Friday, February 11, 2011

Jimmer and Jerry: Clearing the Air

I am writing this post with no time for writing, but I must speak my mind.

First, the issue of J-Freddette.
I write this knowing that none of you reading this would ever question my allegiance to BYU. You would truly be hard-pressed to find a bigger BYU fan, despite my thoughts about Bronco, BYU football, and some other "critical" remarks I may have made in the past. With that being said...

Jimmer-mania is detrimental to the team's progress towards the tournament.

How good is Jimmer? I would submit he is the best player since Danny Ainge to don a BYU jersey, perhaps better. I can't BELIEVE how good he is. It is unreal how good he is. But how can increased publicity and fan-atacism over him be positive? Here is a pro's and con's list about Jimmer-mania (fueled, largely, by a fan base that didn't know a single thing about college basketball before they heard the name Jimmer and therefore didn't know what they were actually doing):

1 - Jimmer Fredette lives up to the hype, takes us all the way to the Final Four, and becomes more than a legend.
2 - Provo re-names University Ave. "Jimmer Jammer Boulevard".

1 - Since when has any player not named Michael Jordan lived up to his hype? Jimmer-mania creates an inflated ego in Jimmer, and he fails in the eyes of many to live up to unreachable expectations.
2 - Jimmer's "team" decides it truly is a one-man show, and fail to even put their jerseys on come March.
3 - Defenses get so sick of Jimmer-mania, they set out to defeat him (this CAN be done, as evidenced against Kansas St. last year).
4 - BYU loses in the first round.

Granted, some of those things will hopefully never happen, and Jimmer may carry us anyways. I guess my point is to exercise a bit of caution until April. Let's get to the Sweet 16 before putting his face on our desktop. So far, he has done NOTHING for BYU, save win us 1 tournament game against Florida in 2ot. March is where heroes are made - the regular season is still just regular. So let's all cool it until then, hopefully aiding him in the process (after all, winning is a lot harder when you are supposed to win).

Issue #2: Jerry Sloan

I called Ippy yesterday to inform him of the startling news, and we just sat there in stunned silence. I felt like I had just been told someone had died. Literally. The press conference felt like a funeral. Sloan. I have never known another coach. He is the voice of stability, of grit, of heart, and of giving your best.


Let's face it. By the numbers, the Jazz suck. SUCK. Nearly last in the league in Defense, one of Sloan's calling cards. Offensive efficiency has plummeted. We can't hit a 3-pointer if our lives depended on it. And D-Will is upset.

So what do you do? Do you let Sloan keep coaching until the year is over, then dump him and hope D-Will hasn't already bought a home in NY?

I think we made the right decision. There was an obvious disconnect between coach and players, and at this point, I choose players. I know not everyone agrees with this, but consider this. Jerry had maybe one or two more years in him, tops. We were due for a change anyways. True, it was a bit unceremonious, but man alive, how unceremonious would it be to exit after an ugly season? We would just have kept tumbling down the standings.

In conclusion, I see two possible scenarios:

1 - Utah sucks the rest of the season, just like they did before, only worse now. The world sees that D-Will is overrated, that it is ok in Utah to not like him, and to trade him. We start over from scratch next season (and I go into hibernation until we make the playoffs again - this could be UGLY).

2 - Utah starts to win again. Ty Corbin allows D-Will to act as a bit of a player-coach (like LBJ) and run things (literally running hopefully), and we cruise into the top 4 in the West. We make a respectable playoffs run, and everyone decides that D-Will is unbelievably good. At that point, we all decide it was a great idea to let Sloan go.

There you have it. I don't see it playing out any other way. Either we Cruise or we Lose. But I would say, in ANY situation, you choose players over coach. Time will tell if I am right or not.

Needless to say, maybe they will mic up Ty Corbin for ESPN games (considering he doesn't swear as much as Jerry) instead of Odom.


  1. I agree with you on the Sloan issue. I think the Jazz really did need a change. However, I think that the coaching issue was just one of the many issues they were having. They need another scorer. Fesenko can not take the load by himself. But for reals they need to trade for a guy like jr smith or some other guy that can shoot. CJ miles sucks. Anyways those are my thoughts. As long as the Jazz do not have a consistent shooter do not expect them to go anywhere.

  2. Jimmer: I agree. Seeing him on ESPN every night is both encouraging and disconcerting. I've thought this for a long time. While I love seeing BYU get the national attention, I think it might be better for them to just fly under the radar until the tourney (like Butler last year, or even Davidson when they had Steph Curry). Let's be honest: There is a TON of hype surrounding Jimmer. Even here in Oregon it is impossible to have a conversation about college basketball without mentioning him--even if whoever I'm talking to doesn't know I went to BYU. I was at the OR v. Washington game last week and someone hit a deep three. Some kid sitting in front of me turned to him friend and screamed: "He's showing Jimmer range!" While it's great that they are getting respect and attention nationally, all that I really care about is how they play when the madness has come.

    Jerry: I still don't know what to think. I'm confused/hurt/optimistic/skeptical/understanding all at the same time. It might take a few weeks for me to sort through this one and formulate an opinion. Of course, by waiting: as the jazz go, so my opinion goes.

  3. I think that nobody knows how to act because Jerry's gone. Melancholy. We are all confused and want to point fingers at whoever. I think the only people who really knows why he left right now are Jerry, Phil, Kevin, Randy, & Greg. Jazz just need to win bottom line before D Will gets too pissed and wants to leave.

  4. Having never been a Jazz fan, I'll respectfully abstain from the Sloan discussion.

    But a few thoughts on Jimmer. I think the hype is kind of a two-edged sword.
    I think up to a point, it can heighten a team's confidence and competitiveness. At a school like BYU, I imagine it's a boost for players to know that they'll have an energized fan base at home, as well as respect on the road because of Jimmer.
    Obviously, however, when the hype gets loud enough and goes on for long enough, you get the kind of ego and teamwork issues that Hess mentions.
    Ultimately, though, the debate over the Jimmer-hype might be moot, for the simple reason that you can't really stop it. He is amazing, and we're not talking about a Duke or a Kentucky, where fans feel right at home in the elite eight. At BYU, the possibility of a deep run in March is just plain exciting.
    I think the real question will be about Jimmer's mental toughness - can he use the hype to boost his performance, but shut it out when it might distract him?

  5. I'm a Jazz fan by normal standards, but seeing the list on this page, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to comment. I will venture to say that I'm pretty excited at this point for the Jazz. Yeah, D-Will is gone (it seems your two scenarios are were right on the money), but maybe the bad news about D-Will had already started a while back, when he wasn't really feeling good on the team. At this point we have some draft picks...

    I can't agree more with your run-down of the Pros and Cons about Jimmer-mania. It can't be that great for the guy.