Friday, November 10, 2006

Not Your Average White Band (of Brothers)

BYU's immense improvement on defense this year can be attributed in part to Bronco Mendenhall's switch to the 3-4 alignment to take advantage of talent at the linebacker position, and certainly that group's contribution could have been anticipated. The big surprise is in seeing the defensive backs hold their own as an integral part of the defense, and that is a direct reflection of the tutelage of new secondary coach Jaime Hill.

Although I am not an expert on the subject, I see Hill's crew playing with confidence and coming up with interceptions and pass deflections at key moments. And this is from an average group of guys, as far as secondary talent goes. I thought of Cougar players calling themselves a band of brothers, then thought of the stereotypical BYU athlete, and came up with the "average white band of brothers". (Uncommonly clever, I know. I'm sure everyone is just as impressed with my wit as I am. . . .) The point is that BYU's defensive backs, regardless of race, have never been confused with those at USC or Miami, but don't tell this year's group that.

I'm concerned that Jaime Hill is going to do so well with BYU's secondary going forward that he will quickly be recognized for the work he's done, and will have other programs trying to lure him away.

The idea of actual time with his family outside of football--don't you just love day-of-rest Sundays and Monday family nights?--reportedly was the biggest incentive in drawing Coach Hill to BYU. But schools in better conferences dangling more money might nevertheless trump that. Thus, I feel drastic measures might be in order.

I'm going to contact Coach Hill. The message: Get a Book of Mormon, and read it. Coach Hill isn't LDS. A high percentage of those who read the Book of Mormon all the way through believe it. If he accepts my request to read it, there is a good chance he will "become a statistic" and also believe it, at which point he would have to admit that he needs to convert. He wouldn't be the first to fall into that category, by any means--my wife is also a "statistic", but that's yet another subject for another time.

If Coach Hill converts, the likelihood of him staying at BYU is much higher, and I can rest assured that the Cougars will continue to have strong secondaries for the long haul. Never mind that those who convert to the LDS religion and live its teachings to the best of their ability uniformly find a happiness they would not have thought possible--I love having a killer defensive backfield!

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