It is a privilege to represent the Beehive State in Washington, D.C. I initially began my current role in the Herbert Administration by traveling regularly (every other week) to D.C. to represent Utah's interests. Now I have moved just 10 miles from the U.S. Capitol and work just two blocks from the Capitol, where I represent Utah each day.
Considering the billions of dollars that flow from the federal government to the states and the volumes of laws and regulations promulgated in the District of Columbia that impact the states, the 55 states and territories take keen interest in the affairs of the federal city. In addition to conducting their own work, the states work together to protect their varied interests.
To this end, the states created an association, the National Governors Association (NGA), to protect their interests. The NGA is led by an executive committeecomposed of nine sitting governors. Two of the governors on the executive committee lead the association as the chair and vice chair - always one Republican and one Democrat. These two governors are their party's leaders in the affairs of the NGA. Governor Herbert is currently the vice chair of the NGA and in July will take over as the chair of the association. This means that Utah leads the NGA's GOP caucus in the work done within the association. Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, is the current chair of the NGA.
The photo above is of Governor Hickenlooper's Washington Representative, Jena Griswold, and me.
It has been a great experience to work with the GOP caucus and advance the issues important to Republican states. It has also been rewarding to work with my Democratic colleagues to find common ground. Of course the states have their differences, but generally speaking, pragmatism prevails as states stick together.
The nieces and nephews were getting older. (Always went to Sconecutters on State Street after games!)
Ticket sales were moved to Smithtix.
So, for playoff tickets, I was in line at 4:00 a.m. to buy tickets that went on sale at 7:00 a.m.
at Smith's, by my house.
Then, AEA offered a 10 game "mini package." About row 10 in the upper bowl.
I was all over that!!!
Plus, I could buy playoff tickets,
without leaving my home!!!
And, boy...did we go to the playoffs!!!
Year after year after year!
Round 2, the games were always
at 8:30 p.m.
Got home from these at 1:00 a.m.,
and back up to teaching school same day. And, of course, 2 years in a row of the NBA FINALS!!!
After the mini packages, I then purchased a 16 game package.
Row 1 of upper bowl.
Then, I became a full blown season ticket holder
in the 2007-2008 season.
Row 3 upper bowl.
The next summer, they had an open ticket exchange.
You went to Energy Solutions Arena, and looked at seats.
I found 2 seats that were second to the top
in the lower bowl, end seats.
Mom, who started going with me after dad died,
did not have to climb stairs.
And...BONUS...by Café Olé, Diet Coke,
Red Mango (since gone) AND bathroom!!!
From the time I started going to Jazz games,
we were spoiled!
Pistol Pete Maravich, Adrian Dantley, Darrell Griffith, Thurl Bailey, Mark Eaton, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, etc. Several players played more than once for the Jazz. Team loyalty.
And then? The implosion!
Did okay with Andrei Kirilinko, Deron Williams, and Carlos Boozer,
and then they left. Coach Jerry Sloan retired in mid-season after an apparent blowup with Williams. Assistant Coach, Phil Johnson, retires at same time. Another assistant coach, former Jazzman and all around nice guy...Ty Corbin, suddenly finds himself in charge.
Well, last season, we finished 25-57. This season.
We finished 38-44!!!
Lost only 10 games since All-Star Break!
But, if we had been in the East, we would
be in the playoffs as an 8 seed.
Facing #1 Atlanta Hawks!
We've beat them before.
But, more intriguing...3 former Jazz players.
Paul Milsap, Demaré Carroll, Kyle Korver.
And...brother vs brother!
Elijah vs Paul!!!
Having season tickets has been soooo fun,
and even a blessing!!!
In my last 4 years of teaching, which were
sooooo challenging, it was a great distraction.
All nieces and nephews and Reid & Laurel get a game for Christmas. (Except Katie is off list...since CJ was plays for the Clippers!)
I've taken friends, co-workers, and used tickets
as wedding and graduation presents.
But, I've gone from an $8 ticket at the Salt Palace
to nearly $4,000...more than the cost of my second car...at Energy Solutions Arena for a season.
Totally worth it!!!
Nancy and I do a "Girls Night Out" game
every year for her birthday.
She went to the last game with me.
The players threw autographed balls into the crowd
after the game.
Best part of the season: Mom's 80th Birthday
Most exciting game:
CJ (red shoes) playing in his first NBA game! Drafted #28...LA Clippers. Best "Are You Kidding Me? moment:
The groom...Reid Allred. He is the usher at my portal when regular usher, Linda, takes her break. He gave us an invite to his January wedding. We had just begun being Facebook friends when his wife posted this picture from their wedding. The woman at the left was tagged...I knew her! I also knew the lady on the far right. I only knew her as Deanna, maiden name is Webb. Deanna is Reed's grandma! Deanna and my Aunt Nadene are SISTERS!!! Nadene is married to my mom's youngest brother, and they live in Ocala, Florida! I saw his grandma in March. Her and Nadene's brother passed away, and I went to the viewing. I didn't know this connection then. When I was just out of 7th grade, I went to spend a month with Bruce, Nadene, and kids when they lived in Racine, Wisconsin. (First time on an airplane...1971) We went to Denver to stay with Nadene's sister, Deanna, for 5 days! The time Jazz players were the happiest:
This is an NBA Season
Approximately 53,704 miles traveled & 134 hours (5.6 days) spent on 71 plane trips (enough miles to circle the world 2.2 times). 59 nights in hotels. 122 nights not home for dinner in a 6 month span.
Best new trend of the season: The "Rudy Salute"
My Jazz MVP of the season: New Head Coach...Quin Snyder