OK, maybe “party” isn’t exactly the right word but that’s how far back you have to go to find the last year American sports fans witnessed an NFL work stoppage AND someone other than Jerry Sloan coaching the Utah Jazz. But with the cancellation of talks between the NFL and the NFL Players Association this morning and a report by the Salt Lake City TV station KSL that Sloan will resign today, fans could very well find themselves without either of those two sports institutions.
When it comes to Sloan, his resignation would obviously be a bittersweet moment for Jazz fans since Sloan has coached the team since 1988 and been employed by the team in some capacity since the 1983-1984 season. He coached the team to its only two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998 and has a mind-boggling 1, 127 wins as the team’s coach. Obviously the NBA will move on without him, whether he resigns today or in 2013 but it’s going to be weird seeing another coach in Utah.
As legendary a coach as Sloan is though, I think it’s safe to say it’s much harder to imagine the prospect of a year without the NFL or even a shortened season or one with “scab” players. And yet that’s exactly what the collapse of negotiations between the league and its players could mean with the team’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire on March 4. I don’t know about everyone else but a lot of the yearly traditions I celebrate at IC would be gone. No more going down to Benchwarmer’s every Sunday to watch the game. No more heading down to IC Square on Monday nights to catch Monday Night Football. No more watching the Detroit Lions lose the Thanksgiving game. (Actually, that might be a good thing.) No more arriving back on campus from Winter Break to find either the NFC or AFC Championship Game already in progress. No more Super Bowl parties at Emerson Suites with huge TV screens and snazzy lights.
Ah well, at least we still have the NBA. For now. Anyhow my question for you, fellow Ithacans, is this: what sport, athlete or coach could YOU not imagine going without? The comment section’s all yours.