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Before you File
Best of Business 2011
In the Zone
The Business of Intelligence
When Opportunity Knocks
Best of Business 2011
November 1, 2011
In a year whose headlines have been dominated by fluctuating stock prices, high prices at the pump, natural disasters and Lady Gaga (feel free to interchange those last two), we thought we’d take a moment to celebrate the lighter side of life. The news doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom (although you’ll find just a little hint of that below). Take Jimmer Fredette, for example. If you can’t smile at his accomplishments, you might not be human (or you might be a Ute fan). And if you are a Ute fan, there’s plenty in here for you, too. So without further ado, may we present:
Best Argument to Change Our State Motto
Considering that Utah once boasted a store called Totally Awesome Guns, it only seems fitting that our state would become the first to use a firearm as a state symbol. That lucky pistol is the Browning M1911 automatic. Somewhere, the ghost of Charlton Heston is lighting up a big old stogie.
What does this development mean for us, the everyday citizens of Utah? Will it deter terrorists from messing with us (idea for a new state motto: Don’t Mess With Utah)? Will it ensure that our children will become the best marksmen and women in the country? Can we push for a pistol-shooting Olympic event? What about merit badges? Oh yeah, we already have those.
We all ought to be proud—of our heritage of manufacturing, that is. And our commitment to self-defense. And, above all, our shoot first, ask questions later attitude. That’s what’s gotten us to the place we are today. That’s totally awesome.
Best Way to Spend a Friday
What would you do if you had every Friday off? Besides sleep in. Three years ago, Utah state employees were wondering the same thing. Faced with the prospect of three-day weekends, those employees were probably saying things like, “I could get used to this.” And get used to it they did. Which is why what happened in September must have been so hard for them. Their Fridays suddenly got a lot busier.
Of course, the idea behind the four-day work week was to save the state money on overhead and energy costs, as well as improve worker efficiency. It was a great idea. But unfortunately, it didn’t pan out. The savings never materialized, and state employees are finding themselves bleary-eyed on Friday mornings once again.
One state employee out there must have been wondering what all the fuss was about (if he’d even heard of the four-day work week in the first place—some people just don’t get out much). Surely the state’s highest-paid employee, Kyle Whittingham, has never taken a single Friday off. That’s probably why he gets paid the big bucks. Can you imagine the outrage from fans if they heard that Utah’s football coach was kicking back on Friday mornings? Some things are just too important to blow off.
The Best Time to Say Goodbye to a Bittersweet Rivalry
Now that the Utes are safely in the Pac-12 and the Cougars are football independents, it’s time for a few predictions. In the future, when the planets are aligned and the child can put its hand into the den of the cockatrice, the football teams from University of Utah and Brigham Young University and their fans will no longer be joined at the hip like dysfunctional Siamese twins.
In that day, when an article is written about either BYU or Utah football, the online comment section will no longer be filled with bilious, angst-ridden drivel written by sad, lonely trolls who have nothing better to do than mercilessly disparage their rival’s team, coaches and fans.
Furthermore, lazy sports radio hosts will no longer be able to incite their listeners to riot by tricking 20-year-old student athletes into uttering something about their rival university that can be taken out of context and played over and over again to bump up the ratings.
In short, there will come a day when the rivalry as we know it will be no more. Cue Handel’s Messiah.
Best Use of God-given Talent
According to some reports, Jimmer Fredette’s parents, recognizing their boy’s off-the-charts midi-chlorian count, placed him aboard an escape pod seconds before their home planet was blown to smithereens. Others maintain that his mother hid him in a basket among the thrushes of the Nile to keep him safe from marauding soldiers. Still others claim that He-Who- Must-Not-Be-Named tried to kill Jimmer in his infancy, only to be most emphatically denied.
Where did Jimmer come from? We’re not buying this Glens Falls, New York story. It’s just too far-fetched. Whatever the case, his accomplishments speak for themselves: soldering the hole in the ozone, patching up the San Andreas fault, saving Larry King’s latest marriage and brokering a landmark merger of the Republican and Democratic parties. (OK, that last one was a lie). So what’s next for Jimmer? How about placing a call to David Stern and ending this stupid lockout. It’s time for him to make his mark on the world.