Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
"When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before."
Monday, December 1, 2008
The baseball team tied an American League record for wins in 2001, and they have had some successful seasons since then as well. In fact, I think ESPN Radio's Mike Greenberg predicted prior to the 2008 season that the M's would win the World Series this year. Hmmm...
Nice knowin' ya, Ty. No one surves a completely imperfect season
Those days seem oh-so-long ago.
A recap of 2008: Even with Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant, the NBA's Supersonics went 20-62, good enough for the 29th-best record in a 30-team league - and that was their highlight. The lowlight came later when the new ownership moved the team to their home in Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. The Mariners were 61-101, which was worst in the American League, and, like the Sonics, second-worst overall. The Seahawks are 2-10 and mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with four games left to play.
How high will Durant fly in the NBA? Seattle fans will no longer be able to see it firsthand
That brings us to the Grand Daddy of them all - the college football seasons of U-Duh (misspelling intended) and Wazzu. With a loss on Saturday at Cal-Berkeley, the Dawgs will finish the season 0-12. The Cougars, unfortunately, had to play an extra game - 13 in all - and finished 2-11. Nevermind that the first victory came against FCS opponent Portland State, and the final one was against the arch rival Huskies. That Apple Cup game sure was a barnburner - it went into overtime with the Cougs winning, 16-13, but the quality of play wasn't the greatest in the rivalry's history (although both teams would surely relish a win versus their hated rival under any circumstances).
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Here is the running link to my bylined articles.
Springville: 400 South closure saves city time, money
BYU team helps improve tortillas
City of Mapleton explores ways to cut costs
Salem aims to go green: changes garbage service
UVU Hunger Banquet benefits Provo food bank
HEAT program helps low-income families with utility costs
House Fire-Public Log 11/11
Natural gas leaks, children lose consciousness
Sage Creek Elementary honored by Forest Service
BYU Marriott School most family-friendly
Feds approve Mountain View Corridor
Fans stay up late for 'Twilight' screenings
UDOT to demolish Pleasant Grove bridge
Slightly more students qualify for free, reduced meals in U.C. (plus video voice-over)
Economy takes a toll on winterization efforts
Utah County generous on food donations
Area stores see normal Thanksgiving sales
Thanksgiving food sales video voice-over
Plenty of local holiday activities for families
United Way's Sub for Santa
Orem car dealership provides Thanksgiving meal to hundreds
Other stories I contributed to:
Who really won the election?, Vandalism over Prop. 8 denounced, Dead man found in Payson, Daily Digest 11/26 (Public Thanksgiving meal announcements)
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
A Brat Tail. That's what it's called and it really must have some of the most interesting combinations of flavors you'd never want to try. On second thought, maybe it's no more strange than those peanut butter-and-pickle sandwiches I ate as a kid (no joke!).
Check out what this food critic has to say about the Brat Tail on video.
Photo, video, and further description of the Brat Tail experience can be found here.
Amazingly, Average Joe's Sports Blog calls the Brat Tail "excellent."
Another Brat Tail article
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
For 2008, the Spurs were number one in the NBA and number two out of all 122 "major" professional teams (again that included the NHL, but not MLS). San Antonio is the only team to rank in the top three for all six years of the survey's history.
Spurs players ranked second (behind the NFL's Patriots) in a category determined by on-field effort and off-field likability, which shows their commitment to community. The team ranked first in fan relations for "ease of access to players, coaches & management." Ownership ranked first for "honesty; loyalty to players and city," and the coach was third for strong on-field leadership.
The survey "aims to quantify the unique relationship between fans and their favorite teams by determining which MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL franchises establish and maintain the most overall reward for their fans," according to a press release on the Spurs Web site. Individual categories factored into the survey are Bang for the Buck (how much the team wins for the amount of money pouring in from fans), Fan Relations, Ownership, Affordability, Stadium Experience, Players, Coaches and Title track (recent championships or those expected in the near future).
So despite the team's ironic identity change from "soft" to "dirty" - which took place in only slightly more time than it took Robert Horry to hip-check Steve Nash - there is plenty of evidence to suggest the players and management are good guys. Bruce Bowen - probably the team's most questionable on-court character based on (possible) cheap shots taken at other players - gets involved with kids in the San Antonio community with his Bruce N Buddy's fitness program. Many other Spurs are similarly involved in good works, but I'll spare you the details.
Lets just say you won't see Spurs players giving interviews like this one from Mike Tyson ...
Sure the Spurs have had some characters like Dennis Rodman and Stephen Jackson, but most of their issues took place while they played for a different team.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
(Click here for a clip of the real John Madden talking. Note the similarities?)
Here is a crazy mix of impressions from an appearance on WGN.
And more on David Letterman as he goes presidential.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Rate increase: Salem plans for future savings in water
Orem humanitarian aid group to help Dominican Republic
Springville 8th-grade students host presidential debate
Daily Wrap video 10/23
Springville youth get involved
$9.8M library bond on ballot in Springville
President Monson dedicates BYU building addition
(photo: Mark Philbrick/BYU)
Genola reprimanded by state
Spanish Fork's Home Depot on active construction, other projects delayed
It ain't necessary to water lawn in fall months
Daily Wrap video 10/29
Provo man hikes the Y daily to fight illness
Spanish Fork man arrested for sexual activity with a minor and supplying alcohol to a minor (this was a full-length article chopped down because of space issues)
Prop. 8 opponents gather at Provo vigil
Springville says yes to library building bond
Salem Hills H.S. and Make-A-Wish give Utah girl trip to England
All-digital Cinemark multiplex opens in Orem
Storms returning to Utah Valley
I also contributed to these: State House of Representatives: Republicans hold off Democrat blitz (Clark defeats Jarvis), Candidates dispute run-in, Orem woman is Citizen of the Year, New programs aim to help needy, Public Log 10/25 (fatal crash)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
For me, posting this video is an appreciation of humor, not a put-down on the prez. Besides, as my uncle said, the video has stuff for people who hate Bush and for people who love him.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Without further ado...
Boston Celtics - The defending champs look for their first back-to-back titles in 40 years.
Philadelphia 76ers - Elton Brand joins a playoff team. Are they now legit Eastern contenders? (Hey, here's a video of a nice Andre Iguodala dunk, with Charles Barkley actin' a fool as a commentator)
Toronto Raptors - Key moves include adding Jermaine O'Neal and freeing up more minutes at point guard for Jose Calderon - although it came at the cost of losing T.J. Ford. (Bosh vid)
New Jersey Nets - With Jason Kidd in Dallas and Richard Jefferson in Milwaukee, Vince Carter is the lone man remaining from the Big Three of the past few years. New York Knicks - Things might be looking up in New York ... then again, probably not. At best, they'll finish in fourth in the Atlantic - which would be an improvement.
Detroit Pistons - Six years in the NBA, six conference finals appearances for Gumby. Is another one coming?
Cleveland Cavaliers - Some people think this team can go really far. It's hard to doubt the King.
Chicago Bulls - Coming off a majorly disappointing season, these guys could break into the playoffs after a one-year sabbatical - you wouldn't hope for any less from a team with nine lottery picks on its roster.
Milwaukee Bucks - Exit Mo Williams, Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. Enter Richard Jefferson, Luke Ridnour and draft pick Joe Alexander. It will be interesting to see how the pieces fit together on this team.
Indiana Pacers - At least one writer calls Danny Granger the most underrated player in the game.
Orlando Magic - Superman, Hedo and 'Shard want to improve on last year when they advanced to the second round - it won't be easy though.
Washington Wizards - They'll have to survive a good chunk of the season without Gilbert Arenas once again.
Atlanta Hawks - I almost put them behind Miami, but decided last season's playoff experience and a talented starting lineup put them over the top.
Miami Heat - Looking for big production from Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, Udonis Haslem and rookie Michael Beasley. They don't have much else.
Charlotte Bobcats - This division might be the toughest to predict because all the teams have legitimate hope for the playoffs on some level, but you don't see a single one of them as a Finals contender. It wouldn't be a shock to see the 'Cats have a decent year, at least by their standards; they've never won more than 33 games in a single season ... Uh, how about a J-Rich dunk with more crazy announcers?
New Orleans Hornets - One game away from the conference finals last season, they look to go even further this year.
San Antonio Spurs - Some people would like to see the end of their run, but they're still a contender for now. They need to stay afloat 'til Ginobili returns from injury, but don't count them out yet.
Dallas Mavericks - Things have really unraveled for them in the playoffs since '06, but they still have enough talent to return to the postseason.
Memphis Grizzlies - Simply building for the future with some unfortunately named youngsters - Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo.
Utah Jazz -Gunning for a third straight division title.
Portland Trail Blazers - A young team on the rise. Will they make the playoffs for the first time since 2003?
Denver Nuggets - They literally gave away Marcus Camby in a cost-cutting move. Could A.I. be next?
Minnesota Timberwolves - See Memphis Grizzlies, but a little bit better.
Oklahoma City Thunder - I promise this ranking is not based on bitterness over the move from Seattle.
LA Lakers - It's kind of scary to add a healthy Andrew Bynum to a Finals team and to have the luxury of bringing Lamar Odom off the bench.
Phoenix Suns - Similar to Dallas, it appears the window for winning a championship has closed, but they are still capable of a good season - by most teams' standards, anyway.
LA Clippers - Al Thornton should be a rising star and Baron Davis and Marcus Camby help cover for the exodus of long-time Clips Elton Brand and Corey Maggette.
Golden State Warriors - Along with LAC, this team had some of the highest volume of transactions in the past offseason, losing star Baron Davis, but nabbing Corey Maggette, Ronny Turiaf and Marcus Williams, drafting Anthony Randolph, and resigning Ellis, Biedrins and Azubuike.
Sacramento Kings - Hey, they have Kevin Martin, right?
West: (1) Lakers vs. (8) Trail Blazers
(2) Hornets vs. (7) Mavericks
(3) Rockets vs. (6) Suns
(4) Jazz vs. (5) Spurs
East: (1) Celtics vs. (8) Hawks
(2) Pistons vs. (7) Wizards
3) Cavaliers vs. (6) Raptors
4) Magic vs. (5) 76ers
West: (1) Lakers vs. (5) Spurs
(2) Hornets vs. (3) Rockets
East: (1) Celtics vs. (4) Magic
2) Pistons vs. (3) Cavs
Western Conference Finals: (1) Lakers vs. (2) Hornets
Eastern Conference Finals: (1) Celtics vs. (3) Cavs
NBA Finals: Lakers defeat Celtics
So there you go; I'm predicting a Finals rematch, only with the other team winning it this time.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
(And here's a funny link about Brown's penchant for going into unnecessary detail about a simple play.)
Monday, October 20, 2008
But since we're talking about football here, how about this example: you're told your team will win 16 games in a row, but not a 17th. How does that sound?
Most people would be cool with that, I think.
But some of the extreme BYU faithful seem to think the end of their longest-in-the-nation winning streak is the end of their
The point is, Cougar fans, to be grateful for the team's success. We all know you/we wanted more, but this team just isn't up there with the elite teams (Texas, Oklahoma, etc.). So take a time-out and consider how much the team has accomplished these past three seasons.
(AP Photos/Donna McWilliam)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Daily Wrap video
BYU student wins $20,000 on Regis and Kelly show
Nebo School District makes the grade
Organ recipient gets ATV from Make-A-Wish Foundation
Youth hockey team helps out special needs team
Utah County Sheriff Dept receives grant money to stop sex predators
Fall weather coming to Utah County
Springville High monument to honor alumni who lost their lives in battle Jolley's Ranch gets ready for winter with outdoor activities
Salem seeks fire and ambulance volunteers
Daily Wrap video
Salem library expanded, reopened with state certification
BYU study shows infants note difference between happy and sad music
But three years ago, Finley was a vet near his prime with several championship-contending teams lining up to sign him. Phoenix and Miami were able to offer more money, and likely more playing time, than the Spurs. What convinced him to sign with the Silver and Black? He thought it was his best shot at winning a ring - which he won in 2007 - and he liked the idea of being part of the Spurs' organization and team culture.
Two years later, Ime Udoka signed for about $1 million per year. Now that may sound like some serious scratch to you or me, but believe me, in the NBA, players coming off a season in which they started 75 games, played good defense and made 40% of their 3-point attempts generally earn much, much more.
But perhaps no one embodies the team's unselfish ways more than Manu Ginobili, an All-Star-caliber player who has won just about every major basketball tournament in the world and has garnered his share of individual accolades as well.
Alternating between go-to-guy and complementary player from game to game, Ginobili has accepted the role of coming off the Spurs' bench with open arms - in spite of being one of the team's stars (there will be much more on Ginobili later on in this countdown).
This is what Brent Barry (no longer with the Spurs) had to say about his then-teammate coming off the bench:
"We've gotten to the point in professional athletics where we just expect somebody to be upset with that role or automatically assume it's a demotion of some sort.
"Ultimately, I think that's what people assume it comes down to: saying you're in the starting five, as opposed to not being announced in arenas around the country. ... I don't know how much importance there is in that for guys on our team.
"He's a starter in a substitute's role. He's Clark Kent, then he checks in and gets his Superman cape on.''
Friday, October 3, 2008
Popovich told Sports Illustrated, "We try to spend as much time to bring people to the program who have, quote-unquote, gotten over themselves.'
The Spurs organization has been successful to the point that other franchises have modeled their style after them. It's no wonder the
Seattle Supersonics Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers have taken their current head coaches and GMs from San Antonio. Mike Brown and P.J. Carlesimo were assistant Spurs coaches directly before landing their current gigs, and Danny Ferry and Sam Presti were front-office executives.
And the culture/atmosphere created among the players? Let's just let James White tell you how it is (yes, this James White). And if you don't know White's history, he played a handful of games in the Spurs 2006-07 championship season, but never suited up in the playoffs that year.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Here's a promotional video for "Real Families, Real Answers."
Also on my first day of work, they had me do the Daily Wrap, a short video with descriptions of some of the day's top stories. Watch it here.
Since then, I've also been assigned some other stories, which were deemed interesting enough to put on the front page. One was about an upcoming expansion project for I-15, and another was about the Utah Flash (a minor league basketball team) owner planning to build a new basketball arena, hotel and residential units in Lehi, Utah. The project's architect is Frank Gehry, who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Experience Music Project in Seattle and more.
I actually had turned in my portfolio to apply for work at the Herald in May, but there weren't any openings, and it sounded like there wouldn't be for the foreseeable future. The boss said I could leave my portfolio there and if/when there was an opening they would have my contact info. I considered just picking up my stuff, but decided I would leave it for a while just in case something turned up.
Last month, I was contacted about an opening. After a pair of interviews and a little bit of waiting, I was offered the job, and that's where we stand now.
UPDATE: I'm adding links to more articles that I wrote during my first week at the job. I may just do a post every week or two listing what I've written. That would make it easier for people - including myself - to find the articles.
"Real Families, Real Answers" TV show
Daily Wrap video
30-year-old Utah Flash owner Brandt Andersen teams w/architect Frank Gehry in plans for large development ALSO: check out this TrueHoop article about Andersen, where he discusses taking his team to Iran
Plans for hiring new Utah Valley University president
Rowley's South Ridge Farm and Red Barn
APX Alarms employees volunteer for trip to Galveston to help Hurricane Ike survivors
I also contributed to this sad fatal car crash story
Sunday, September 21, 2008
3. He's Crazy. You'd have to be at least a little loco to do something like this, wouldn't you?
2. Attention. Some people are always starving for attention, no matter how much they are in the spotlight. Chad Johnson is the prototype center-of-attention wide receiver that has been so common in recent years (think T.O, Moss, et al).
1. He wants to stick it to the NFL. Mr.
In the latest AP and coaches' polls, the Cougars have moved up to No. 11 - their highest ranking since 2001. The last time BYU finished a season in the top 10 was their 1996 season (No. 5). This year, the biggest regular-season roadblocks during their Quest For Perfection should be road games against TCU (Oct. 16) and Utah (Nov. 22), both of which are undefeated and ranked nationally at the moment.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Patricia was shown recently on an episode of BYU Weekly. The department she works for, Global Service Desk, was spotlighted for one of the show's segments. I've had difficulty uploading the video directly to this post, but I have found a link you can use to watch the video. Just click either of the hyperlinks in the previous sentence. When the Web page appears, there will be a green area that says "stories" in the top right corner. From the list of stories, scroll up from the bottom and click on "Global Service Desk" (about 1/5 of the way up). Click on the video in the green "Feature Stories" section. Patricia shows up at about 1:04 of the vid. She also is in the background at 3:17 (with pink shirt, and white coat on chair).
Trish was on some BYU Television International commercial(s) that we haven't seen, but people have told her they saw her in the commercial(s).
Next up: the Twilight movie, to be released Nov. 21. I'm sure we'll be watching it not long after that date.
Friday, September 12, 2008
I say "might" because I may have something up my sleeve for another post if I can get some help.
So, without further ado, here are some of the memorable images of the athletes of the 2008 Beijing Games:
While the U.S. men's basketball team was seeking redemption for recent shortcomings in world competition, the women's squad was busy making its fourth straight undefeated run toward Olympic gold.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
The man won the Olympic gold medal in the 10,000 meters in 1964. A movie, "Running Brave," was made about him.
I won! I won! I won!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Also on the list...Lopez Lomong, Liu Xiang, Marta and more.
9th place: Australia - The Boomers gave Argentina and USA a run for their money in pre-Olympic play, but just to reach the quarterfinals, they'll need to finish pool play ahead of either Argentina, Russia, Lithuania or Croatia.
Gold Medal: USA - By no means is this a sure thing, and after dominating Olympic basketball for generations, the U.S. may never be a clear-cut favorite again. With that being said, they still have a good chance at the gold - it just won't be easy. Their players are trained for a different brand of basketball than what FIBA plays, and other countries' headlining players are more familiar with international basketball - and with their teammates (see this Kelly Dwyer column for more on the challenges the American team faces). However, if they dictate the tempo of their games, the Americans should stand at the top of the medals podium.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The "Woo Woo" comes from this video:
Plenty of remixes of this video were made, but I like this one that my buddy Brian sent to me. It's audio from Bubb Rubb and Li'l Sis matched up with Star Wars video.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Keep reading to see what I wrote. The story was also linked (along with a bunch of other things I wrote) in this post.
Many people at BYU have conflicting feelings when it comes to "the letter of the law" vs. "the spirit of the law." The sports media has been no different lately, shoving this very topic down our throats in recent days.
The reason? The suspensions handed out by the NBA after a hard foul by the San Antonio Spurs' Robert Horry.
Near the end of game 4 of the Spurs-Suns series, Horry hip-checked Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash into the scorer's table on the sideline. A minor melee ensued and, in the process, Suns players Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw left the bench area to either check on their teammate or to participate in a brawl. No sooner did they set foot on the court than one of their coaches pulled them back to the bench.
The coach was aware of an NBA rule that states that any player leaving "the immediate vicinity of their bench" receives a mandatory one-game suspension. The players are also aware of this rule and should be able to exercise enough judgment to avoid hurting their team by forcing the NBA's hand and suspending the players.
As you probably know, Horry was ejected from the game when the foul occurred and was later suspended for two games. Stoudemire and Diaw were suspended for game 5. According to the league rules, the suspensions were justified.
Now what you are reading was written by someone who has openly rooted for the Spurs. However, this is not the point.
If the NBA failed to suspend the players, all you-know-what would break lose. Pundits, reporters and fans alike would rip the league for not sticking to its guns and enforcing the rule that has been strictly upheld for more than a decade.
Granted, nobody wanted to see it play out this way. Teams want to be at full strength against their opponents. The opponents also want the other team to be at full strength so they feel they are beating the best that team has to offer. It's hard to get motivated for a shorthanded opponent.
Not only do both teams "lose" in this situation; the fans also lose. They want to see the best players on the court.
The only suggestion I could make would be for the league to slightly amend the rule, making it possible for some interpretation. As it now stands, the rule is hard and fast, and the league's figurative hands are tied. There really isn't much decision making in the process, just the application of a rule. If league officials meet this off-season, they can alter the rule so that players who do not escalate an altercation situation may go without suspension.
Yes, the Suns were the team hurt more by the suspensions. And yes, a Spurs player, Horry, was most at fault for the incident. But this is not unprecedented. You basketball diehards may remember in 1997 when the Heat's P.J. Brown body-slammed the Knicks' Charlie Ward. Several key Knicks players were suspended for leaving the bench. The Heat ended up coming back from a 3-1 deficit to win the series and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
So while the suspensions may not have been fair -- much less palatable to the average NBA fan -- they had to take place.
Maybe some rule bending will take care of this problem before next year's playoffs start.
UPDATE: This year NBA team owners had the option to discuss league rule changes; the owners, in effect, decided to uphold the rule requiring a one-game suspension for any player who leaves the vicinity of the bench during an altercation (as reported here).
Friday, July 11, 2008
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Hangin' out at the concert
In the video, Jordin sings "Tattoo" (the girl on the right side of the stage was
picked before the show to sing the song with Jordin randomly called up to the stage to sing with Jordin). Sparks closed the concert singing the hit, "No Air" (without her duet partner, Chris Brown). When she and the band were called out for an encore, Jordin sang "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder. During the concert, along with her own music, she also performed covers by Alicia Keys, Tracy Chapman and Pat Benatar. And some dude proposed to his girlfriend on the stage.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Not bad, eh? One thing: look at the breakdown by position. Is it just me, or does the team seem to be a little thin in the post? Only three big men? Granted, 'Melo is projected as the starting power forward, and LeBron may even see time at the 4 spot, allowing Boozer to get playing time at center, but don't we need more than 3 true post players? ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan pointed out the same thing here and here. What if one of the bigs gets injured? What about foul trouble? Will this doom the American side?
On the other hand, there probably isn't a team in the tournament that does not have a major issue confronting them. The following nine teams have already booked their tickets for Beijing: Angola, Argentina, Australia, China, Iran, Lithuania, Russia, Spain and USA.The latter four teams and Argentina could be in contention for medals. However, the Argentines may not even have their usual complement of stars at the Games; Manu Ginobili's presence is questionable because of an ongoing ankle problem. Pepe Sanchez, the team's starting point guard in several tournaments, and Walter Herrmann, a valuable reserve on the gold-medal winning 2004 Olympic squad, are reportedly retiring from the national team.
Spain, the 2006 World Champion, might have injury concerns as well. Starting power forward Jorge Garbajosa may be unable to play because of a leg injury. Lithuanian center Zydrunas Ilgauskas was denied permission by his NBA team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to play in the Olympics. The Cavs cited injury risk and insurance policy issues as reasons for the denial.