The Life of Bon: Time to break up

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Time to break up

This relationship has brought nothing but misery and heartache to me.  I have stayed longer than I should, and now I have finally seen the light.  I've gotta move on.

It's time to cut my losses, venture out on my own, and try to find happiness.

I'm breaking up with Jazz.

It's not easy to break up with someone that you have loved and cherished for years.  It's not easy to detach yourself from someone you consider a part of you.  But it has to be done.

I never imagined it would turn into this.  I was 11 years old when the whole love affair started.  I blame it all on John Stockton. 

The score was tied 100-100. 
Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals.
2.8 seconds left of the game. 
Stockton threw up an ugly three pointer.
Didn't even hit the rim.
Stockton literally leaped for joy.  Leaped higher than I've ever seen a white man leap.
My siblings and I jumped and cheered on the couches, screaming our hearts out.
The Jazz were entering the NBA finals for the first time ever.

That right there, that, was the moment that I committed.  Fully.  I fell deep and hard in love with Jazz and everything that came with him.  I vowed to stay with Jazz come what may.  To be a fan for a life.  To be dedicated.

And that's how the relationship started.  As most do.  With excitement, with love, with visions of the future.

The first heartbreak came two weeks later when  Jazz lost in the finals against the Bulls.  I had committed to my team, but he still let me down.  I wanted to go all the way, but Jazz couldn't.  And I was left to pick up the pieces.

The second heartbreak came the next year when Jazz lost in the finals against the Bulls.  Again.

After Jazz lost that last game in 1998, I watched Michael Jordan celebrate, I watched him grab his MVP trophy, I watched him kiss the floor, and I couldn't take it.  I didn't want my family to see my distraught state, they couldn't know how much this relationship actually meant to me.  So I took the dog for a walk, to air out my sorrows.

I cried.  And I cried. 
Because anytime you experience a great disappointment from your lover, you cry.

But I cowboyed up, and I continued in my devotion to Jazz.  We never progressed as far as we did those first two years.  Oh, we were in a serious relationship, no doubt about it, making the playoffs year after year, but I couldn't get the commitment from Jazz that I wanted.

Then, I watched him start to crumble.
I watched Jazz lose their greatest players: first Hornacek went, then Malone, and finally Stockton.

I stayed faithful.

Me and the Jazz (Jeff Hornacek)
during happier times.

I was a fan when their best player was Andrei Kirilenko.
I was a fan when they lost more games than they won.
I was committed.
In love.
Nothing would make me give up on this.

Deron Williams came and added new hope.  New fire.  This could be a healthy relationship again.  We could be happy.

Every year our relationship was progressing more.  We were making the playoffs again.  It was fun, like back in the old days!  Not just losses and tears, but triumphs and excitement!

When I married Hubs, I thought I would be able to break up with Jazz and end our miserable, unhealthy 15 year relationship.  I would devote myself completely to Hubs and end all ties with former lovers.

Little did I know that Hubs was deeply entrenched in his own relationship with Jazz.
And so we became a trio.
A dysfunctional three way family of sorts.

Last year, tragedy struck.
Jerry Sloan, Utah Jazz coach for centuries, retired mid-season. 
Unannounced, unforeseen.
Just up and quit.

I went to counselling.  I did breathing exercises.  I meditated.
We would make it through this.  It was the greatest trial our relationship had seen yet, but we could survive.

Weeks later, tragedy reared his ugly face a second time.
Deron Williams was being traded to the Nets.
Unannounced, unforeseen.
We watched the promising season go down the drain.
Suffered ten losses in a row.

Trying to save the relationship.

I knew my relationship was on the verge of collapse.  But I held tight to what reassurances were left.
We still had Millsap!
We still had Hayward!
We still had Andrei!
We could make it through even this relationship hurdle.

It was at the end of last season that it finally dawned on me.  I was sitting on my couch with Hubs, watching Jazz blow a huge lead in the fourth quarter.  I saw Jazz scramble for the ball, miss shots, and lose his temper.  And it came to me.  Clear as day.

I would never be happy with Jazz.  Never.  Jazz could not give me what I wanted.  Couldn't fulfill any of my needs. Not a one of them. 

And, so, for the first time ever, I considered leaving Jazz.  But I didn't have the strength.  Like all bad relationships, Jazz had sucked the life out of me and left me unable to even stand on my two feet.

But the seed had been planted.  The idea was in my head.  I could leave.  I could be happy again.  I could be free.

And right when I was considering my huge break up with Jazz, how did he react?  He didn't bother to even play basketball.  Didn't show up to work.  He went on strike.  Refused to date me.  Not only was he not trying to make the relationship work, he wasn't even showing his face. 

Jazz quit before I did, let the records show.

The final blow came yesterday.  I checked the newspaper in the morning and saw the news.  In the midst of an ugly lockout, the players had refused the latest deal that had been given them. 

I knew then that was this end.  Jazz didn't want me.  He wanted money.  He has perhaps never wanted me.  Never loved me.  Never cared.  It was never about us.  Not about me and Jazz.  It was about something else entirely this whole time.

Yes.  All along it had been a one way relationship.  I gave, I gave, I gave.  I loved, I cared, I supported, I stood up for him in the face of his critics.  I watched him lose, I watched him suffer, I watched him ask for more money.

He never gave back.  Never called.  Never said I love you.  Never contributed to the relationship.  Our love affair was unhealthy from day one and slowly deteriorated over fifteen years to nothing more than a woman begging for love and commitment.

Now I'm done.
Throwing in the towel once and for all.

I'm sorry, Jazz.
I just need to look out for myself from now on.
I always loved you.  And I always will.

But this relationship is over.