Reputation Nation

In a world where a country girl can turn into the next pop diva tonight, it’s time to compare the new hit singles in Taylor Swift’s new album to some of the greatest moments in Utah sports this year.

Ready For It? – Utah Jazz Game 1 Playoffs first round: Nobody was ready for the Jazz to win Game 1 over the studded LA Clippers after The Stifle Tower fell with an injury in the first quarter. Enter Joe Johnson. If this game was a music video for the popular single by Swift the phrase “Are you ready for it?” would be promptly followed by Iso Joe’s running buzzer beater going through the hoop. 

The line “Baby let the games begin.” could almost be a good moment to promote the NBA playoffs with the Jerry West logo and the J note vs. whatever the other LA team’s logo is these days. Before the single even launched, college football featured it in a commercial featuring a season kickoff game between Florida State and Alabama. Perhaps future stars will use sports as a platform to promote their songs like Swift. She does tend to be about as cryptic as LeBron’s Arthur tweet though.

“Look what you made me do!” – Gordon Hayward signs with the Celtics: Gordon claimed that when the Jazz told him as a restricted free agent to go find a higher offer than their original then they would look to match it. Gordon did find such an offer from the Charlotte Hornets and after some hesitation the Jazz matched it.

The Jazz had no idea what they would make Gordon do three years later. How were they supposed to know he would accidentally let his free agency decision only to try and cover it up and do it his way while the Jazz could have spent more time acquiring key free agents. It might be more about what his former college coach Brad Stevens made him do than the Jazz though. The half court shot that was inches away from a Cinderella national championship over Duke had Gordon hungry to re-join the man who had gotten him so close to a championship.

Gordon has since suffered a nasty leg injury since then but he remains hopeful of a full return to recovery. Nobody knows what Gordon will do next especially when the Celtics come to Utah to face the Jazz in March. Will he show up or will the risk of unclassy boos be too much for him? Even though he’s out of the Beehive State, what Gordon Hayward will do next is much more  unpredictable than Taylor Swift’s gradual move from country to pop.

Call it what you want to: The 2017 BYU football season. Injuries plagued the season but still BYU lost to teams it normally doesn’t lose to. Sitake dropped from 9 wins his first year to 3 wins so far with matchups against lowly Hawaii and Umass left. BYU hasn’t won any championships since 1984 but this team was recording losing streaks that hadn’t happened in decades. BYU fans hope they can call this season anomaly. Hard core Ute fans hope it can become the norm. Taylor Swift would tell the rest of the world to call it what they want to.

Gorgeous: How the women in Utah would describe the Australian accent of Joe Ingles. Enough said.

Bottom Line: Taylor Swift can relate to a wide range of audiences with her relatable lyrics and her first four singles in the new album “Reputation”. So far she has related to the sports fans of Utah. Every year the season of each season paints a brushstroke but it is a compilation of seasons and experiences that create a whole image that we perceive as that team’s “Reputation”. There were the Bad Boy Pistons, Sack Lake City and Stockton to Malone. The chapter of this year is nearly over but next year each team in the state will strive to make a better name for their school than the year prior.

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