Bruce and Bruce

Episode 45 – Continuing the Winning Ways

Episode 45 – Continuing the Winning Ways

Listen Here! I am a big fan of sports, which should be evident by the fact that I voluntarily wake up at 4:45 AM once a week to participate in this podcast. I have a reasonably broad range of sports I enjoy following, as well as some specific teams or players within that range. The same is true of Zach, I know, and I suspect could be said of most other sports fans in the world. We enjoy sports, we follow them, and for the most part we have more than one team/sport we follow. These are very pedestrian, general facts about sports fans, of course, and I only mention them because 2007 has been an unusual year for Zach and me. As purveyors of a “sports media outlet,” we watch and analyze sports much more than we did as everyday fans. Our once-casual “catch that game last night?” conversations have now become in-depth breakdowns of games, players, and leagues. We discuss interpretation of rules, quality of coverage, and socio-cultural impact. This is all on a very amateur scale, of course – the Utah SportsCast is just a free-time activity for us. To add to that pleasant confusion, both Zach and I have become soccer fans in earnest during the past year. We have outlined some of this in a new blog/podcast experiment we are trying to produce (visit at The Beautiful Podcast), so it doesn’t require mentioning for this blog entry beyond the fact that we now have new teams and leagues to follow. This just means more items to digest from our already groaning smörgåsbord of sports. To summarize, we are in a position where we have many different sports and teams to follow, with a semi-legitimate reason to do it. With that in mind, it’s not a surprise that I follow sports as closely now as I did as a teenager (I suspect the same is true for Zach, but I can’t speak for him). I suppose I could count the sports I follow, along with the associated leagues and teams, but that’s probably unimportant and I would miss some anyway. The short answer: A lot. So I was very surprised, in the midst of some fantastic sporting competition, when I realized that I have a single favorite team – one that stands above all other teams in all other sports. It does so in spite of my recent obsession with soccer, and in spite of an exciting year for local college football. Two NFL teams I enjoy are doing well this year, and “my team” in that league looks playoff-worthy, but it’s not one of those. It’s not even a national team, and there are few times I enjoy being a sports fan more than when I am following Team USA in anything. No, my all-time favorite team to follow is the Utah Jazz. [Note: The reader may have expected me something like “the Human Team” as my favorite, and me to praise the Beauty and Complexity of competition as my highest ideal. That probably would have been more philosophical and meaningful, and I wish I could write it here, but it wouldn’t be true.] I came to this realization two nights ago, and as mentioned, it was really quite surprising. I was watching them win their season opener against the Golden State Warriors, and it occurred to me that I invest more emotion and interest in the success of the Utah Jazz than I do any other team. Further compounding the strangeness for me is that I am not really an over-the-top fan of the NBA, certainly not more than other sports leagues. If I don’t have a rooting interest, I would probably rather watch a random game from the NFL, NHL, NCAA Football, or Barclay’s Premier League. It could be that the Jazz were my “first love” as a young sports fan – the team that got me interested in sports to begin with. Maybe it’s because they are the only local team of genuine national significance (sorry Real Salt Lake, and Major League Soccer). Maybe it’s because I really like basketball players and coaches with ties to the state of Illinois. I don’t really know. But I am certain that I am more anticipatory, I celebrate more plays, I bemoan more bad calls, and I am more superstitious about the Utah Jazz than any other team. There are other individual games that may reach that high status for me (Utah versus BYU in football, for instance), but as far as daily interest goes, nothing touches the Jazz. That may not be crucial to me as a fan, but it was nice to find out where my heart lies. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the 2007-2008 season. There is much more to enjoy in the podcast, which took a few unusual turns this week. Hopefully, it will make for entertaining listening. If not, well, our iron-clad guarantee holds true: you will love this podcast or your money back. Our Top 3 in Utah for this week: 3. Steve Tate 2. Ronnie Brewer 1. Carlos Boozer We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact us at comments@utahsportscast.com.

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