26 January 2013

January thoughts

- BYU's 2012 football season felt like a failure. To have an excellent defense (Oregon State and Notre Dame notwithstanding) and a terrible offense was very frustrating. It often seemed the team was a decent quarterback and a mediocre offensive line away from 10 wins, but when James Lark is probably your best quarterback and the O-line is dealt six season-ending injuries, reality sets in. Here's hoping the big boys up front can put together a good year in 2013, and Taysom Hill develops his arm. I think Hill can be a lesser version of Colin Kaepernick or Johnny Manizel when all is said and done.

Oh, and Kyle Van Noy is ridiculous.

-Speaking of those guys, holy cow are they the best running quarterbacks I've ever seen. Amazing speed and quickness, but their ability to complete long passes is really what makes defenses throw up their hands in  frustration.

-BYU basketball is simply not great this year. Good, not great. Brandon Davies is a disappointment, frankly, as his weaknesses in strength and speed have not improved much at all over last season. And Tyler Haws, while able to drop 40, has consistency issues to the point that he went 0-9 against Gonzaga earlier this week. When these two are your best players, fans really shouldn't make any plans for the Final Four. Or Final 64.

-The gun control debate rages on. I believe gun ownership is like car ownership. Both are tools which can be used for good purposes or destructive, murderous ones. But as long as someone isn't mentally imbalanced and passes a few tests, they can drive a car. The same should go for using a gun.

-The Jazz need to trade Al Jefferson as an expiring contract. His defense is soft and his offense is not dominant, as against great teams he folds quickly. Shooting 5-14 last night against the Lakers, when 90% of his shots are within 10 feet of the hoop is embarrassing. He doesn't rebound and he's a black hole on offense. The Jazz are better without him. If they can turn him into a piece they need before losing him for nothing this summer, I'll be ecstatic.

And if they re-sign him this offseason? I'll be speechless.

-On that note, Coach Corbin needs to play Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter a lot more. They show flashes, and Kanter, especially seems to be improving. But this team is not great. Let's allow the kids to figure out how to play against real competition. This will either speed up their progress and make them focal points of the team, or eventually reveal they are busts and not worthy of their original draft status. Either outcome is fine with me. This limbo, however, is not.

-I'm watching the final season of Fringe, which is the only show I've ever followed live, from the pilot to the finale. Everything else I've ever started watching two or three or six seasons in, or lost interest after following it from the start. The weird thing is that Fringe isn't even super amazing. It has some good characters and interesting storytelling, but it definitely has some big weaknesses, as well. Go figure.

-I'm currently waiting on the remaining parts for a new computer I'm building to be delivered. It's my first build in eight years, so I'm pretty excited. I went middle of the road on parts; an i5 instead of an i7, a 1 terabtye hard drive instead of 2 or more, etc. Still will be a major upgrade over the $350 Compaq I bought in 2009. Woohoo!

-I attended Mandi's latest opera production last night with my sister Amy. It is Florencia en el Amazonas, a relatively new production that premiered in Houston in 1996. Modern opera has a reputation for being weird, and Florencia did not disappoint. The performances were mostly impressive, and the main storyline was interesting enough, but I felt like most of the characters were shallow and certain plot elements were lazily constructed. Overall, it is always good to get some culture, and the Utah Opera is a good place to get it.

-I have no idea who will win the Super Bowl. I've picked against the Ravens for their last two playoff games, but they manage to pull off wins despite having what I think are an overrated defense and quarterback. That said, Joe Flacco has shown he has the guts and ability to throw deep, and in today's NFL, that's something of a rarity. On the other end, the aforementioned Kaepernick is a marvel, but he's a second-year player and this is his first rodeo. I expect the aging, sneaky Ravens defense to account for his running and do enough to confuse him in the passing game to slow the 49er offense down. Baltimore 24, San Francisco 21.