Monday, May 14, 2007

Our Team, Our Moment

"They also bring us together, give us something to share, something to talk about. They're not a Republican or a Democratic or a Mormon or a gentile team. They're not even Larry Miller's team. They're our team. The Jazz, like nothing else, bridge Utah's religious and cultural divide." -The Salt Lake Tribune, May 11, 2007

Many sports fans in Utah (even many non-sports people) can tell you where they were one night in early June 1997.

It gets referred to as "the shot." Some even quote Bill Walton in calling it the "uh-oh" moment.

The words of Bob Costas ring in the ears of everybody to this day, 10 years later: "John Stockton sends the Utah Jazz to the NBA finals."

I was watching the game in my family room with my parents. It's the rare sporting event that gets even my mom to yell at the TV.

If nothing else, June 1997 and June 1998 were times that the city came together. While other events have brought us together (Elizabeth Smart comes to mind), no other event has so United us, save the Olympics.

Then, the inevitable happened. John Stockton and Karl Malone left us. There were some growing pains.

But, the men who play at the intersection of John Stockton Pass and Karl Malone Drive have this city Jazzed again. To borrow the slogan of our current opponents, We Believe Again.

We probably won't make the Finals. Not this year. However, the current playoff run will fall into many of the "top 10 stories of the year" rundowns in December.

And, the defining moment, short of Boozer hoisting a trophy next month, will be this one:


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