In general, I think we'd be better off with a separation of church and
football… but, that was an interesting Q&A.
Let's see, it was a Thursday night fireside with a football team and people
are bothered that a football question or two were asked? Why?
"well informed",My understanding is that, yes, they do take place
in the chapel. Whether answering a fireside question about conference
realignment is inappropriate, I suppose it depends on who you ask. I have heard
LDS members on several occasions say something against BYU in Sunday meetings
since I have moved to the Salt Lake Valley. I don't think sports has a
place at the pulpit from any side if the purpose is to show disdain for others.
In this case, the article clearly states that Mendenhall was taken
by surprise in the change of format. Of course, Bronco could have said, "I
know we said you can ask us questions, but we will have to address that outside
of the chapel." Knowing Bronco, though, I wouldn't be surprised if he
chooses to say there will be no "surprises" in the format going forward.
A lot of effort is put into these to be used as a tool to bring people closer
to the Gospel, whether already members or not. I'm sure you are well
informed about Kyle Van Noy; he would not be where he is today if not for these
I'm assuming the firesides take place at an LDS chapel or somewhere in the
church building. I think it's interesting that conference realignment
would be talked about at the pulpit. And yes I am a member of the church.
Hoosier87:It's been an amazing missionary tools for years, with far
wider reach than most realize. I was on my mission in Japan shortly after BYU
won the national championship. My companion and I rode our bikes past a
university where some guys were playing American football. As we did, I saw one
of them looking at us and, in Japanese, said something about BYU. I was amazed,
but realized after reflection that news of BYU's championship must have
been reached American football aficionados there as well, and they made the
connection to the missionaries. A couple of months before that, I
was serving on a small island between Okinawa and Taiwan and saw through the
window of a house we were approaching what appeared to be BYU playing Michigan
in the Holiday Bowl. We knocked on the door, my Japanese senior companion
explained I had gone to the university being represented in the game, and they
invited us in to sit and enjoy it with them--talk about the tender mercies of
the Lord for a die-hard fan who was overseas while BYU was ranked #1. Yes, it
has been a missionary tool for a long time.
I've watched BYU football since the '60's. I've never really
understood the mission of the program as clearly as I did Thursday night. It was
such an amazing thing to see these young men without the helmets and pads
talking about who they are. I've done a lot of work with youth in education
and career development over the years and find so many good things in young
people of all countries and walks of life, and appreciate what BYU is trying to
do to develop the whole character of these young people. I
can't understand anyone "hating" these kids or what they represent.
It may not be your school or your flavor of football, but "Hate" should
be outside the thinking of anyone with respect to our youth, no matter who they
represent.I particularly cannot understand (and never have
understood) the "hatred" some members of our own Church express towards
BYU and these players. We can make up our reasons and excuses, but in the end,
hatred is wrong.
Let the criticism and hate begin. But this is why I cheer for BYU, win or lose.
@robinYour bitter hate causes you to miss what really occurs because
of these firesides. It isn't about how many baptism's, if any, come
from them. There are two purposes to these. One is to allow the
member's of the team the experience of sharing their spiritual identities
with others and by doing that allowing their own testimonies to grow as well as
affect those in the audience spiritually.The second is to show that
there is more to these guys than just football, and there is more to the BYU
program than just football. It is for the edification of all those that attend,
presenters and audience.If a baptism occurs in part because of one
of these firesides then so much the better but I highly doubt that is the
purpose. Maybe you don't understand this but Missionary work is
about more than just baptisms, it is also about exposing the beliefs and
inherent goodness of the gospel to the masses whether they join the church or
not. Goodwill is a good thing.You could use a lesson in that
There was a time that men played the game to learn character. It became a part
of life's lesson. Sportsmanship, teamwork, dedication were not just
buzzwords but part of the game. Maybe BYU does a good job at doing this - maybe
they don't - but it seems like they want to.I know other
coaches seem to care about this - For example Coach Strong in Texas appears to.
But these men are fading and becoming lost to the demands of fools. Winning is important - and one should hate the concept of lose, it is a
deplorable habit, but winning has seemed to have risen to become the only goal.
The fact is these young men stood up before a crowd and presented
themselves with dignity - we should all be impressed with any young man on any
team that does so.As for Spencer Hadley - I know this young man and
he is a good person - but I guess Eight Oh One has no sins so is allowed to cast
the first stones.
@Brave Sir Robin- Actually you are correct for once. I attended the
one in San Diego at the Poinsettia Bowl. I talked to a number of investigators
who were very impressed with the spiritual strength of the team and the
individual speakers and they stated they were looking forward to their own
baptisms. Rather than thinking in terms of it being foolishness please stop in
next time a fireside is held and see for your self what people trying to be more
looks like and learn that snide remarks only cast you in the light of one who
judges a matter before he hears it.And EightOhOne:Spencer
Hadley graduated, he made the first cut in the NFL as a walk on and he has
learned valuable lessons about following rules and instructions, remorse and
repentance, and how to do better than repeatedly drag someone else through the
mud which you seem to still be standing knee deep in. But then you knew that,
Now if the Cougar players could reign in their emotions that cause them to
commit so many personal fouls on the field...win a few more games. Playing to
win means playing under control, no committing costly mistakes... 14 penalties
for 140 yards! Unacceptable.
I have been to one of the firesides, and it was great. Packed to the gills.
Anyone who STILL wants to mock them is showing something is missing in them.I agree that it would be great if BYUtv were to broadcast them. How do
we make that happen?
Great article. Yes there is more to life than football. I applaud Coach
Mendenhall for staying true to his/university core values. These young men are
making a difference. I wish the same could be said for all college athletes.
@Hoosier97Yep. People line up to get baptized after watching BYU
I have attended a few of the Firesides and think it would be awesome if they
could be broadcast on BYUtv.
These firesides are one of the coolest things the BYU football team does. These
are neat experiences for anyone participating and will be cherished memories for
Wow, who knew that the best way to get the inside scoop about what's going
on in the BYU football program would be to go to a fireside? Lots of great
stuff here, I especially liked hearing Bronco's take on "the missionary
Gotta beat Chris B to the punch...I love hearing things like this.
Nice job Coach Mendenhall and team. Makes me very proud to support the
Cougars.I know some of you don't like to hear it - but BYU
sports is becoming an amazing missionary tool for the church - has been for a
long time in fact. With the exposure of BYU football, more people than ever are
becoming aware of the church. So mission accomplished!Chris B and
other Utes - turn on ESPN today and watch, after a few weeks you'll bleed