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Utah Jazz Word Association: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

He doesn't like to be called "Casper". Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
He doesn't like to be called "Casper". Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

The Utah Jazz are known for being boring, predictable, and not very hip. Similarly, the stereotypes of the team are similarly boring, predictable, and not very hip. Remember even PAID announcers and analysts on TV were saying that the Jazz run a lot of pick and rolls, which hasn't happened since Keith McLeod was our starter. The SB Nation NBA Bloggers got a chance to write the first word they thought of when they thought of each team. This is a fun exercise, but in the case of the Utah Jazz - tedious for most. It was boring to think of something for the Jazz for a lot of writers; and boring to read as a Jazz fan.

So, hooray for consistency : )

To be fair, all teams got some great compliments, and some got trashed (fairly or unfairly). For the Jazz, there were plenty of good things to be happy about. There were some legit concerns about our team expressed as well. And, of course, there were some crappy things as well.

The Good The Bad …and The Ugly
1 Building . 1st round exit . Jazz? In Utah???
2 Consistent . bland . meh
3 loyal . Mediocre . mormon
4 Post . misfit roster . Sucks
5 Promising . Needy . Ugly
6 Rival . patchwork . White
7 Scrappy . Triskaiphobic (Fear of 3) . white
8 Sloan . . White
9 Stockton-to-Malone . .
10 Stockton-to-Malone . .
11 Strength . .
12 tough . .
13 Up-and-coming . .

Over all that's a nod to our play, and our franchise. We were a tough team under Jerry Sloan, John Stockton and Karl Malone. The words associated were, for the most part, related to the team, and the team play. There were other comments though. The "Bad" or negative comments were still mostly related to the franchise, the team, history, and their roster. I think that while some of those are very fair, some of those word associations are less enduring. The Jazz currently have a patchwork / misfit roster. And there are needs that need to be resolved -- but the Jazz aren't specifically (in my mind) a 1st round exit franchise. That said, in recent history we have been.

Of course, there was some level of ugliness, and I don't mean the one person who felt like our Team was ugly either. So we all knew this was coming. The team that had one white guy on it last year (until Blake Ahearn joined the squad at the end of the season) is "white". I guess this relates to the historical vision of the Jazz, you know the one filled with a bunch of white guys. Or maybe this is in reference to SLC itself? No one wrote "African American" for the Detroit Pistons -- so I guess the Jazz are okay to single out in this regard. Race. And religion. We got "Mormon." I think there have been only two LDS players on the Jazz - Tom Chambers and Thurl Bailey. But I guess that's just the first thing that some people continue to think about our team.

Perceptions, or jokes, are hard to change. I get that. It's 2012. No other team got as many, clearly negative word associations for it in this exercise that were either race or religion based. But then again, that's the boring, simple, predictable way to view the Jazz.

The Jazz will always be seen as that. Which is funny as the bloggers here at SLC Dunk -- all Jazz fans -- all have different backgrounds, races, religions, and live in different parts of the world. I guess that doesn't matter because outside of the play of the team, the team we love is pretty monolithic in the minds of other NBA bloggers.

I'm not angry, just amused. I'm sure some Jazz fans may be angry though. Which is the other boring, predictable thing -- our fan base THRIVES on being upset about national perception.

So this Utah Jazz word association is like the most perfect Zen circle of emotions. We're angry about external perception. People outside give their external perception. Then we read it and are angry about it. See? Perfect Zen circle.