Jimbo’s Mailbag – How to Sneak Down to the Lower Bowl

November 13th, 2015 | by Jimbo Rudding
(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

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 mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or tweet @JimboRudding to appear.

Q: I’ve got a Vivint Arena hack. The ushers are suckers for hard candy. Bring Jolly Ranchers and you can sit anywhere. You got any?


That’s good to know! I’m always on the lookout for ways to sneak by the ushers and sit in better seats at Jazz games. The problem is, arena ushers are getting too good at spotting seat hoppers. The Jazz must put them through some rigorous training once they’re hired so that they can easily recognize when people are fed up with their upper bowl seats and feel the need to move closer.

In the upper-bowlers defense, it is incredibly frustrating to see empty seats in the lower bowl especially when you know Matt Bonner would be able to clearly hear your heckling from those seats. It sucks the worst when the Jazz play the Suns because I have a gem of a heckle for Alex Len I’ve been sitting on since he was drafted, but I can only afford the middle-upper bowl tickets. Once I get better at poker, NBA players will be ashamed the minute they set foot in the Vivint Smart Solutions House Arena!

Even though I get incredibly nervous at even the thought of trying to seat-hop anymore, I DO have a bit of a checkered past when it comes to sneaking down to the lower bowl during games (hopefully the statute of limitations has run out and I don’t have to worry about getting in trouble at this point). Most of the lower-bowl ushers and I are on a first name basis because every time I tried to sneak down, the ushers caught me and sent me back upstairs. Now it’s to the point that if they even see me in the outside hallway, they’ll say things like, “Hey Jimbo, the game is about to start. Why don’t you start heading upstairs before you make any decisions you’ll regret.”

Even though I don’t like to bring up the past, here are some of the things that have happened to me as I was trying to sneak down to the lower bowl:

  • The usher spotted my Old Navy jeans and sent me back upstairs.
  • The usher became suspicious because my date wasn’t wearing a lot of make-up.
  • The usher noticed I was wearing a VERY tight Jazz shirt that was the 10-dollar “Item of the Night” back in 2004.
  • The usher noticed my earbuds were plugged into a knock-off iPod.
  • One time during a chat with an usher I stupidly brought up the fact that the furthest I’d traveled from Salt Lake City was to Pocatello for a funeral back in 1997.
  • I tried pretending the older couple in front of me were my grandparents while walking by the usher and to “sell it” I tried holding my “grandma’s” hand and she screamed and fell down a few steps. She was fine, but I was escorted back to my seat.
  • The last time I tried it I was successful in getting past the usher, but during a timeout she began asking to see tickets and I panicked and pretended I was frantically looking for my lost son.

The irony is all of this is that I risked getting kicked out of a Jazz game just so that I could get a closer look at a Jazz team that consisted of Big Al and John Lucas III. Wait, is that irony? I’m never really sure anymore.


Q: What’s the deal with edible underwear?


Not sure what you mean. I really don’t have a problem with them. I had some Cookies n’ Cream boxers last night for dessert. Delicious!


Q: I’m kinda bummed about Dante Exum’s injury. Any home remedies you know of that could help him return to the court sooner?


I’m with you about Dante. Can you imagine how much better an already amazing Jazz defense would be with him in the starting lineup? It really does makes me sick to my stomach. Good thing he should be back in the starting lineup next week!

I don’t know exactly what would help Dante recover quicker since the Rudding family never had problems with torn ACLs. However, here are some home remedies for ailments that have been known to plague generations of Ruddings:

  • For broken bones, eat double the amount of Pop Tarts that you normally do each day.
  • For concussions, think about how if ET could make those kids float in the air on their bikes, why couldn’t he make himself float back to his home planet?
  • For a bad back, have someone pop it for you. Preferably a large uncle or teacher.
  • For sprained ankles, put it underneath a sleeping dog for approximately four hours.
  • For common cold, don’t do anything. Just let it run its course.
  • For severe common colds, complain to as many people as possible.
  • For pulled hamstrings, eat only ham for every meal for as long as possible.
  • For cold sores, speak with an Italian accent for the rest of the day.
  • For smaller-animal battle wounds, put the animal in a cage until it agrees to apologize.
  • For shingles scars, don’t get on the roof again for at least a month.

Some of those remedies may seem ridiculous, but don’t knock them until you’ve tried them.


Q: If you were in charge of replacing Bolerjack and Harpring as Jazz TV commentators, who would you replace them with?


Ahhh Boler and Harpring. They’re like the Batman and Robin of the Utah Jazz, which I guess would make Steve Brown The Riddler and Allen Handy Catwoman?

I know there are some people out there who really don’t like Boler and Harp. I don’t necessarily understand that. Bolo has been in the business for years and Herp is an NBA vet who understands the game perfectly. Sure they are goofy and a little dad-jokey, but whomever among us is free from dad jokes, let him cast the first stone and hurt his back in the process.

I honestly wouldn’t really want to replace either of them with anybody at this point. I tell you that not because they said if I mentioned how awesome they are in this mailbag that they would promise to let me to sit next to them during a home game this year and control a couple of electronic fart machines I put underneath the visiting bench. It’s because they are good at what they do and they really care about the team and the fans.

I guess if I someone held a match over my Beanie Babies and was forced to pick their replacements, I would probably choose my Aunt Claire and Uncle Dale because they would spend most of the game arguing about if Bobby Hansen was still alive or not and it would be hilarious.

You know who I wouldn’t want calling Jazz games? Jim Les. That guy was the worst at PLAYING basketball; could you imagine how bad he’d be at just TALKING about it on TV???


Q: If Greg Ostertag was part of Genghis Khan’s army, would the great wall of China be taller? Or made of Ostertag’s missed shots?


Ohhhh I get it. You’re talking about bricks, right? Good one, Amar. That took me longer to get than it should have. Also, I’d like to just throw in that you guys over at slcdunk.com do a great job. Keep it up!

The Great Wall would definitely have to be taller, but probably not tougher. Ya know?

Your question made me realize that I haven’t given my Ostertag spiel for quite some time. So, here it goes:

First off, Ostertag wasn’t a great NBA player. But here’s the thing — he wasn’t awful either. Sure he wasn’t a physical specimen like yours truly and he had a case of the butterfingers most of the time, also like yours truly. However, he wasn’t the waste of space doofus that a lot of casual 90’s Jazz fans claim. Could he have tried harder? Yes! Should he have been in better shape? Yes! Should he have cared more about basketball and winning? Yes! Should he have stood up for himself after getting slapped by Shaq? Yes! Should he have stayed quiet and not gotten into arguments with Jerry Sloan so much? Yes! Should he have worked more on his personal hygiene? I’m not sure. I never got that close to him.

Now, Greg Ostertag was in the game to be a big person and keep his arms up. He wasn’t there to put on a display of elite athleticism because he wasn’t that great of an athlete. He was in there to use his fouls, get rebounds, and get out of the way of Karl Malone and John Stockton on the offensive end. If you ask me, he did a pretty good job at that during his Jazz career.

Should he have worked harder and become as good as Hakeem? No. What about a giant, white Michael Jordan? No, of course not. Why would I even ask myself that question? Should he have stopped himself from getting that Flinstones tattoo? Yeah, I guess. Should he have been raised by a pack of emus? What!? OK, this has to stop. Frankly, I’m worried about myself.


Thanks for the questions y’all! I spoke with a few CEO’s of some giant internet companies and they said they’re seeing some crazy spikes in internet frequencies coming from this mailbag every Friday afternoon. Congrats! The credit all goes to you guys! Thanks for reading!

Jimbo Rudding

Jimbo Rudding

I am a typical Jazz fan. I think Jordan pushed off, Derek Fisher lied, Bavetta cost us at least one game in the Finals, we should have drafted Tony Parker instead of Raul Lopez, and there will never be anything better than the Stockton to Malone days. I, along with Spencer Campbell @SCampbellSBN, started the first and longest-running Utah Jazz podcast on earth. I enjoy the in-of-doors and telling people a better way of doing whatever it is they're currently doing.
Jimbo Rudding

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