A Cougar Tail extended an ESPN broadcaster’s workout. How many calories are in BYU’s beloved sweet treat anyway?

Look away, Mark Jones. You may not want to know the answer.

(Norma Gonzalez | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Cougar Tail, a large maple bar donut photographed in Nov. 2021, is a staple at BYU athletic events.

You’ve seen them at concession stands on the concourse level of the Marriott Center at BYU men’s and women’s basketball games. You’ve seen people holding them at BYU football games.

They look like a maple bar donut zapped by the device used in “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.” They’re so big that it took several BYU students to get through just half of one in a video from BYU’s win over Baylor that’s gone viral.

Everyone knows that donuts are yummy. But you may not want to how many calories come in a Cougar Tail.

The question was implicitly raised by ESPN broadcaster Mark Jones, who, along with former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, took some bites of the larger-than-life donuts on live TV.

“That’s about 300 calories right there,” Jones said after taking a bite. “I just gave back my workout.”

Jones quote tweeted the segment the next morning and wrote, “The Cougar Tail earned me an extra 20 minutes of cardio but I’ll take the hit every time.”

Jones clearly cares about his health and fitness, and donuts are not historically conducive to someone being healthy and fit. So just how many calories are in those delectable Cougar Tails?

It turns out Google doesn’t know everything. A 2012 Issue of “Y Magazine,” a BYU student publication, claims one Cougar Tail is 542 calories. That same article says one Cougar Tail is about the equivalent of four regular maple bar donuts, and one of those is anywhere between 350 and 380 calories. So the math doesn’t add up.

The Salt Lake Tribune asked a BYU official. Here’s the answer we got back:

“OK. Asked around and got 2,200 calories. I think that is a safe ballpark.”

Twenty. Two. Hundred.

To be fair, “Y Magazine” may have meant 542 calories per serving. Four servings of a maple bar at that number equals 2,168 calories.

That’s a lot of calories.

Jones probably didn’t eat the whole thing, so he should be just fine after 20 minutes of cardio, which can burn 300 calories if the workout is rigorous enough.