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 2:05 p.m. MST

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No one is saying we are supposed to be 'satisfied' with an 8-5 season, but when you look at the investment of effort to enjoyment ration, we fans are zero contributors and massive beneficiaries. We are not in the weight rooms, not in the training rooms, we are not running endless gassers up and down the field. We are not investing blood sweat and tears in every practice, just so people on laptops or in front of the television can pontificate on what should have been. Of course the Offensive line could have been more effective, do you think anyone knows this more than they do? By the way some fans write, we just went 5-8 instead of 8-5. And anyone who thinks blow out losses is better than being competitive with top teams is just not bright.

I agree with the tone and tenor of the letter. I also agree that if all but a possible one or two people who might possibly be reading this column ran the football program at BYU, it would be dropped in about two seasons.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

"At least THAT team managed to win another bowl game"


For which THEY can thank the late-season matchups with various Bo Diddley Techs.

Gilmer, TX

Oatmeal, you said this: "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." The greatest wrath this fan ever had for a BYU coach was directed at Gary Crowton for recruiting thugs who nearly destroyed BYU football. Of course we want players who can be expected to obey the honor code. Overall, Bronco has recruited excellent young men. But I remind you that James Lark is also one of those young men and he was ignored until circumstances forced Bronco to start him in his last two collegiate games and only in those games. Bronco tantalizes fans with promises of "Pursuit of Excellence." Then he goes for two against Boise State when an extra point would have tied the game and sent it into overtime. I am 70 years old and a graduate of BYU and a true-blue BYU fan. I cannot be upset with fans who chose not to go to the bowl game and are critize the offensive side of coaching.

Gilmer, TX

My oldest son (a BYU grad and a sports fanatic) concluded after the victory over San Diego State on Dec. 21 that Bronco would rather win a game because of "his" defense than to have his offense put on a show. The evidence this year seems to agree with that assessment. But blame the BYU fans? Ridiculous! Bronco and Doman are responsible for this offensive mess. I think Bronco is a good man and a great defensive coordinator who needs to humble himself, admit mistakes, swallow his pride, and make whatever changes are necessary to get back to BYU offensive football, while retaining his really great defense. It is the fans who pay for the football program. At times Bronco seems to hold us in contempt. After losing to Boise State when the two-point attempt failed Bronco swears he would always do the same thing. That is stupid. Admit it was a mistake and learn from mistakes. We fans would like to see a more humble Bronco.

Ontario, OR

Big to-do about nothing. Certain fans will always have a lack of working brain cells and trying to call the shots about what coaches should do or should have done will always make them feel a little smarter and a little more important. The facts are easy to sort out-BYU struggled offensively and in a couple of games defensively, but over all the defense saved a respectable season. Whatever needs to be done offensively is the coach's and athletic director's responsibility. It's just like everyone else who has a job-do your job or find another one. I'm sure Mendenhall knows the problems and will take action to improve the offense, whatever it might be. If he doesn't, it's like any other job, no offense intended. BYU is a great program and will continue to be a great program despite some of the fans. So Mr. Anderson, I wouldn't really get too upset, it's just life, and the suspect parts of it, you are best advised to ignore-they won't go away.


I read Mr. Anderson's letter with mixed emotions, and yes, it brings up some fairly strong ones.

On one side I see the need to look deeper than just the end results when evaluating this BYU season, its players, and coaches. I understand these are people who are trying to do their best to put together a team that can be competitive at the top levels of college football. I share the passionate desire of coach Mendenhall to see a BYU football team compete for another national title and I believe he has done everything he can to recruit the players needed to do so. I also understand the difficulty inherent in the recruiting process at BYU. It isn't easy with missions and a strict honor code prohibiting many excellent athletes from attending BYU. There is no doubt in my mind, under coach Mendenhall, BYU has indeed improved its overall talent level. The entire athletic dept. deserves a pat on the back for its efforts to date.

Now for the other side. (See next post)


The word fan comes from the word fanatic. A fanatic is defined as a person who is overenthusiastic about a particular interest. It appears Mr. Anderson has a problem with people who fit that definition and wear their fanaticism on their sleeves at BYU games. Mr. Anderson reminds me of the many BYU fans I have sat behind, next to, or in front of, who are quick to shoot a glaring stare if anything other than praise for team is caught by their ever alert ears. These, spectators (I won't use the word fans because I don't believe they fit the definition) seem to be always grumpy and irritated by any disruption to what they deem to be proper and permissable conduct at an athletic event.

Criticism for the under-performance of this years BYU football team is warranted and absolutely fair. Yes, Mr. Anderson, fans are generally not as knowledgeable as coaches or players, but I too have played the game, coached the game, and officiated the game and many other fans have done the same.


There are many points in your letter Mr. Anderson that I can agree with, but your blanket attack on passionate fans who just want to see their team play to its potential is as unfair as the harsh criticism you claim comes from too many "fair weather" fans.

west jordan, ut

So what's the problem of expecting better?? Bronco himself stated that our only goal is to win a national championship. I like Bronco, he is a great coach for the BYU atmosphere. Does Mr. Anderson think that BYU is the only school who has fair weather fans? All schools expect the best and when it doesn't happen, coaches and players will come into question. That's just the way it is. Get over yourself. People just want to flap their mouths, so what, let them, they pay for their tickets just as much as you do and have the right to voice their opinions. It is just an opinion. I don't think Bronco or BYU makes their decisions based on fans opinions. Go BYU.


Kyle Gunther on KFAN had an interesting comment on his radio program a while back on BYU offensive linemen and their development and training. He said Matt Reynolds was told, by NFL scouts, his technique was terrible. I found that interesting in light of the poor performance of the offensive line.

That said, injuries certainly played a part in the poor line play and lack of consistency or cohesion in the O-line. But you can't ignore that comment by NFL scouts.


Respectfully I have to disagree with PGVikingDad. 3 years of sub-par outputs, low-class Bowl invites and poor performances against top-tier teams (including Utah), have worn thin on many of US who are loyal BYU fans. I like Bronco personally--and do not think of him as arrogant or ignorant, but as calm in the middle of a storm--however, I do question some of his recruiting, coaching hires, play-calling, starting player choices & game-decisions, and he should hold himself as accountable as he does others.

I also agree with the comment that truly loyal BYU fans, who are passionate about the schools ability to accomplish its mission, are also going to be critical when the objectives are not being met. Bronco did not start the season stating that he hoped to go 8-5 and win the Poinsetta Bowl; he, his coaching staff & players had MUCH HIGHER expectations of themselves. While some individuals exceeded expectations (Van Noy, Ansah, Taysom Hill), others fell well short (Nelson, Sorenson, Offensive Line, Coaches Mendenhall & Doman), and it's time for change before mediocrity sets in.

Mediocrity will only serve to diminish recruiting and deteriorate scheduling--and what loyal fan wants that!

Mission Viejo, CA

Every coach and every player are competitors who hate to lose. That is the nature of sports at the college and pro levels. These guys HATE to lose. I had a roommate who was a semi-pro football player. He broke things when his team lost. Nobody on that team is satisfied with the season we just had. None of the coaches are satisfied. I'm not sure any of them should be fired, and I'm positive that Bronco should NOT be fired. Statistically, he's the best coach BYU has ever had.

But I've been very critical of playing an injured Riley Nelson. I don't understand it. How could they overlook Lark? But coaches do this all the time. Nelson saved the season last year. He deserved the starts before he got injured. I understand the coaches' loyalty to Nelson. But Lark was overlooked, for whatever reason. He should have been started in the Utah game. But hindsight is 20/20 and past is past. Bronco is unlikely to make those mistakes again.

Washington, UT


"we fans are zero contributors and massive beneficiaries"

What reality does this comment come from? Who do you think makes a big time D1 football program possible? Tell this to the boosters who kick in big bucks every year or the folks who buy the season tickets or choose among many entertainment options to tune in Cougar football thereby inducing business to buy TV add time. Sure, they get to enjoy (suffer through in some cases) a game or a broadcast for a few hours each weekend, but "massive beneficiaries"?

On the other hand, the athletes receive scholarships valued at around a quarter million dollars a piece, a college education and recognition and connections worth untold dollars for later life. Coaches receive incomes that most of us can only dream about, so maybe a little criticism and second guessing isn't such a hardship when you consider that.

Phoenix, AZ

There was this guy at Basic Training who thought he knew everything there was to know about the Army because he was in JROTC. The guy was annoying. This letter has that same 'feel' by needing to qualify their position saying they have "Coached high School Football" and "I went to BYU and so did my dog". This person is the opposite of all the people who are crying for BC's firing. A letter to the letter writer: Let people have their opinion and if their comments are 'appalling' to you, then DON'T READ THEM. If they sit next to you at a game, tough, they paid for their ticket too. You don't like it, don't go...but then you couldn't qualify as 'bleeding blue' if you don't have season tickets, right?

Buena Park, CA

"Do we not think the coaching staff has these same goals for each and every season?"

Of course they do NOT have the same goals each and every season. They used to have the goal of a national championship -- now they have the goal of converting a near-elite program into an internship for an OC-wannabe.

What kind of OC does BYU need to win an NC? Let's benchmark that by looking at the OC when BYU did win it: Norm Chow. See the difference?

Does anyone truly believe that the road to a national championship runs through a young coach with NO experience as an OC? Has any other NC achieved that? If not, BYU's coaches' and AD's goal is not the same as before.

How did they explain that to the players they recruited on the NC goal?

How do they explain it to us fans?

This is not a matter of unlucky breaks among the O-line. It's a matter of bad decisions among the team's top leadership.

Mighty Mouse
Salt Lake City, Utah

How do you spell l-a-m-e? No one has been more vocal than Coach Mendenhal himself about the expecations for BYU football. I do not hear him making excuses for why his team has not lived up those expectations. Many of us agree with the coaches vision we're just not happy with his execution this past

Cougar Nation #1
Provo, UT

Dear SJ Anderson,

We can't settle for mediocrity. This season was a huge disappointment losing to utah, sj state, boise state and ND when having a simple change at starting QB would've fixed the problem. No way we lose those games with Lark or Hill at QB. That's four wins that we are suppose to not complain about? Really? You must be drinking the bronco/riley nelson/doman kool-aid. We have a right to criticize this year's team, especially the coaches for very poor decision-making that cost us at least 4 wins and the school millions of dollars as well as better exposure. SJ, you simply don't get it and blindly following the coaching staff's decisions without questioning them when they are dead wrong doesn't help the cause.


Fans are actually pretty smart. We show up to six home games every year, attend a few away games, and we consider ourselves pretty football savvy, unlike coaches who have the full time job of coaching the game and knowing their players skill levels and abilities. I too get tired and frustruated with the negative reaction from many fans as well. I believe we don't know how well we've had it. Remember the Crowton years? I am amazed at how well BYU does with a very liminted and narrow market from which to draw recruits. The academic standards eliminate many talented kids, it's a religious school, and the honor code is not for everyone, member or not. And yet our coaches do a terrific job in getting kids to come to BYU. When you O-line is decimated, QB's get hurt, passes are hurried, and running back performance is reduced. How is that Weber's fault? We score two points at Boise and Bronco is hailed a genius. Heaven forbid if we ever win a National Championship--we'd call for heads every year for anything less than perfection thereafter. We are truly spoiled.

pocatello, ID

Springville, UT
WAC (USU) paddled my Utes

Was it tough watching Arizona play in the New Mexico Bowl? I'm sure it was. LOL

Bitter and jealous U.


Yeah how about the New Mexico Bowl!

Here are the viewer ratings from some recent games.

Idaho Potato Bowl 2.8
New Mexico Bowl 2.6
Poinsettia Bowl 2.2

Lowest Poinsettia Bowl ratings since 2006.
So much for BYUs supposed growing national fan base.
More people were interested in watching Utah State than BYU.

Park City, UT

SJ: May I mention one piece you may have overlooked. Before the season began, Bronco himself made mention privately to many people about how special this team would likely be. I do not think he envisioned an 8-5 team, with the athletes he had for the 2012 season, and losing five games. Nor, do I believe this season's win/loss column even comes close to what his initial, as well as on going expectations were. I don't know if he quietly envisioned the possibility of going undefeated or not? The entire coaching staff knew they had assembled one of the very best group of athletes ever at BYU, I believe better than many past BYU teams that have lost 4 or 3 or 2 games during the season.
Granted, we played a tough schedule this year, and Bronco and the rest of the coaching staff knew that going in, because he knew what he had in this BYU team.
I believe every fan who is disappointed in the outcome of this season has a right to be. So allow the upset to occur. It is natural. But, watch our expressions always...

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