BYU Football Media Day is on June 23, almost six months until Christmas arrives. Like it is for many BYU fans, Media Day is Christmas in the summer for me as I’m desperate for the football season to get started. BYU’s independence has given them a unique Media Day experience unlike any other in the country. BYUtv does the only thing it’s really good for, which is broadcasting BYU sports all day long. I have created a wish list of things that I hope BYU Santa, Tom Holmoe, and his lead elf, Bronco Mendenhall, will bring for us to unwrap on BYU Football Media Day.
1. A resolution to the improper benefits investigation.
Since the story broke in May, a cloud of uncertainty has hung over BYU’s football program. Former players have been vocal about the situation and Brandon Gurney said that it came down to socks and would not be an issue moving forward. Of course, BYU has remained silent on the topic, leaving fans to still question if the situation is resolved. BYU of course won’t come out and start the day with an announcement, but it will almost certainly be the first question asked by the media. I hope Gurney is correct and BYU can address it and move on.
2. Future home games announced.
BYU’s future schedules include some exciting names like USC, Michigan, Nebraska, and West Viriginia, but fans are mostly concerned with teams coming to Provo. I am extremely excited about these games and have begun thinking about how to visit all the great venues in which BYU will play. It is undeniable, though, that having Texas on the home schedule in 2013 was extremely exciting. Despite the strange weather, there was an electricity and atmosphere in LaVell Edwards Stadium that day. I’m sure the beatdown BYU delivered to UT that day doesn’t really encourage other teams to visit Provo, but it is key to reward fans and, more importantly, encourage recruits by having big names visit frequently. While I expect some scheduling news to be announced, I hope it includes some big programs playing at BYU.
3. Plans for an improved gameday atmosphere.
Over the past few seasons, BYU has made great strides in the gameday experience. Updated video boards, fireworks, and the player walk have all helped to make the game experience more exciting. I think there is still room to grow. Many who attended all the player walks last season know that by the Idaho State game, the event had lost some of its luster. Of course, Texas and Utah were the first two games of the player walk, but after those games attendance dropped off. I believe that if BYU does more to encourage tailgating, the player walk will be more appealing to fans. The idea of fans setting up their tailgates and heading to the stadium to greet the team, then heading back to the grill until game time would help. BYU could do a lot to organize this effort better.
I think the food at BYU games also leaves much to be desired. Cougar tails are certainly a hit with some, but other than that it’s hard to find good stadium food. Having visited other stadiums over the years, it’s obvious BYU could do a lot to improve here. It might mean not having the Provo 50th Ward Boy Scout troop operating the concession stands, but I think it would benefit the fans and the school.
4. Announce stadium renovations.
LES is in a great geographical location and has a lot of history, but there are things that could certainly improve inside the stadium. Starting with the Cougar Den. The only true apparel store in the stadium was meant to hold about 50 shoppers at once, but on game day, there are hundreds of people scooting and sliding their way through the store. If BYU expanded this, I know I would be more willing to make my way through and spend money on apparel at the game.
The Cougar Room is host to Cougar Club members before kick on gameday. Typically, BYU legends address the group and speak about their experiences at BYU. If you have ever sat in this room, you know it’s nearly impossible to find a seat that doesn’t have a pillar blocking the stage and the smell in there is typically not a pleasant one. There’s also typically a line about a mile long for the bathrooms and it’s hard to see other games going on with the tiny TVs on the walls. I would love to see this room upgraded so that boosters and former players are more excited about rubbing shoulders before games (and during rain delays).
5. Insight into recruiting.
Geoff Martzen, BYU’s recruiting coordinator, and the coaching staff have been doing unprecedented things on the recruiting trail. If you follow Martzen on twitter, you know that BYU is trying new things and dropping #SchollyBombs all over the country. I would love BYUtv to give fans an insight into what Martzen does on a daily basis as well as show fans what a typical visit or camp at BYU is like. I might be the only one who is curious about this, but I think it would be interesting to see.
6. Opponent information.
In a conference, Media Day is when you hear from coaches and media from other members of the conference. Jason Franchuk, from the Provo Daily Herald, suggested it would be great to somehow involve some schools that are on BYU’s 2014 schedule. Having Dave McCann or the BYU Sports Nation guys interviewing coaches, players, and/or media from schools like Texas, Boise State, and UCF could be a cool wrinkle to add into the day. If BYU wasn’t able to get coaches or media involved, preview each game on the schedule without them.
7. Plans to honor the past.
Jim McMahon has finally graduated and is now eligible to be inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame. While it is not likely that his number will be retired due to strange BYU rules, I’d like to see him in the Hall of Fame this season. There’s no need to wait any longer. I would like to see Jim be part of Media Day, whether it’s in person or via video conference. It would be cool to see it announced.
It is the 30th anniversary of BYU’s National Championship team and I think BYU should announce plans to honor the coach of that team, LaVell Edwards. While the stadium is named after him, I’d like to see more LaVell at the stadium. Personally, I think it would be cool to have a statue of him on the cement outside the tunnel in the southeast corner of the stadium so the team could run past him as they take the field. I am not sure that is safe or realistic, but it would be cool for everyone in the stadium to be able to see LaVell immortalized on the sideline. Wherever the statue is, BYU needs to put one up to show appreciation to the man who built the program.
Well, BYU Santa, I have been a good fan this year and this is my list. I don’t ask for much, but I do hope that you make these wishes come true for me. I think I deserve it.
What do you want to see at BYU Football Media Day? Post your wishes in the comments section below or tweet us @Lawlessrepublic to share your thoughts!