Posted by: Shauna Brock on January 12th, 2012The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
All right Jazz fans, it’s time to get mad.
The Jazz are ten games into the season and certain lessons have been learned. The first, given that the average age of the team is approximately twelve years old, these guys are playing better than they have any right to play. Secondly, all of us who assumed Kanter was a stupid choice have to go wash our mouths out with soap, turn around three times, spit, and apologize to the basketball gods. Third, and most important, the media more than ever is bored with Utah. And this is why it’s time to get mad.
Oh, Jazz fans are used to it. It’s part of what fuels our love for our team. For the last thirty years, we’ve stood in the shadow of Los Angeles, flown over by ESPN and SI and Yahoo on their way to the front row seats occupied by the ratings grabbers of Jack Nicholson and Kim Kar-whodian. While the Eastern Conference was full of the Chicago Bulls headline grabbers and the Boston Celtics tradtions and the Knicks insanity, the West only had one team to bother with and the Lakers have been milked and massaged and worshiped to a point where it isn’t just the Laker fans that are annoying but the Laker-fan media.
With Kobe fading slightly, the love affair has turned not to the small markets of the West but instead to the flash and lack of substance that comes from the Clippers. Why set up a new media hub anywhere when Blake Griffin is leaping over cars, right? Hey, it’s Lob City!
Meanwhile, in Swat Lake City, a revolution is taking place under the wire and Jazz fans are the better for it.
The national media has always abided by the old Mark Twain quote “Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may be in Utah.” Half the time the national press doesn’t know how to pronounce names and gets the names of the mountains wrong. Over the last few days, as I’ve fallen back into fan-mode, I’ve spent time scouring the national sites. After all, there’s a story in the fact that this group of upstarts led by an untested coach has won six of their last ten games and came within one second of beating the Lakers in overtime last night. Yet, this morning the stories are still about Kobe dropping forty.
None of us expected what we’ve seen out of this team that is like a lego mess, being rebuilt from the bottom. No one expected the drive and competition we’ve seen out of Burks or that Raja Bell has finally (over the last two games) remembered how to play defense. (Sidenote: my hopes go out to Raja and his family and may their little boy come home from the hospital soon.) You’d think the national media would pick up on it, even a little bit. This team of nothings, a collection of future and former all stars with no real “star” that has found a way to actually win games after a start that left all of us wondering if the mess at the University of Utah would actually be more interesting to watch than what Corbin was putting together. You’d think someone would pick up on the story here, on the fact that if the Jazz are able to make it to the playoffs Corbin should win Coach of the Year. But hey, why pay attention to these guys when Kobe’s still dropping forty?
So Jazz fans, reclaim that anger. Reclaim that passion. We’re back to where we’ve always been – among the best of the small markets and the media would rather cover a root canal than Utah. It’s part of the culture of this team and while the big boys are ignoring real stories, the Jazz are finding their stride. It’s only ten games in and there are a lot of good teams out there. But the Jazz might have one of the most interesting stories of all of them. Too bad only the fans will be the ones to tell it.
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