This one's for you McGrubber. I have been trying to avoid writing this as I don't want my passions to flood the article, as one San Diego St. Aztec sportswriter did after BYU's victory two weeks ago.
While I will give you my thoughts to prove that I am not depressed, this article may jump around just a tad and focus more on what this dismissal says about our team, and not just O'Neill.
The fact of the matter for me is that I never really liked O'Neill in the first place. So you have to know about that bias right up front. I am not going to hide it. It started out as a matter of him just turning the ball over in key situations his freshman year. I would get so nervous anytime he touched the ball.
Then I would get ticked by how he pranced around on kickoff returns instead charging full speed ahead and just hitting the hole hard. Then there were dropped punt returns, which relate back to my first point. But what really started to get me was when I met O'Neill in person and saw the way he carried himself.
At the time I shrugged it off as, cool confidence. But I flipped my lid when I went to the game against the Florida St. Seminoles and saw his demeanor on the kickoff returns. He would catch the ball deep in the endzone and just stand there while his team mates were busting their butts (because the play is live, so there are no whistles) then at the last second he would take a "cool" knee. I don't know how to put it in words, but if you were there you know what I am talking about.
At that point it became very clear to me that this guy was truly about himself and his own image. Then he gets suspended and further proves the point. Then he comes back for two games, doesn't get passed two and starts throwing a raging pity party. Then he gets dismissed from the team. Classic. And for what? A "prank" that started by him joking that Jake Heaps was not a team player? Then he says that he was not given the same opportunities as other players? What? The dude maintained his starting job after a mediocre performances at best, and still got his starting return job back after not being trustworthy back there. Give me break. For more one this take the time to read Quinn Gooch's article, I loved it! But I need to move one.
This is yet another defining moment in returning the BYU football ideals that started slipping two years ago. We have seen the immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball after Bronco has righted the ship. The more Bronco gets his hands on the team, the more you will start to see a declaration from the players of whose side they are on.
The first two words that come to my mind when I think of my time at BYU are Declare and Bronco. I can't tell you how many times he would yell, "Declare" at us while running the Y, doing pursuit drill, or doing some other crazy mental toughness concoction he and Coach Omer had cooked up. The point is you have to be in the right shape mentally, spiritually and physically if you are going to excel on a Bronco led team. Now is the time for players to start declaring once again how hard they want to try and who is more important, themselves or the team.
This team shows me something new each week that I love. This was a horrible start to a season, no doubt. I was disappointed, no doubt. But I am alive and fired up at what I see from the team with each new week since the Hill firing. As Coach Mendenhall once preached to us, "It is time to get the wrong people off the bus, the right people on the bus, and the right people in the right seats."