5 min read

Today is a Numb Little Bug day for me

Today is a Numb Little Bug day for me

National Signing Day is a fun day for me. It's the one day (I guess two if you count the early signing period, but that's kinda of an extension of National Signing Day in my head) that the BYU world stops and cares about what I care about. For one day, all of the work and effort that I put into the recruiting process is the focal point of everyone's attention.

It's a cool feeling to be paid attention to like that.

Recruiting is a tough game to cover. It requires following and paying attention to the active BYU roster, it requires paying attention to the high school scene in the state of Utah, and it requires at least a cursory knowledge of prep sports across the country.

In order to market myself as someone who knows more about recruiting than a random account on Twitter, I have to be informed and prepared for any question that might come up. That isn't an easy task.

For example, after the celebration of National Signing Day yesterday, I was asked, "What's the update on Joey Hobert?"

Well, there isn't one. And candidly, I haven't thought for even three seconds about Joey Hobert in weeks. But, because people pay a few dollars a month to have access to my brain's opinions, the things my brain learns, and the things I've learned from other people's brains, I felt compelled to provide some kind of an answer.

That kind of thing happens every day. All day.

And that's ok! That is, after all, the product that I have decided to offer to subscribers. Nobody is doing anything wrong and I love being the person that gets asked those questions.

Maybe it's my ego that enjoys being the center of attention. Maybe it's a false-feeling of authority that actually drives me. Maybe the twisted idea that I'm actually providing a material impact on BYU's recruiting efforts is the driver. Or, maybe, I just like the game.

Whatever it is, I do it every year. National Signing Day is a big day. It's the culmination of years - yes, years - of hard work on a specific recruiting class. The coaches celebrate the end of a recruitment, and in my head, I feel it appropriate to celebrate with them. I invest a lot of damn time into the process.

But let's talk about the day after National Signing Day....

Every year, I feel the same. After the climax of the recruiting story yesterday, the day after is an emotional letdown. After being the center of attention for the day, I am thrust to the back of the abyss almost immediately. My coverage - the articles, opinions, thoughts, stupid inside jokes, etc. - all goes back to its home in the 'only matters to a handful of people' category.

It's a stark reminder that my recruiting coverage is very transactional. To the vast majority of people who consume what I put out into the world, they are consuming the end-product, but the producer of the product doesn't matter. Whether something was written by Jeff Hansen or Zippy-Dan Smithson makes no difference.

It's not Jeff that's the product. Jeff is the producer.

The day after National Signing Day is a tough day for me. Instead of opening my phone and seeing questions and people sharing my work, I see the typical bickering about things that, frankly, don't impact any of us in any way. When I go to the office, the water cooler conversations go back to movies or weekend plans or food or whatever else it is that people talk about. Social media goes back to politics or banter with/about rivals.

Everything just continues. Like National Signing Day and all of the work that went into it didn't even happen.

I'm not complaining or looking for attention, I'm just sort of thinking out loud - er, thinking in writing.


Em Beihold has a song that came out last year that illustrates by post-National Signing Day feelings really well. A few of the standout stanzas from the song:

"Do you ever get a little bit tired of life
Like you're not really happy but you don't wanna die
Like you're hanging by a thread but you gotta survive 'cause you gotta survive
Like you're body's in the room but you're not really there
Like you have empathy inside but you don't really care
Like you're fresh outta love but it's been in the air
Am I past repair?"

"A little bit tired of tyrin' to care when I don't
A little bit tired of quick repairs to cope
A little bit tired of sinkin'
There's water in my boat
I'm barely breathin'
Tryna stay afloat
So I got these quick repairs to cope
Guess I'm just broken and broke"

"Do you ever get a little bit tired of life
Like you're not really happy but you don't wanna die
Like a numb little bug that's gotta survive
That's gotta survive"

I'm very lucky to the recruiting stuff I do. It's choice that I make each and every year, and I will continue to make the same choice in the years to come. I love it.

But the day after National Signing Day is a numb little bug day. It's a 'survive just for the sake of surviving' day.


Everyone has numb little bug days. Some of us have more numb little bug days than we do non-bug days. Some of us, I think, all get a little bit tired of life sometimes.

My feelings aren't unique today. The road I took to get to these feelings might be unique, but regardless of what road I took to get here, I'm still eating the same cheeseburger as everyone else in the restaurant.

And that's what I really want to say today.

Today, I'm a little bit tired of life. Today, I'm just surviving. Today, I'm in the room but I'm not really there. Today, I have empathy inside but I don't really care. Today, I'm using quick repairs to cope. Today, there is water in my boat. Today, I'm a numb little bug that's gotta survive.

And that's perfectly okay.

Recruiting coverage is my hobby, but humanhood is my purpose. Every day, I try to send an email to someone new to tell them that I love them. Sometimes it's an distant cousin or aunt or something, sometimes it's an old friend I've lost touch with, but over the last few months, I've tried to share more love than anything else.

Today, I'm not sending an email to anyone specifically. Instead, I'm sending a newsletter out to anyone else who is having a numb little bug day. I love you. And I get it. We're just out here surviving.

I'm not a hard person to find. If you need someone to survive with, let's survive together.

You're not broken. You're not past repair.

You're just human. And that's exactly what I love about you.

We can all do this together.