Amy Donaldson: Names on jerseys matter because accountability matters

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  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:09 p.m.

    After everyone at the DN has had their shot to spin the jersey gate fiasco the question that remains unanswered and will probably always remain unanswered...

    How could Bronco be so completely out of touch with his players, his bosses, and the Cougar fanbase?

  • slap-shot sandy, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 6:49 p.m.

    I don't think having the names on the jerseys has any effect on putting the team first,individual second and all that stuff. The kind of values that are important for a football team are values young men learn as they grow from their parents and teachers and then their coaches. When the Chicago White Sox first put names on their jerseys in 1960, baseball execs were stunned...".what's that going to do to program sales....?." The first college football team to wear names was Maryland back in 1961. There are a handful of teams who choose not to wear names.....Penn St. and Army are just two. Two other teams without names....Notre Dame 12-1 last year and University of Colorado 1-11. Success has nothing to do with names and numbers. BYU knows what qualities are necessary to win.....and there's no need to advertise them on the backs of the jerseys.

  • cs85 Orem, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 6:01 p.m.

    As a fan, I just want the names there so I can get to know the players better and know who did what on the field. I think it's helpful for fans.

  • Perkunas Ashburn, VA
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    Are Notre Dame players less accountable because they don't have any names on their jerseys? To them it's a reminder that football is more of a team sport than any other. No one makes a big deal about that.

    Air Force has jerseys with 'F-22 Raptor' and 'B-2 Spirit' on them. To me that's stranger that BYU's proposed jerseys, but it represents the academy's values to the players. No one makes a big deal about that.

    Heck, Utah wore jerseys with slogans the last time they got waxed at home by TCU. No one made a big deal about that.

    I'm not a fan of messing around with traditional things like names on jerseys. But the outcry over BYU doing something different to represent its values is beyond ridiculous, and comparing the media's treatment of Utah and BYU on this issue exposes complete double standards.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    Good points made in the article, but probably mostly applicable only when pointed out to the players. Like CougarSunDevil mentioned, he didn't give a thought to the name on his jersey. That was a missed opportunity by the coach to teach what that name could, and should mean. Probably most people don't think much of it beyond making a player more recognizable on the field. A little deeper thought about the meaning of the name on the jersey, by each player, is probably a good idea, and could be an effective tool for helping to build Spirit, Honor, and Tradition, probably more so with the name on the jersey instead of the value.

    As a casual fan, it makes the game much more enjoyable when the names are on the backs of the jerseys. I suspect a lot of people are like me and don't recognize players just by their numbers or where they line up, and once the action starts... well, just forget about knowing who's who without the names.

    Keep the names, teach the lessons, everybody wins.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    @Dan Maloy
    ....and it looks like you have an axe to grind against anything and everything related to BYU.


    Now that's funny. Not sure where the all encompassing "axe to grind against EVERYTHING related to BYU" came from. In your zeal you're totally overlooking the hundreds of Cougar (yes I capitalized it out of respect) faithful who have posted they're not wild about it either.

  • Dan Maloy Enid, OK
    Aug. 12, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    @ Proud Ute - "Looks like the DN is desperately trying to put some lipstick on Bronco's pig."

    ....and it looks like you have an axe to grind against anything and everything related to BYU.


  • Tyler McArthur South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    Yeah, that's a good argument, but it comes off as sounding a bit selfish. I'm sure that you (or someone else) could write an equally impressive article about the flipside, i.e. all the benefits of unity, brotherhood, sacrificing for the greater good of the team, the importance of being a team player and not playing for personal pride or glory. Those are much more compelling arguments in my eyes, and I see what Bronco was going for. The world wasn't ready for it, unfortunately.

    Those of us in the Cougar community immensely respect Mendenhall for all he has done, and continues to do, to make BYU Football about something more than just football.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Aug. 12, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    We had a similar situation at ASU with the new sparky that looked like the burger king guy. It didn't go so well, and now it's over. This will blow over.

    In regards to the article and continued coverage...who cares! When I was in college, the last thing I thought of was honoring my last name that was fixated on the back of my shirt. Amy approached this from a pure academic and theoretical viewpoint, many of which rarely pan out in the real world. Putting everyone's name on their shirts...give me a break. What a waste of time and a read on this Monday morning.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    It is easier to hide in a group when you are nameless. Wearing your name on your back for all to see is a subtle reminder to always do the right thing.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Aug. 12, 2013 5:43 a.m.

    Looks like the DN is desperately trying to put some lipstick on Bronco's pig.

  • BigSkies Issaquah, WA
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:38 a.m.

    Cheesy is a nice way to put it. I'm a strong supporter of BYU and Bronco, but I just can't reconcile my frustration on this topic. No matter how hard I try, I can't understand how the idea of putting "Values" on jerseys got beyond more than a mere consideration in Bronco's mind. It's not just cheesy and dumb, it's insulting and arrogant.

    If you want to run a program with the guiding principles of Spirit, Honor, and Tradition... great! But don't be so arrogant and presumptive as to try and advertise those values. Show me through your actions and accomplishments. Let your behavior and disposition serve as the measure of your honor, spirit, and tradition. Abolish this misguided notion for Homecoming as well.

    Although it's a bit of a stretch, can you imagine missionaries wearing words on their lapel such as Service, Charity, Christian??? Again, I'm angry and dismayed that we're even talking about this.

  • SEBA Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 12, 2013 12:40 a.m.

    Ok, time to drop it and move on, go BYU!

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Aug. 12, 2013 12:23 a.m.

    A lot of the things we value are seen as cheesy these days.

    These players are not bad for wanting the honor of wearing their own names in connection with something greater than them all.

    But Bronco, too, isn't the villain or the idiot that so many are gleefully making him out to be for wanting to honor the values that make BYU football worth anything to begin with.

    My anonymous defense of something old and valuable means nothing, so sign me Mike Brame.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 11, 2013 9:46 p.m.

    This was an incredibly cheesy idea - plain and simple.