Thursday, April 29, 2010

Other Highlights from April 29, 2010

For today's paper I also wrote some high praise for the BYU women's rugby team:

Y women's rugby team sticks to faith

It was nice to write about some positive news. There's never enough of that. (Although, The New York Times put the whole event in a pretty negative light. I'll be honest, I've always liked The New York Times but right now they are down a couple notches for me.)

And, here is my latest cartoon for the opinion page:

And, in case you aren't aware of what's going on in the Nevada Senate race, here's Stephen Colbert to explain it:

Colbert Report - InDecision 2010 Midterm Elections - Sue Lowden

And, to check out the rest of the page (there are some interesting letters to the editor), click here and go to page 3.

My First Rant

My first column of the semester was meant to be an introduction of sorts. Today, the political commentary begins.

Another aspect of this Arizona immigration law is the question of whether or not Arizona is taking too much control over what is under the jurisdiction of the federal government. I couldn't get it to fit in today's column for the paper, but I'll put a couple thoughts here:

"Tea partiers claim the government has trampled over their civil liberties one too many times and demand the federal government to take a step back. Are they hoping the vacancy left by the national government will then be consumed beyond capacity by the states? Do they want Arizona and other states to legally define the appearance of an American citizen or legal resident?"

Now, a paragraph with the opposite point of view (which I also agree with):

"Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said the states are the 'laboratories of democracy.' Innovative solutions to national problems can be tested and experimented with at the local level. Maybe the federal government should step aside and let Arizona try a few things and see what happens."

Oh, and I also drew a cartoon about this. I didn't put it in the paper because, well, even though it's a better-known issue than the Nevada Senate race, my cartoon with Sue Lowden and Senator Harry Reid at the doctor's office is funnier. But here's a little something for all you Arizona State fans:

Host Families Share Homes and Friendship with Owlz (April 29, 2010)

My final story from COMMS 321 made it in today's paper!

Host families share homes and friendship with Owlz

This story was really a lot of fun to write. It made an Owlz fan out of me. It was great to get to know these families and everything they do to support minor league baseball. Baseball may be dying out in popularity these days, but there will always be a special place in my heart for it.

Soon, I'll be checking out the BYU baseball schedule and the Orem Owlz schedule. I want to be sure to make it to a lot of baseball games this summer.

Did you know I haven't sat down and watched a live baseball game since ... 2004? Yikes. Well, I didn't play my senior year in high school. I told myself I would go watch my high school team, but for some reason I ended up seeing only softball games. And soon after that I flew off to Cordoba, Argentina for two years. Not much baseball there.

Anyway, I am excited for the smell of the grass and the crack of the bat! Play ball!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Very First Opinion Page

I've seen my name in print before, but today is a little different. I put together an entire page! I laid out and wrote part of page 3 of today's Daily Universe.

I haven't yet checked for any responses in the inbox...that might be interesting.

Anyway, here's what you can find on page 3:

- To those who are leaving us, a viewpoint from BYU's Pulitzer Prize-winning professor John Hughes
- The first edition of J Squared, a new column I created for myself
- A few letters: Open letter to Arizona, Spring break is vital, More women in business and Tenure and apathy
- And three cartoons. Here's the one I did:

This cartoon might already be outdated. But I just thought it was interesting to compare and contrast Tiger Woods' and Ben Roethlisberger's situations. It seemed to me like all anyone was talking about was the question of Tiger's return, and a little later everyone was talking about how long to keep Roethlisberger out of the NFL. Now, I know there are some major differences between them (Woods cheated on his wife, but Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault...Woods never broke the law, Roethlisberger was charged...Woods voluntarily took a break from golf, Roethlisberger was facing punitive measures from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell...). But, at the very least, they're both fun to caricature.

If you want to look at the whole page, go here and look at page 3.

Monday, April 26, 2010

On the Clock


I just finished my first day on the job. I got to the newsroom at 12:15 p.m. and didn't leave the Brimhall Building until 8:00. It went by really quickly though. Once I learned the password to the Gmail account, cleaned out the email inbox and became rapidly acquainted with Adobe InDesign, there was nothing to it.

I wrote my first column, too! Just a little bit about the new spring semester and also a little bit about myself. I got to brag about my growing family. I even mentioned my soon-to-be-born daughter! She'll be famous before she's even born!

I'm already thinking of ideas for Thursday's page. Rich told me about the BYU women's rugby team (a whole semester on the sports desk and I didn't know there was a women's rugby team), who voluntarily dropped out of the championships because they didn't want to play on Sunday. That sounds like a rare opportunity for positive news. It would certainly be more uplifting than me ranting about Arizona.

Be sure to check out tomorrow's edition of The Daily Universe!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Next Phase of J Squared

Hello there, faithful readers.

This blog post comes on the eve of an exciting new phase of my journalism career. After a grueling trial-by-fire as a Communications 321 student, I am now an actual employee of The Daily Universe (with a paycheck and everything). I was chosen to be the next editor of the Issues & Ideas page. I am so excited and can't wait for an exciting spring and summer of wordsmithing and lampooning.

During my semester in 321, I usually only posted links to my sports desk articles and opinion page cartoons without much explanation or commentary. But if that was simply not enough for some of you, just wait! There's more! In anticipation of a larger audience (now that I'm head of the most-read page of an 18,500-circulation newspaper), I'll probably have more here on this blog than what lands on the Issues & Ideas page ... a sort of "DVD Special Features" for page 3 of The Daily Universe. So all of you out there who are nerdy enough to watch movies with the director's commentary and are also interested in the issues of the day, this is your destination.

I don't know a whole lot about running the Issues & Ideas page, but I have a few ideas:

- I want to write a column quite often, perhaps weekly.
- Lots of my own political cartoons.
- I'm going to see if it is possible to use the Universe's current subscription to a political cartoon syndicate to feature the work of Gary Varvel (conservative) and either Tom Toles or Clay Bennett (liberal), some favorite cartoonists of mine.*
- I'll have a lot of technological interaction available, here on the blog and also for anyone who has caught onto Twitter (Follow me at @joshjoed!)

I am looking forward to an adventure in discussing current events and sharing ideas with my fellow BYU Cougars.

*It seems like some of these cartoonists' official websites are a little outdated. You can also find their work here or here. (These are websites that collect cartoons from all kinds of cartoonists all over the country, so it might take a while to find the cartoonist you're looking for. But enjoy all the cartoons in the meanwhile!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hoopster Fredette, Swimmer Jones Named Athletes of the Year at Y Awards (April 14, 2010)

My last regular story as a COMMS 321 student!

Hoopster Fredette, swimmer Jones named Athletes of the Year at Y Awards

It was just a simple story based on a press release, but I still had a lot of fun forming a story out of it. Not a bad one to end on.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Winners of the 6th Daily Universe Caption Contest!

The results* of the 6th Daily Universe Caption Contest:
Well, thanks to the overseeing eye of the BYU administration, we actually had to eliminate a few of the already low supply of caption contest entries due to the recent resurgence of administrative censorship.

Here's the original winner before it was axed by the "thought police":

"Oh, doom, did Elder Christofferson just say 'social justice'?" - Parker Brown, Eagar, Ariz.

Here are the ones that were fit to print:

First place:"Yeah, my HDTV stays on the Fox News channel." - Kyle Pulsipher, Mesquite, Nev.

Second place:
"I hope Brother Reid is watching." - Doug Vanderwerken, Scotia, N.Y.
*(page 3)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cougar Gymnasts Finish Out Season (April 12, 2010)

The last gymnastics story of the year!

Cougar gymnasts finish out season

I was pretty proud of myself for getting this story done even while I was 700 miles away in Oregon with a busy weekend. In the ten minutes I had between being ready for church and leaving for church, I thought I'd try calling a couple of gymnasts who I thought would be getting ready to fly back to Utah after the regionals hosted by UCLA. But when I called Megan, right away it sounded like I woke her up. :S Sorry, Megan! Even after that though, I had no fear as I called Kaylee. I kind of figured, well, this is the last time I'll do a gymnastics story. Anyway, just getting it done long-distance was an accomplishment for me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The "Hypocritic" Oath (April 8, 2010)

I was proud of this idea I came up with. Interestingly enough, it was published on the Issues & Opinions page next to an op-ed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that actually supported this doctor. It's all in the name of balance, which I support. But it's really hard for me to see where this urologist is coming from. He was on Anderson Cooper 360° trying to defend himself. (Reconcile this: Dr. Cassell posted a sign that essentially says 'Go away.' And then he claims he's not telling anyone to go away. ??? That's a head-scratcher, nose-scruncher and eyebrow-twister.)

For more on the story, go to the Anderson Cooper 360° video, or you can read here at the Orlando Sentinel (who broke the original story).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The 6th Daily Universe Caption Contest!

Caption contest #6! If you have a caption, comment on the blog or email

Former, Future Legends Unite for Day of Football (April 5, 2010)

This story was a lot of fun to do. I was assigned to cover football practice on Friday, and I hit the jackpot! It turned out I came on an alumni reunion day. Thousands of former BYU football players and their families came to see the 2010 team practice. I interviewed coach LaVell Edwards and David Nixon who happened to be there. I also saw Marc Lyons, a BYU quarterback from the '70s.

Here's the story:

Former, future legends unite for day of football

I wrote quite a long article, and of course it didn't all fit. So here's the article I wrote in its original splendor:
Years of BYU football tradition came together Friday to remember the past and look forward to the future.
More than 1,000 coaches, players and managers from seasons past crowded the sidelines during spring practice to get a look at how their team is doing in 2010.
George White, a BYU wide receiver in 1967, said each football season is a new chance for greatness.
“Hope springs eternal,” White said. “I think they’re going to have a great season.”
Former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards was also in attendance to watch the team prepare for the fall. But he said it is too early to make any predictions for the upcoming season.
“I never did make them when I was coaching and I certainly don’t make them now,” Edwards said. “You can’t tell much from spring practice. I don’t think they [the current coaches] even know. You never know how it works out. [A player] may or may not be the one to go the distance, you just have to wait and see.”
David Nixon, a recent BYU linebacker now on the Oakland Raiders roster, said he came to see the prospects competing for open positions on the team.
“I’m excited to see what happens with the quarterback battle and see who comes out on top of that one,” Nixon said. “There are lots of spots to be filled. Hopefully a lot of guys can step up and show potential and make a contribution.”
White, Edwards and Nixon had plenty of exciting football to watch.
In the scrimmage game, three touchdowns came from plays of 50 yards or more. Quarterback Riley Nelson led the offense in all three scoring drives, but it was running back Harvey Unga who threw the first touchdown of the day with a 75-yard pass to O’Neill Chambers.
Nelson threw for 137 yards and two touchdowns, a 75-yard pass to McKay Jacobsen and a 56-yard pass to J.J. Di Luigi.
Jake Heaps provided in 85 passing yards and James Lark gave 31.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said the spring reunion has been an annual event since he started coaching. The event has grown since the first year when it attracted only about 150 alumni.
“It was fun for the players and fun for the former players, that was really more of what today was about,” Mendenhall said. “I think just the enthusiasm for the program, the number of people that are supporting and excited to be back and wanting to show their appreciation of what’s happening, that really is the takeaway from today.”
Edwards had good things to say about Mendenhall’s team.
“I think he’s doing an excellent job,” Edwards said. “They’ll be another very good football team.”
Pete Strickland, the father of a former player and a big Cougar fan, said he is looking forward to the coming year for BYU football.
“It was very exciting to come down and watch the team play this last year, and we hope to keep doing that,” Strickland said. “We got some new blood in as the quarterback this coming year. And I’m glad to see Harvey Unga coming back. So I think we’ll do well this next year.”
Many of those involved with BYU football’s past had stories to tell.
Larry Heaps (a distant relative of Jake Heaps) was a wide receiver from 1967 to 1970. He said his favorite part of his BYU football career was the friendships with teammates.
“That’s what stands out the most,” Heaps said. “There’s a lot of nostalgia with coming back. It’s great to see all the old players and reminisce over days gone by.”
Craig Colyar was a team manager from 1993 to 1998. He said his associations with the heroes on the team have influenced the rest of his life.
“It was a dream come true to be around the athletes and learn from a lot of those players that were such good examples and such good people,” Colyar said. “It really helps set a tone for the rest of your life in terms of how you act and the way you treat people and work hard and you’ll be rewarded.”
Colyar said football practices involved less technology during his time as manager.
“[Coach Mendenhall] has the big clock out here counting down the drills. It was a little bit more laid-back in terms of the schedule back in the day,” Colyar said. “We ran it off a Coach Edwards schedule that he used to prepare on a sheet of white paper and a pencil. It was my job to copy that off and give that to the rest of the coaches and staff members.”
Mel Farr was a manager for the team in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and was there when BYU won the Holiday Bowl in 1980. He said the team always helped him feel involved even though he was not a player.
“I graduated high school at 4 feet 9 1/2 inches, so I was too small to play,” Farr said. “[But] I enjoyed it. I was still part of the team. They made me feel it.”
Farr said the game has changed over the years.
“They’re faster now than they were then,” Farr said. “The style of coaching is different too. They have different rules than they did way back then, so you have to adapt your coaching philosophy.”
Carol Hansen, the wife of former lineman Danny Hansen and aunt of current lineman Braden Hansen, also remembered the Holiday Bowl. The players’ wives were invited, and Hansen said she was the brave one who led the wife carpool to San Diego.
“I was the only one who would dare to drive the car and drive everybody around,” Hansen said.
Hansen said the economy was different in the ‘70s and ‘80s when her husband played for the Cougars.
“What my husband got was $175 a month,” Hansen said. “And our rent was $165 and our phone bill was $10. [So it] paid exactly that.”
Coach Edwards said the best part of the day was visiting with his players, staff and friends.
“It’s always great to see them,” Edwards said. “There’s no question about that.”
For White, the highlight of the reunion was seeing how far BYU has come and sharing it with his old teammates.
“It’s great to see the BYU tradition mature and become more entrenched in the community,” White said. “That’s been wonderful. The best thing for me is just seeing all your old friends.”
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