Deseretnews.com had so much fun getting an overhaul I decided to give our Jazz blog a makeover. Here's the kind of fun we're having at Jazzland:
1. So, why the name Jazzland?
Jan. 25 entry: "I didn't think Wizland, Warriorland or Lakerland would go over too well with Jazz fans. Jimmerland maybe. It's also a hat tip to all the other fill-in-the-blank-lands out there: Disneyland, Newfoundland, wasteland, McDonald's Playland and, yes, even Grantland (the site of that ESPN sports dude who once ripped on an article I wrote and mentioned our fine publication as "something called the Deseret News," which is as big of a claim to fame as I have at this juncture of my life)."
2. A moment of respect to the rejected ideas
Jan. 25 entry: DJJazzyJody & The Fresh Print; The Jazz Zinger (Team on the rocks, ain't no big surprise); Smooth Jazz (Kenny G would've played automatically); Jazzercise with Jody (Picture me in a Jane Fonda leotard. Ha! Now try to get that image out of your brain); Jazz Bandwidth (Cyber humor. The joke was funnier in html mode); and variations of the word Jazz that might get me in trouble in print.
3. Big Al's potty humor
Jan. 28 entry: (Al) Jefferson laughed off follow-up questions (about his ankle injury) before giving a frank explanation: "I just had to use the restroom =85 I should've went before — my mom always told me to go to the bathroom before." Hours later, it was announced that Jefferson couldn't go — play against Toronto, that is.
"Jefferson wasn't available for comments Wednesday night or at practice Thursday, and I took a charge (joking) to stop him briefly on his way to the team bus: "How are you feeling?"
"Jefferson: "I'm feeling a lot better than I was the other day." My follow-up caught him off guard: "Just have to go to the bathroom?" The tongue-in-cheek question was asked with a smile, and Jefferson laughed back. "Y'all jinxed me. How did y'all even know that (injury)? I was playing it off."
"The most important life lesson to take away from this incident? Jefferson's mom is absolutely correct."
4. Embedding myself in post-Super Bowl NYC
Feb. 10 entry: "Hey, New York. Your football team just won the championship.. Where are you going to go? Why, Times Square, of course!" I took a dozen photos, some even in focus, of rowdy revelers in Times Square, including an Eli dog, an arrested fan, Mickey Mouse and Adam from Manhattan who let me do a celebratory grip-and-grin with the Super Aluminum Bowl Championship Trophy.
5. Some unconventional locker room talk
Feb. 10 entry: "In the locker room before a recent game, Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson asked me if I knew the secret to Jeremy Evans' leaping abilities. Fortunately, I didn't guess Shape-Up shoes.
Watson: "He eats a pound of popcorn before every game."
From there, the conversation gets more interesting and hilarious, including this tidbit after Watson declares himself to be Evans' "dunk agent:"
Asked if watches the dunk contest, which he hopes to make, Evans answered: "I never watch it."
An alarmed Watson to Evans: "That's not the right thing to say."
Evans' dunk agent to me: "He's been watching it since he was a kid ... It's been his lifelong dream."
Gordon Hayward to Evans: "Earl's not going to be right there answering for you all the time."
(For more fun, go to jazzland.blogs.deseretnews.com. Now. Tomorrow. Always!)
Jazz at Hornets, Today, 6 p.m., ROOT
This is how rough it's been for New Orleans: The Jazz have won as many on the road (two) as the Hornets have at home.
Jazz at Thunder, Tuesday, 6 p.m., ROOT
While Utah is off gallivanting around Memphis and New Orleans, the Thunder are resting, relaxing and licking their chops.
Jazz vs. Wizards, Friday, 7 p.m., ROOT
The five-win Wiz are so bad their fans cheered for Jeremy Lin last week. Oh wait. The entire LINBA did.
Jazz at Rockets, Sunday, 5 p.m., ROOT
The Post-Yao Ming Dynasty has turned out surprisingly well for the Rockets, who've surprised everyone this side of, well, Houston.
Hot: Raja Bell
Had double figures in two of three games and hit 3-pointers in 13 straight coming into Sunday's contest. Yes, really.
Not: Alec Burks
Rookie's been M.I.A. — but not forgotten, coach promises. Hadn't played in four straight prior to Sunday.
THE BIG STAT
.500: The Jazz have a perfect record — 5-0 prior to Sunday — when they hit at least 50 percent of their field-goal attempts. Before playing Memphis, Utah was just 8-11 when missing more than half of its shots.