On the first day of Kindergarten. I was nervous, I didn't know anyone, we had just moved to Salt Lake and we weren't members of the Church yet so I hadn't had that opportunity to make friends in Primary. Everyone in my class was new to me. Two boys who were playing "Go Fish" kindly invited me over to play with them. They were named Jon Perry and Chris Greenwood. I will never forget that moment. I felt so happy, I felt OK I can handle this.
Right when I was starting to feel comfortable my teacher Miss Aramaki, called us to sit upfront. Miss Aramaki said we were going to learn the rules of the class. I instantly felt nervous. I am and always have been a great rule keeper but at that moment I was scared. Besides being a rule keeper I am also a people pleaser. I wanted more than anything for my teacher to like me and for her approval. I was worried that for some reason I would not be able to keep the rules and she wouldn't like me. (Yes that's how my mind worked at five years old). The rules were simple such as "raise your hand when you want to speak" They were rules that kept the classroom peaceful and a place were children could learn.
Throughout elementary school we had nearly the same rules in every class. They were always simple rules until fifth grade. In the middle of fifth grade I remember our teacher Mrs. Walker telling the girls that they were to stay in from 1st recess because she wanted to have a talk with us.
As first recess started and the boys left to play outside us girls were left inside to wonder what possibly Mrs Walker would want to to say to us. Mrs Walker started by saying how wonderful we all are and how she loved being our teacher but she had noticed something that started to become a trend that she felt she needed to address.
Mrs Walker said that she had noticed that girls in our class were starting to become catty. She saw that girls were beginning to become exclusive in their groups. As a 10 year old girl I didn't fully appreciate that Mrs Walker would take to the time to address such an issue in my class but now as a mother of an eight year old daughter I can only hope that she has as thoughtful of a teacher when she gets older and experiences such things in her classes.
Mrs Walker was right, girls were divided for many reasons, as a girl who didn't seek drama I didn't see it until my teacher pointed it out but she was right. Girls didn't like other girls if they were friends with boys, if they lived in a different ward, if they didn't wear the right clothes etc. I had my good friends and felt everyone was nice to me for the most part but there was definitely division in the classroom.
Of course things didn't resolve completely after our teacher's talk but they did improve. Now why am I sharing this with you? I feel like we are having the same issues amongst Jazz fans. There is a division amongst us and I would like to see stop. Lets put an end to our cattiness and differences.
Now I love SLC Dunk, I feel like at this site we are all pretty much respectful of each other. We all seem to get along well and allow for each other to differ in opinions. Like any close group we sometimes have our spats but for the most part we are all really nice to each other.
What I am talking about is our Jazz world that exists on Twitter and a few other Jazz sites. I love that there are so many ways now-a-days to express ourselves as Jazz fans, so many ways to express our opinion about the team we love.
With so many ways to share the experience of being a Jazz fan there has arisen a great division amongst Jazz fans. Like the girls in my 5th grade class, there seems to be fans that are trying to find ways to divide themselves from other fans. There are several ways that fans divide themselves.
Some fans like to divide themselves from others because they write for a different blog, others don't like certain fans because they aren't bloggers and they think bloggers are full of themselves.
I don't like this attitude. We at SLC Dunk write because we love the Jazz not because we think we are better than other fans. I know the same goes for bloggers at other popular Jazz fan sites.
Blogging for me personally has been a way in which I feel I have been able to give back to the Jazz for all the years of entertaining me. I feel that blogging is a way to meet other Jazz fans since lets be honest no one I am friends with in real life love the Jazz as much as I do. I also feel that blogging is away to let out all the emotions that the Jazz cause me to have.
Not all of us blog for the same reasons, not all of us even blog. Its OK you dont' have to be a blogger to be a true fan, or a smart fan. If you do blog you don't have to blog for a particular website to be a "real fan".
2. Front Office and Coaches
Some fans divide themselves because they have different opinons about the coaching staff of the front office of the team.
This seems to have caused the greatest division among Jazz fans in the last year. I have never seen such differing opinons on the direction that our team is headed like I have in the last year.
There are fans that feel like you can't be a fan unless you support 100% of all the coaching and front office decisions that the Jazz make.
There are fans that feel like if you don't question the front office or coaches you are not a true fan, that you are a blind sheep.
Neither of these attitudes are healthy and they are both wrong. Let fans be fans the way they want to be fans.
3. The Vets vs the C4
Another great division among Jazz fans. We all know that this as been a hot topic. We have had hot topics about players before such as Boozer vs Millsap. I have never seen liking a group of players or disliking a particular player divide the fans like Vets vs the C4 has divided fans the last wo years.
I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this is such a dividing topic. Its not just disagreeing with the opposing opinion. Differing opinons have resulted in personal insults, actual threats to physically fight others, and many many hurt feelings.
4. Old Jazz vs New Jazz
There are many of us that have been Jazz fans for a long long long time. We remember when Stockton and Malone were in their prime. We have Jazz fans on here and on twitter who remember the Jazz before there was a Stockton and Malone. We also have kids who were very young when the Jazz went to the Finals and don't really remember anything from the Stockton to Malone era.
Some fans don't like to remember the past. I personally don't understand this attitude. It seems like to some fans that if you remember the past its like your not appreciating the present.
I personally think that in order to truly appreciate what you have now you have to realize how you got there, you have to respect the past.
I see some fans insulting our past coach and players, they revise history to make today's Jazz look better.
Now all of this is pretty silly. The Jazz are the Jazz are the Jazz.
Why We Are Fans:
I believe that many of these arguments are caused because we are all fans for different reasons. Just as you are able to go to the movies for different reasons, such as loving the plot, loving a particular actor in the movie, or maybe the movie has your favorite director etc, we are able to be Jazz fans for different reasons.
Some people are Jazz fans because they feel a loyalty towards the team from their childhood. Others are fans simply because they live in Utah. The way the Jazz focus on the team instead of individual players is another reason. I believe that there there are as many reasons to be a fan as there are fans.
Its OK to like the Jazz for different reasons. Its OK to value different parts of the team. We were all fans before this year and we will all be fans after this year. It doesn't matter who is coach, who is starting at center, heck it doesn't even matter who is the GM, we will continue to be fans of the Jazz. We will continue to value what we we like about the team.
For example: If I love the Jazz because I loved Jerry and his way of coaching, of course I am going to be harder on Ty than someone who never really liked Jerry.
I think since we may all value different aspects of the team its easy to judge others and their opinons. Lets be mindful of what other people like and respect their opinions accordingly.
There is a strong and widening division. Lets put an end to it. Like Mrs Walker pleaded with the girls in my 5th grade class, I plead with all of you and also as a reminder to myself lets put an end to this cattiness.
I can only hope that the Jazz are not equally divided with all these issues as fans are. If they can stay united during changing times, I think we should be able to also.
I want to remind everyone that we are all Jazz fans. Isn't that all that really matters that we love our team? We are not Ty vs Jerry, We are not C4 vs Vets, we are not Blogger vs Non-Blogger. We are Utah Jazz!