Who is the Mark Pope in Your Life?
Who's the person in your life who you've never seen down?
Everybody has one person like that. Mine is my cousin Shelly. I've know her for 37 years, not one second one instant have I seen her down or withdrawn or not present in the moment and upbeat about what's going on.
Doesn't matter if we're at a reunion.
Or it's 2am playing cards.
Or if she has a million things to finish and kids and neighbors and whatever pulling at her. Today is always a great day for Shelly.
Mark Pope reminds me of my cousin.
When he took over for Dave Rose at BYU he was young, energetic, magnetic, funny social media videos, giving big speeches at pep rallys, pictures in recruits homes everybody cracking up, strong voice, beating Gonzaga, going to the tournament. Pope was a breath of fresh air in Provo. Dave Rose had an incredible run and got BYU to the tournament and to the Sweet 16 with Jimmer. But nobody could have been better than Pope to take over for Rose. He was a big name with ties to Rick Pitino and the premiere college basketball world.
But this week I heard him talk and for the first time ever. He was a worn down man. A man eyes down and voice low. A man who is 16-12 in the WCC, without any elite players, without any shooters, without any big supporters on BYU twitter or the Cougarboard and the BIG 12, the best conference in the country on the Horizon. I'm rooting for him but it's been a long year.