Fans, players, prepare for the BYU vs Boise State football game in Provo.

Recruit Troy Warner, of Mission Hills High School in San Diego, does pushups in front of BYU fans before the start of the game against Boise State at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. MARK JOHNSTON, for the Daily Herald

Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s Head as I realize it’s now been an entire month since I last covered a live sporting event. Like, live and in person, me sitting courtside. It was a UVU men’s basketball game against Kansas City at the UCCU Center on March 5. I also talked to former BYU guard Jahshire Hardnett, who was playing for UMKC and was able to get a couple stories out of the night.

Little did I know …

Remote viewing It’s interesting to me to see various college football and basketball players who have entered the transfer portal making their decisions via social media.

This is a dead period for recruiting so coaches cannot visit athletes or invite them on a trip to campus.

All contact is being made digitally, including computer tours of campus.

You can still look a recruiter or an athlete in the eye but I don’t think it’s the same. Making a choice about where to play your college ball after one false start is difficult enough. I don’t envy coaches trying to sell their programs without getting to stand face-to-face with a recruit. And you can never underestimate the power of a firm handshake.

Biggest stars

Seems to me the most sought-after job in Hollywood these days would be voice-over work.

Actors can work in isolation by having their voices recorded remotely and editors can be alone as they work on completing the project.

I would guess we might see a rash of animated movies featuring the biggest stars in Hollywood in six months.

Spring hopes

The NCAA granted spring athletes eligibility relief last week and I’ve been thinking about the difficult decisions BYU coaches and athletes are going to have to make at some point. In addition, early returned missionaries will make those decisions even more difficult.

From what I’ve been able to find out, members of the Cougar men’s volleyball team all intend to return in 2021 for a run at a title. Several key factors, though, may change those decisions. Everyone is in a holding pattern right now including professional volleyball teams in Europe. When things get going again, there may be lucrative offers for several BYU athletes. In addition, the men’s volleyball team rarely has anybody on full scholarship since they only have 4½ to distribute throughout the team. Paying for an additional year of college is a big commitment. Senior middle blocker Miki Jauhiainen is a terrific student majoring in computer science. Will he stay and work toward a masters?

Like I said, the extra year is nice but it will be very difficult for some athletes to make the decision to stay or go.

For my next trick …

Useless skill I possess: I am pretty good at guessing what year a movie was made. We were sitting around as a family watching “Splash” with Tom Hanks and my wife asked what year it came out. I thought a moment and said, “1985.” My son looked it up and BAM, it was 1985.

I don’t get it exactly right every time but I’m usually within a year or two.

If I could only figure out a way to monetize such a skill.

What are you watching?

My list includes recorded BYU football, basketball and volleyball games on TV, old Cougar highlights and video game simulations of BYU sports on YouTube. That’s my sports fix for now.

You know where to find me

SyFy Channel has put all four seasons of “Battlestar Galactica” on its website and I know exactly what I will be watching over the next couple of weeks.

Same old thing

Random thought: I am so tired of not having anywhere to go. I do all of my interviews over the phone from home and write my stories sitting in my recliner or on my bed. I can only walk around the neighborhood so many times before I go a little bit stir crazy. Sure, it’s nice that a tank of gas goes about three weeks anymore, but I just want somewhere to be and go.

Amazing how much of my schedule was built around covering live sports events.

April Fool’s pranks

I try to keep this column light, even funny (hopefully) sometimes. Humor during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a tough sell. The best joke I saw on April Fool’s Day was a father who had told his three daughters — two of them in grade school and the other probably in junior high — that school had reopened and they needed to get ready. They were standing out by the car with their backpacks when Dad asked the girls what day it was. One of the younger ones said, “April 1st” and then the junior high aged daughter got it.

“I hate you dad!” she said, and the younger daughters raced after their father who was filming the whole thing.

Of course, Gov. Herbert was not pleased when someone sent out a fake release on social media indicating he had decided all school children would have to repeat the grade they were in.

Finally, I find myself uplifted and encouraged after a weekend of General Conference. We’re going to make it through this thing. Have a great week and stay safe.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at

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