Twitter just celebrated its seventh birthday. While some can argue its purpose, no one can argue its relevance in the world of sports, journalism, politics, pop culture, music, and a million other interests that humans have. Along with Twitter, blogging, sports sites, fan sites, forums and other online sources have helped the average/hardcore fans be more connected than ever. This connection has allowed fans to unite, collaborate, and follow their team from almost anywhere in the world. Thank You Twitter.
Being first is like being in love. As an nine-year-old I told my dad that I loved the Utah Jazz. I truly loved them. I loved them as much as a nine year old boy could love them. Much like the crush on the girl next door, I thought things couldn’t get any better. As I grew older, my love for the Utah Jazz deepened and our relationship grew stronger. I began to understand the offense, and started to realize that our team had history, and that we mattered, and that we were good. I started to understand why I should dislike the Rockets, and despise the Trailblazers, and ultimately wish death upon the Lakers.
I started to appreciate the players more, and also understand their place in basketball history. I started to appreciate the definition of "leaving it all on the floor." My love began to grow even deeper. By the time the Utah Jazz reached the NBA Finals, I thought that my love could not get any deeper or richer. I was wrong. As I got older and our relationship got stronger, I began to see things that I hadn’t seen before: the Double C, the Hi Lo, the Elbow Curl before it happened. My eyes were opened to an entire new world and I fell in love all over again. We reloaded and made another run to the Western Conference Finals. The love that I had as a nine year old was still there it was just fuller, purer. I began to share that love with my kids. I bought them jerseys, pajamas, and took them to games. I began creating new memories with my family and the Utah Jazz.
Meanwhile, somewhere, someone starts to be annoyed by all of these "new" fans. These someone’s take even more pride that they were first, that they were the first to fall in love with the Jazz. Some even have ties that go back to N. O. Their love runs deep, much deeper than these new fans. "How can they be fans? They didn’t see "Pistol" play." "They weren’t here when Larry took over. How do they know what being a fan is really about." "These kids nowadays, they didn’t even see John and Karl play together, How can they really be fans?"
While I don’t think there are real people saying this, the sentiment is there. I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter when or how you got here. It matters that you are here. By here, I mean in love with the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are a part of all of us in one form or another. Each one of us has a different love story with the Utah Jazz. Maybe it involves "The Shot", Pistol, The Delta Center, The Salt Palace, Memo, Harpring, Junior Jazz, Deron, or even GH. Each one of us are fans. We all want to see our team win. While how we see this team winning may differ, the end goal is the same. Each one of us expresses our love and passion in a different way: anger, frustration, the silent treatment, football season, whatever. We should never question each other’s fan hood. We are all in love with the same team.
Being right is like an orgasm for the ego. It feels amazing. Especially when everyone else is wrong. Question: Would you go as far as giving up being happy for being right or seen as right? At times we choose being right over being happy. It is not just in sports, but politics, education, music ect. We want that 10-15 second ego orgasm so badly that we will stop at nothing to be right, or the appearance of being right.
In order to be right, there has to be some sort of validity from others as to the fact that you are indeed right. "I need to be on record for opinion A or statement B," so that when it happens I can refer back to opinion A or statement B (Ego Orgasm). However, when opinion A or statement B is wrong, we are never as eager to go back and point out or wrongs. "What are you talking about Spencer?"
It is very difficult to admit when we are wrong. A lot of times we don’t do it. We won’t do it. We fear the outcome. We fear how we will look to others. However, when someone does admit that they are wrong, or made a mistake we cheer them on, and respect them even more than previously...
We all want to be validated, and we all want our opinions and voices to be heard. In simpler terms, we want to be relevant. We want to know that people care about us or that they care what we have to say. The Jazz organization and its fanbase want to remain relevant as far as the NBA landscape is concerned. Why? Because we don’t know anything different. The Utah Jazz have been a relevant part of the NBA for the better part of 30 years. If you look at the NBA as a whole, probably a fourth or 25% of the teams are not relevant and some of those teams have not been relevant for 5-10 years: New York, Ne Jersey, Sacramento, Charlotte, N.O., Toronto, and the Wizards.
If being "relevant" means winning a Championship, then only eight teams over the past 30 years would/could be considered relevant: The Bulls, Rockets, Spurs, Heat, Mavericks, Lakers, Pistons, and Celtics. You can make the argument that the second tier of teams are just as relevant as first tier, understanding that these teams had to play someone to win a championship. Seattle, OKC, Philly, Utah, Orlando, and Indiana.
Fear of the unknown. As Jazz fans, all we really know is winning and being relevant. While I don’t always agree with the franchise, I know that the decisions they have made and are making are currently keeping the Utah Jazz relevant. We are in the discussion, and will continue to be in the discussion. It was just ten years ago that the Kings were on top of the world...they are on the verge of being irrelevant.
I am not settling for relevancy, nor do I think the organization should. I truly believe that they are working to build something great, something amazing. Possibly something that could keep us relevant forever, that being a NBA Championship.
By Spencer Campbell