Welcome to the next edition of Jimbo’s Mailbag! At Salt City Hoops, we know that covering a team without any humor can be dreary. As such, we decided to add a little bit more levity to our site via Jimbo’s unique outlook on the world of Jazz basketball. Jimbo, by virtue of being recently featured in the Deseret News, is now the world’s most famous Utah-based basketball mailbag artist. Interested in submitting a question to Jimbo’s mailbag? Email it to Jimbo at email@example.com or tweet @JimboRudding to appear.
Q: If you could ask a favor from Gail next season, what would you ask for?
I love Gail Miller. Not in a romantic way, but I just love that she comes to games and is active in Utah Jazz dealings. I know I’m assuming a lot here, but with the amount of time Larry spent away at work, the Jazz probably isn’t her favorite thing in the world. Yet, she knows her role and her importance in its success and does what needs to be done and for that we as a fan base should be grateful.
If I could ask her a favor for next season I would probably ask to have her season tickets for next year. I’d be ejected for disruptive heckling and occasionally shining lasers and whatnot, but it would be amazing to sit in her seats for a season. I don’t have that many friends, so I would be totally fine with bringing her to a few games if she missed it.
This is a good question, though. It got me thinking about how much of a fool I would make of myself if I ever even got the chance to speak with Gail. I could see myself getting extremely nervous and either mumbling or telling her all my embarrassing moments. Like the time I took a date to see “The Mighty Ducks 2” in the theater and thought she would want to make out with me because I knew a lot about hockey and Emilio Estevez.
Anyway, if I could ask Gail for a favor, here are a few things I could see myself saying:
Oh man, I hope Gail reads this.
Q: Are the Jazz ever going to make the playoffs? Why can’t the Jazz ever be winners?
I feel your pain. This has arguably been the roughest end to a season for us Jazz fans since the 1998 NBA Finals. We’ve had to endure the classic Joey and Rachael “will they or won’t they?” saga for the last month or so and the last few games were excruciating. From beating the Rockets on the road in Houston and getting a huge win in Denver to losing to the Junior Clippers team and trying to do blue darts on the court while the Mavericks took care of business.
You have the right to be upset. You invested time, money, and emotion to this team for the last seven months and what was the return on your investment? A couple of fun wins and hope for the future? The injury bug took our beloved team and simply destroyed it this year. It pants-ed our team in front of the whole school. It showed our team’s girlfriend the home videos it took of itself dancing to Paula Abdul in the basement. Then, when we thought we couldn’t take anymore, it tattled to our team’s grandparents about the stain on the carpet in the room no one is supposed to go into.
I too am tired of having a young team and looking forward to potential being realized. I need my team to be relevant again. I need the Delta Solutions SmartHomes arena to strike fear into every player on every opposing team again. I need to scream with 19,000 fans until my throat hurts again. I need the playoffs again.
Now, that being said, I am as excited about the future of the Jazz as I’ve ever been. If the team can stay relatively healthy next year (knock on wood) and the front office replaces Booker and Burke with veteran talent, I would say anywhere from a 3-6 seed is attainable. However, you have to take into account that I know very little about basketball and once thought that the plural of the word “guaze” was “gua.”
Q: NBA is considering small patches on uniforms as advertising. If Jazz had to, who would you like to see sponsor our uniforms?
Hmmm, the old stand-bys come to mind, like Classic Skating and Lagoon.
Here are some more:
Q: How many Quesalupas after the Laker game?
Full disclosure, I didn’t eat any Quesalupas. After Kobe hit that three to put the Lakers on top I turned off the TV, drove to the nearest IHOP, and crammed as many eggs and pancakes into my pie-hole as I could. Did it make me feel better? Yes. Did I regret it in the morning? Also yes. Did the rest of my family regret it in the morning? Yes again. You’re on a roll!
I’m not one to pig out when depressed. I usually just go for a walk or kick an animal or something. The only other time I pigged out was after Alec Burks got hurt in the loss to the Clippers. That night I sobbed in my car while eating a Wendy’s Baconator. Wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, but I was already in my car so at least they couldn’t kick me out of the restaurant like last time.
I don’t blame anyone for over-eating after the way the Jazz ended this season. Sometimes food is the only comfort. Pizza will never tear an ACL or have a stiff back for a month. A bacon cheeseburger will never sprain its knee or break a fibula. Orange chicken won’t be timid to take a game-winning shot. A block of cheese won’t refuse to go to the hole with aggression.
Q: What’s the process to become a Warriors fan? Any paperwork or tests? Tips for cleaning tears off my #12 jersey?
The tears will dry. They always do.
Surprisingly it’s very simple to become a Warriors fan. All you really have to do is be a dumb nerd. Ooooooooooh, burn!
Unfortunately, this is the world we live in. The best player/team will always get the most attention. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. He who gets fired will probably commit arson. You add pico and guac, you pay extra and also increase your risk of explosive diarrhea. This isn’t anything new, right?
I don’t get that sort of fandom. You have a professional team in your backyard. Why waste time being a Cavs fan or Warriors fan simply because they have a good player and win lots of games? Sure you can appreciate their play from afar, but your community needs you! Why can’t you realize that?!?! Is it fun being unoriginal and uninteresting? Man, show an ounce of loyalty for once. Why can’t you be like your neighbors and just appreciate what you have right in front of you?! Ugh, I WISH YOU WERE NEVER BORN!!!
OK, OK, I didn’t mean it. Come back. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed in the choices you’re making. You’re better than this, OK buddy? So, whadda ya say you go exchange that jersey and we go get some ice cream?
Q: Has there ever been a bigger stud than Jerry Sloan? Legend! Best of everything to him.
I couldn’t agree more. I love that man like I love the UPS guy that delivers my Amazon packages. Not that I ever was in a serious relationship with the UPS guy, but… well, okay, we slow-danced once, but that was right after the holidays and he was tired from the 14-hour days and his radio was playing Billy Joel’s “Always a Woman” and… you know what? It just felt right and I’m comfortable with it and I don’t need to explain myself any further!
Back to Jerry—I actually had a short interaction with him at a game earlier this season. We both didn’t say much, but I could tell that he was a step slower and his demeanor was softer than I was expecting. At the time I just shrugged it off as him being tired or whatever, but now with the news of his Parkinson’s and dementia, the interaction as a whole makes a little more sense. He was as gracious and personable as any fan could hope and that was all that really mattered to me. He politely declined my invitation to slow dance even though I offered to share an earbud, but I was fine with that.
If I can be serious for a moment (just a moment though, I promise) — the one thing I loved about Jerry as a coach is that he was hard-nosed and foul-mouthed, but he was ALWAYS grateful to be employed. Sure he made fantasy money to most of us, but the gratitude he had for his employer was genuine. That’s real life. He acknowledged the fans and the part they played in his chance to be a coach and have a job. Real life stuff. He didn’t make excuses and admitted mistakes. Real life again. He was never in the news for crashing on a scooter with some hot young blonde or for brawling at a bar after someone called him a mouth-breather or for getting caught slow-dancing with his UPS guy. That SHOULD be real life.
I’ve spent a good chunk of my life cheering him on and I’m so happy I get to continue doing that.
Thanks for the questions, you guys! Remember to tell the UPS guy about Jimbo’s Mailbag. Do it in Pig Latin while holding two honey-baked hams. Make it weird.