When was that very first moment when you became a Utah Jazz fan? Or a fan of any team for that matter. That moment, is something we can all relate to, it is a feeling of pride and excitement. A sense of being a part of something bigger then ourselves. A camaraderie that we can share with our closest friends and complete strangers.

That moment for me, happened during the many games I watched with my parents as a young child, and became even more solidified when John Stockton “sent the Utah Jazz to the NBA finals!”. Basketball John became a childhood hero of mine, he was what made me love basketball and the Utah Jazz. A lot of my favorite memories as a child came from recreating his famous shot as my friends would count down the seconds, and continued into the few years of Jr. Jazz basketball.

15 years later, I still feel the same way about my Utah Jazz and one of my favorite sports. Every year I look forward to the start of basketball season on all levels. I am patient in hoping that one year my Utah Jazz will bring home a championship that we can all celebrate together with excitement and pride.

Unfortunately, I’m starting to notice that a good portion of my fellow Jazz fans don’t feel the same way that others and myself do. Some of my best friends and many others have forgotten why they became Jazz fans in the first place. Did it happen to you?

I know that there are many reasons why one would decide to stop rooting for the team they were once a fan of. I’m sure that not seeing a championship happen for the Jazz is one of the more prominent reasons. While it is frustrating to see your favorite team struggle, I find it hard to believe that those people have totally lost hope in the Jazz. And as one fan to another, whether you might have a little support left in the tank or don’t really care much at all, I’d ask you to consider the next couple of paragraphs.

The first point is supporting your team through their struggles. Imagine yourself in the next highly anticipated action blockbuster. Everything seems to be going in a good dandy direction for the hero and then, like all good stories, the plot takes a dramatic shift and now the hero has to overcome his struggles to beat his enemy. At the heroes moment of despair are you going to get up and leave the movie? I would assume you would answer no. Then why leave your team when they struggle? That is when your team needs their fan base more then ever and not having that fan support would make it easy for that team to give up.

Supporting your team through their struggles applies even more so to those still on board.  This upcoming season will be a most peculiar one for the Utah Jazz. The front office has listened to the pleadings of Jazz Nation and finally the young guys will have a chance to prove themselves as being franchise changing players that this team has so desperately needed. They’re entering the unfamiliar world to Jazz fans of rebuilding, this method has proven itself to be a great tool for teams who have had struggles.

Be prepared though, because with any rebuild you can expect even more struggles to come. Any team that has gone through a rebuild has had them. You can count on this very young Utah Jazz team to have them and they will need you to cheer them on when the goings get rough. We need to dig in and weather the storm that’s coming.

Onto the next point, and this is something that I have had a bit of trouble writing.. So here it goes- there is no more room for fair weathered fans and negativity. Why? It’s not productive and not worth the time. I was reading an article the other day about whether a rebuild of this magnitude can put the Jazz into a championship contending position. The comments following were full of garbage and nonsense, these people had failed to see the big picture and potential. You can bet that this isn’t the first time that it’s happened either. Why put yourself through the trouble of even typing when you yourself don’t care anymore? If you’ve given up on the team then so be it, but please (and I don’t mean to sound harsh) find something more productive to do.

The last point, if you do have anything left in the tank, try and rekindle those past memories and put faith in the future. I have a feeling that you won’t regret it, and I say that because the not to distant future looks plenty bright for the Utah Jazz. If the fan base can regroup and stand behind their Utah Jazz like they did with John Stockton and Karl Malone, then you can bet that we will be in for a fantastic ride (no pun intended). 

So, what will it be for you? That’s obviously your decision to make, but I would advise you to make that decision quickly. Because I believe that it will be pretty hard for one who has checked out during the struggles, to come back and fully enjoy the sweetness of a hard earned victory. Especially if that hard earned victory results in a championship for the Utah Jazz.

In conclusion, my hope is that none of us will regret checking out early. Now is the time to get behind our Utah Jazz, because they are going to need us now more then ever. Great things are happening for this team, and I hope your as excited as I am! Go Jazz!

- Nick, HavenSports

www.havensports.tumblr.com

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