There hasn’t been a lot of Jazz coverage lately. Of the last five times I’ve visited hoopshype.com and searched for “Jazz,” only once did it yield a result. That result was a pre-season write up of the team that suggested that the boys of the blueish purple-y color will be lucky to make the playoffs.
Around town, it feels like the only real Jazz oriented water cooler conversation remains the 'once a season Kirenliko free-bee' story. Personally, I’m scared at the prospect of having to endure an annual ‘love child in a random NBA city’ story, but I’m mostly worried that he’ll give them all the same embarrassing initials.
The season is a little more than a month away, and there will be plenty of time to talk about Jerry Sloan’s recent marriage, Derek Fisher’s reaction to the whole ‘sixth man on a mid-level team’ thing, and how Salt Lake City will learn to move on in a “Post Ostertag world,” but today I want to talk about a very important element to the team’s chemistry and success: the lineup announcement of the 2006-2007 Utah Jazz Dancers!
This oft overlooked and highly valuable group of sixteen features eleven returning dancers, with Nicole, Nikki, Ricci, Tina and Brindie joining the team as rookies.
Don’t you just love those names? Just say them a couple times in a row.
It gets better, the announcement page provides us with valuable insight as to who these women are and what they joined the team to do...
Jamie: “I want to be a Jazz dancer because I love the Jazz and I love to dance.”
Nicole: “I want to be a Jazz dancer because I grew up watching the Jazz.”
Jessica: “I want to be a Jazz dancer because I like to be a positive influence in the community.”
Not for nothing, but what do you think the average NBA player would say if asked a similar question?
These legitimately athletic talented women prepare their routines for ridiculously long lengths of time, they dance every home game, striving to resuscitate energy from the crowd, and they do it all for some pretty noble reasons (which is good, ‘cause they’re not getting paid very well).
One of the returning team members, Candace, has a pretty clear reason to return:
“I want to be a Jazz dancer because I want to dance in the playoffs this year.”
Believe me when I tell you you’re not alone on that one.