On Anthems, Flags, and Protests

I’ve been wrestling with whether to say something about this. I personally feel like it is a very (unnecessarily) divisive issue that has become something more than it ever should have been. Maybe that’s a product of living in an “outrage” culture, when people on either side of the political equilibrium have to scream louder than each other about the issue du jour, instilling their own biases based on whatever they want to make the complaint about.

Time hasn’t changed this. Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the anthem last season, something that may have cost him his job as a quarterback in the NFL. I’m not going to comment on his capabilities as a player; I’m a relatively casual fan of sports and I don’t spend hours of my week determining if Player A is better than Player B – I leave that to professionals like Bill Barnwell – but I do know the guy led a team to a Super Bowl, which seems to indicate success in his sport. Continue reading

The Utah Jazz Are Home

For the longest time, at least until Real Salt Lake, the Utah Jazz were the professional sports team in Utah. Sure, we had some random minor league teams, even super successful ones, but the Jazz were the only game in town. For eight, and sometimes nine months a year, the Jazz dominated the local sports scene, and have had some pretty good highs, as well as some lows.

The Jazz weren’t “born” here, anyone that knows about Utah should realize that there isn’t much of an organic jazz music scene here. The Jazz started out as an expansion team in New Orleans in 1974. And, despite having one of the best players of the era – Hall of Famer “Pistol” Pete Maravich – the New Orleans Jazz just weren’t that good. The best record they managed during their time in The Big Easy was 39-43, and they never really established themselves as something to do in the city, rotating between three venues and often being displaced by Mardi Gras festivities. The team drew well, but the lack of success made it difficult for the team to succeed financially. A new home was needed, and the ownership decided on Salt Lake City, in part because of the success that the ABA’s Utah Stars had experienced in the city. Continue reading

Politics and Football

The NFL season ended today in pretty dramatic fashion, with the New England Patriots coming back from a 28–3 deficit in the third quarter and pulling out the win in overtime 34–28. It was probably the best Super Bowl game of my lifetime and had me on the literal edge of my seat for most of the last quarter and a half.

The man in the middle of it all was Tom Brady, quarterback for the Patriots and now the only man to ever win FIVE Super Bowls as a quarterback (Charles Haley played on five Super Bowl winning teams). It was an amazing performance, vintage Brady, and it’s hard to forget sometimes that he is 39 years old and has been doing this for 16 years now. Continue reading

An Ode to the Ladies of Roller Derby

If there is one person to blame for my recently developed appreciation of roller derby, it would have to be my sister Kathy, aka Vixen Kitten. For the longest time after returning to Utah, she would invite us to come check out a derby scrimmage or match. I kept putting it off, always making some excuse, but really I was just lame and I should get out of the house a bit more.

One Thursday night a few months ago, I finally decided to check out what it was all about. Don’t get me wrong, I had an idea what roller derby, if only because I may have watched Whip It, the Drew Barrymore directorial debut about derby in the Midwest. To be honest, that’s what I was expecting. Continue reading