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Get Into That? 

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The last time I watched the Utah Jazz play at the Delta Center was a couple of years ago. Like many people, I just drifted away, even though for several years I had season tickets—way back when they were affordable. Now my visits to the Delta Center are dependent on the generosity of my friends and the kindness of strangers. That is, my friends are generous with seats that don’t belong to them. When they have extras (freebies from corporate clients or rich in-laws), they occasionally ask me to go. I seldom take them because they only offer me seats to games that I wouldn’t pay to see, and well, it’s a guilt thing.

I never get offered the good games because my friends know I’m a jinx. I attend, the Jazz lose; it’s that simple. I haven’t seen the Utah Jazz win since sometime in the mid-’90s, and what a game Jeff Malone had! Today, though, I’m feeling like it’s time to go again, to watch Stockton and Malone before they’re gone, to support our young players, to “get into it,” as the comic spokesman for the Utah Jazz would say. Trouble is, I just can’t.

I can’t “get into it,” because in good conscience, I won’t lay down 100 bucks or five bucks to watch Greg Ostertag and John Amaechi pretend to be professional athletes. Any sum that I pay at the Jazz box office only insures that they will continue to be paid. That, in turn, insures that at least two aspiring people exiting college or languishing in the semi-pros won’t have jobs in the NBA.

For nearly a month, we had the pleasure of watching Olympic athletes compete with heart, desire and will. Those are just three adjectives that are inappropriate when describing Ostertag and Amaechi.

Sure, sure, my own my “athletic” days are far past. However, I did letter for three years at Bingham High School, where, if I wasn’t taught anything else, I was taught not to quit. Coach Sudbury wouldn’t let me. That’s Sonny Sudbury, big John Sudbury’s brother. Sudbury would strap my dislocated shoulder to my chest and give a heave-ho. I was a sitting duck. I wobbled so much around the football field I ended up blowing up both knees. That’s how I became a typist.

I’ll bet that most of you reading this aren’t quitters either (you got this far, so bear with me). If so, you’re also flat-out disgusted that Ostertag (who without a guaranteed contract would just be another tall boy reading comic books) and Amaechi (who is not the embodiment of British pride; he looks as interested in his team as Johnny Rotten at a quilting bee) are somehow central to this team. I’d rather support a team with heart and soul that loses than one with a spoiled child and a bored tea-sipper that nearly wins.

Sorry, Mr. Miller, but I just can’t “get into it.”

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