The Mother of All Rants
I can’t put into words how much of a role the Jazz have played in my life since the day 18 years ago when I first saw Karl Malone play in the ’92 Barcelona Olympics. I went from being blissfully unaware of the NBA’s existence to a full-fledged Jazz fan in the span of the months between the end of the Olympics and the start of the NBA season (and let me just say, it wasn’t an easy venture to be a crazy fan living halfway across the world in the pre-Internet era). I more than willingly get up at crazy hours in the middle of the night for Sunday afternoon games and even avoid vacations during the NBA season because it drives me crazy to miss games, even if all I have are crappy, buffery video streams that are “Blocked by admin” three or four times a game.
The years of early Playoff exits in the early-to-mid 90s, the Finals losses, John and Karl’s retirements (they retired together, yes they did), the rebuilding “era”, the 26-win season, going from a 12-game win streak to crawling into the Playoffs last year on one sprained leg and three broken fingers…none of that dimmed the passion. In fact, those years have become the good old days. What none of those managed to do, the current roster has.
I’m disgusted and frustrated and angry at everyone. EVERYONE, even those that I’m long-time, habitual homers for. And I’m disgusted, frustrated, and angry even when the Jazz win.
I hate/am fed up by/have had enough of:
–that if you fight Jerry nowadays he’s probably let you keep your testicles*;
–that Deron isn’t being the leader that he should be and accepts losses rather than getting mad;
–that no one is hustling or playing like they care;
–that Portland signed Sap to the “toxic” offer sheet with no intention of keeping him and simply to screw the Jazz;
–that management appears prepared/content to stand pat and just let contracts expire at the end of the season;
–that no one on the team has any pride or shame;
–that no one on the team has any idea what “compete” means;
–that management killed what AK could have been by signing Boozer;
–all the jumpers;
–at all the times Jazzmen abandon the offense, try to go one-on-one, and lose;
–at all the third quarter collapses;
–at the lack of effort on defense;
–at the lack of defense;
–at Jerry for not yanking players when they’re playing like crap or not giving any effort;
–that Jerry’s legendary fire has disappeared and he won’t play Fes and isn’t beating and kicking the asses of these overpaid players and cussing them out daily;
–that we fans are more upset at losses than the players are;
–that at the end of inevitable losses Boozer is just out there padding his stats for his next contract and Locke is going on about how wonderful he is;
–that Boozer doesn’t dunk it every time;
–that Boozer has wings on his feet on offense (at times) and is a statue in a cement bucket on defense;
–and what’s the point of having a back-to-the-basket game if you’re not going to use it;
–that CJ got injured in the pre-season;
–that LHM is no longer with us and his absence is felt;
–that Sap has to come off the bench and that in his 4th season he is still getting the shaft from the officials every night;
–that Moneyman Memo has disappeared and been replaced by Mehmet Mediokur and gets called for the same traveling call every night;
–that people say that AK has lost a step/is a shadow of his former self;
–that AK has maybe lost a step;
–that the disinterest of the Jazzmen in winning/competing has turned the ESA into a shadow of its former self and our legendary home court advantage is no longer;
–that the Jazz have no fight;
–that the best years of AK‘s career have been wasted on the SF position and that Deron is wasting the best years of his career;
–that Boozer opted in after his public declaration of getting a raise regardless and as a result we had to lose the first decent backup PG we’ve had since Deron was the backup (I like Ronnie Price, but not at PG),
–that Wesley Matthews, our undrafted rookie, is our best defender,
–that the Jazz have turned into a bunch of guys playing for paychecks;
–that Karl and John couldn’t play forever or won’t come back and play 10 minutes a night
*”Nobody fights with Jerry because you know the price would be too high. You might come out the winner, at his age, you might even lick him, but you’d lose an eye, an arm, your testicles in the process, everything would be gone.” —Frank Layden
You can feel it in the air…the fan base is starting to jump ship.
Exhibit A: the email that appeared in the sltrib blog:
I’m a jazz fan in idaho and I sit here watching the fourth quarter of the nugget game and I just can’t take this anymore. I’m not one to just jump to wild declarations but I think 3 years is a good sample size. They’ve regressed every year. With no major changes to personnel doesn’t it have to either be players or coach? I know the jazz won’t get rid of sloan. I’m okay with that. But isn’t about time with some of these players? We have one of the biggest payrolls out there and the jazz aren’t even a playoff team? I think it’s time to blow up the team. This group doesn’t work.
Trib’s tweet–“Never gotten more fan e-mail immediately after a game
than [the Denver] loss”
Juan B’s comment in the SLC Dunk game thread, which mirrors my own
My denial is finally starting to melt away. I keep thinking “this is the game they are going to break out and go on a tear…” Than this is what we get…Please KOC make a trade just to get me interested again.
A lot of people said years ago (when S2M retired) that Jerry Sloan couldn’t keep coaching because he was too hard-nosed, expected too much, standards were too high, couldn’t relate to young guys, etc. He’s proven them wrong, because now…now he’s like a shell of his former self…an excusing, mild-tempered, understanding, tries-to-be-fair shell of his former self. Unfortunately, that’s the opposite of what we need. We need the hot-tempered, sailor-cussin’, sideline-stalking, stubborn hardass SOB Mofo with the doghouse that will send you into the doghouse and not let you see the light of day again until you’re on a roster in a different city.
And to top it all off, the team leaders (the real one and the self-appointed one) have disturbingly started spouting excuses and unacceptably whining about how tired they are and how hard they work.
Deron after the Nuggets game:
–“But the effort wasn’t there, I don’t think. You know, the energy wasn’t there. It seemed like they wanted the game more than us…The game should mean more to us than it did.” (desnews)
–“It is tiring, it is draining, to be on the road for that long and travel to cities, get in at 2, 3 in the morning, not be able to go to sleep until 4, 5 in the morning, and you have to get up that next day and perform.” (desnews)
–“We’re not in too bad of a position, we’re fine.” (desnews)
Boozer after the NO loss:
–“[Fans] don’t know what we go through, they don’t know our schedule, how hard we work. We’ve got to work harder just to get the win. I mean it’s not easy to win in this league.” (desnews)
[Newsflash, Carlos: there are a hell of a lot of people out there whose asses would get fired if they don’t work hard enough, and they’re lucky if they make 5% of what you do.]
Who are these rich boys on the court wearing Jazz uniforms? I have no idea. Who’s that sitting there still and quiet on the bench, expressionless and not teaching the kids in the arena colorful new words? No freakin’ idea. Who are those people occupying the Front Office with phones sitting in a pool of dust? @#$$%^#$%#$@$%#.
The Utah Jazz…making me hate myself that much more each day.