Hey SLC Dunkers,
I wanted to finally bring up a topic that's been on my back burner for a while. I, like a healthy amount of other Dunkers I've been surprised to find, am not from Utah. I've never even been to Utah. As such, I've been insanely jealous of the ability that a lot of the community here has to go see a game at the ESA. I'm not saying it's easy to put life priorities aside to see a game, but it sure is a lot more achievable when you're not thousands of miles away! It's been fun participating in game threads, other discussions, watching games on TV and internet streams. But I've always thought it would be a real treat to see an actual, live Jazz game. A HOME game. How much fun would it be to watch Hayward to Favors from right there?
I didn't really begin by thinking this was doable. I've lived in the Mid-South for years, and currently live in Detroit. There are no other Jazz fans anywhere in my sphere of living. I've been a Dunker since early 2009, mostly lurking in the early days -- well, let's be honest, mostly lurking still. Even aside from the logistics involved, my concerns about such a venture have been personable and honest -- would it be any fun to see a game with people from SLC Dunk? Would I enjoy their company? Would they enjoy my company? Would it suck if the Jazz were getting destroyed or there was a lull in the game? Would I have anything besides the Jazz to talk to anyone about? And the list of mostly neurotic irrational fears goes on.
After four years on the site, I'm honored to call SLC Dunk my favorite fansite. Not only are the predominant group of folks who contribute at SLC Dunk NOT a group of crazed, angry lunatics, they are resourceful, passionate, thought-provoking, even friendly and helpful fellow fans. And that while we share a daily passion for the Jazz, Dunkers accept that they're passionate about more than just the Jazz.
So, my wistfulness turns to productivity. Why not try to make the trip?
I've only ever met one SLC Dunker (Amar). A couple of years ago, we talked about how fun it would be to see a Jazz game at the ESA with our friends from SLC Dunk. He can speak for himself, but I believe it would be Amar's first Utah Jazz home game too. We agreed this could be a really memorable experience, and the best thing to do would be to open the invitation to other SLC Dunkers, especially out-of-staters who obviously couldn't make this a regular thing. Obviously we all have families, jobs, budgets, lives to consider, and some of us have the challenges of being in a new area, new commitments, etc. I myself am a workin' class John Doe, and am going to have to save money and ask for time off. But we can plan it enough in advance together, and that's what I propose. We pick a date to invade our favorite team's stomping grounds, meet up with some locals, and go see a Jazz game. If that actually were happening today, wouldn't that be so worth it?
Well, I am willing to do my part to help direct that effort. I've come to grips that I'm going to make the trip, come hell or high water, and hope it can be as inclusive and fun as possible for anyone else who might want to join in. We have an exciting young team this year, even if it is a down year, and I sense that it's a good time to push this conversation. I'll help make plans, facilitate interaction, discussion, consensus, or teamwork, whatever we need. With your help, we can start making it happen here.
1. The first question that would seem to need to be discussed would be, When (or what ranges of dates) would make the best target?
Thoughts - I can say with a 100% guarentee that I will have to wait until at least February. I think that's a pretty safe bet for most people from out of town, with jobs and budgets and life to consider. There's no reason to rush things, after all the goal is just to make it happen. What about you, do you think February - April would be a good goal?
2. What types of considerations are there for picking the right date?
The main factors I can think of would be:
-A. What's the date that most people can make it? That's going to be my number one. I can probably make an individual effort on most days given enough time. I'm hoping to facilitate as many people as we can.
-B. Is it on a weekend? Hmm. A weekend game may be more likely to be workable for out-of-towners with work schedules being what they are. A weekend game would also have the likely advantage of being able to draw other SLC Dunkers who live in Utah having free time. Clearly, that would be awesome, and as much awesome as possible is what we're going for.
-C. Is it against a rival? Honestly, I wouldn't mind watching the Jazz play the Wizards. I really wouldn't. But it would almost definitely be more fun to watch Derrick Favors posterize a dunk on the Rockets, or the Blazers. Or the Nuggets. Or the Lakers. Sorry, I got distracted envisioning those happy thoughts.
-D. Is it against a team that has former Jazz players on it? Another possible fun bit of intrigue would be to watch the Jazz take on someone like Atlanta (Millsap/Korver/DeMarre Carroll) or Brooklyn (Deron/AK)
-E. Is it against an opponent that has some bonafide superstar players? I'm not a LeBron fan per se, but I'm certainly not a hater. I never got to see Jordan play, but I wished I had.
-F. Anything I'm forgetting? Please point out something if you think it's another key factor in mind.
Here are a few possible games that fit one or more of these criteria.
Saturday, Feb 8 - Heat - 7pm (Mountain Time).
Wednesday, Feb 19 - Nets - 7pm.
Saturday, Feb 22 - Timberwolves - 7pm.
Monday, Mar 10 - Hawks. 7pm.
Friday, Mar 14 - Clippers. 7pm.
Monday, Mar 31 - Knicks. 7pm.
Friday, Apr 11 - Blazers. 7pm.
Monday Apr 14 - Lakers. 7pm.
3. Would we want to have a meal or similar get together before or after the game?
This is a secondary consideration. This wouldn't have to happen, but I literally have no idea where in Salt Lake is good to eat, and I anticipate needing to stuff my gullet with something while in town. So I'd imagine, what better way than to invite our local SLC Dunkers to provide their recommendations? I am curious to try this substance you Utahns call "fry sauce". If we're going to the trouble of making it out to Utah, it wouldn't be unreasonable to arrange, at least for those who could, to get in something like a meal together before the game.
Discuss! Let's make it happen!! Who knows, we could be there for this: