Jimbo’s Mailbag – Ideas for the Arena Renovation

September 23rd, 2016 | by Jimbo Rudding
Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

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: Does anyone know if Andris Biedrins is still alive? I need an update from Jimbo Rudding.


So glad you asked, David! Just in time too. I really think Andris could use our help or at least our good vibes. The last handful of times I’ve seen him he’s been looking weathered and worn. I just worry about him, ya know? He was such a fan favorite around here and it’s so sad to see him down in the dumps. Like, literally, I saw him at the city dump hitting a couple of old TV’s with a sledgehammer.

Maybe WE are to blame? After all, we expected him to come here and immediately become our friend and want to hang out and go hiking with us and then lead the Jazz to an NBA championship or at least a deep playoff run. That’s a lot of pressure.

He just doesn’t seem to be in a healthy mental state. Here, let me give you some quick examples of what I mean:

  • I saw him in an abandoned Training Table screaming his order into a phone receiver that wasn’t connected to anything.
  • I saw him downtown wandering around in his old Jazz warm-ups pretending to shoot a basketball at some pigeons.
  • I bumped into him as he was leaving P.F. Chang’s and he had 50 or so cloth napkins stuffed down his shirt.
  • I saw him wearing a bonnet at This is the Place Heritage Park.
  • In July, my buddy saw him walking around the Gateway holding sparklers and scream-singing Katy Perry’s “Firework.”
  • I saw him sitting on the sidewalk outside of a T-Mobile store. He was holding an uncompleted Rubik’s Cube and crying.
  • I saw him recently shushing people on the sidewalk, pretending to type on a piece of cardboard, and occasionally yelling, “I’VE GOT DEADLINES, PEOPLE!”
  • I saw him shopping at Sam’s Club.

Anyway, the point is, if you see him, give him a hug or a high-five or even a few dollars. He probably hasn’t eaten in a while.


Q: Do you think they’ll build any secret rooms as part of the Vivint arena renovations and if so, what will they be used for?


What I’m hearing is there will be a number of new “venting rooms” where anyone, regardless of whether you sit in the upper or lower bowl, will be welcome to enter and release some tension by screaming at life-size cardboard cutouts of certain people. There will also be other non-basketball related venting rooms designed to help you mentally overcome incidents or obstacles you may have had while in your younger years. The idea is that these rooms will serve as a kind of catharsis, providing fans an outlet for frustration so that they can return home to their families relieved of the internal struggles that constantly bombard and distract us. It’s sound logic. Kudos to the Jazz for being pioneers in the movement to promote mental health for sports fans. It’s definitely something that is needed.

From what I’ve heard, these rooms will be completed in time for the 2016-2017 NBA season, which is exciting. Here’s a list of some of the room names:

  • “Derek Fisher lied” room
  • “Dick Bavetta” room
  • “Dad did the Macarena in his robe and embarrassed me in front of my friends” room
  • “Karl Malone Finals free throws” room
  • “Milt Palacio, Jason Hart, Brevin Knight” room
  • “Lakers” room
  • “Ate some bad guacamole and had an epic stomach ache during prom” room
  • “Michael Jordan pushed off” room
  • “Drank too much Jolt Cola at a party and tried to do a back flip off an armoire” room
  • “Injuries” room
  • “My friends found out I have all the Punky Brewster episodes on VHS” room
  • “You go live in Utah” room

There are other rooms still in the early developmental stages, but I think we can all agree that these will be a great place to start.


Q: Heard they were putting in that little stage outside the arena specifically for your halftime shows. True?


Brad, dude, there is truly only one stage for my halftime shows, and that’s center court with my crates of trained skunks. Once Gail and the Jazz recognize that, they’ll realize how easy it will be to get away with raising ticket prices.

Even though I plan to be INSIDE the arena for my halftime shows, I wouldn’t mind using the stage outside for my mini-halftime shows, like maybe before games or during the off-season. I’ve got a few mini-shows involving potato guns and very sick/injured animals that I think kids may enjoy. Also, I have a lot of ideas with clowns and Civil War reenactors.

I’ll keep everyone updated.


Q: Favorite Denny’s platter options?


If you’re an avid reader of Jimbo’s Mailbag, then you know how much I adore Denny’s cuisine. You’ll also know that I usually only frequent Denny’s after midnight. That’s when I can count on both the food and patrons being at their freshest.

As far as platters go, you can never go wrong ordering a Grand Slam. The omelets are good and during the middle of the week you’re usually safe ordering cheesecake.

What you may not know about Denny’s is that they have a secret “Denny’s Dudes” menu for VIP members. You can only become a “VIP member” by either eating at a Denny’s three times a week for six months or by having every Alan Jackson album on your iPod (they’re sticklers about that last one; I promise, they’ll check).

I’m not sure if it’s my place to divulge what’s on the secret menu, but it may be easier to ask for forgiveness on this one. So, the following are some of the dishes on the Denny’s Dudes secret menu:

  • Plate of Cheese – Self explanatory.
  • Zuckerman’s Famous Pig – A combination of pulled pork, ham, and bacon served in a cornucopia made from actual pig skin.
  • Battered Pancakes – This is pretty much just deep-fried pancakes.
  • Too Sick for School – Saltines and Sprite.
  • Indiana Jones – This is just a bunch of scrambled eggs that they shape into a fedora.
  • Apple Event – A hamburger with a slice of apple pie in the middle.
  • Seismic Activity – Pepperoni pizza with another pepperoni pizza flipped on top with a delicious Nutella stuffed crust.
  • Mount Vesuvius – This is a spicy chili that is guaranteed to give you a stomach ache or you get your money back. After eating, if you make it a half hour without having to use the bathroom, you get your picture put up in the employee break room.
  • Cart Before the Horse – No one really knows what this is. It looks like biscuits and gravy, but doesn’t taste anything close to that. It’s just “OK” if you ask me.
  • Las Vegas – This is a tiny waffle on the kid’s section of the menu. It’s served on an ashtray that the kids get to keep when they’re finished eating.
  • Kung Pao – Just your regular old BLT.
  • Severed Hand – This is probably my favorite. It’s a triple grilled cheese sandwich served in a bowl of tomato soup.
  • Hot N’ Heavy – Two rotisserie chickens surrounded by a healthy serving of baby carrots.
  • Fettuccine Alzado – This is a delicious pasta dish served in an old Oakland Raiders helmet. (Please do NOT remove the helmet from the premises.)


Q: Why?


Why indeed.


Q: The Jazz announced arena renovations the other day. What improvements to VSHA are you most looking forward to?


I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty stoked about all the arena renovations. I like the upper bowl areas they’re planning to open up. I’m also in favor of upgrading the food situation, like maybe with a couple of Denny’ses.

I’m glad they’re not building a new arena. I’m all about saving money and making what you have work for as long as possible. Even though I applaud the Miller family for their frugality, I also applaud them for their willingness to use their resources to improve the community. Basically I spend a lot of time applauding people and things, so take that with a grain of salt (which I also applaud at times).

It’s been 25 years since the Delta Center opened for business and since that day the arena has gone through many changes and improvements. In fact, while we have some time, let’s review the history of the Jazz arena, shall we? (I hope you have time for this and continue reading.)

November 4, 1988 – Jim Les makes his Utah Jazz debut. This wasn’t in the Delta Center, but I thought it was interesting to note that immediately following this game, the Salt Palace was shut down for a deep cleaning and new arena talks began.

October 4, 1991 – The Delta Center construction is complete.

October 16, 1991 – First hockey game is played. The Peoria Rivermen, led by rover forward Alonzo “Chooch” Guttierez, defeated the hometown Salt Lake Golden Eagles by a score of 28 to 4.

October 23, 1991 – First basketball game is played. The New York Knicks, led by their giant center Patrick Abdul Ewing, defeated the Utah Jazz by a score of 101-95.

October 23, 1991 – Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks becomes the first basketball player to accidentally pass gas while dunking in a game.

October 24, 1991 – First concert is held. Oingo Boingo made their Delta Center debut by dolling out such hits as, “Kaboingo!,” “Goingo?,” “Billie Joingo,” and “Piano Man.”

November 1, 1995 – Pearl Jam plays for the first time inside the arena as a part of their Vitalogy tour. It was unbelievably amazing. Trust me, I was there.

November 3, 1996 – Dan Roberts, public address voice for the Utah Jazz, accidentally burps out the phrase “Adam Keefe SLAMMA JAMMA!” into the arena microphone during the game. Roberts promptly apologizes after the game, but it was decided that he would be put on unpaid leave for two weeks while the front office investigated the incident further.

June 28, 1997 – First WNBA game is played. Led by their 7 foot 5 inch behemoth Marge “Mulch” Frompfeiler, the Utah Starzzzzz destroyed the Seattle Goulash by a score of 119-43.

June 14, 1998 – The arena experiences a sharp shudder as Dick Bavetta waves off a Howard Eisley three-pointer that would have given the Jazz a commanding lead in the game and ultimately led to an NBA championship.

June 14, 1998 – The arena shudders again as Michael Jordan pushes off Bryon Russell for one of the most horrendous no-calls in NBA referee history.

August 11, 1999 – The arena roof and windows are damaged by a freak tornado. Popcorn, nacho cheese and other concessions are found strewn along a three-block radius, which leads to mild looting.

February 21, 2002 – First Olympic event is held inside the arena. Austria’s Merk “The Frau” Fraufenslocher took gold in the men’s 100 metres short track speed skating.

August 2, 2010 – Arena is remodeled to include small playground for kids, more space for burrito carts, and the world’s largest manila envelope.

June 26, 2011 – I, along with three other friends, are kicked out of the arena after being told numerous times that “the draft party is over” and that there “is not going to be an after party.”

July 13, 2013 – New jumbotron and sound system are installed in the arena causing temporary blindness and deafness to thousands of fans.

September 21, 2016 – Plans to renovate the arena are announced. Jimbo Rudding is asked to be Director of Halftime Show Development.

Man, what a ride it has been! Hopefully we all enjoy another 25 years of state-of-the-art facilities, improved nachos, and 25 NBA championships.


Q: What is a Jimbronie?


So glad you asked, G! A “Jimbroni” is what I call the avid Jimbo’s Mailbag reader. It’s a mix between “Jabroni” and “Jimbo” and don’t ask me why, but it just works.

So, I know what you’re going to ask next—how many Jimbronies are there? Well, that’s kind of hard to answer and it’s also very personal so I would appreciate if you would maybe keep those questions to yourself? …Oh, right, I asked the question. Sorry.

I mean, not counting my mom and a few people I take to lunch each week to get the mailbag clicks up, there probably aren’t many Jimbronis. But the doors are always open for those wanting to become one. All you have to do is meet me anytime Tuesday through Friday starting at 2:00 a.m. at the Denny’s in Murray.

*****If you call yourself a Jimbroni, tweet me and let me know and I’ll RT and follow you. And that’s a deal you can take to the bank!*****

Thanks for the questions, Jimbronies! Remember to tell your Denny’s server about Jimbo’s Mailbag. Do it while licking the menu and then saying, “Mmmmm, that taste’s good. I’ll have that” and then handing the menu back to them. Make it weird.

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

One Comment

  1. Matt says:

    Why no Steve Brown venting room? Do you have Gail’s e-mail?

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