Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here’s To A Friend

A insincere compliment is about as useful to me as a coupon to a liquor store; I wouldn’t use it and would probably end up passing it on to someone else who doesn’t need it either. I’ve never been very good at thanking and complimenting those around me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for what they’ve done. It’s mostly because I’m at a loss at how to do it. Anything I could say or do seems completely inadequate compared to what’s been said and done for me.

Recently, I’ve noticed how even the simplest interactions with others can leave a deep and lasting impact on my life. There are things that I have learned that have opened my eyes, helped me see what I could not see, and help me be what I could not be.

The tragedy is that most of these friends leave without the slightest idea of the difference they’ve made. It’s to those friends, past, present, and future, that I wish to pay tribute. Thanks for lending an ear to my mouthful, helping me make sense of my jumbled thoughts, and for being a friend when I have been unfriendly. You may come and go with the passing days, but your impression will last throughout my life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Flag Tossed All Around the World

Barry, how do you like the asterisk you have next to your name? I’m asking as a BYU football fan because we’ve brought one home with us after our win in Washington last weekend. Yeah, we have a “W” to put in the win column, but it’s a win with conditions. Apparently one of the referees got in the line and blocked the PAT attempt by Washington to tie the game and send it into overtime. I never saw the play, but that’s how it’s been explained to me.

BYU has been hounded by negative press this week over the excessive celebration call on Washington’s quarterback (I guarantee it wouldn’t have made news if it was a MWC game). This call has sent columnists and bloggers crying bloody murder as if BYU didn’t already dominate the game in every statistical category. According to them, the refs handed BYU the game. One writer for ESPN went as far to say, “It was one of the absolute worst calls I've ever seen in football.”

Are you kidding me? Did you ever watch football before official review was instated? Bad calls were part of the game!

Obviously, I’m biased towards BYU. The fact is that there was a rule in place, the rule was violated, and the call was made accordingly. And like any good team, BYU made the play to get the win.

My biggest beef about this controversy revolves around the ridiculous reasons given by the media for why the call shouldn’t have been made. The worst argument of them all is that an action like that taken by Washington’s quarterback should not be made if he was acting on emotion. What? Do players ever commit unsportmanslike acts without emotion? Can you really dismiss a call because a player acted out of emotion?

Where was that when I was a kid?

If that same logic applied to my childhood...I would’ve never visited the principals office for throwing shingles at passing cars. I never would’ve spent time in timeout or be forced to reconcile my differences with my older sister. The yellow card I received in soccer would’ve stayed in the ref’s pocket because my illegal slide tackle in the 18-yard box was definitely an emotional reaction.

Moses would’ve become the King of Egypt after he killed the Egyptian, Islamic fundamentalists would be Delta airline captains, and Georgia would be singing the Hymn to the Russian Federation.

Are you kidding me?