I was checking out the www.drafttek.com ratings of 2010 draft picks today. I posted a link in the fanshots. The play of the Utah players jumped out at me and made me want to look deeper. I profess to have limited knowledge on the post I am about to embark on but I am sure that AP will have more knowledge to enlighten me and any who care to read further.
We know what Zane Beadles an Offensive Guard from Utah now on the Denver Broncos did to us. Many here wanted Koa Misi OLB from Utah who is now playing for Miami in the NFL. Both have been wonderful NFL rookies.
During the Summer, Harvey Unga from Brigham Young University came available in the Suppplemental draft.
Much was made of the fact that he violated some institutional rules at BYU and was forced to admit his mistake and dismissed from the team.
Tony Moeaki is soon to be, or now is his Brother-in-law. The point of my post is that maybe the strict requirements of Mormon Universities is a good thing in the young lifes' of college athletes. Obviously, not all players from Utah, BYU, Utah State, and Weber State are LDS in faith. But many are, as many are in Universities across the world and some play College Football. The point that strikes me is the maturity, that many of them have. No Alcohol, caffeine, and Cigarettes would tend to create a better conditioned athlete. Missions would tend to focus a young person on matters other than themselves. Well just my thoughts anyway.
In the NFL, some teams seem to maybe agree:
Now, based on just college affiliation to the 4 Universities listed above.
10 teams have zero players from the state of Utah (including the Kansas City Chiefs).
13 teams have One player and 5 teams have two players. 28 teams in total.
The Miami Dolphins seem to have decided Utah is fertile enough for nearly 10% of its roster
Koa Misi OLB
Sean Smith CB
Paul Soliai NT
all from Utah and all are starters in 2010.
John Denney LS BYU
Pat McQuistan G Weber State
I do not know how many are of the LDS faith but all had the structure of the Utah universities rules.
Like Harvey Unga did, who is now on the Chicago Bears roster. A link to the Mormon Times and the Mormon Players in 2009. It is an interesting article. The players listed by Team:
Chris Hoke, DL, Steelers, BYU
*Brett Keisel, DL, Steelers, BYU
*Chris Cooley, TE, Redskins, Utah State
Jonathan Fanene, DL, Cincinnati, Utah
*Eric Heitmann, OL, 49ers, Stanford
Scott Jackson, OL, Texans, BYU
Bryan Kehl, LB, Giants, BYU
*Maake Kemoeatu, DL, Panthers, Utah
*Spencer Larsen, FB, Broncos, Arizona
*Edwin Mulitalo, OL, Lions, Arizona
*Brady Poppinga, LB, Packers, BYU
Sione Pouha, DT, Jets, Utah
Cory Procter, OL, Cowboys, Montana
*Naufahu Tahi, FB, Vikings, BYU
*John Tait, OL, Bears, BYU
Scott Young, OL, Browns, BYU
*Starters in 2009
Now, just a quick note regarding following a certain faith in Professional sports
Smackdown! Lebowski and Solon should be ashamed, constantly kvetching about Mormons this and Mormons that. Schmucks.
That's interesting, to be sure. They have "Jewish Olympics" (The Maccabiah Games (http://www.jewishsports.net/the_maccabiah_games.htm)) too.
There are some important differences, though. First, this is a blog and not an official news outlet, let alone an official church press site. Second, Jews can be considered an ethnic group more so than Mormons (although see Armand L. Mauss, The Angel and the Beehive: The Mormon Struggle With Assimilation (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 62-66 for discussion of Mormons as an ethnic group). I still think LDS are unique in creating a religious identity (more than ethnic or racial) through sport. As a successor to Muscular Christianity, LDS used sport to form strong bodies for their strong spirits, and applied the Word of Wisdom more stringently in the 1910s and 20s to this end. After all, how standard is it in other churches to have a gymnasium automatically attached to the chapel?
PS - was I kvetching? I think it's kinda cool.
A link to the thread this came from, also interesting to consider.
Hopefully, Scott Pioli follows the lead and not only looks for Team Captains, more SEC players (we have a 36% of our roster in SEC players), but maybe a NT from the state of Utah :)