Facebook is such a funny thing. I’m surprised to find as I type this that that word; “facebook” is still considered a misspelling in Microsoft Word. It’s just a matter of time before that too is canonized in the correctness of our cyber-speak. No, this is not going to turn into my long awaited facebook diatribe, I’ll save that for another day. This week in cyberspace, however, BYU got the spotlight, and I’ve a word or two to say about that.
I was scrolling down my newsfeed (that word has already been canonized, no doubt under unrelated circumstances) and I saw that someone had posted a link with the comment “ESPN just got a little cooler” and the title was “BYU honor code unrealistic?” I automatically assumed that this video would tear the honor code to pieces and that that person was advocating treating BYU’s honor code the way pirates treat their code; “the code is more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” To my surprise, however, it was not an attack that loaded when I clicked the link, but an affirmation. And I, like ‘Chris Broussard, ESPN NBA Insider’ found it refreshing.
This has been a seriously brilliant season in basketball for BYU. I know you don’t have to be in Provo to know that. You don’t have to personally hear the cheering or see the people that waited in line for an hour and a half to get Jimmer Fredette’s autograph (to which Jimmer never showed up, and it turned out to be a prank). You don’t have to personally use up a whole tank of gas looking for a parking spot because you have rehearsal during a basketball game and nobody’s leaving, to know that BYU has had a sweet season.
I can’t imagine the amount of extra revenue that’s coming to the university from the people who are buying paraphernalia at the bookstore and camping outside the Marriott Center for tickets. I’ve seen basketball tickets going for forty bucks where before it was just a matter of whose All-Sports pass you could borrow for an evening. Skip Bayless said BYU could be the best team in the country right now. We could be on our way to being “America’s darling” and you just don’t break up a thing like that.
Those ESPN commentator’s were wondering if it’s even possible to win a championship or even get close when you’re holding your players to such high standards, and I was humbled to hear someone outside Provo and outside of the Church understand that “there are certain things more important than winning a game.”
Maybe losing our starting forward is too big a setback to go where we were headed this season (though since I started writing this, we beat Wyoming 102 to 78), but some things are more important and I’m grateful that ESPN brought that to our attention, because sometimes it takes an unlikely voice to rouse a deaf student body. When you’re actually here and hearing how important the honor code is, it starts to sound mundane and insipid, but this week on facebook, even people who I’ve personally heard complain about the honor code “liked” this secular appreciation of it.
When I was sitting in the testing center today, annoyed that Biology 100 is even a thing, I looked over and saw a boy get his things situated before bowing his head evidently entreating the Lord’s help for the assessment ahead. Teachers poke fun at the number of desperate, pleading prayers that the testing center must inspire, but I love it. I love being in an environment where there is no shame in bowing one’s head in prayer, where bringing up a scripture in 3 Nephi that relates to this 19th century novella is not only allowed, but that someone else will actually get the reference. Despite more than a few complaints, my peers might remember hearing from my lips over the years, I’m grateful to be in a place where they know what’s important and even more grateful this week to hear someone else laud that too.