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Rock M Roundtable!

1 - The swirling rumor is that BYU is going to soon announce it is going independent in football and moving back to the WAC for all other sports.  On a scale of 1 (crippling) to 10 (brilliant), rate this (potential) move.

2 - Derrick Washington destroys the defense during Saturday's scrimmage, then the defense wins the next two practices.  Is this about what you like to hear from practice reports, or do you like to see it more one-sided in one direction or another?

3 - At what age is it not ok to wear a jersey and under what circumstances is it ok?

4 - Power of flight or power of invisibility? You can only choose one. You’re the only person in the world with the ability. If you choose invisibility, you and your clothes disappear, but anything you pick up won’t. If you choose flight, you can do what you normally can do on the ground, only in the air (i.e. you can’t pick up cars and move them, unless you can normally pick up cars and move them).

Michael Atchison: 1 - What number signifies indifference?

2 - I like to know that it’s competitive.  I expect Gabbert, Washington and the offensive line to be good, so if the defense gets its licks in from time to time, that seems like a good thing to me.  I can’t think of very many really good teams that were so unbalanced that one unit ought to pummel the other ever day.

3 - Once you hit double digits, it’s time to move to big boy clothes.  After that, it’s OK so long as you’re playing in a real game with paid officials.

4 - Bringing it back on topic: Neither.  I want the power of Ebner.

I’m out for a while.  Looking forward to reading a long string of dynamic witticisms upon my return.

ZouDave: 1 - I'm not sure it's crippling, but it certainly doesn't sound brilliant.  I guess I don't see the point, unless they think the MWC has been holding them back.  The MWC is becoming a pretty stout football conference and with the addition of Boise State it's on the verge of getting more actual respect than the Big East gets it just doesn't have the automatic tie-in to a BCS Bowl.  I guess I don't understand the point of leaving that conference.  Army and Navy don't have overwhelming success as an independent, and Notre Dame is NOT a good litmus test for what another independent school is capable of.  Very, very few programs could stand on their own like they do, and BYU isn't one of them.  This doesn't sound like a great idea, though.  I wonder what their Plan B is when this doesn't work?  Let's say 5 years from now they've lost their footing in football and are in need of a shot in the arm, will the Pac-10 be willing to take them?  I bet the Pac-10 would take them right now to be their 12th, is going independent going to make you more attractive to a BCS conference?  Because the Pac-10 and MAYBE the Big IIXII are the only ones that are even geographically possible.  Is there somehow a TV contract just waiting for BYU?  I don't get it.  I can't see this doing anything but hurting them in the long run.

2 - I don't pay much attention to the team results of these practices, honestly.  The modified stapleford scoring system they use doesn't really give you any indication of what's going on.  I basically like to hear that both sides of the ball are improving and making plays.  No offense isn't going to beat ANY defense 100% of the time, no defense isn't going to stop ANY offense 100% of the time, but it seems like our fans immediately panic when either side of the ball either has to punt or gives up a score.  This is football, and this is what happens.  We're running mixes of players out there, we've got first string going against second string sometimes and we've got guys being held out with injuries that might play if it was a regular season game.  You just simply can't tell that much from "fall" practices.  The important thing is that players are getting noticed as playmakers and that they get better each week.  I think we're getting that for sure.  But I definitely am anxious to see Derrick Washington this year.  It sounds like he is poised for his best season by far.

3 - Well, the situation is far more important than the age.  I still own a few jerseys and will wear them when the occasion calls for it.  If I had a gold Mizzou jersey, it would probably be in my regular rotation for home games.  But I don't, and since we're supposed to wear gold at home I don't wear a jersey to games anymore.  But I wore a Brad Smith or Chase Daniel jersey to every game I attended between the Nebraska game of 2003 and the final game of 2008 other than probably the Nebraska game of 2007.  I wore my 2006 USA Soccer Jersey while watching the USA in the World Cup this year, plus I wore it to the games I saw live in 2007.  To me, a jersey is 100% acceptable attire during a game or really even for all of gameday regardless of age.

Now, outside of a game?  ESPECIALLY outside of gameday?  You better be either a hot chick or a guy under age 30 to pull off wearing a jersey in place of just a shirt when going to the grocery store or whatever.  Honestly, a hot chick can wear whatever she wants at any given time.  Guys over 30 that wear a jersey around as every day attire are a little sad.  The one exception to that is if you're the father or brother of the person whose jersey you're wearing.  Then it's totally fine.

4 - Flight for sure.  Being invisible has the immediate perks of potentially breaking into places you can't normally get into, but that still makes you a criminal.  I still don't have any interest in being a criminal, even with a super power.  So I'll take flying.  Would save me a ton on gas money.



1. Very meh on the idea. I just hope it doesn't trigger some bastardization of a Big 12/MWC panic merger.

2. I think we're all cursed by the 2007 practice reports, in which we constantly heard about the ball never touching the ground. The defense ended up being just fine that year, as well. I understand the argument that you probably want it all balanced out, but honestly, a dominant unit isn't a bad thing. The 2007 Mizzou defense didn't face a better offense all year than they did in practice, so they were able to grow from it. As long as the units are making each other better, I don't much care which one wins practices.

3. I may be in the minority that it should always be acceptable at sporting events regardless of age, though different sports may carry a stigma. One of the things I love about going into a hockey arena is seeing the large number of people wearing jerseys. And, plus, let's face it -- hockey jerseys aren't anywhere near as unflattering as jerseys for other sports. I think baseball jerseys can somewhat fit that category too. Football jerseys are a bit of a stretch, and I'm convinced that no civilian can pull off a basketball jersey. But, as an overall rule, bow at the throne of the coaches polo, friends.

And as soon as I typed all this, I just saw Dave's response. I will now refer everyone to what he said.

4. Invisibility. Next question.

ZouDave: You should just go ahead and refer everyone to what I say as a general rule.  It's not easy for most people to always be right, but I find it surprisingly simple.

RPT: So I'm a little rusty on this whole roundtable thing.  Dave's sister is of loose morals, Atch is old, Bill's a nerd, Beef has a baby, and Tepper's late.

Isn't this standard boilerplate? Did I miss anything?

Michael Atchison: And nobody realized you were gone.  That’s pretty much it.

RPT: So, I take it everyone here passed their RMN conditioning tests?

ghtd36: Good morning, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.

1 - Without knowing a whole lot about the potential move, I do find this to be quite brilliant if it means what I think it does. My question is this: because BYU is a religious institution (for those that don't know, BYU is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), does it receive a tax break on whatever income it makes through football? Because if that is true, this is an ingenious move by BYU. In my head (and again, I don't know the details), BYU gets a tax break on its income because it is a religious institution, but because it pays the money into a secular organization -- the Mountain West, for now -- it loses the tax break for what it ultimately its biggest cash cow. This move (again, IN MY HEAD) would allow for BYU to keep all the money, and the tax break would ultimately pay for the move and then some. That's my gut reaction. Of course, I could be exactly wrong. But if I'm not, this is a brilliant move.

2 - I'll be honest: I pay little to no attention to practice reports. I don't understand them, and won't pretend to understand them. The goal of practice is to get you in game shape and remain uninjured until the season starts. Hearing that Bud Sasser is blowing up practice is great, but it's ultimately just that: practice. We talkin' 'bout practice. Not a game, not a game. We talkin' 'bout PRACTICE.

3 - I'm going to be a little more lenient on this issue than he of the post-your-responses-then-bail-for-the-remainder-of-the-day Michael "Hit It And Quit It" Atchison: you have until your first day of high school. Let's face it: not a single one of us can claim to be cool in middle school. Why not allow the statute of limitations for doing something inherently uncool -- wearing a jersey -- to extend through our ultimate uncool period of our lives? High school is where you start worrying about things that require a level of coolness -- impressing women, not getting Swirly-ed, beating up dweebs -- so that's where you should start.

4 - I heard this question yesterday while listening to the "This American Life" podcast from NPR (which, by the way, you need to be listening to). John Hodgman had a story about how this question ultimately cuts to the core of who we truly are. He hypothesized that if you choose flight (the inherently outgoing, visible, external power), you're choosing what you want to be, what you aspire to be, what you hope to be. If you choose invisibility (the inherently introspective, internal power), you're choosing what you fear that you actually are. He also said that through his research -- mainly asking people at parties and on the street -- there are five steps to the decision-making process for this question: a gut reaction,reasoning, waffling, self-recrimination, and acceptance. It's also funny that nobody -- nobody -- wanted to use their powers to fight crime. If you're going to do something selfish, might as well go all the way with it. To answer the question myself, I'm pretty torn on it, but I think I'd ultimately go with flight.

Michael Atchison: A lawyer’s note to the world:  do not rely on Greg’s analysis of not-for-profit organizations issues.

ghtd36: Well excuse me all to hell.

RPT: BYU would be more than happy to do that.

ghtd36: Religion discussions: they NEVER end badly!

/keeps eye out for Mormon suicide bomber


I didn't own a jersey of any kind until after high school.  So I definitely didn't wear any jerseys in high school or before.

I think in my early 20s I would wear jerseys to non-sports functions, but it was pretty limited.  Certainly never to a bar, unless it was to watch a game.  I can't imagine being "that guy" and wearing my Priest Holmes jersey on a Wednesday night to go get drinks.  You're sending a loud and clear message, and that message is not "I'm a huge Chiefs fan."

(30 minutes later...)

ghtd36: Sometimes, I think it would be awesome if Tremendous Stubble joined us on these Roundtables.

But most of the time, I think that would be the worst idea ever.

Doug: Damn community.

1 - Eh, 5?  I don't think it'll be crippling, at least not immediately, but I don't see it as the smartest move in the world.  BYU will not get a national TV contract like Notre Dame, and will be hard pressed to get a decent TV contract period.

2 - No idea.

3 - Are a man over 21?  You may not wear a jersey to anything other than a sporting event and it may only be a baseball, football, hockey or soccer jersey (as long as it's not one if the skin-tight Nike ones).  Under no circumstance are you allowed to wear a basketball jersey beyond the age of 9 or 200 pounds, which ever comes first.

4 - Flight.  I hate flying coach.

ghtd36: (This is best read while listening to this.)



Doug: That's not totally necessary, but very much appreciated.