Vai's View: Football, missions and ties that bind

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  • TheHailstorm South Weber, UT
    July 11, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    Always good to get a Sunday School lesson from Vai on the sports page.
    Anyway, Harvey you have my best wishes on and off of the field.
    Good luck and success in your calling.

    July 9, 2012 8:41 p.m.

    I am not LDS but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. Most of the posters, excluding Tom in CA, had some very good comments. Seem like many LDS kids can be a good fit at schools outside of Provo. It's too bad some people don't get that concept.

  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    Good for Harvey. I hope he has a great mission and returns with many memorable experiences.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    July 8, 2012 9:41 p.m.

    I think it is sort of silly how much people bring up BYU and the U of U in these things. Harvey is not serving a mission for either one of these schools, as far as I know. There should be no discussion as to which football team is more skilled. It's not about that. Vai seems to get that here. Anyway. A very pleasing decision from Harvey.

  • CandaceSalima Orem, UT
    July 8, 2012 3:06 p.m.

    Vai, this is a wonderful article about Harvey. It is my prayer that he is the great example we all know he can be. He's made the right decision, Alvin and I are very proud of him.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum Dallas, TX
    July 8, 2012 8:10 a.m.

    Vai is a fine writer, and was a very good football player as well. I have always enjoyed his efforts in both fields!!!

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    July 7, 2012 7:26 p.m.

    Another Home Run Vai! Thanks for sharing this story.

    I am so proud of Harvey for making this decision. I love Coach Whit and his example to the young men on his team

    Go Utes....Go Cougs.

  • beefstew Taylorsville, UT
    July 7, 2012 3:18 p.m.

    Inspirational Story. Makes Me Pleased To Be A Ute! Vai is a class act. Harvey will be missed but he's making a decision that will pay off huge dividends in all facets of his life.

  • Digbads South Jordan, UT
    July 7, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    I'm so grateful for the positive influence that Coach Whittingham has brought to the University of Utah football program. It is a far cry from where things were when I was a student there in '81.

  • Sikeli Herriman, UT
    July 7, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    I was fortunate to teach Harvey for 8th and 9th grade. Out of all of my students, he had the greatest work ethic. Everything he does in with 100% of his energy and heart. He will be a great missionary. I told him that he would go pro one day. I have never thought that of any other of my previous 2000+ students. Best wishes, Harvey! YOU ROCK!!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 7, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    Glad Harvey has grown up and given up those childhood vices that were a problem for him during his high school (remember the drug test?) years. It proves that the atonement applies to all of us and that anyone can change their lives. Good for him. He will make a great missionary.

  • Joey K Sandy, UT
    July 7, 2012 6:29 a.m.

    Great Article,
    Harvey is a fantastic kid who has made a very tough yet wise decision. I was disappointed that when he chose Utah over BYU some people said it was because he wasn't a good fit for BYU's rigorous honor code and couldn't live BYU's higher moral standards. It is good to see Harvey prove those people wrong.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    July 6, 2012 10:56 p.m.

    Having players best interest in mind by a coach is a good thing regardless of where it takes place. It's like tithing maybe, the benefits come elsewhere.

  • catram North Las Vegas, NV
    July 6, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    As a former bishop I'm excited this young man will serve. As a BYU fan I can't stand another article from Vai having anything to do with Utah. Come on Vai, dig deep. Find something good to say about where Mendenhall has taken the program. I dare you to.

    July 6, 2012 9:34 p.m.

    My favorite thing I've ever heard Coach Whit say: "Win every day in everything you do." If Harvey remembers this, he will be a great missionary and return home an even better person and be a great football player in his career.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    July 6, 2012 9:31 p.m.

    Have to agree with Ducky for once.

    Work hard Elder Langi! Don't eat too much though

  • islandboy Honolulu, HI
    July 6, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    Great article! This is not about football. God bless you Elder Langi and your family. What a wonderful example you are and credit to your family. Ofa atu!

  • drbarbiedpm GRAHAM, WA
    July 6, 2012 6:20 p.m.

    Another great article as usual, Vai! I look forward to your columns every Friday. I was excited to hear that Harvey was going to serve in the Florida Tampa mission -- the greatest mission in the world! Of course I'm a little biased, because that's where I served. He will absolutely love it! Best of luck to you Harvey!

  • Reid Mortensen East Alton, IL
    July 6, 2012 5:57 p.m.

    Don't know Coach Whit from Adam, but from what I have seen and read of his career he seems like a class act through and through as does his football program. My guess is that whether his players are LDS, Catholic, Jewish,Protestant or Muslim he and his coaches would do what they could to encourage their players in their spiritual progress. As a father of former college athletes, I know how much a coach at any level influences these youg people. I believe the vast majority of coaches value their players' success more after college off the field than they do on it. They are truly ties that bind. Fans of BYU and Utah should want both schools to have great success on a national scale. It is alway a sense of pride when players from Utah and BYU make it at the next level. And as usual, great article Vai.

  • Tracy Hill OREM, UT
    July 6, 2012 5:04 p.m.

    Great story, Vai. Your column continues to be entertaining, informative, and heartfelt. It is a pleasure to read such wonderful human interest stories.
    And best wishes to Elder Langi!

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    July 6, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    Go get 'em, Harvey! Thanks, Vai!

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    July 6, 2012 4:36 p.m.

    Wow, another truly awesome story. Never regretted reading Vai's column, never will.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    July 6, 2012 4:29 p.m.

    I don't agree with Duckhunter often, but this is one of those times when I do.

    I'll never fault a kid for going to the school that he or she thinks is the best fit.

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    July 6, 2012 4:01 p.m.

    Love the experience of him giving his tie to the missionary. Very touching. Best of luck to Elder Langi!!

  • mjkkjk Tuscaloosa, AL
    July 6, 2012 3:20 p.m.

    Harvey sounds like a great person. Good for KW and the UofU to give him the right environment to make that choice. And good luck to him on his mission and to his team while he's away (except for September 15th).

  • Arm of Orion Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 6, 2012 2:49 p.m.

    TJ your first comment was at best a subtle dig to all people who went to the U and are LDS. Tell me sir does school choice grant us a place in heaven or following the commandments and ordinances of God.

    Tom in CA: Your logic is severely flawed. It goes as follows. Utah staff and players influenced Harvey in a good way. Harvey due to influences from Utah chose to go on a mission. Therefore upon returning from a mission he will go to BYU. The conclusion does not follow the evidence. Try again?

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    July 6, 2012 2:30 p.m.


    I love you bro! Thanks so much for telling this story and for being such a great example to all of us. Keep it up.


    You are going to be a great missionary. They need you bad! There are soo many people who are looking for help but are constantly distracted by the LOUD world. Go and find them. They need you.

    Go Utes!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 6, 2012 2:25 p.m.

    I really have nothing to say about what Langi does after his mission, and neither should anyone else. I'm just happy for him that he is going on a mission. What a great choice he has made and just think about all of the people he will undoubtedly influence in a positive way. The rest of the stuff being said about this is silly on the part of both sides. My opinion is leave it out of these sorts of articles and just wish the kid the best. I know I hope he does well out there.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 6, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    If you think that any mission president would try to influence a missionary as to which school to attend, you truly have no understanding of what is going on.

    I would expect Harvey to be back at the U for the '14 season but it is his choice.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    July 6, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    Man ... this column really has nothing to do with football ... it has everything to do with a loving and nurturing parents, forgiveness, not judging, growing, and the capacity of a human heart. I'm a Ute fan, but don't we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, all wear the same jersey (love President Uchtdorf's talk)?

    Best wishes for a fantastic mission, Harvey.

  • CrimsonUte Pocatello, ID
    July 6, 2012 1:46 p.m.

    "It paints a totally different picture of Harvey from what I pictured when he chose to play at Utah."

    Glad to see people learning their biases are wrong. The University of Utah is full of phenomenal people, LDS and otherwise.

  • SpaceCowboy69 Syracuse, UT
    July 6, 2012 1:46 p.m.

    Great article Vai. I always love reading your views and the insight you have on these players. As a Cougar fan I really wanted Harvey to play for BYU, but I am even more happy to hear about Harvey's decision. As hard as it is sometimes to remember, football is just a game. His mission will be a life-changer as I know mine was for me. I think if he uses the hard work ethic it takes to be a D-1 football player and uses these same traits as a missionary, he will do incredible work. Harvey, I am happy for you and may God bless you and all the missionaries in this work.

  • UTNERD Lehi, UT
    July 6, 2012 1:36 p.m.

    Just a little note for you Y fans... Langi's new Mission President is a Utah Grad who's family continues to be part of the Crimson Club. I don't think the U will have to worry about him leaving to that Team Down South.

  • hymn to the silent Holladay, UT
    July 6, 2012 1:04 p.m.

    Great of Harvey to go...even greater of Coach Whitt to quietly live his beliefs and encourage these kids in the right direction. The U is a special place for LDS kids. Whitt and staff understand their spiritual needs and help them balance the demanding schedule of playing in the PAC12, a tough academic schedule and finding time to grow spiritually---with a lot of help from an incredible Institute program. Love to see this happen, at the U and at colleges all over the Country where strong LDS communities thrive. Sorry Tom, BYU doesn't have a lock on a great experience for LDS kids...the Church (and a lot of its people) are much bigger than that. Thanks Vai for keeping it real.

  • Festus riverton, utah
    July 6, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    Good collumn. I wanted Harvy to go to the Y but when it comes to the important things in life it doesn't matter. I'm just glad to be on the gospel team with him. He will be an outstanding missionary. I know it will benefit him in school, on the football field, and especially life.
    I'll be a fan of his (but not his team) even when he plays us, but I still hope we win.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    July 6, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    I have this feeeeeeeeeling Elder Langi will want to be a Cougar when he returns from Florida.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 6, 2012 12:48 p.m.

    Great article Vai, and well written. It paints a totally different picture of Harvey from what I pictured when he chose to play at Utah. I hope he is able to take your advice in serving honorably with all his heart and might. I will find it much easier to pull for him to do well at Utah when he gets back.