Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hey everyone. I am no longer contributing my efforts to this blog as I am now a writer for You can find me and many other gifted sports writers there. Also, go find their page on facebook and follow them on twitter @tornbysports. You can also still follow me on twitter @CheshSports.

Hope to see you over there soon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Why Change History?

During this intriquing time of Pre-NBA draft analysis, I've momentarily been shifted back to college football, particularly towards the rivalry between Brigham Young University (BYU) and the University of Utah. I posted this last fall and this the previous summer on the same topic. Why have I been re-shifted to it almost a year later? More talk from fans of  wanting to rid each University of their rival indefinately.

In 2010 the Holy War was decided
by a blocked field goal as time expired.

Looking back on my two previous posts, this rivalry has already been changed for the unforseeable future. The football game will no longer be at the end of the season. Often times it decided the conference champion and offered much excitement and intrigue. The Pac-12's scheduling won't allow for non-conference games to be played at the end of the season. (Yet the USC/Notre Dame rivalry continues to be scheduled as such. Explain that one Larry Scott!). Since BYU is now an independent football team, they handle their own scheduling and would love to have Utah on their schedule in November. Yet they can't control that. That all depends on Utah's contractural agreements with the Pac-12.

The most common request of change I'm hearing from some fans (mostly Ute fans), is the argument of dropping BYU completely and creating a brand new rivalry and that being with the University of Colorado (CU). That reason being because CU also left their conference to join the Pac-12. Also, the Pac-12's last week of the season is rivalry week. Every school in the conference is joined by a bitter and respected rival.

Sure some of them refer to the games with the CU from years ago, but lets be honest, what will it take to form the kind of alliance (or hatred, whatever serves you best) that merits a rivalry? Utah doesn't share a state with CU, nor do they compete in recruiting. A Utah fan won't go to a local restaurant or grocery store seeing the CU logo being flaunted casually all around them. Oh and they also have nothing to do with the founding of your school (Brigham Young founded the University of Utah). The vast majority of your fanbase can't remember the last time you played each other.

As time expired, Johnny
Harline caught the game
winning touchdown against
Utah in 2006.

Nothing can make up for what this rivalry has entailed. Since BYU and Utah joined the Mountain West Conference in 1999, their annual football game has been decided by single digits all but twice. It was like that much of the time prior to '99 when they were in the Western Athletic Conference for years. It always goes down to the wire. Blocked field goals, last minute interceptions, final plays as time expires, and final plays in overtime were just a few ways of how the game has been decided. There was even a game that finished 3-0. Fans and players are always spouting off their animosity to the other schoo. Everyone involved always looks forward to that game they call The Holy War, and what war it is.

Athletic directors of both schools, Chris Hill of Utah and Tom Holmoe of BYU, have both said in agreeance that they have every intention of playing each other every year. That animosity previously spoken of may just be ignorant words used as fuel to the animosity the Holy War contains and not genuinely intended as a suggestion. If so, good luck ridding yourself of a priceless history. You can't ask for an opponent like that. It takes many years to gain the credibilty of calling yourself a rival with another school. Doing away with one for no particular reason, wouldn't make much sense. Keep adding to the history. I and others whom I know personally continue to look forward to it. Let the war remain.

Monday, May 9, 2011


This time last year the Los Angeles Lakers were waltzing their way into the NBA Finals with ease. The only hang up was a first round seven game series with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ten games later they were awaiting their opponent. They'd eventually win their second straight title, squeaking past the Boston Celtics in seven games.

They were notoriously favored to be the NBA champs this season. Kobe'd get his long awaited and coveted sixth ring. Phil Jackson would boast his fourth three-peat. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, was picking anyone else. The folks in Dallas didn't care.

Mark Cuban would love nothing more for his
Mavericks to win an NBA title.

Last night Jason Terry, JJ Barea and Peja Stoyakavic were firing on all cylinders. So were some of the Lakers ... but not in a basketball sense. Ones true colors comes out when facing adversity. As much as anyone wants to hate on Kobe Bryant, he showed much class last night. Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom were ejected after serving cheap shots to Dirk Nowitzki and Barea. Bynum's was disgusting to watch. No champion will be throwing blows like that. The Lakers were swept in a playoff series for the first time since the Spurs did it in 1999.

Dallas finds itself back in the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2006. They've looked very impressive thus far in the playoffs. They seem to have weapons at every position and can get check marks in every spot in the box score. They're well balanced and rounded with ridiculous three-point shooting. Oh yeah and their starting small forward, Caron Butler, has been out with an injury since January. Guys like Stoyakavic, Terry and Barea have created fantastic insurance for Jason Kidd and Mr. Nowitzki. Tyson Chandler has been exceptional on defense and everyone is aware of what Shawn Marion can do. Though he used to be all-star caliber in Phoenix and early with Dallas, he's done very well accepting his role player job now.

Props to Mark Cuban and co. at structuring such a squad to put on that floor. Not many franchsies can do it. It's not easy. A lot of people like to hate on Cuban for his exceptionally odd behavior, but I respect the guy. If I was an owner of an NBA team, I'd do just what he does. Be a season ticket holder, yell at the referees in disagreeance etc ... I'd be fully invested much like he is. He's done so many good things for this franchise and now they look to make another appearance in the NBA Finals.

Dirk Nowitzki could be adding to his collection. The 2007
NBA MVP is looking for more hardware to collect.
In 2006 they were up two games on the Miami Heat. They ended up losing four straight and Dwyane Wade had his first Championship while Shaquille O'Neal had his fourth. Boy how sweet would a rematch with Miami be? Especially if LeBron got there and lost ... AGAIN. Both teams have to get through their own conferences first. Right now the Mavericks are the favorites to win the West. But if eighth seeded Memphis knocks out the Thunder, they'd have all the confidence in the world to reach the NBA Finals. So watch out.

But for now, Dirk has one thing in his sights as they prepare for their next opponent, and I'm sure the rest of the veteran-laden squad does as well. Jason Kidd has been there before with New Jersey ... yet unsuccesful. Stoyakavic has made runs in the playoffs as well back when Sacramento put a good team on their court. Look for Dallas to be hungry. 2011 may be the year of the Maverick. For a franchise who has taken a lot of heat (no pun intended) for being choke artists in the playoffs, an NBA title this year may shut everyone up. Especially after the way they dismantled the Lakers.

We will know in a matter of weeks.