Quick, tell me the predominant religion in Utah. Wrong.
The Jazz have been the de facto religion of the residents of the Beehive State for nearly 30 years (even soaking in fans from neighboring states). There have always been religous, political, college football, and other differences, but the Jazz have been the one thing that most can rally around.
I would venture to guess that a majority of today's Jazz fans were that way from birth (save a few Laker fan apostates). By that I mean either you grew up in a family that already liked the Jazz or you were born in Utah
I fall into this category. I grew up in Salt Lake and Idaho. When I started liking sports and wanting to follow teams, the only outlet I had was the local television stations (no cable and I didn't get SI). So the only NBA news I would see was about the Jazz. I've wondered if I would have had a different favorite team had the internet, 24/7 ESPN, and other mediums been part of my life at the time.
But just like the state's "other religion," the Jazz may now have more fans outside the state than in it. Utah been adding and converting fans throughtout the rest of the US and the world. Of course I can't back that up. But we know we at least have the entire countries of Turkey and Russia thanks to Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko respectively. We now have some fans from deep in Jordan country (Illinois) thanks to Deron Williams. And we have all of the NBA female fans with Kyle Korver. The membership numbers are rising.
It's always interested me how fans outside the former Deseret came to be Jazz fans. Utah certainly has never been the "cool" team. We've never had a megastar (although Williams is getting there). It surprised me when I would see Jazz hats or other paraphernalia on television. I've heard people like the Jazz because of Sloan, Stockton & Malone, the Olympics, etc.
So all of this leads up to my question, how did you become a Jazz Fan? Did you grow up a fan? Were you converted from another team? Have you openly rebelled against your Jazz fan family and gone with another team? What did you first hear about the Jazz?
I've put up a poll, but I would guess that most might select "other."
How did you become a Jazz fan?
Born a Jazz fan (114 votes)
Convert from another team (5 votes)
Liked one of the players (Stockon, Malone, Deron Williams, etc.) (33 votes)
Like Coach Sloan (3 votes)
Like their style of play (17 votes)
Rebelled against the Jazz (5 votes)
I'm investigating the Jazz now (6 votes)
Other (please leave a comment) (12 votes)
195 total votes