Hey everyone. I know like many of you, I sit around and scheme about ways the Jazz could do better, play better/harder, or what the front office can do...and it just seems no matter how hard I try to transmit my brainwaves over to Ty and Kevin, I cannot seem to get what I want (I think what all of us want)....some dang answers. What will we do with the c4, what happens when Mo and Gordon come back with minutes, what will we do about the trade deadline, what will we do about coaching, etc, etc?
But now is not the time for that. Today is the time for Valentine's day. And what better way to ignore all the pressing questions we have than appreciating what we do love: our awesome Jazz and the memories that are associated.
I called my mom this morning and she reminded me - "hey, remember that time we were at Willard Bay and....??" Whoa, whoa, mom, shh, hold up...let me tell the story.
It was 1991, I was about 10 and my parents and I were skiing on the lake. The rain came a-pourin right about the time we got there, but we weren't driving all that time to not ski. What? What's the worst that can happen? Are we going to get wet or something? All the fair-weather (yep, zing) folks flocked to the dock while we set ours out. That day there was only one other boat on the lake. We had a blast and when my old man's old lady got too cold, we went back in. I still remember my dad thinking that other boat out there was pretty spiffy as we pulled back to dock a bit behind it. By the time we were making it to the car my dad said, "I think that's Karl Malone over there." Well, sure enough it was. So my mom grabbed me and a couple of snacks - a Coke and some string cheese - and she took her nervous, star struck kid up to the side of Karl's big black SUV (Suburban?) and i stuttered out a "Hey Mr. Malone, would you like a Coke and some string cheese?" Karl opened the driver side door, looked down at me and smiled and was in the middle of a "we have a full cooler here little buddy, but thanks anywa...." and that's when a big thunderous voice from Issac Austin (Big Ike Austin) cut him off and said, "Hey, sure we would dude, we would love some mozzarelli sticks." He said it with a big grin and warmth and I felt so cool. I handed them over, not even considering the autograph pull, I always thought that was awkward, even when I was little for some reason. And as we were walking away my mom said "and we'll see ya in the Finals boys." I remember that moment so clearly when it happened, and I remember thinking at the time, "I will always remember this moment so clearly." Kind of surreal to look back on with such clarity some 22 years later.
I know that Karl wasn't always known for being the most approachable, but that moment where Ike shushed him, not wanting to let down a young fan, and seeing Karl kind of recognize this little dude adoring him, must have been a crazy thing to deal with all the time. I wonder, if their popularity had have been reversed, if so too their response to me would have been.
Anyway, Happy Valentine's everybody, and remember, we watch the Jazz and see athletes and professionals - men being well compensated for their talents....our kids see their heroes and role models. Take them early and often and make sure you pack some 'mozzarelli' sticks with ya.