I recently joined up with a group of guys as part of a weekly Utah Jazz Podcast. We get together and discuss the week's games, team news, funny stories, and break down what we see. In conjunction with that, I decided to write an entry outlining my Jazz fandom. If you are interested, check out the podcast and game-by-game videos at: http://www.theutahjazzblog.com/. Also, throughout this post there are some pics, either of me or of signs I've made for games.
Ever since I was a small child I have loved the Utah Jazz. Growing up in Utah where the NBA was your only option if you wanted to follow pro sports contributed to that, but for me it goes much deeper. Initially, I think it began as a way for my dad and me to bond. Not that we ever had a hard time, we were pretty much best friends. He had season tickets, however, and as a kid, it was always the most exciting activity to go to a Jazz game with Dad. I think it was clear to him that at a young age it was appreciated by me more than anyone. A nine year old jumping up and down, screaming at the players, refs, and mimicking whatever my dad had to say earned me a few extra tickets to the games. Playing on our backyard hoop, I was Darrell Griffeth, Mark Eaton, Corey Crowder, Stockton, Malone, Horny and everyone in between. That is just where it began.
It got serious for me in 1994 when my dad picked me up one day from a youth church activity and passed our house and went toward the freeway. I figured we were just running some errands, but we kept driving toward Salt Lake. I finally asked and my dad told me where were going: to game 7 of the second round playoff series with Denver. I made a group of happy children on their way to Disney World look like Simon Cowell suffering through the first round of American Idol auditions. In other words, I was excited. It was then that I learned the most exciting activity that could be done in public was attend a Utah Jazz home playoff game.
I could go on detailing my favorite Jazz game moments, but I won't. As a small resume for our podcast listeners, I will, however, list some of my finest Jazz fan experiences and attributes:
- I think every entry in my high school yearbooks mentioned the Utah Jazz in some way or another
- My first son's first name will be Stockton (Karie has agreed)
- I recently won a Jazz golf shirt because I remembered Jamie Watson's jersey number
- My dad and I flew home from Hawaii 2 days early to go to Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals (Jordan's "Flu" game)
- The mention of the Lakers makes me physically ill
- Remembering John Stockton's Shot literally heals me
- I don't watch "Dancing With the Stars" and don't plan on it
- I would watch "Dancing With the Stars" like a fanatic, if Jeff Hornacek were a contestant
- I noticed, and it bothered me, when they changed the song that plays at tip off from ACDC's "Thunderstruck" to "Let's Get Rocked" by the same band. Now the song is "It's Time For War" by LL Cool J (judging by our home record this year I think we should go back)
- With Jimmy Bragg's assistance, I handed out fliers at a playoff game to try to unify the crowd in chanting "Larry Miller" instead of "Houston Sucks!"
- As a kid, I wore that foam basketball-head hat for every game until I was 16...kidding...15
- My dream job: ESA Sound Engineer for all home games
- This blog rings true to me
- I lived in Michigan for 4 months and other than my Sunday white shirt, all my shirts had the Jazz logo (one or two BYU shirts) (I was known by everyone as either Utah Mike ot Jazz Mike)
- Go Cougars!
- Dick Bavetta robbed the Jazz of a chance at a game 7 in Chicago - Eisley's non-shot clock violation, and The MJ push
- I had a mission companion, Jordan Cook whom I bonded with instantly when we spent an entire night quizzing each other on jersey numbers...we knew them all
- I never give up on my Jazz and always believe they can win.