It's amazing how time flies. Seems only yesterday the Jazz were beating the daylights out of the Golden State Warriors. Oh, wait. That actually was yesterday, wasn't it?

So another season is here. The Jazz are coming off a Tuesday rout of the team they embarrassed in the playoffs. Now they play their first home game tonight, and fans are excited to know what to expect from this year's team. To that end, I've compiled a handy-dandy reference guide. That way you can skip the next 81 games and jump directly to the playoffs.

Forthwith is a list of frequently asked questions on the 2007-08 season and the accompanying answers. In other words, The Jazz According to Rock:

Question: Will the Jazz make the playoffs?

Answer: Of course they will. Since more than half the teams in the league qualify for the postseason, any team that fails really has to try. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Hawks have been trying way too hard for way too many years.

Question: Can the Jazz win the NBA championship?

Answer: Never! That would be like saying the Boston Red Sox can win two World Series in four years.

Question: Did the Jazz become more athletic in the off-season?

Answer: Let's be honest. You don't replace a guy like Rafael Araujo overnight. Actually, they did replace him overnight — with a big cardboard cutout they found of Captain Jack Sparrow. It works great in practice.

Question: Who will their starting 2-guard be by the end of the season?

Answer: That's easy — Kobe Bryant. Just don't tell Kobe. He still thinks he's going to the Bulls. Oh, and don't tell Jerry Sloan either. He still thinks it's a team game.

Question: Speaking of the game, has it passed Sloan by?

Answer: No, quality swearing never goes out of style.

Question: Is Sloan mellowing as the years pass?

Answer: Definitely. Just the other day he smiled once during practice.

Question: So honestly, has Jerry really changed?

Answer: Well, he does have a brand new John Deere hat.

Question: I love Hot Rod Hundley. But when do you think he'll hang 'em up?

Answer: When someone figures out what he's talking about when he says, "A gentle push, a mild arc, and the ol' cowhide globe hits home!"

Question: Who do you think is the Jazz's most interesting player?

Answer: Morris Almond, hands down. If Almond had a sister who married a descendant of former Argentine president Julio A. Roca, her name could be Tyra Almond Roca. How cool is that?

Question: Is Deron Williams the best point guard in America?

Answer: Thanks to Steve Nash, he's not even the best in Canada.

Question: Did the Jazz actually improve over the summer?

Answer: It's hard to say you improved when you didn't sign anyone more famous than Jason Hart, a singer/songwriter and keyboard player who has performed with Rufus Wainwright. Wait a minute. Did I Google the wrong Jason Hart?

Question: Who has the most marketable name, Ronnie Price or Morris Almond?

Answer: I'm taking Price. The papers have already used most of the Almond puns. Now it's time for some headlines that say "The Price is Right," "Price Buster!" or "Price Saver!"

Question: What about Matt Harpring's creaky knee? Will he retire?

Answer: He can't afford to. His wife's a doctor, so of course they won't be able to live on that. Maybe the Jazz will offer him a position as an usher after he retires.

Question: Does anyone actually like the name EnergySolutions Arena?

Answer: Yes. Sloan does. Any time you mention energy and solutions, it works for him.

Question: Will Jeff Hornacek's tutelage actually help Andrei Kirilenko's shooting?

Answer: Only if A.K. doesn't try to shoot from where Hornacek shot 'em.

Question: Can Kirilenko find happiness in Utah?

Answer: Happiness in Utah, yes. Happiness in Sloan's system? Nyet!

Question: Is Kirilenko going to cry again this year?

Answer: Sure he is. You'd cry too if you made $13 million a year and still couldn't get a good haircut.


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