Stop right there

It's hard not to sympathize with Utah defensive coordinator Gary Andersen.

When it comes to playing BYU, no matter what he decides, it turns out wrong.

Andersen ordered a prevent defense last year, which allowed John Beck to throw the game-winning touchdown with time expired. This year, Andersen delivered a veritable Whitman's Sampler of schemes on the last drive, yet BYU scored the winning touchdown with 38 seconds remaining, anyway.

But Andersen hasn't given up yet.

Sources say he plans next year to post a traffic sign on the 40-yard line that says, "Road Closed. No Through Traffic" and hope for the best.

Do the right thing

BYU receiver Austin Collie deserves some leeway for insinuating a higher power directed the Cougars' 17-10 win over Utah on Saturday.

It was a heat-of-the-moment kind of thing. And it may have come out differently than he intended.

Still ...

"When you're doing what's right, on and off the field, the Lord steps in and plays a part," he told KFAN's Pat Kinahan.

That may have made sense to Collie, but it doesn't really explain the 50 years of losing football the Cougars played in Provo before LaVell Edwards arrived. Nor would it explain what happened to the 27 LDS returned missionaries — as well as those of other faiths — on Utah's team who might have been trying to do what's right, too.

Maybe everyone should stick to this rule of thumb: Just play football and let God take the day off.

Defining moments

Just when you think the Utah-BYU rivalry produces over-the-top stuff, consider this remark a couple of weeks ago by Alabama coach Nick Saban after a loss to Louisiana-Monroe: "Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event. It may be 9/11, which sort of changed the spirit of America relative to catastrophic events. Pearl Harbor kind of got us ready for World War II, or whatever, and that was a catastrophic event."

Good point.

Everyone knows how that 1982 Chaminade win over Virginia changed the nation in a deep and meaningful way, don't they?

America the beautiful

In an effort to galvanize national pride, a coast-to-coast "rally towel-wave" is being planned for next Independence Day.

Chosen to lead the celebration: Hulk Hogan.

Which is a great idea.

Honestly, what better way to demonstrate what hard-working, everyday Americans are about than a millionaire wrestler leading a giant wave?

Squeaky clean

In light of the fact steroid cheater Marion Jones has relinquished her 100-meter gold medal from the 2000 Olympics, what are IOC officials to do? Second-place finisher Katerina Thanou of Greece was entangled in a performance-enhancing drug scandal of her own in 2004.

Just a suggestion: How about giving the medal to Mary Lou Retton and calling it good?

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