Monday, February 28, 2011

Welcome Home Party!

First off, I'm just going to spill all my thoughts from the BYU vs. San Diego State game last Saturday.

- I thought the game was going to be a lot more nerve wracking. But after we got ahead 4-2 in the first minutes of the game, we never lost the lead. And the lead never got less than three. Other than the last 3-5 minutes of the first half, BYU was in total control.

- I was also very impressed to see so many on the BYU team do so awesome. Hartsock and Abouo weren't too far behind Fredette on the threes, and in fact each missed only one.

- Emery is so much fun to watch, like a spastic kid almost. Colorado State coach Tim Miles said it best: "Watching replay of Rams/ BYU. Watching JEmery chase down a loose ball is like watching a cheetah chase down a gazelle in the wild" (on Twitter). It was especially fun to watch him tip away a pass, then run down court while Fredette handled the ball and threw it down to him. Just amazing.

- The San Diego State student section, "The Show," made the victory especially sweet. Wearing missionary outfits and bike helmets don't offend me, but the fact that they're trying to offend me does offend me. So it was nice to shut them up. (And one thought that crossed my mind - people watching the game on CBS who don't know much about BYU or the LDS Church or missionaries probably looked at the student section, and was like, "Shirts and ties? Bike helmets? Uh, okay, I guess? Whatever, San Diego State." Joke's on you, Aztecs!)

The Daily Universe had a couple stories on the game, from our reporter Steve McCall who traveled to San Diego:

Cougars use team efforts to down Aztecs

BYU faced wild atmosphere in Cougar-Aztec encounter*

We also had a DU photographer there, Luke Hansen. He put up all his photos on his blog (Warning: he promised photos of "The Show's" signs, some of which are not G-rated):

BYU at San Diego State


Here's where I get involved.

I got a tweet saying a group was gathering at the Provo Municipal Airport to welcome home the team. I had never been to something like that, and I was excited for this chance. Just so one day I could say I had been there. Then, as an afterthought, I realized I should do a story on it for the paper.

What's cool is that the story ended up in The Daily Universe and on the Deseret News website!

Fans greet Cougars at Provo airport (Daily Universe)

Fans greet BYU team at airport (Deseret News)

I actually had some audio and video that went with the story. It's supposed to be on the Daily Universe website, but I can't find it anywhere. And it looks like I can't add audio to Blogspot. But here are the YouTube videos (thanks, Don MacArthur, for sending them!):

Oh, I found the audio! Go here: Welcome party greets BYU basketball

*Go to page 7.

Monday, February 21, 2011

In the Deseret News!

My BYU athletics budget story (parts one and two) was in the Deseret News and on!

In the Des News:

BYU sports budget rundown shows what sports profit, cost
(part one)
BYU's sports budget not seeing red ink financing smaller sports (part two)


Football key to BYU's athletic budget (part one)
BYU football brings athletic budget back to black in tough economy (part two)

I still don't know for sure if the story has appeared in the print edition of the Deseret News. I know it wasn't in Friday's paper, at least. But I'll have to get my hands on some copies as soon as it does.

I've gotten a few e-mails from readers, most of them saying: "Well, yeah, duh, but tell us about Title IX!" The Title IX aspect of university budgets is interesting, for sure. I just picked something else to talk about this time around.

If any of you want to do your own Title IX-themed investigation, or any investigation into athletics budget numbers, here's how:

1) Go to
2) Click on "Go to login page"
3) Then click on "Get data for one institution"
4) Then search for Brigham Young University (or any other college you're interested in looking at)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cougar sports by the numbers

I'm on the front page today! I wrote a story a while ago, and it finally made it in the paper.

Cougar sports by the numbers (Part One)

Look for Part Deux in The Daily Universe tomorrow!

If you want a close-up of the charts, go here.


Update (02/17/2011):

Here's the second half of my story:

Budget healthy as Cougs set to enter WCC

And, once again, the copy desk did an awesome design for the front page:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

AP Poll in Line Chart Form

An exclusive for the "Man Stuff" blog!

Just for fun, and because I'm a nerd, I made some charts to track the AP Poll teams this season.

I made one chart for all the teams that have been in the poll this year, and also individual charts for each conference because those might be easier to read. I also tried to match line chart colors with school colors, also to make it easier to read. (If only I knew how to use Adobe Flash, maybe I could make an interactive chart where you can single out different schools so you wouldn't have to see them all at once.

Anyway, here they are. (Click on them to make them bigger). Enjoy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

More Jimmermania! and other sports news

One of our reporters at The Daily Universe put together a very interesting story about this week's episode of Jimmermania:

No 'idle' worship of Jimmer

He was able to interview Jimmer himself, Michelle Peralta herself, Charles Abouo, and a few other fans and unbelievers. He did a great job with it and it's well worth a read.

Our reporter found this one guy, Emilio Urriola, who I think will (and am promoting to be) the next Michelle Peralta. Just going over the story with our reporter before it was published, I was getting all worked up. So this Emilio guy, he claims to be a basketball fan. But that he hadn't heard of Jimmer until a month ago. And that he likes basketball but doesn't like the players.

How does that even make sense? I understand if he said he only likes to play basketball but not to watch it. Or if he said he's more of an NBA guy than a college basketball guy. But he didn't say that! He said he likes basketball without liking the players. I don't get it.

We'll see if he gets some Facebook comments now...


Some other sports stories you might be interested in:

It's not often that sad news comes across the sports desk. But this week, Alexis Kaufusi from the BYU women's basketball team announced she was diagnosed with cancer and would sit out the rest of the season.

I was already planning on covering the women's basketball game on Wednesday against Air Force. (We've had to make some changes in how we cover women's basketball...we've had mid-week game stories come in too late for the next morning's paper, multiple times. To be frank, a reporter doing that at any other newspaper would be fired. But for The Daily Universe it means making our jobs harder than they have to be. We made some changes to try and fix the problems, and this week was my turn to write a game story.)

But in light of Kaufusi's sad news, this story took on new meaning. I felt good about what I came up with, and got a few compliments.

Cougars missing Kaufusi

Also, The Daily Universe got its own story from Jerry Sloan's press conference yesterday:

Jazz coach Sloan resigns

Have a great Valentine's Day weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hey guys,

This recent wave of Jimmermania inspired a cartoon from me in today's Daily Universe. Although the Daily Universe website is down (probably because it got Jimmered, seriously), you can check out the cartoon here (and in color!):

If you want to read more about this week from the point of view of a BYU sports editor, check it out here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Wow... this is hilarious! I love that ESPN got a hold of it.

Make sure you click on the link with the actual thread of comments.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Here are a few videos from the SDSU game. Hopefully we don't blow it when we play them again in San Diego (Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means...)

Stay classy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

This week in J.J. news

I had a pretty crazy week at The Daily Universe. By Wednesday I had whipped up three stories. And one of them is in two parts, so really I did four stories. I'm still suffering from the fatigue, but I accomplished a lot and I'm pretty proud of that.


Here's the non-sports story I wrote:

Huntsman to toss hat into ring?

And if you're curious to know the story behind that story, go here.


The other two/three stories I did were more sporty.

First, I finished up a two-part story on the BYU athletics budget. I started it a couple weeks ago, but I procrastinated and didn't finish it until Tuesday, haha. The first part focuses on how football is really the only BYU sport that makes any money. Men's basketball does a little better than break even, but every other sport only survives because of football.

Of course, most of you probably think, "Well yeah, duh." But I was curious to see what those other sports thought. Interestingly enough, no one I found had any problem with depending on football. I didn't know if maybe any athletes would be jealous of football and the financial influence they have, but from what I could tell, no one was. (The women's basketball coach did say he has a goal of making his team financially self-sufficient, but he admitted he has a long ways to go.)

The second part is more about the budget in general, how it's put together and a little about how it will change next year when football is independent and the other sports are in the WCC.

That story isn't published yet, but as soon as it is I'll definitely pass it on.

If you want to look at the report where I got most of my numbers, go here:

BYU's 2009 EADA report*


The other article I wrote covered a National Signing Day event at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday. A few of Utah's top high school football recruits were there to sign their letters of intent, including six of BYU's new players. It was a cool event, I'm glad I got to go. I talked to Austin Heder, Baker Pritchard and Kesni Tausinga. Kesni was especially fun to talk to. I asked him what emotions were going through him that day, and he's like, "I'm psyched! It's totally sick!" Haha. He should be a lot of fun for reporters in the future.

Here's my story:

BYU football signs recruits

My co-sports editor Alex went to the afternoon press conference here at BYU. It looks like Bronco talked mostly about the overall future of the program, not only the recruits. And Alex said Bronco seemed pretty excited. Which is saying something.

Alex's story:

Mendenhall enthused about future of program

And our big BYU fan on the Daily Universe copy desk put together this chart of all 19 new recruits:

2011 BYU Football Signees*

*Click on "Go to login page," then click on "Get data for one institution," then search for Brigham Young University (or any other college you're interested in looking at).

**Go to page 7.


One name has taken the country by storm. JIMMER. Anyone who follows college basketball (even casual fans) know the name. He's been referred to as the best scorer in the world and while he leads the nation in scoring, he is a top candidate for national player of the year winner. One day we will see his jersey hanging in the rafters of the Marriott Center next to Cougar greats Kresimir Cosic, Tina Gunn Robison and Danny Ainge.

But the legend of Jimmer has a different mystique. It has turned an entire student body into these "wannabe's". If you don't believe me, go play some pick up ball down at the RB or watch an intramural game. Guys are trying to split the double team to get to the basket. Guys with no skills are trying to go for the scoop layup from 6 feet away from the basket. I heard it last night in the game. A kid tried to go for a layup that was contested very well by our two 6'4" big men in the paint. What did the kid say after his layup was blocked? "I am not Jimmer." He most definitely is not. But watching the magic, especially from a dorky looking former chubby kid, makes us all think we can replicate his talent.

I was guilty of it myself. A couple of weeks ago, I spot up for a three, got the pass and drilled it. Next possession i was dribbling the ball up court and my defender was sitting at the 3 point line waiting to defend me. So I pulled up about 5 feet from the 3 point line and let it fly. Oh ya, I made it. Off the glass. OFF THE GLASS FROM 26 FEET OUT?!?!?! WHO DOES THAT? Not Jimmer. That is who. I am not Jimmer. Never have been, never will be. I never had an aspiring rapper for an older brother that challenged me and trained me. If I did, it would be a completely different story.

I digress. That is what Jimmer has done to anyone who follows him. He has made us think we can do this:

But really we play like this guy