Jimbo’s Mailbag – Should the Utah Jazz Change Their Name?

December 19th, 2014 | by Jimbo Rudding
What if we weren't Utah Jazz? Photo Credit: David Mortimer

What if we weren’t Utah Jazz? Photo Credit: David Mortimer

Welcome to the next edition of Jimbo’s Mailbag! At Salt City Hoops, we know that covering a losing 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 troll. Interested in submitting a question to Jimbo’s mailbag? Email it to Jimbo at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or tweet @JimboRudding to appear.

Q: When the Millers want to make a buck and sell the New Orleans “Jazz” name back, what will be the new team name? (Cuz we don’t want the Pelicans.)

– @the6bees

I’m not convinced this will ever happen. The “Jazz” name is too engrained into Utah culture now. If enough people had lobbied for a name change when the team was purchased, then perhaps we would be cheering for the Utah Hornets or Utah Crickets or something.

If I had been old enough and living in Utah when the team was purchased, I probably would have been in favor of changing the name to something more pertinent to Utah life. Today though, I would guess most fans don’t even think about jazz music whenever the Utah Jazz team name is mentioned. The word “jazz” in Utah only means “NBA team in Utah with the best fans and some pretty expensive/disgusting nachos.”

If you’ve read this mailbag before, you’ve no doubt noticed that I love to make lists. So, here is a list of potential names I have come up with if the Utah Jazz ever decide they need a change:

  • Utah Starzz
  • Utah Refreshmentzz
  • Salt Lake Brine Shrimpzz
  • Utah R.C. Willeyzz
  • Salt Lake Wivezz
  • Salt Lake Bangerterzz
  • Utah Huntsmanzz
  • Salt Lake Brain Freezz (from eating all that ice cream)
  • Utah Caffeine Freezz (meaning soda free from caffeine, NOT cold caffeine—that would be dumb)
  • Salt Lake Seagullzz
  • Utah Wedding Announcementzz
  • Utah Fighting Siblingzz

I could go on and on, but this list captures the idea.


Q:  If you could have a man-date with any Jazz player, who would it be and what would you guys do?

– @TornByDevin

Great question, my friend. It would be so hard for me to choose just one Jazz player to take out on a date. I feel like I would have to have a mini-date/interview with each one before I decided who would get my final rose.

It would probably be hard to hang with the Australians, mostly because I would be concentrating way too hard on their accents. During our conversation, I could see myself gradually taking on their accent without even realizing it. Then I would get embarrassed and they would most likely get angry and I would have to excuse myself to practice my normal speech in the bathroom mirror.

I would ultimately choose whoever I thought would be the most relaxed and totally cool with me just being me. They would also have to be okay with going mini-golfing and afterwards doing the “2 for $20 plus appetizer” deal at Applebees.

The thing I would worry about most is what I would say during the date. I have had some horrible dates in the past and, looking back, they all started going downhill after I said something stupid. Here are a few of the gems that have come out of my mouth during dates:

  • Remember when Monica Seles was stabbed?
  • Have you ever had to help bathe an elderly person?
  • So, do all your siblings have the same body shape as you?
  • One interesting thing about me is I never really learned fractions.
  • If a comet was hurtling toward earth, would you make out with me in my mom’s car?
  • I don’t usually steal things, but it was an almost brand new Kitchen Aid and she had just died so it’s not like my grandma was going to need it anymore.
  • The night of September 10th, after everybody had gone home for the night, THAT is when Bush set the charges on every floor of both World Trade towers.
  • What do you think the chances are of Baby Jessica being claustrophobic today?
  • I’ve never told anyone this, but back when I thought Rod Stewart was a woman, I was mildly attracted to her.

Whoever my date would be, I guarantee at the end of the night when I drop him off I would say something ridiculous like, “It’s just crazy to me that we’ve only known each other for like four hours and I already consider you to be one of my best friends.” Then he would get super nervous and probably not know what to say and I would notice his nervousness and say something horrible like, “Don’t worry, I NEVER kiss on a first date,” which he wouldn’t take as a joke and then I wouldn’t even get a good night high five. After that awkwardness, there’s NO WAY he would ever call to hang out again.

So, maybe it’s a good thing I don’t date any Jazz players.


Q: What movies does Steve Novak watch on the team plane? My top three guesses:  Hello Dolly, Newsies, and Annie. (I’m guessing he likes musicals.)


Those are GREAT guesses. I would bet you money that he has seen all three of those. In fact, I would also bet that Steve has yelled out “LET’S SOAK ‘EM FOR CRUTCHY!” more than one time in his life.

I could also see him being a fan of Harold and Maude, Driving Miss Daisy, Ghost, and maybe even The Bodyguard. What’s sad is imagining Steve sitting alone in the back of the plane watching these movies on a VERY old laptop that has trouble playing movies. Why does it have to be an old laptop? I don’t know. It’s just a sadder visual that way.

I’ll tell you what though, I would gladly watch Jumanji with him if he wanted to come over to my parent’s house and watch it on their good TV. It wouldn’t be a date though. Just a couple of new friends watching Jumanji.


Q: What’s the strangest gift you have ever given? Received?


I don’t know about strangest, but at a white elephant party this year I gave Goonies on DVD and a whole bunch of Baby Ruth candy bars. I was pretty proud of that one. It was such a good gift and was totally lost on the older gentleman who received it. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all I guess.

I do remember how excited I was the year I got my rollerblades. I put Deep Blue Something into my discman, strapped it to my belt, and did some circles in the driveway for a few hours. Camille Gentry across the street just sat at her front window watching in awe as I practiced jumping off the curb. Thank goodness she had left by the time I started practicing triple toe loops. She did come by later that day and we tied an old jump rope to the back of her bike and she towed me around the neighborhood.

I STILL have a few scars from rollerblading incidents that involved some plywood, about 16 cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew, and a friend’s four-wheeler, but I have been advised by my attorney to not discuss it at length.


Q: You know at halftime when Boler and Big T are talking and they say “the Hot Topic is brought to you by “America First Credit Union” or “Larry H. Miller Dealerships”. How cool would it be if the Hot Topic was brought to you by Hot Topic the store? 

– Colton Dale

We must be long lost brothers, because I have actually had that same thought.

I think it would be awesome if right after they said that, a graphic popped up of some goth-looking teens with gauged ears and lip rings just head-banging or something.

What always weirds me out is seeing the Hot Topic folk just walking around at Jazz games. I mean, everyone is entitled to come and enjoy a Jazz game and not all Jazz fans have the “Jazz fan” look, but I have seen some kids at Jazz games who my grandma would refer to as the “grim reaper spawn.”

My first thought is always, “I guess the halftime magicians want some Dippin’ Dots.” Then when I realize they aren’t part of the halftime act, I just assume they got mixed up and thought the Insane Clown Posse concert was that night.

That’s one thing I love about the Jazz—they don’t discriminate. You want to come to a game in ripped sweat pants and a dog collar? Come on in. You want to wear heavy eyeliner and stare at people through your crazy-long bangs? I have no problem with that. But I will be damned if I am going to let one of those punks into the United 44 lounge!


Thanks for all the questions, you guys! Remember, if you have a question for the mailbag, just email me at mailbag@saltcityhoops.com or tweet @JimboRudding.

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


  1. Danny says:

    New team name: Great Salt Lake

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    We could rename the team the “Snowballzz,” and then at half-time at every game, from December 1st through February 1st, the team could call random fans out of the crowd to have a snowball fight for prizes.

  3. Paul Johnson says:

    I meant to say “at half-time of every home game.”

  4. Miles says:

    Possibly Utah Elevatedezz

  5. JJ says:

    I think Utah Outlaws would be a cool name- it would rep the old west and Utah was home to Butch Cassidy.

  6. Spencer says:

    How about the Utah inversions…

  7. Spencer says:

    They could shoot some bad air into the arena for crunch time. That would throw off the competition and bring back some home court advantage.

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