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Comments about ‘Letter to the editor: I'm appalled and embarrassed by the fair-weather fans at BYU’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 26 2012 2:10 p.m. MST

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panamadesnews
Lindon, UT

I concur wholeheartedly to Mr Anderson's commentary. We, as Fans, would do well to adopt that same philosophy. I look forward anxiously to next year's contests. BYU has a very difficult schedule and an 8 - 5 result would be a win - win situation. Any better than that would be frosting on the cake.

Brimmer
Wheatom, IL

I think Mr. Anderson makes a lot of good points. I support the idea that we owe loyalty to our alma mater. yet if we truly love an organization we also need to have the guts to give it a dispassionate examination. From the out side it appears that the offense at BYU has taken a tailspin the last couple of years. Bronco stepped in when his defense was being badly coached. He has to do something about the offense, or he is not doing his job as a head coach well. Brandon was a decent quarterback coach. Let's get a big name O coach or we may start losing the recruiting wars.

sammyg
Springville, UT

I soundly agree with this editorial piece.

I love being a BYU fan, through thick or thin, win or loss, I enjoy BYU sports...

... all of them.

And I support the coaches and those that make the decisions at BYU.

Period.

AttilaTheHun
Nephi, UT

Dear S.J. Anderson - well congratulations to you that you are so willing to accept a mediocre season. 8-5 with 5 blowout losses would have been preferable than seeing 4 of those losses being so close, and so readily winnable were it not for blind allegiances to an underperforming and injured QB, and poor coaching decisions. BYU fielded the best defense its ever had, and could have easily been 12-1 or 13-0. Being that close to what could have and should have been a magical season, and seeing it turn into something mediocre based solely on coaching decisions, was indeed very tough for us other "lifers" (you ain't the only one pal) to accept and watch. We're to be lectured for having higher performance standards than you? For expecting more from our team than you? Take the sanctimony elsewhere. We love BYU. Enough to get upset at poor performance and totally avoidable mediocrity.

Sjense90
SANDY, UT

Being critical cannot necessarily be misconstrued as being a fair-weather fan. I agree that many disgruntled fans calling for the collective canning of Mendenhall are out of line.

However, I think we have every right to be critical of an 8-5 record. No matter how many ways you paint it, the injured play of Riley in both the Utah and Boise State games was incontrovertibly a mistake by Coach Mendenhall. Other close losses can be directly attributed to Nelson turnovers (points for the other team) all year. I’m not sure what the solution is, I won’t go as far as to call for heads. But I have every right to be critical of 8-5 when 4 of the 5 losses were decided by less than a touchdown. This team proved they were talented enough to play with some of the best in the country. Wasted potential, poor coaching, and bad decisions were the difference leaving us wondering what might have been. Honest evaluation of this team and its coaching staff, and higher expectations of performance based on what we all know they could have achieved in no way makes us fair-weather fans.

antiphonus
Oxford, Oxon

Same familiar fan's screed, different target. While some fans express their discouragement with the coaching staff or certain decisions they've made this year (I won't rehearse the complaints here; Mr Harmon and others do a good job summarizing the discontent), Mr Anderson has decided to turn his withering criticism on the BYU fan base itself.

The fact is that Mendenhall widely advertises the standards and accountability he expects from his players and staff. Two years ago, he sacked his defensive coordinator mid-season (also a non-Mormon; also a good man and good Christian according to many accounts -- though these attributes were questioned within and beyond the program in the aftermath of his firing). That was also a winning season with a bowl victory, so clearly a precedent was set: Mendenhall will call his coaches on the carpet for consistent underachievement. Harmon clearly isn't out of line for urging the HC to be consistent: He should hold his offensive staff to the same rigorous standard he employs with his defensive team. Holmoe and Bronco have both indicated that changes will be made; are they wrong, Anderson?

antiphonus
Oxford, Oxon

By the way, "sustain"? Aren't you mixing discourses there, Anderson?

loveless
center valley, pa

I don't understand this letter in one aspect. We as fans are expecting too much? Seriously? Is it too much to expect a BYU football team to score one touchdown in a bowl game? Is it too much to expect a BYU football team to make an extra point or field goal to beat Boise State and Utah (heck, BYU was given TWO field goal attempts to beat Utah!!) Let's face it, BYU fans are incredibly patient and tolerant of pathetic and disapointing play. What would be nice is to be able to see BYU score a touchdown!! I don't think that is being critical, hostile, mean, nasty, or otherwise making me unworthy! I think it means that there are some issues that Bronco needs to address with the offensive side of his football team.

Good grief, get real!!

Cougarista
Salt Lake City, UT

At the Poinsettia Bowl a "loyal" BYU fan behind me was so obnoxious in his criticism of the coaching staff that I thought he was an SDSU fan. He had lost perspective, it's only a game.

Oatmeal
Woods Cross, UT

Attila the Hun:

It is very easy to have high performance standards for others. Perhaps critical fans should have high performance standards for themselves? Here are some possibilities:

1. Few fans have coached college football. They lack the expertise and experience to assess coaches or programs. So perhaps they should leave it up to "those who know" to assess BYU's situation.

2. College teams are made up of student-athletes, not professionals. They are amateurs, they play for the love of the game. BYU's teams are made up of outstanding student-athletes willing to live by the honor code. Few make the grade. They deserve the respect of everyone who abides by that code or a similar code. Fans should keep that in mind when being critical of or upset at a player.

3. BYU's coaches are skilled professionals willing to work within the constraints of the honor code. They face the wrath of fans for enforcing that code and recruiting players willing to abide by that code.

4. Real fans don't drag their team or coach through the mud in public. Many BYU fans do exactly that. They make it harder to recruit quality personnel for BYU's programs.

Ds Red Dragon
layton, UT

I have always been a fan of both BYU and Utah, until Bronco came to BYU. He is arrogant, and self-centered, and I don;t think he is good for BYU. My personal opinion.

The way Bronco has handled the QB situation the past three years is reason enough for his dismissal. It has been absolutely ludicrous. His infatuation with Riley Nelson has turned him from a coach who has gotten results, to a mediocre coach who has destroyed his program.
He should go.

Oatmeal
Woods Cross, UT

Attila the Hun:

I wonder about those who think it is better to get beat to bits five times than to have five bloody noses. I suspect that such individuals fail to acknowledge the true purpose of sport, which would include the development of character and the growth gained from striving against the best.

I saw no poor performance by the Cougars, nor even a hint of mediocrity.

Uncle Rico
Provo, UT

Maybe BYU fans wouldn't be upset if the coaches were realistic.

Quest for Perfection. Then coaches are saying they'll win the national title.

Coaches completely change offense for an option style offense, which BYU is not set up to run. Coaches need to take some responsibility. (They are making big money)

AttilaTheHun
Nephi, UT

Oatmeal - 8-5 when BYU so easily could have and should have been 12-1 (and possibly 13-0) but for the reasons I already outlined is beyond frustrating, and fans like me (I've been attending since 1989 as a teenager, and waking up at 2-5 AM in Europe to watch games overseas for the better part of the past decade) have every right to expect more than what was delivered this year. It has nothing to do with whether or not I've ever coached. I don't need to have previously coached to know that when your limping starting quarterback is overshooting or undershooting all his receivers with wobbly ducks and blowing gimme TD's in close games to national powerhouses because of it, and you fail to pull him for guys that can (and did) deliver later, those are coaching errors. It has NOTHING to do with the character and development of the personnel on the field, and to suggest that healthy criticism of poor coaching performance stains players' character is a repugnant, straw man argument that I didn't make.

Ben H
Clearfield, UT

The writer of this letter just does not get it. It's not the final 8-5 record that is frustrating fans at all. It's the fact that 4 of the 5 games were lost by a single score. Of those 4 games, mistakes that good teams do not make were the difference. The botched snap vs Utah. The pick-6 at Boise State. The missed pass against Notre Dame. And any of the 4 drives inside of San Jose State's 30 yard line. Good teams do not lose games the way that BYU lost games this season. Had BYU's offense played cleanly, another 11-win season would be in the books.

The bowl game would have been a loss if it were not for the defensive plays in the 4th quarter. BYU's offense was just not good enough to otherwise win the game.

I would be happy with an 8-5 season if that was this team's potential. But that was not the case this year.

Kyle loves BYU/Jazz
Provo, UT

I knew Andersen had a personal relationship with Weber long before he wrote it in this piece. It just had that flavor right from the start. I'm not saying he didn't bring up good points but it certainly makes you question what motive the person has in writing this letter when he has never written a letter to an editor before.

Don't blame the fans if Weber gets let go. It's not our decision. I sincerely hope that Bronco can figure things out and put a much improved offense on the field without forcing anyone out of a job they want. I don't think BYU fans are fair weather fans either. We wouldn't be so passionate about fixing the horrible offense if we didn't care.

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

Br Anderson - amen, and Merry Christmas.

To many of my brethren, constructive criticism, by definition would be constructive. Haven't seen much of that. And the arrogance, or ignorance, of suggesting that those who have not rallied with torch and pitchfork have somehow become complacent with mediocrity is not even worthy of debate.

That's all. Happy New Year and I can't wait for all news BYU football!

PGVikingDad
Pleasant Grove, UT

Absolutely spot-on. As a BYU grad and former BYU athlete, it pains me to see how quickly our fans turn on every coach or administrator (or athlete!) not currently associated with a spotless season. We were a few stops and drops from a magical season, and still many call for heads to roll. It's pathetic and frustrating.

BigCougFan
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I can't help but agree with the writer. Too many of the vocal fans think way too much of themselves to be taken seriously. They remind me of Utah fans. lol

Duckhunter
Highland, UT

I'm in the middle on this. I haven't called for anyones job and am not planning to, I don't think we've reached that point, but I am critical of many of the things that occured over the last 3 years. It is obvious that the last 2 years in particular have been extremely poor offensively, you don't have to be a coach to see it Anderson, and yes there is blame for that. Is it all the line and coach Weber? No. Is it all Riley and Doman? No. But all of them share in the blame because they are the ones that are responsible for putting a decent offense on the field and they did not do it.

Nothing "fair weather" about that Mr. Anderson, frankly people voicing concern about it are the opposite of "fair weather", they actually care. "Fair weather" is what you get at utah where no one shows up at the hc after a couple of down years. Those are "fair weather" "fans".

Pack your sanctimony away, voice your support for the coaches if that is how you feel but realize that there are plenty of REAL fans that disagree with you.

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