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The Utah Jazz Family

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Forgive me for writing a touchy-feely piece. I will return to your regularly scheduled programming of analysis next week.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

At any given time there are things going on that upset people. We live in a turbulent world, and we become ever more aware of conflict and upheaval in near real-time with each passing day. Our personal lives are packed with school, work, bills and whatever else might make up one's personal daily grind. It is, to say the least, an interesting time to be alive.

I’ve been a fan of the Utah Jazz since I can remember, but I didn’t really start to follow them closely until about 2007. My circle of passionate Jazz fans was pretty much limited to my uncle, my great-grandmother, and a girl I went to school with. It wasn’t until a couple years later that the same girl got me hooked on SLC Dunk, and my circle of Jazz fanatics expanded exponentially (which isn’t an exaggeration considering that my previous circle consisted of three people). I became active on the gamethreads. I engaged in spirited dialogue on Jazz twitter. I went to “tweetups” at Jazz games. Up to this point I have met so many people who have taught and continue to teach me about basketball, the Jazz and life.

Jazzland is a diverse group in more ways than one. We cheer for different football teams, worship different gods, (or no god) vote for different politicians and even live in different countries. Known what I’m proud of, though? In nearly all of my interactions with Jazz fans, whether online or in person, disagreements have been spirited yet civil. Even when we think the other person is wrong we still, by and large, treat each other like human beings.

To use a buzzword du jour, the Utah Jazz and the community built around them is a safe space. During Jazz games, many of us can pretend, at least for a little while, that we don’t have to worry about all that other stuff. Not everyone is so fortunate. So, Jazz fans, thank you. Thanks for being good. Thanks for being knowledgeable. Let’s continue to be classy, build the community, support the team and engage in spirited debate.

Oh, and let me leave you with this, because we all love Rudy:

See you on the gamethread. #BeatORL #TakeNote