Brandon Ogletree: Bronco Mendenhall really is how Jeff Benedict's book portrays him

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  • perfidemintrepidus Riverton, UT
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    Thanks for this inspiring article about a great football coach and person! As fans, we rarely receive personal information about the people on the field.

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    So after the fireside, they invited everyone to go outside to visit the team and coaches. When I went out, there were hoards surrounding him trying to get his autograph. So I waited. I got to talk to Lance Reynolds for a bit, and he was a little down because of the struggles of that year. He also made some comments that indicated off-field focus and discipline difficulties. He really sounded like a concerned parent, and I thought that was cool.

    I went on the grass to get in line, but there was no line. Parents and kids were just pushing and shoving to get pens and paraphenalia in Bronco's face expecting a signature, and were so rude and obnoxious, I thought. But Bronco took each one, smiling, and graciously fulfilled every request. After 45 minutes of constant cutting in front of me, and my wife getting impatient, I finally said while he was signing, "Coach I just wanted to thank you for the great job you're doing. You've turned it around." He paused, looked up into my eyse, stuck out his hand and said, "Thank you. That means a lot."

    He's a good man!

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Sept. 17, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    Perhaps we could all pause and take a brief look in the mirror? How do we measure up?

  • The Solution Las Cruces, NM
    Sept. 17, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    I have my own experience. A few years ago I travelled 3 hours North to Albuquerque to catch the fireside. I was really excited to meet some of the players, but most of all I really wanted to meet Bronco and shake his hand.

    The fireside itself was not "neato and awesome," but rather marginal. They tried to sing "Armies of Helaman" and sounded pretty bad, like preisthood opening exercises. The talks were okay, but not super inspiring. Manase Tonga talked about having to turn his attitude around and fix his grades, but I didn't feel anything (probably my own problem I know). Bronco's talk was mostly about how much he enjoyed his time at UNM and how this chapel held the very first of these firesides and only a handful of people attended. That night it was packed and I had to stand at the back near the stage in the cultural hall. However, it was not that awe-inspiring of a message. Nice but not to powerful for me.


  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    There's a problem when you write quality pieces like this Brandon. You start to lose your triceps and deltoids. That's o.k. tree. Great job. I love reading your pieces.

  • mdemann Murray, UT
    Sept. 16, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    I have been told on multiple occasions that my face always looks grumpy. I think that Bronco can often have this same effect. I had a neighbor who was offended for several weeks until we were able to talk it out with them. It seems that they drove past and waved. I did not return the wave (did not see it either). Could it be that Bronco may have not seen the wave. Seems silly to dislike him for this reason. My guess is the neighbor is looking for a reason to dislike him. You get what you look for.

    Next Suspenders boy goes out of his way looking for Bronco in the heat of emotion and you want to cast him off for showing intense emotion. I vote to Keep Bronco. I LOVE what he is doing for the program. GO COUGARS!

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 10:33 p.m.

    Kudos to Bronco for refusing to vilify coach Crowton. I wish I could say the same for BYU fans who always seem so eager to throw others under the bus. I am disappointed that Bronco doesn't display the same loyalty to his coaching staff as coach Edwards did. In his defense he is the head coach and does have the right to choose who he retains.

  • Wingnut1 USA, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 6:38 p.m.

    As Brandon mentioned at the end of the article, Bronco Mendenhall is now perfect. He is a flawed human. Why do you focus on the negative sides of people rather than the positive? Don't judge him because he sins differently than you, you would've sweated that Utah fan too if you were him.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    Another good data point regarding the leadership of the football program at the Y. I said last year when KVN and CH decided to stay for another year that those decision spoke volumes about how the young men view their coach and the experience they are having at the Y.

    Ogletree's respect for his former coach is yet another testament that the program is in good hands.

    BTW, Ogletree's time at the Y clearly included some quality time in the classroom. The young man presents his thoughts in a clear and thoughtful manner. He is a talented writer.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    Count me as one who doesn't always return, offer greetings. I get in my own world and often see someone with my eyes, but not my brain. And I am a very warm and fuzzy person. Robert Anai lived in our ward and gave a talk and asked the ward members to please not talk to him about football in Church. I imagine the coaches get inundated with advice givers, good old boys and inside information seekers. I am loving these insights on both Kyle and Bronco.

  • AlaskaCougar Wasilla, AK
    Sept. 14, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    @ Chris B

    Chris, I have been reading your comments at the end of Deseret News articles for years. At first your posts were annoying to me. Then they were were just a nuisance. Now I find myself looking forward to hearing what you are going to say, and I look for them. The anti-BYU ones still seem pointed just to be obnoxious, but I usually find myself laughing or looking for what truth there is in them. As a Cougar fan from birth, I rarley agree you about the sports articles, but I have certainly gained respect for you being willing to openly state your opinion and hold true to what you believe. This is especially true on the non-BYU football articles. Your comments are for cause introspection. Thank you. I look forward to reading your comments for the years to come. Go Cougars (and Oregon State this week).

    Sept. 14, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    Brandon, great info, love your website and insight.

    Bronco has integrity but not perfection. The point is to always improve and we have certainly seen Bronco grow as a head coach. I groaned when I first heard about the values on the back of the uniforms instead of names, but when I later saw the video of Bronco sincerely laughing and making fun of himself I totally grew in more respect for the man.

    Who doesn't make mistakes? Most of us don't do it on a public stage, it takes someone very mature to be able to laugh at yourself and learn from your mistakes IN PUBLIC!

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    The best part about the BYU - Utah rivalry is that we have two very intense men of integrity leading the respective programs. They are not perfect, but they both seem to be trying to instill values of hard work and integrity in a bunch of young men. This is something that most coaches (or universities for that matter) no longer attempt to do.

    umanami - As a Ute, I will stick up for Bronco. Just because one is not an extrovert does not mean that he or she lacks integrity. Perhaps your friend is that guy who has little actual knowledge about the game but is more than happy to tell the coach how he could do better. Maybe Bronco is weighed down by the stress of having fans who insist on winning at a school that insists on standards that disqualify many gifted athletes.

    You were lucky to have Lavell but many BYU fans were ready to throw him out after a couple of off years (despite a Hall of Fame w-L record). You have a coach who is building a program while maintaining the integrity of your institution - enjoy it while you can.

  • Stop The Nonsense El Paso, TX
    Sept. 14, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every article written by you, Tree. Thanks for giving us articles with substance, rather than just hype, criticism, etc. I feel like an insider when I read your articles. Thanks!

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    Nice work, Brandon. Good insight, excellent writing.

  • Fibonacci Centerville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    Add my name to the list of paid Deseret News subscribers who would gladly incorporate a Brandon Ogletree column into my regular newspaper read. The "scouting reports" and post game analysis that he has written include a clear knowledge of the game and provide excellent technical analysis that, at the same time, doesn't leave those of us who never played D1 ball in the dust. I echo the sentiments of many others. His "thoughtful Football Conversation" could easily become a huge staple of the Deseret News' sports offering.

  • umanami Draper, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 5:26 a.m.

    This article is opposite from what I have been told about Bronco. An associate I work with who is a huge BYU fan lives in Broncos ward and has told me on several occasions that Bronco cannot even return a friendly hello in passing. Also witnessed at the end of the Utah game last year Bronco turned to a bizarre Utah fan (heckler) in suspenders as if he wanted to go after him. Patience? I am not sold on Broncos elevated status as this article is suggesting.

  • vinnyb3 Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:00 p.m.

    Brandon, you're the man. I love your website. I've always wanted to hear a player's perspective on Bronco and I really enjoyed the article.

  • mattmo Gallatin, MO
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:41 p.m.

    Great article, great school, great students and professors, coaches, and administration. Endure to the end never give in to the vises of the world.

  • Downtownchrisbrown ,
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:18 p.m.

    I've read a few things by Ogletree - time to put him on the payroll, great insight.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:15 p.m.

    tree, I've loved reading your insight on your own website. Hopefully, the dnews can work something out to get you a somewhat regular column here, I personally love the "insider" perspective. Keep it coming.

  • danielbd salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 6:13 p.m.

    What a great article! I hope to see more articles from you Brandon. Thanks

  • TrollPolice Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 6:09 p.m.


    Who cares about close?

    Remind us the last time Utah was ranked #1 in either poll, before, during or after the season.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    Some one didn't read the article did they?
    Some one is off topic, Again.
    Were talking ethics here on this article.
    Perhaps you might want to get on topic.
    Although in your opinion you weren't trying to be disruptive are you?
    Or are you?

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Sept. 13, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    At the ripe of age of 71, I've seen a huge change in ethics over the last 60 years. After WWII everyone was idealistic and our heroes were held to a high standard (of course we didn't have twitter and 24-hour news cycles hungry for the next scandal).

    Viet Nam was a catalyst for a complete reversal of standards, and while UW turned to a pass-fail grading system and grade inflation was rampant across the land, BYU held steady. Its academic standards did not waver. Students were expected to honor the Honor Code, and where many universities abandoned honor, BYU did not.

    I was a student all through the tumultuous '60s and a researcher and faculty member at Yale in the 1970's. We had more than 100 violent crimes on the Yale campus in 1980. We had an escort service for students.

    BYU is special. I've come to respect BYU more than my own alma mater. The military academies have standards. Schools that recruit 1 and done hoopsters, that cheat and do anything to win betray the true meaning of sports. Bronco stands tall in my opinion.

  • Crisco B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    Great piece by Tree here. Football players actually can write. I saw Bronco in a fireside once and it was "neat-o and awesome." It was a lot more than that though. For anyone that doubts, Bronco is the real deal.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    A fool mocks what he does not understand

    But a prudent man takes counsel and wisdom.

  • talkinsports Gilbert, AZ
    Sept. 13, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    "And he has great firesides!"

    Facetious, but true.

    Bronco's firesides are very inspiritional!

  • Idaho Dad Pocatello, ID
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    Great article, Tree. I hope we can see some more of your writing here.

    Bronco is a man worthy of emulation.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Thanks Brandon for your insight into the real Bronco. BYU is lucky to have such a devoted and outstanding coach who isn't afraid to openly acknowledge priorities that are higher than football.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    Thanks, Brandon, and Coach.