Friday, September 11, 2009

International Utah Jazz Appreciation Day!

This has absolutely nothing to do with a hip replacement, but what the hell. Today, both legendary Utah Jazz player John Stockton and current coach Jerry Sloane were inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame (so if you were wondering what that faint cheering noise was today around 6:30 pm, it was the sound of millions of Mormons rocking the Casbah). I am a Utah Jazz fan for a couple of reasons:

1) The Jazz's star player, Deron Williams, is a U of I alum and Jerry Sloane actually spent a semester at U of I as well. (I-L-L  I-N-I!)
2) A., who is my main (read: only) NBA-watching compadre, is a Jazz fan and I was without a team to cheer for since, while I love Steve Nash, I refuse to root for the Phoenix Suns until they decide to play defense and the Vancouver Grizzlies are now hanging out in Memphis (sell outs). I jumped merrily on the Jazz bandwagon.
3) They actually run offensive sets, as opposed to, say, doing the whole "allow the star player to jack up an outside shot with 22 seconds left on the shot clock, then permit him to stop and have a small pity party and complain to the refs when he does not score, preventing him playing defense" play.
4) My godparents are Mormon (which is puzzling, since I was raised Anglican/Episcopalian...), so I consider rooting for the Jazz to be part of my religious upbringing.
5) Because I can get behind any team where announcers routinely complain about the ferocity of the fans. No one can heckle quite like Jazz fans (they are still punishing Derek Fisher for transferring to the Lakers so that his kid would be closer to good doctors for her cancer treatment) and watching these prim blonde women with their hair teased and sprayed into helmets around their faces and their little blue sweater-vests on going purple with rage over a missed call rocks my world in a serious way.
6) Jerry Sloane = hilarious in a crochety grandpa kind of way.

So, in honour of the Utah Jazz, Jerry Sloane and John Stockton, here is a photo of Utah Jazz center Andrei Kirilenko at a Halloween party. Though he is without a costume, I believe based on the expression on his face that he dressed up as Lurch from The Adams Family. Keep it classy, Utah Jazz. Keep it classy.

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