Hey everybody, Sabbi had the brilliant idea to have each of us site contributors write a 'get to know me' post on each day this week. We have only had control of the site for about 3 months and we are trying to get it hopping again like it has been in the past. Letting you all know who we are is a good way to kick-start the process. Hopefully, you have already read Sabbi's introduction. If not, check it out here and then come back to read about me after the jump.
First of all, my name is Durrell Wheatley. From my SBN handle, which conveniently doubles as my Twitter handle, you can figure out two things about me: my favorite nickname is Wheatie (yes, like the cereal that features athletes on the box) and I was born in 1987. I was born in Provo, Utah, home of the Cougars on a fine July afternoon almost 24 years ago and I have lived in and around Provo for most of my life. I am the first of five kids in my family with two younger sisters and two younger brothers.
Ever since I was little I have been fascinated with sports. My dad is a huge sports fan and was attending BYU when I was born so naturally that is where my loyalty is. My dad's side of the family would always get together to go to BYU football and basketball games and watch pro sports on TV. These get-togethers became some of my favorite childhood memories. The women of my family just don't understand how we can watch a sporting event while arguing so much amongst each other, yelling in vain at the TV when the refs make a bad call, etc. and then after its over we just go back to high-fives and hanging out. They think we would be bitter about our team losing and that bad feelings would rip us apart but that just isn't the case. Sports bring us constantly closer together.
Another thing that I inherited from my dad apart from a pure love of sports was decent athletic ability. I don't claim to currently be or to have ever been a superstar in any sport but from community youth leagues all the way through high school, I played numerous sports. My favorite sport has always been football where I was a wide receiver at Provo High School but I also played soccer, baseball, and basketball in differing levels of competition.
After high school, I attended Dixie State College in St. George for one semester and then left on a two year LDS mission to Tijuana Mexico which is where I acquired my love for the Spanish language & culture and reacquired my passion for soccer which is now my second favorite sport, closely behind football.
After returning to the United States from Mexico two and a half years ago, I enrolled at Utah Valley University in Orem where I am currently working towards my degree in International Business with a minor in Spanish. My academic goal is to get my Bachelor's degree from UVU and then transfer to somewhere that has a Sports Management program so that I can get a Master's degree in that more specific field so that I can fulfill my career goal of being a General Manager of a pro sports team.
I am currently doing an internship with Real Salt Lake, on top of my regular full-time job and school, which I hope will give me the start I need to accomplish my goals.
To wrap this up, I just want to tell my first memories of BYU sports. My first BYU basketball coach that I remember was Roger Reid. He became coach when I was 2 years old so I obviously don't remember the first few years but I think the first year I remember was the last year he took the team to the NCAA tourney. The year was 1994-95 and I was 7 years old. It obviously wasn't the best team we've ever had (duh, Jimmer) but they were an 8 seed in the NCAAs. After that year, it all unraveled and BYU basketball became the laughing stock of the WAC. Reid was dismissed and we had our 1-25 season in 1996-97 but I remember I went to every home game that year and since the Marriott Center was practically empty, I had free range of the place. Luckily, things slowly got better with Steve Cleveland and then of course Dave Rose.
One last memory I have was the most miserable sports experience of my life. In 2003, at LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU lost to Utah in a sloppy 3-0 game played in the middle of a freaking blizzard. Of course, I stayed the whole time and froze my butt off but that's what kind of a BYU fan I am. Like the Cougar Fight Song says: "O Rise, all loyal Cougars and hurl your challenge to the foe. You will fight, day or night, rain or snow!"
That's what I challenge you all to do too. Let's make this the best BYU sports blog on the internet. We are working as hard as we can as contributors but we need your help too. Don't just lurk. We appreciate that you read our stuff but please sign up for an account on SBNation and join VTF. Leave comments on our posts, link BYU related articles from other sites through FanShots, post your own topics and ideas in the FanPosts, and if you need to contact any of us individually or privately you can do that through our emails (located at the bottom of the page) or on our Twitter accounts. Thank you all.
Look forward to learning about lars.ON tomorrow!