Jimmer Fredette, Roulon Gardner, & Modern Liberalism

I went to the BYU vs UNLV basketball game the other day. I arrived a little late, but amidst the shouting, clapping, and other noise the Marriot Center seems unable to properly contain these days, my Mother had to yell to talk to us. And the one of the first things she said: “when the UNLV players were announced, the crowd booed them!”

At first it seemed a bit of an odd thing to be concerned about, especially enough to yell to us over the noise. Then I realized just how disapointing it was. Of all the fans in the world, BYU fans should be the classiest. But really it goes deeper than class. It goes down to simple logic and the nature of competition. Said simply: our boys wouldn’t be as good as they are, if it weren’t for the skill and the challenge presented by the teams they play.

UNLV is a very tough team this year, but that’s no reason to boo. If anything we should cheer them on, especially when they’re announced at the begining of the game. If our team is better, that’s great, but we really owe them that cheer at the begining, as a “thank you” for pushing our team to be their very best.

I’m pretty sure Jimmer Fredette wasn’t booing them. He was sizing them up, trying to remember what worked in their previous meetup, filtering through what coach had told them in preparation, and whatever other mental preparation he normally goes through. The last thing on his mind would be disrespecting them. No, he has a healthy respect for all his opponents.

A lot of focus is put on Jimmer’s brother, TJ, who helped push Jimmer and would make him run drills, etc, to become his best. But that’s only part of the story. Another major part is the opponents he’s faced over the years. They set the standards he had to prepare himself for, the levels he had to raise to, if he wanted to be the best, if he wanted to win and become the greatest player he could. It’s largely people like those the BYU crowd booed, that we have to thank for the tallent of the Jimmer and the entire BYU team.

Because this is my personal blog, I have an obligation to rant about other things that this reminds me of. Sorta stream-of-conciousness style, right?

Here goes: This is a concept that’s widely misunderstood. And it would seem the liberal left are the one’s that have the hardest time understanding it when applied to getting things done. Competition generally makes us better, and makes the world better. It’s not a bad thing to compete, its a good thing. Liberals think that government should regulate, control, or even take over many areas that have long been run by private businesses. The idea is that somehow government will make it cheaper, better, and more efficient. They love to boo the oppsing team… in fact they’d like to just legislate the competition out of the picture completely. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. We get better as businesses, individuals, and as a nation, because of competition, not by eliminating it.

This is why government controled, regulated, or run programs never work well. There’s no competition. So instead of a better health-care system, we’ll end up with a worse one. Instead of a more efficient, smaller, beauracracy; we get bloat and impotence. Yet in the business world smaller, better, cheaper, more efficient, happens all the time.

Want to see a prime example of this? Have you been watching The Biggest Looser this season? Rulon Gardner used to be amazingly fit and strong. He did the impossible by defeating the unconquerable Russian in Olympic wrestling. But that was once upon a time. Now he’s on TV, trying to get his life back because he’s obese and unhappy. The problem: no more competition. What solution does the TV show employ primarily: competition.