He was a regular guy surrounded by irregulars.
Al Jorgenson, a Norm at Jack and Dan’s Tavern and MAJOR Jazz fan, grabbed the third seat in at the bar an hour and 15 minutes before Wednesday night’s NBA Finals game. As others left, one by one, he snaked in gradually to the first seat, closest to the TV set, always saving room for the Easter bunny.
The bunny unmasked is Greg Baldwin, who in another life is a regional Jell-O salesman, but in this life is the Easter bunny permanently parked on a bar stool watching his team, the Utah Jazz. He drives a truck with the vanity plate TOP HARE and a Corvette proclaiming EST BNE.
Baldwin and Jorgenson have been friends for 20 years. They see each other at Jack and Dan’s, the Gonzaga University neighborhood bar that turns into a popular spot whenever anybody Irish or the Jazz do well in sporting events.
“This is hype time,” Jorgenson said. “You heard the saying about New Year’s Eve, ‘When the amateurs go out, the pros stay home’? The amateurs are here tonight.”
The amateurs - and the regulars - are here because of Jack, who is Jack Stockton, part-owner of the tavern and proud father of John Stockton, the all-star guard for the Jazz and a Gonzaga University alumnus. Jack also is beloved by the regulars at Jack and Dan’s, like Baldwin and Jorgenson.
“You’re sitting in the second seat - pay attention,” Jorgenson told the Easter bunny.
“I’m giving an interview,” said the Easter bunny, always in demand for interviews.
“You’re giving me an enema,” retorted Jorgenson, a petrified toothpick making its way around his mouth.
And there were other things giving Jorgenson an enema, like the rout perpetrated on Stockton and his boys by Michael Jordan and his Chicago boys.
Stockton and his team didn’t fare so well Wednesday night. Even Jorgenson - wearing a Jazz baseball cap signed by John Stockton and punctuated with a pin of a big-head Stockton on a small body - shook his head.
“I’m not a happy camper,” Jorgenson said.
Still, after Utah had lost two games, the fans at Jack and Dan’s were hopeful. They did the math.
“That’s OK,” Jorgenson shouted. “We got three in Utah, one in Chi-town.”
And everyone else just nodded their heads.
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