Editor’s note: this post is written by Garrett Faylor, a local Utah sportswriter who has written for the Logan Herald Journal, the St. George Spectrum, the Deseret News, and now Salt City Hoops. Mr. Faylor is a big believer in Jack Cooley. Follow Garrett at @G_Faylor.
There is so much about the movie Footloose that doesn’t make sense to me.
For starters, the no-dancing law, and how anyone could think of dancing as a gateway drug between mischievous teenage behavior and certain death — incidentally, that law does still exist in St. George, Utah.
I also can’t comprehend two teenagers mounting farm equipment and motoring toward each other on a one-lane road. Like, what’s the endgame?
And for the guy who jumped off, would a head-on collision at 5-10 miles per hour really have been worse than driving off the road, tipping a $10K tractor, landing in an irrigation ditch and looking like a total sissy in front of your friends?
And why in the world is Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need a Hero” playing in that scene? What does being a dumb kid who can’t keep his shoelaces tied have to do with being a hero?
What I can get down with is Tyler’s power anthem. It was the first song that came to mind after watching the Utah Jazz-Memphis Grizzlies game last Friday.
The Jazz got outshot from the field and from the line. They got crushed in the paint and turned the ball over too many times. “They need Dante,” “They need Burks,” “They need depth.” They need work. But most of all, they need a hero.
He’s got to be sure, and it’s got to be soon, and he’s got to be larger than life.
Because the Jazz are still a a game and a half behind Houston for the West’s eighth seed.
Yes, the Jazz stomped New Orleans Saturday, and almost everybody ahead of the Jazz lost Sunday, but the coulda-shoulda losses seem to be happening much more frequently.
A few more losses like Friday night, and Jazz Twitter will come completely unglued.
The Jazz are close to being playoff caliber, real close, but Jazz fans are getting tired of smiling and nodding and saying, “We’re a young team. The future looks bright.”
Utah has lost 14 games this season by five points or less and has lost three games in overtime. What does that say? I need a hero!
Derrick Favors (16.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg) and Gordon Hayward (20.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.7 apg) are having career years. And the man who puts the 3 in the Jazz’s Big 3, Rodney Hood, is having a breakout season, averaging 14.5 points per game, and has knocked down 117 3-pointers — some of them super cold in the final minutes of games — while shooting .363 from beyond the arc.
Great players, but it seems like the only stubbornness you’d ever see out of these three is over who’s picking up the check.
“I got it, Gordon,” Favors says.
“No, no, Derrick, let me get it,” Hayward says.
“I sincerely appreciate that, but no, really, Gordon,” Favors says.
“Now hold on a minute, you two,” Hood says. “You don’t think I’m going to let you get away with picking up another tab.”
“Dag nab it, Rodney,” Hayward says. “Now, I don’t mean to be rude, but you let us veterans handle this.”
“I’m sorry, but I have to agree with Gordon on this one, Rodney,” Favors says.
I like the professionalism that Coach Quin Snyder maintains, really I do.
I appreciate Hayward keeping his cool in games. Deron Williams chucks a ball at his head? Cool. Delonte West gives him a wet willy? Cool. Patrick Beverly accosts him at the free throw line? Cool.
But… I need a hero!
He’s got to be strong and he’s got to be fast and he’s got to be fresh from the fight.
Refuse to lose.
Give me Bacon! Give me bad boy! Give me Grit!
The Jazz have energy guys coming off the bench, Trevor Booker and Chris Johnson, but who’s providing that in the starting rotation? Rudy Gobert gets fired up from time to time, but not enough and mostly on Twitter. We’ve gone how many games without a “Rudy Saluer?”
Bend rims, flex muscles, shove players, get T’d, spill drinks — give me and Trey Lyles something to dance about.
Just one guy, stand up and say, “I’m going to take this team to the playoffs, not sometime, not next season, but now. We’re not going to be perfect, we’re not going to go undefeated from here on out, but nobody is going to stop us — I will make damn sure of that.”
Maybe it’s not a matter of impersonating the Detroit Bad Boys. Maybe it’s just finding a way to not get shoved out of the way for rebounds or hitting clutch shots or not losing focus.
But somebody, please, be the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds of missing out on another year of the playoffs, or we’re going to be singing another Tyler tune: “It’s a heartache. Nothing but a heartache.”