Four years ago, after BYU basketball, led by Jimmer Fredette, upset San Diego State on their home floor, I remember reading something a guy had written about the game to his sister who was serving a mission (if anyone knows who that was, I'd love to give him credit!). I thought my brother, Cam, would appreciate something similar, so this was the email I sent him that week. Enjoy!
1 I, thine eldest sister, do commence mine epistle to you, mine youngest brother, who art faithfully serving our Lord in the faraway Chuuk Islands, concerning that great battle between our beloved Cougars and those mighty Zags.
2 For verily, the Zags were mighty not only on the west coast, yea, but also in the whole land, having earned a ranking of 3.
3 And our Cougars, despite many close losses and much adversity, had no ranking. Yea, and there was very little belief in all the land that our band of brethren could obtain a victory against the Zags in their own land.
4 For behold, the Zags had not lost a battle in their own land, even The Kennel, since the year of our Lord 2012, for the Zags had among them much talent, insomuch that they had won 41 battles straight, and were undefeated in conference play.
5 And it came to pass, that the Cougars did march forth into the Kennel, to give the Zags battle on their floor on that same night which honored those most Senior among the Zags, even that crafty Captain Pangos and his brethren Wesley and Bell Jr.
6 And in the Kennel was much hostility and mockery towards the Cougars. Yet our brethren were not shaken in their mission, for that great General Rose did lead them, and in him they did have much faith.
7 And it came to pass, that the great battle did commence, and that great Captain Chase Fischer, he who is from the land of our fathers, even West Virginia, did sink a three to start the battle, which thing is marvelous to behold.
8 And that three did embolden his fellow Captains, yea even the most beloved Captain of the Cougars, even Tyler Haws, and his brother, that most steady Captain, even Kyle Collinsworth, that they did score points to gain an early advantage over their enemy.
9 But behold, there was one among the Zags who was one of the most youthful among them, and his name was Sabonis, and he did score many buckets against our Cougars.
10 And it came to pass that our Cougars were not rattled, but did cause it to rain from behind the arc, and in this manner did they maintain their lead.
11 And that Kafusi, who is the brother of that fearsome Bronson, did plague that giant Karnowski with his defense and blocks that the giant did contribute little.
12 But our enemy did not relent, and its Captain Pangos did with great steadiness lead his team against the Cougars, and did sink a jumper at the buzzer of the half to even the score.
13 And at the mid-point of the battle, our beloved Captain Haws, who did just two nights before surpass our great leader Jimmer in points, did have but three. Yet his brethren did strengthen him with their great courage, insomuch that it mattered not.
14 And behold, in most of the land there was as yet but slight hope that the Cougars could slay the mighty Zags.
15 And the second half of the battle did commence, and our Cougars did fortify their confidence in their General to lead them, and did press forward in earnest, and were united in their goal.
16 And it came to pass that our brethren did again obtain a lead against their canine enemy. But nevertheless, they did not cease to fight on the glass and to guard with much energy.
17 And there was one among the Cougars, who did join their band from junior college two seasons ago, and his name is Skyler Halford. And many did doubt the play of that Halford, but behold, he did prove them wrong in conference play, yea and even against the Zags, for he did hurt them in diverse ways, even beyond the arc, in the midrange, at the rim, and from the stripe.
18 And the Angels were with Kafusi, that he did make a long hook shot that did shock and amaze.
19 And that courageous Captain Kyle Collinsworth did continue to lead them, yea, and his play could not be matched.
20 And behold, with less than eight minutes remaining in the battle, our Cougars did have a ten-point lead against their enemy.
21 Yet, verily I say unto you, the Zags did not cease their efforts, and a trey from that senior Bell Jr. did cut the lead to five but with two minutes to go. And that other senior Wesley wast fouled, and did make both shots, to make the lead but three.
22 But behold, that most brave Captain, even Collinsworth, who did suffer a grave injury at the hands of the Zags less than one year ago, nevertheless he hath no fear, and would not cause that his brethren should surrender to their enemy. Therefore, he did drive among those Zags that he might make a layup. But behold, he did miss.
23 Yet it mattereth not! For he did rise up among all those Zags as with the strength of ten men, and did put back his miss, that the Cougars did take a five point lead with fourteen seconds remaining. And the hearts of Cougar nation were gladdened.
24 But those mighty Zags did surge, and did pull within three. And there was much anxiousness in the land of the Cougars.
25 And it came to pass that with six seconds left in that great battle, the Zags did foul our beloved Captain Haws, and did send him to the line for two attempts. And all of Cougar nation did rejoice! because that Haws was one of the greatest from the stripe in the land. And he did need to make but one to end the bitter battle.
26 But behold, it came to pass that he did miss both, causing much anguish, for the battle was not yet ended.
27 But the Cougars did play smartly, and did send a Zag to the line with two seconds left. And that Zag did make both, so that the lead was but one.
28 And it came to pass that on the inbounds, the Zags did foul Ryan Andrus, who is but a freshman, and who had missed both attempts earlier in the battle. And the hearts of Cougar Nation did sink.
29 But verily I say unto you, that Andrus doth have ice in his veins, for he did make both.
30 But behold, the victory was not yet won, for the Zags had 1.6 seconds in which to tie our Cougars and prolong the fight.
31 And on the inbounds, the Zags did get the ball to Kyle Wiltjer, he who did transfer from the mightiest army in the land, even Kentucky. And Wiltjer did heave the ball from half court, and not one soul dared to breathe.
32 And the ball did hit the back of the rim, but I say unto you, it did not go in.
33 And that band of our brethren did rejoice, and great was the celebration thereof!
34 Yea, and there was much screaming for joy in the land of the Cougars, for there had not been a day so blessed among our people since the days of that great Jimmer.
35 And the Cougars did defeat the mighty Zags in their own land, which thing most did not suppose possible.
36 But our little band of Cougars were strong in their belief that they could win, and did fight together as one, and did earn the victory, never once allowing their enemy to obtain an advantage over them, which thing had not been done in the Kennel since 2007.
37 And it is with great joy that I bring you these tidings, and assure you that all is well in Cougar nation!
38 And verily, I say unto you, be not anxious that thou hast missed this great battle, for behold, there will be many more battles with the mighty Zags in which the Cougars may be victorious.
39 And I close mine epistle unto you, my beloved brother, and bid thee to do good work among the people of Chuuk, and to know that we lovest and pray for thee.