Get me Jeane Dixon on the line.
Yo, Jeane baby. Gotta speak up. I'm still waiting to be fitted with my Beltone after the other night at the Salt Palace.Can you say loud?
Hey, hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but looks like you missed a big one this year.
No, your prediction in the Enquirer about Gadhafi opening a frozen yogurt franchise in Albuquerque was real swell. But how could you totally blow the one that's shaking all Southern California right now? And for that matter, every other city in the NBA.
We're not talking about the earthquake your good buddy Nostradamus predicted. We're talking about the Utah Jazz taking the Lakers to a seventh playoff game.
Yea, I know. It sounded too far-fetched.
But funny things do happen up here in the rarefied air at 4,400 feet above sea level. Just ask the crickets.
Of course, after seeing the Jazz drain the Lakers 108-80 Thursday night, Jazz fans are ready to believe anything.
Even that the Jazz will prevail Saturday afternoon in enemy territory.
"Winning Saturday? No problem," said Dave Houston, one of about 1,000 die-hard Jazz fans gathered at Salt Lake City International Airport late Friday afternoon to cheer off their warriors of roundball. "This is my only way to participate in the championship."
"They've gone further than anyone thought they would," said Houston's friend, Ed Naylor. "There's no pressure because they've got nothing to lose. Even if the Lakers beat them - and they won't - they'll come back winners."
Johnny Carter said he wasn't a believer until Thursday night, but now he's converted. "I love those Jazz," Carter said, as Karl Malone strode by issuing "high fives."
But Friday's events were really only a postscript to the Fandemonium triggered by the Jazz's decisive victory Thursday night.
"L.A. is going down," boldly guaranteed Tony Keyes as he exited the Salt Palace moments after the game in search of a victory party.
"L.A. will be tough," admitted behemoth John Sudbury, who has graced front-row, center-court at the Salt Palace for every Jazz game since their exodus from New Orleans following the 1978-79 season. "But after tonight it's really anybody's series.
"They won tonight. They'll win Saturday," Scott Berg said of the Jazz. "The Laker mystique is gone. They're no longer an institution. They're just five guys - albeit five great guys."
Admittedly, the current line of thinking by the Jazz faithful represents a major turnaround from recent history - say less than two weeks ago.
Back then, Utah's team usually went to Los Angeles looking for a tan - unless they were playing the Clippers - when they occasionally would look to win a basketball game. But never when their itinerary included a stopover in the Lakers' Den, where in the past the Jazz always seem to embrace Christianity just in time to watch the Lakers slipping into their lion suits.
Seems these aren't the Lakers of old - just old Lakers. Why even some Los Angeles newspaper accounts are suggesting rigor mortis might be setting in.
Meanwhile the national media are eating it up faster than Frank Lay-den one-liners. Man Mountain Mark has emerged as an unlikely Tinsel Town folk hero; the Jazz's tenacious "D" having all but pre-empted the Purple and Gold's famed "Show-time"; and fans are seriously talking about beating the Lakers four times in seven outings. This, after the franchise's four previous wins notched against the Lakers took 20 tries.
The Lakers are Neiman Marcus and the Jazz are J.C. Penney. The Lakers are the "haves" and the Jazz are the "never weres."
Jack Nicholson et al. vs. the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Utahns seeming to be reveling in their role as underdog, however.
"I think they're going to give Los Angeles all they want (Saturday)," said pollster Dan "The Greek" Jones, who climbed out on a limb with Malone minutes before tipoff Thursday by prognosticating a Jazz win.
The Lakers learned what a lot of Utah politicians have already discovered - that Jones boasts an accuracy rate on his predictions that rank him right up there with the Mailman.