As a society, our collective patience has dissipated faster than the Humphries-Kardashian nuptials. The prevalence of instant access to whatever random bit of information you’re pondering at a given moment or whatever obscure form of entertainment you happen to be hankering for has made petulant children of us all.
We work ourselves into a frenzy when the new app that’s equal parts interesting and useless takes more than a few seconds to load. We even have to fight off the compulsion to hurl our iPhone against the wall, which is made easier once we realize how pathetically addicted to our electronic devices we are.
This irrational impatience has spread with Ebola-like efficiency to other facets of daily life, none more obviously and irrationally than the world of professional sports.
The destiny of Tim Tebow seems to vacillate from Danny Wuerrfel 2.0 to a rich man’s Steve Young every other week, depending on his performance in the previous game. This hyper-impatience epidemic has not passed by Utah Jazz fans.
After the Jazz began the season with back-to-back drubbings at the hands of the Lakers and Nuggets, Jazz message boards everywhere exploded. Arguments were waged over whether Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap should be dealt. Trades were formulated so haphazardly they seemed to be coming from drunken 2 a.m. e-mail conversation between David Kahn and Chris Wallace.
Most laughably of all, angry Jazz fans blasted Coach Corbin’s rotation management and called for his head. AFTER TWO GAMES! Admittedly, these examples are the most extreme end of the impatience spectrum, are indications of a disturbing trend of the refusal of some Jazz fans to just let things play out.
Jazz fans have been historically spoiled by a high rate of success book-ended by relatively minute rebuilding periods. Even the year after John Stockton and Karl Malone left, the Jazz had a winning record (42-40) and fell one game short of the playoffs with an underwhelming roster.
Overachieving is as much a hallmark of Utah Jazz culture as undying bitterness toward Michael Jordan. Even before Steve Jobs had one of his inventions in everyone’s back pocket, Utah Jazz fans were not familiar with having to wait.
Utah has once again outperformed expectations, and is off to an impressive start despite a roster chock-full of youthful inexperience exacerbated by an absurdly brief offseason. This influx of players still under the legal drinking age makes patience even more important than normal for Utah.
Ty Corbin has done a masterful job thus far feeding his rookies and second-year players valuable minutes while simultaneously giving his veterans enough playing time to both keep them happy and give the team the best chance to win.
This success has Corbin in the early-season driver’s seat for Coach of the Year, but may also further inflate the already-huge expectations some fans have. Again, patience cannot be preached fervently enough.