from the tower and taxiing to the runway.

This is a boring video of us leaving the parking spot...

Our departure out of Provo (KPVU). If you listen carefully, you'll hear Provo's tower controller begin to address us at the end of the video.

More to come on the rest of my trip...

Dane's Trip to Washington Pt. II

For those of you who don't know, there are two types of ways to fly... there is IFR (instrument flight rules) and VFR (visual flight rules). IFR is much more regulated, with the vast majority of the flying taking place on specified airways (think "highways in the sky") and routes. VFR is still regulated, but more often than not it is more convenient to just fly off airways. VFR really comes in handy when you need to skip around clouds and storms.
So, now that I have explained that, it will make sense (hopefully) to you that we filed an IFR flight plan. This meant that we will be talking on all the same frequencies as the airliners and flying on similar routes, but at lower altitudes since our airplane's altitude limitation is 18,000 feet (or in pilot terms, flight level 180, for "flight level one-eight-zero"). The only problem is that if we were to fly all of the exact routes required for our IFR flight plan, it would take us right through some really big clouds on our climb from Provo to FL180. We didn't want to do that mainly because we are not allowed to and also because we would likely accumulate ice if we flew through the clouds, making flight some what dangerous. Our plane does not have protection from ice accumulation like all airliners and sophisticated jet transports, thus we wanted to steer clear. Our solution to this problem was to takeoff from Provo under Visual Flight Rules. For us, this meant we could pick our own route through the clouds, then call Salt Lake Approach Control (the local Air Traffic Control agency) and change over to our IFR flight plan. We would then be required to follow those separate set rules. Confused yet?
So, takeoff VFR we did! We flew out over Utah Lake, found a hole in the clouds, and poked through without ever touching a cloud. 
This is what we saw when we got above the clouds. Normally we would be able to see Utah Valley and Salt Lake Valley. 
Another shot looking off the wing.
I should mention that that funny looking mustache on Matt is actually an oxygen mask. It has two nose prongs and puts out a steady supply of oxygen to keep us alive in the thin air.

Once we got going, everything was relatively uneventful. We climbed up to our cruising altitude, set cruise power and enjoyed the ride. While in cruise, we monitor the engine instruments, fuel levels and temperatures (it's cold at FL180! -24 degrees celsius on our way to Boise... it would be bad if our fuel froze!) and our flight plan progress. We look at checkpoints in our flight plan and compare the planned data to our actual data. For instance, we look at our calculated ground speed versus our actual groundspeed. You'd be surprised how accurate we can be with just the forecasted winds/temperatures and a pilot's slide rule (E6B). The purpose of checking the accuracy of the flight plan is to make sure we are aware of how much fuel we are really burning. Are we going faster than planned? Well, then we are using less fuel. Slower? Then more fuel is being used. All this is pretty quick to calculate though, so we also socialize quite a bit. Luckily Matt and I get along really well.
As we got closer to Boise's airport (KBOI), ATC started having us descend in preparation for the approach into Boise. We were able to skip around a few clouds, and we were cleared to fly the RNAV(GPS) Y RWY 28R approach (pronounced: Are nav gee pee ess yankee runway two-eight right) and we landed without any even. We got fuel at a jet center, grabbed a quick bite, and used the restroom. we then did a brief pre-flight and taxied FOREVER to the departure runway.

More to come soon on the rest of my trip!

Dane's Trip to Washington Pt. III

We had a relatively uneventful departure from Boise. We had a fast climb up to FL180, and cruised towards Pasco. The most eventful part of the cruise portion of our flight was changing frequencies from one controller to another (i.e. not exciting). It was kind of cool that We pretty much flew right over the interstate route I take to drive home. It was a nice feeling to know that we were going more that twice the speed of the cars on the freeway.
This is what our flight looked like... pretty uneventful until the end. More on that to come...

When we were about 15 minute outside of Pendleton, ATC had us start descending at Pilot's discretion (as fast or slow as we wanted), so we started preparing for our approach in the Tri-Cities airport. Begin the funniest story of the trip: So there we were, descending on our arrival in Pasco. We were told to switch over to Chinook Approach, and did so. On the other end was a some what older sounding lady. It was obvious that the Tri-Cities area was not busy, and she gave us the weather info at the airport, and asked what we would like to do. We could have just accepted a visual approach (the easy way), but I was in the mood to shoot an approach. Remember the charted approach we flew into Boise? Well, I let the lady on Chinook Approach know we wanted to shoot and approach. She told us it was up to me, since it was so slow... we had a few options to choose from. I chose the RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 21R approach because (to my best recollection) the winds were 210 @ 8 knots... pretty much we would have a perfect 8 knot headwind on approach, which is pretty favorable. The thing I didn't think too hard about was that it would be no big deal to land with an 8 knot crosswind on the runway that was directly in front of us. Choosing the approach that I did would require us to fly to the exact opposite side of the airport, flip around, and then land. How much did this add to our flight? Oh, maybe, say... 25 minutes! Well maybe that doesn't sound like too much to you, but when you consider that the entire flight was only 1:36, the fact that I spent 1/5th of it touring the vast farmlands of eastern Washington is pretty pathetic, especially when I could have simply gone straight in to Runway 30.

This gives you a better idea of my stupidity. See how just before I get to the OR/WA border, I am heading directly toward the airport? Then I veer off to the right... yeah, I took the long way.
This story wouldn't be as funny if Matt and I didn't have to use the restroom so bad! As we are doing our part to contribute to global warming over the farms of Washington, I am thinking to myself "wow, I have to go to the bathroom really bad... why is this taking so long?"
Another funny story teaches all of us a lesson about Air Traffic Controllers. A pilot (and Controller of course) has to know what a controller sees when they are looking at their radar screen.

What ATC sees on their radar screen.

They see little targets, with the name of the airplane, airplane type, altitude, speed and direction. They use all of this information to separate traffic. While we were flying the aforementioned approach, the lady on Chinook Approach gave us some vectors (directions to fly) to keep away from some traffic. She told us to fly some heading like 350. Then, a few minutes later she asked why we weren't on the heading she gave us. This is where it get's tricky for you non-aviators. I explained to the controller that the nose of our plane was pointed in the direction of 350 just like she asked, but we had a direct left crosswind. This caused our plane to be moving over the ground (this is called ground track) in a direction closer to 360 or 010 instead of the direction our nose was pointing. Even I know that controllers only see an aircraft's ground track on their radar screen. We could be flying backwards for all this lady knew... the bottom line is that all this lady could see was our direction and speed over the ground. But as a controller, you have this extremely basic little piece of knowledge that the wind is blowing up where this plane is (she had just given us the weather info for crying out loud) and that that could be affecting them in a variety of ways. Bottom line, I felt like I knew more than this lady. Anyway, Matt and I had a good chuckle that this lady had to even ask us that question.
So, we landed at the airport, made our way over to the Local FBO (Fixed Base Operator, or flight center) to get topped off on fuel and oxygen. While we were waiting, one of the employees, about my age, approached me and asked if we were flying the Twin Star. I responded in the affirmative, to which he replied "I hate to tell you this, but your plane is ugly." What the...? I have no idea who this guy thought he was... after some more conversation, I found out he doesn't even have any pilot licenses and ratings. He is only a mechanic who works and planes and fills them up. Dirtbag... Matt and I spent the rest of the trip trash talking him.
Anyway, we took of from the Tri-Cities and did a quick 5-10 minute VFR flight to Prosser (S40). I was actually surprised that when we tuned into the CTAF (common traffic advisory frequency... this is a frequency assigned to an airport that doesn't have a control tower. All the pilot has to do is self-announce their position in relation to the airport, and keep an eye outside for other traffic) their were two other planes preparing to land at Prosser also. I didn't expect there to be too much action, but I later found out that Prosser actually has a bustling little community airport.

Another funny story was what transpired when we landed. We had a pretty uneventful landing, but when we parked the airplane, we had attracted quite the small crowd of admirers. We had 3 or 4 older men taking pictures with their phones, asking questions and saying things like "thanks for coming to Prosser!" It was pretty awesome to get some positive attention after talking to the jerk in Pasco.

Immediately after arrival into Prosser, letting the engines cool. 

Nice shot mom... walking off the plane.

Pushing the plane into the parking spot.

Using my Boy Scout skills to make sure the plane doesn't go anywhere, with an admirer in the background.

After we got the plane locked and secured, we went to my parents house (sometimes I call it home, at the risk of getting hassled by my wife) and had a delicious dinner made by my dad. Matt already wants to go back for the food. We enjoyed the beautiful sunset and views and took a small tour of Prosser. My parents spoiled us, and made us feel very special and welcome.

Dane's Trip to Washington Pt. IV

After getting some zzz's, Matt and started the familiar routine of checking the weather, checking our route, gathering all of our things and receiving a flight and weather brief from the Briefer. We got back to the plane, and thankfully it was right where we had left it. We had gotten our tanks topped off the day before, so we didn't have to worry about fueling up. We did all the standard pre-flight inspections, set up our cockpit and made sure the plane was balanced the way we had planned.

During the pre-flight

Emily and me in front of the DA42
One of my best friends from High School, Emily, came down from Sunnyside to say hi and see us off with my parents. It was fun to see her and share what I've been doing for the last two years. We visited briefly, but all too soon, we got into the plane and prepped to leave. We loaded our flight plan into our G1000 (our glass avionics flight-deck... no round dials here! This is similar to the GPS unit that Garmin makes for cars, but on steroids! And way more expensive... and it can do 100 times more), warmed up the engines, taxied down and took off!

Notice what my Dad said there at the beginning? Punk! Go be friends with that chump in Pasco!

My dad shot some video of the takeoff also...

We couldn't pass by the opportunity to show off, so I performed what is referred to as a "soft field" take off. Long story short, you lift off the ground, level off just 10-15 feet off the ground and keep heading down the runway picking up speed. Once we got to the end of the runway, I pulled back a little aggressively and took advantage of all the extra airspeed to rocket into the atmosphere. If I remember correctly, my instruments indicated that we were climbing at about 2500 ft per minute there for just a second or two... that's fast by the way.

We took off to the east, made a left climbing turn 270 degrees so that we could clear the Rattlesnake Hills, and rocketed up to FL180. Our climb was quick and efficient because I set the autopilot for the climb out. It held the best climb airspeed (90 kias) with precision, and consequently we wasted no energy getting up to our chosen altitude. Can I just say that the auto pilot in this plane is amazing? The autopilot is integrated into the G1000 which makes it more accurate, precise and robust. It works in perfect synchronization with all the different functions of the flight-deck.

This shows us our heading, altitude, vertical speed, indicated speed, and much more. 

This shows all of our engine info (far left, mostly off screen), moving map, flight plan and more. Up top is our ground speed... 204! That is 235 mph.
We got in contact with Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) quickly, picked up our IFR clearance, and shortly after leveling off at FL180 received clearance to fly direct to Provo from our position.

Flying high (FL180) above Oregon, shortly after crossing the Columbia river.

On our way to Washington, it took us about 3.5 hours total to get to Prosser. On this trip, we planned to go non-stop and get back as soon as we could. We had enough fuel, and we hoped that our bladders would be big enough to handle the trip. Luckily for us, there was a pretty decent tail wind and we got as fast as 204 knots ground speed, and about 170 ktas. That is the fastest I've ever flown (well, flown my own plane), and we made great time back to Provo. Our total flight time was 2 hours and 45 mins from startup to shutdown. Not bad considering that the drive takes about 11-12 hours. :)

Our flight track back to Provo

Coming back, we ran into some clouds with some decent vertical development. Usually that means turbulence, ice accumulation, etc. Not a good idea for our tiny little plane to fly into. We skirted around them, but once we got over the Great Salt Lake, we opted to finish our flight VFR to skip the clouds and expedite our arrival into Provo.

Our arrival took us just west of SLC int'l airport, and then just east of Kennecot. They had us fly above the traffic arriving into the Int'l airport, over the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. After passing the point of the mountain, we made a straight in approach for runway 13 and landed just in time to beat out an approaching storm.

That was it! I hope you enjoyed following along with my long rants and complex explanations. I did this mostly as a means of journal keeping and to be able to look back at it in the future for memories. Despite that, I hope you learned something new about aviation, me or our part of the country.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Quick One-Two of Basketball Stories

I wrote two basketball stories in two days this week. The first one was the most exciting, I got to go to the press conference announcing coach Dave Rose's new contract with BYU.

BYU keeps coach Rose for basketball future

There weren't too many surprises. But I did really like this quote from President Cecil O. Samuelson:

“Since we believe that he is the finest coach at any level in the country, whatever he’s paid he will be underpaid economically,” Samuelson said. “We also believe that BYU’s a very special place, and the coach recognizes that.”

It was a really nice compliment. Plus it shut up reporters like me who wanted to get clues to the actual dollar amounts, haha.

Then, the next day, I wrote this quick blurb about Jimmer being up for the Wooden Award:

Will Jimmer win the Wooden Award tonight?

I also mentioned the appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, before I had actually seen it since it didn't air until about ten hours after I wrote the story. The Jimmer cameo was kind of lame, but Jimmer handled it well. He was a lot more talkative than Kemba was. (And I appreciated that Jimmy Kimmel's show was pretty appropriate...until after the conversation with Jimmer.)

(The screen shot shows Vin Diesel, Jimmy Kimmel's first guest. But I promise that if you play the video, it will show the Jimmer cameo.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In which I take on Rick Reilly and defend Jimmer

AP Photo

So, the day after BYU loses to Florida and the season is suddenly over, this comes up on ESPN.com, saddening Cougar fans even further:

"Jimmer grows dimmer" by Rick Reilly

Of course, Reilly has every right to his opinion, and even to express it on ESPN. But this viewpoint of his just seemed totally unfair and mean-spirited. He literally based his whole interpretation of Jimmermania on one bad game. And he doesn't pass up a chance to laugh at us Mormons.

So, I had to respond.

Here's what I said, in today's Daily Universe:

A single game (I would have picked another headline, I think)

I hope you enjoy it!

I also had another story in today's paper, just a quick one about the awards Jimmer got yesterday (rather ironic, don't you think, Reilly?) Even though the story's just eight inches long, I think I did a good job of giving it some voice and personality.

Honoring the Jimmer

Friday, March 25, 2011

And...the Last Edition from N'Awlins

And, just like that, I'm heading home.

It was quite a game tonight. I'm glad I was here - now I can say that I've been to an NCAA game. (Depending on my future career, I hope I get to go to a lot more.) And it's always great to see the Cougars.

But it was heartbreaking and disappointing. It's such a strange way to end the sports season, to lose one game and all of a sudden it's time to go home. It's especially a strange way to end a college basketball career, for Jimmer, Jackson and Logan.

In the 48 hours I was here, I was very productive. Besides writing five stories for The Daily Universe, I also saw a lot of the French Quarter and the surrounding area.

I like New Orleans a lot. It's definitely got something that no other city has. In a lot of ways it's like Las Vegas. But even if the "hedonistic" lifestyle is the same in both cities, Vegas is sleeker and shinier, more futuristic. New Orleans looks and feels 200 years old, and it's not as clean as Vegas. But that gives it its own appeal.

Today, I spent the morning roaming the French Quarter, looking for BYU fans to talk to and also took a ton of photos. It was a little bit strange being a tourist all alone, I wish Erin and Allisyn were with me. But I saw a lot of cool stuff.

Here's the story I wrote:

New Orleans: A different way of life

And, here's a link to my Facebook photo album with all the photos (I set it so that "Everyone" could see it, so you shouldn't have any trouble accessing it):


I'll put some photos here too, just to give the blog some variety:

Then, I walked over to the arena for the game. When I got to my assigned seat, I discovered how lucky I was to be here:

Doesn't get much better than that.

At the media buffet, I met Matt Marheine from The Daily Cardinal, one of Wisconsin's student newspapers. It was great to meet him and chat with him. He even offered to loan his photos of the BYU vs. Florida game to The Daily Universe, which was super nice.

Also before the game, I got my chance to meet Andy Katz. I came up to him and said hi, and that I was the student newspaper guy who Pat Forde talked to. He seemed to remember me from that article. He didn't have anything to say, and I couldn't think of anything. (It was a few minutes before the game, so he was probably a little busy.) So it was a little awkward. Afterward I was thinking, "Duh! I should have told him that I'm a big fan of his and love listening to his podcast and thanks for watching and supporting BYU all year." But, too late. I was awkward. (Now I'll never get a job at ESPN! Just kidding.)

Then it was game time. It was tough to not be vocal! I felt like the team sometimes needed one more voice to cheer for them. But, all in all, the guys worked hard and definitely deserve to be commended, not only for making it to the Sweet 16 but for everything they've done all year.

Of course, even though I was prepared for either a Butler or a Wisconsin preview, now I couldn't use that. Instead, I filled up that newspaper space with an extra story on this being the last game for Jimmer, Jackson and Logan. At the press conference, I asked Jimmer and Jackson about the emotions they were feeling and the thoughts running through their head, and they said a lot of nice things, enough for me to come up with a separate story. It was probably the fastest story I've ever written!

You can see all three stories in Friday's Daily Universe. Or, right here on my blog!

(The link to my BYU fans in New Orleans story is above.)

Sweet ride comes to an end

BYU seniors go out with a memorable season

Oh, I almost forgot: Cory Giger tweeted me to ask if I would be on his show again! This time just to talk about the game. It was pretty cool, and I think the interview went well.

And this one is available online!

Sports Central with Cory Giger 3/24/11 (Go to the 1:02:55 mark to get to my interview.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Early Edition from N'Awlins

Hey there, everybody.

I'm blogging directly from the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, Louisiana, here for BYU's first Sweet 16 game in 30 years.

Although I'm here with a crew of broadcast students, it kind of feels like I'm in solo mode. Which is strange. I sure have a lot of work to do! I did two stories before I even got to the hotel, and today I'm expecting to do three more.

Here's what I did for the day before the game:

Cougars will need best effort to defeat Florida

Viewpoint: Thanks for the respect

I spent a lot of time on the last one, but I think it's turned out to be one of my best editorials so far. It's basically a response to "With honor," an editorial written in Florida's student newspaper. I was very impressed with the Florida campus way of handling BYU, especially when contrasted with the San Diego State way. And Florida coach Billy Donovan and player Chandler Parsons had some nice things to say in today's press conference...and by that, I mean they had nothing to say. A reporter tried to get them into a discussion about BYU and the Honor Code and how it wouldn't work at Florida or any normal college, and Donovan and Parsons declined to participate.

(I thought the reporter was trying to maybe stir up some controversy or something...but instead, he used the non-answers to write an article that actually makes BYU look pretty good: "What if Billy Donovan, Gators had to live by the Honor Code?" I especially like the article's last line.)

I'll briefly give you the story of how I finally ended up in New Orleans:

- I tried for a 12:55 a.m. flight Tuesday night/Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City to Atlanta. But since I fly standby (thanks to my dad, a Delta Air Lines mechanic), there's always a risk that there won't be a seat for me. And that's exactly what happened. No seat for me.

- So, I found a corner to curl up in and slept for a few hours at the airport before a 7:05 a.m. flight to Atlanta. I did get a seat on that flight.

- For some reason, as we were taxiing to the gate in Atlanta, I started feeling really sick and miserable. I was sure I would throw up. Fortunately I didn't, but I did get super sweaty and queasy. After finally reaching land for a while, I started to feel better.

- I touched down in New Orleans right in the middle of BYU's press conference at the New Orleans Arena. (I would have made it in time if I got on that 12:55 flight.) I was pretty frustrated about missing the press conference, but thanks to modern technology I knew I could find the audio online. But then, even better, the transcripts of the press conferences were emailed to me personally! That was nice. I worked on the preview story for a while at the airport, then I got picked up and taken to the arena where I finished up both stories.

- I was there at the arena for a long time, until there weren't many media people left. One guy who stuck around working was none other than Andy Katz from ESPN. I wanted to introduce myself, and I even thought maybe he would sort of know who I was. But I still looked like someone who had spent the night in the Salt Lake airport, so I decided against it. I hope that wasn't my only chance to meet him though!

- Then, I rode the shuttle to the labyrinth of a hotel. I couldn't figure out how to get to wherever I wanted to go. But I think I have it down now.

- Tonight, I went for a walk down Canal Street and a little bit of Bourbon Street until I couldn't handle it anymore, haha. Here are some photos:

The view outside New Orleans Arena.

Statue in the hotel lobby. Also, the namesake of New Orleans' international airport.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Bracket Time

Here's my bracket, in case you're interested.

I don't expect to be even close to right.

I can give my argument for why a put BYU in the Final Four, besides being a BYU fan: We should beat Wofford no problem. St. John's or Gonzaga will be tough, but winnable. Then, even though they're a higher seed this year, we beat Florida last year. Pitt, well, I think BYU is entitled to one miracle or surprise. Maybe some will think they'll use that miracle to beat St. John's, Gonzaga, Florida or UCLA. I'll go ahead and say it will be against Pitt.

More charts!

After BYU lost the Mountain West Conference Tournament, I had a tough time figuring out what to write. One idea came to mind, to say that these might have been the first game that really showed what BYU is missing without Brandon Davies.

But I looked at some statistics, and actually found the opposite. Abouo's and Collinsworth's rebounds have been on the rise since BYU's last game with Air Force. And in the five games since Davies was suspended, second-chance points are higher than before too.

Here's my viewpoint: BYU worriers can rest assured

And, see the charts for yourself:

BYU Opponent Deficit
Fresno State 10 11 -1
Utah State 12 8 4
Chicago State 14 8 6
Miss Valley State 16 6 10
South Florida 14 9 5
St. Mary's 6 12 -6
Creighton 13 11 2
Hawaii 10 15 -5
Vermont 12 10 2
Arizona 8 11 -3
UCLA 10 17 -7
Weber State 9 14 -5
UTEP 9 17 -8
Buffalo 9 9 0
Fresno Pacific 19 8 11
UNLV 13 8 5
Air Force 18 4 14
Utah 11 15 -4
TCU 11 6 5
CSU 10 13 -3
SDSU 2 13 -11
NM 6 11 -5
Wyoming 11 11 0
UNLV 6 19 -13
Air Force 7 1 6
Utah 12 9 3
TCU 8 9 -1
CSU 13 11 2
SDSU 9 7 2
NM 9 15 -6
Wyoming 11 6 5
TCU 17 2 15
NM 15 14 1
SDSU 5 14 -9

Total Average

BYU 10.73529

Opponent 10.41176

Deficit 0.323529

Average before suspension

BYU 10.62069

Opponent 10.44828

Deficit 0.172414

Average after suspension

BYU 11.4

Opponent 10.2

Deficit 1.2

Vegas Roundup

I'm back in Provo after a great experience in Las Vegas at the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The last game for BYU was a tough one, but not all hope is lost. It's hard to beat a good team three times in one season (evidenced by New Mexico in the same tournament).

Our Daily Universe crew was super productive. Altogether we wrote 13 stories! Here's where you can find them, in reverse chronological order:

By me:

BYU worriers can rest assured

Nothing less than phenomenal

Back on track to break the curse of the Lobos

Rams win would be a Cougars win too

Not down and out, just turning out

By one of our men's basketball writers, Steve McCall:

So close, yet so very far away

San Diego State challenges BYU a third time this year

Fredette's 52 points help Cougars get revenge on New Mexico

Cougars survive quarterfinals scare

Cougars start conference tourney vs. Horned Frogs

By one of our women's basketball writers, Whitney Brooks:

Jimmer does it again

BYU women lose last-second upset to rival Utah

Semifinal draws rivalry for Cougars

For photos, check out The Daily Universe website.

And, these stories were done here in Provo, having to do with Selection Sunday:

BYU a 3 seed, will play Wofford
- by Kristian Ekenes

How to craft the winning bracket - by Kirsten Bowe

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coming to you live from Las Vegas!

Hey, Man Stuff followers!

I'm down here in Las Vegas as part of The Daily Universe's convoy to the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament. It's a lot of fun to get to watch basketball all day. But, don't worry, I'm not only having fun. In the time I've been here, I've already cranked out three editorials:

1) Not down and out, just turning out

This one I wrote literally in the van while we were pulling into Las Vegas. I was very impressed to see how many BYU students were planning on coming to the tournament and supporting their Cougars, instead of writing off the season after the Brandon Davies announcement and the embarrassing New Mexico loss that followed.

2) Rams win would be a Cougars win too

Yesterday and this morning I was probably thinking more about the Colorado State vs. New Mexico game than the BYU vs. TCU game, to be honest. For some reason I've just been really intrigued by coach Tim Miles and the Rams this season. I was rooting for them to get into the NCAA Tournament, although it looks now like they've definitely missed that chance.

Anyway, I wrote this viewpoint to discuss how Colorado State could win against New Mexico (and why that would be good for us). I knew that the viewpoint would only be relevant for about six hours, haha. In fact, I don't know if it was ever published on the website, just on my blog. But I wrote it for fun, and now you guys can read it if you're interested.

3) Back on track to break the curse of the Lobos

This is what I wrote after it turned out Colorado State lost to New Mexico (after a really good fight). During both the BYU game and the Colorado State game, I was sort of struggling to think of what to write. But this is what I finally came up with. Hits newsstands in about six hours, but you can read it here first!

While I was trying to think of ideas, I came up with some more charts. I don't really have a use for them yet, other than to make them an exclusive addition to the Man Stuff blog.

So, the blue lines in these charts are field goal percentage game by game. The red line is the season field goal percentage up to that point.

I first had the idea as a way to show that, although Jackson Emery has some dismal shooting nights sometimes, they come in cycles. And I was going to see if maybe Emery was due for another big night. (Let's hope so, against the Lobos.)

I ended up not writing my editorial about that, but these charts are cool anyway! And what do you think they mean? What are your comments?