The Utah Jazz are our local NBA team here in Salt Lake
City and by far is the king of the local sports scene. I
was a BIG Jazz fan for many years starting from the day
they came to Salt Lake from New Orleans in the late
'70's. I have many, many great memories of attending
Jazz games, as well as tuning in regularly to televised
games for over 20 years. There were some years of
incredible success along with the very lean years.
Regardless, I always loved basketball (it's a requirement
for growing up in Utah), and loved the fact that we had a
top professional organization right here in little SLC. I
hate to say it, but my days of enthusiasm ,or even
sincere interest, are gone. No, it's not due to the
Stockton-Malone era having finally come to an end
(although I did intensely want to see those guys get the
ring they so deserved), but is due to the fact that the
game of professional basketball no longer appeals to me
in any way. The game is very different than the one I
grew up watching. In fact, it was, and IS still only the
Utah Jazz that provide an example of what the game
once was. That is to say that the Jazz, more than any
other NBA franchise, believe in teamwork and the
personal character of those who represent their team
both on and off the court.
The contemporary NBA game is a YAAAAAAAWN! Street
thug runs the length of the court, drives the lane,
and...WHISTLE! Next play: One tattooed loser runs the
court, passes (once) to another inarticulate, violent
prone jerk, who takes ANOTHER ill-advised 3 pointer.
Miss. Scramble for the rebound, and...Whistle! Time
Out. 13 commercials. Wow! How do people put up with
that?! Especially when there's probably a great hockey
game on the other channel.
All of that said, I still love my Jazz, would love to see
them win a championship, and think they remain one of
the most interesting teams (see their incredibly diverse
lineup) in the league.
Univ. of Utah Runnin' Utes:
Not only is the Univ. of Utah my alma mater, but both their
basketball and football teams provided great memories for me as a
kid. I grew up intensely following the Runnin' Utes of the Jerry Pimm
era. Does anyone remember the days of Jeff Jonas, Jeff Judkins,
Buster Matheney, or Danny Vranes? Those were great days for both
the team and the kids in my neighborhood. We loved those guys!
The bulk of the time since has been the "Rick Majerus Era" for the
Utes, much of which has been full of success far beyond that of the
'70's and early '80's. In fact, we came one 2nd half (we were several
points ahead at the half) away from taking the NCAA Championships
several years ago (Was that '98?) against Kentucky. I remember
distinctly watching that game at the One World Sports Bar at Darling
Harbour in Sydney and befriending a bunch of guys who I later
found out were the stars of the Sydney Kings (Sydney's NBL
professional basketball team). Turned out to be a great day despite
the loss. Coincidentally, the Utes star player from last year, and
NBA's number 1 draft pick Andrew Bogut, is an Australian from
Melbourne. The Utes have a new coach as of last season, Ray
Giacoletti, who will hopefully breath new life into a program used to
winning, but who have been winning ugly of late.