College basketball has started (they say)

  There is a movement afoot to shift college basketball back a month. In other words, until fans are ready to watch it. Good idea. November games might figure in some in the NCAA Tournament seedings, via strength of schedule, but really. Utah lost to Miami but does it really matter? No. 10 Gonzaga lost to No. 25 Texas A&M. No. 20 Wichita State lost to USC. No. … Continue reading»

Warriors, Thunder: Talent takes the cake

  “You gotta have the players,” former Jazz coach Tom Nissalke was telling me a few years ago at lunch. “You’re not gonna win without the players.” His point was that while a coach might be able to mess up a talented team, a no-talent team isn’t going far. This was on my mind this week for two reasons. First, was the Jazz’s 111-89 loss to Oklahoma City … Continue reading»

Nick Saban’s mixed message

It’s always nice to be reminded that Nick Saban can say whatever he wants. He’s the coach at Alabama, maybe the best coach in America. Last week he condescended to remind media that Charleston Southern is not a pushover. (WARNING, MILD EXPLETIVES IN VIDEO.) Even though it lost 44-16 to Troy. Which lost to Idaho. (In fairness, Charleston Southern has won eight games since.) Saban took the opportunity … Continue reading»

My sports TV time with incomparable Randy Horiuchi

  In January 1995, I was asked by KJZZ television personality Dave Blackwell if I would be willing to do a weekly sports show with him. The name of the show was “Fair Game with Dave Blackwell.” I was a regular on the show. As I recall, it only lasted 14 weeks. Blackwell always said the show — which was taped — was moved around and preempted so … Continue reading»

Jonah Lomu: an opportunity missed

With sadness I saw the news today of the unexpected death of “All Blacks” rugby star Jonah Lomu. I was particularly caught by surprise because I was lined up to interview him last summer. I got some e-mails from a representative who said Lomu would be in Salt Lake in August to explore the possibility of a rugby academy. But shortly after I got a note saying the … Continue reading»

Politics and sports will always mingle

Last week when Missouri football players said they would boycott the game against BYU unless the school president resigned – which he did — it reminded me how closely sports and political/societal events are intertwined. Exactly how the football game ended up in jeopardy is complicated. Players and other students felt racial occurrences on campus hadn’t properly been addressed by university president Tim Wolfe.   It may have … Continue reading»

Norm Chow never had a chance

Norm Chow, the former Utah and BYU assistant coach, was fired this week as head coach at Hawaii. His 10-36 overall record – and more specifically his 4-25 conference mark – weren’t enough. He didn’t get his first head coaching position until he was 65. Now at 69, it’s hard to imagine him wanting to continue elsewhere. If he does, it will be as an assistant – a … Continue reading»

Expecting Steve Smith to come back

The Utes had just defeated San Diego State in a 1999 game, largely on the efforts of Steve Smith. He totaled 131 yards on receptions, including one in which he picked up a fumbled ball by a teammate and carried it the last 28 yards for a score. After the game, he said, “I just luuuuv football. Life is short. Take chances.”   Smith, now with the Baltimore … Continue reading»

The Flip Saunders I knew from a distance

I didn’t know Flip Saunders, the Minnesota Timberwolves coach who passed away this week. Which is why I’m writing about him. It tells you much about a person you don’t personally know, who treats you otherwise. I have been in on a number of interviews with him over the years, but never for extended periods. I’m sure he didn’t know my name. I always found him to be … Continue reading»

It’s all about the uniforms, says Ute player

In many cases, college football uniforms these days are hideous. Ohio State in black? Tennessee in gray? Notre Dame with a leprechaun on the helmet? And Maryland? Cover your eyes.   They are all indicative of how recruits think these days. Talking to Utah’s Tevin Carter about the different uniform combinations teams have nowadays, I said, “Do uniforms really matter that much?”         “Of course they do,” he … Continue reading»