30 November 2016

Failure to Launch in Utah

One of the first things I did when I learned that I'd need to do some job training in Utah in November was look at the Utah Jazz schedule to see if they were playing the Houston Rockets during my trip. They happened to have a game last night, and I got myself a ticket and boarded the train (didn't want to deal with driving/parking) for a ride into Salt Lake City. I actually missed my first train by about two minutes (curse you, traffic lights and slow pedestrians!), but I still got to the arena in time to find my seat before tip-off. I didn't have a great seat for this one, but it was cheap and I still had a good view of the court and the Jumbotron. I could have done without the people behind me. The girl behind and to the left kept putting her feet on the back of the seat next to me, and I heard the guy directly behind me whisper to her, "If that guy (meaning me) weren't here, I could put my feet up." He compromised by sticking his feet out beside my head every thirty seconds and wiggling them in my peripheral vision. It was distracting at times, but at least I wasn't hemmed in on both sides by people I didn't know. I had the aisle on one side and a couple of open seats on the other.

The Rockets started out pretty well, jumping out to a lead at the start of the game, but they failed to play defense and their offense went extremely cold, and the Jazz caught up and were up by 9 by the end of the first quarter. The Jazz spent most of the game up by double digits, and the Rockets never even threatened to get back into it, finally losing the game 101-120. James Harden is tough to watch, and sometimes I wish the Rockets would build a new roster with a different centerpiece. It looked like the other players on the team actively avoided interacting with him (like when he was at the foul line and wound up high-fiving the air because no one stepped in to reciprocate), and even I was groaning at some of his attempts to draw foul calls from the refs.

This Rudy Gobert block of Nene was probably the play of the night. The arena just blew up when it happened, and any spirit the Rockets had left disappeared. Even though I was unhappy about the final result, I had a good time and I was happy to attend my second-ever live NBA game. I don't know if I will make it to any more Jazz games while I'm here in Utah, but I can think of worse ways to spend an evening.


  1. I get the feet in the back all the time for WVU basketball games which have a ton of young kids in attendance. Par for the course I guess.

    Glad you had a good time. I've enjoyed my limited experience with live NBA games.

    1. It could have been worse, I guess. The guy never made contact with me, just wiggled his toes a few inches from my head.

      Live sports are pretty fun to watch. I wish the score had been closer throughout the game, but I was still pretty entertained.