By BEN WESTERBY AND CHRIS WILSON
Jazz and Bulls fans alike braved the weather to show their team spirit in front of the JumboTron on the south lawn at the Triad Center Wednesday night.
Jazz fan Michelle Andrews said she came to watch the game one of the NBA Finals on the JumboTron because she didn’t want to miss the excitement. “It’s just a lot more fun,” Andrews said.
Bioter Saverbronn, a Brazilian native living in Salt Lake City, said he came to watch the Jazz because he wanted to see them win.
Not to be upstaged by His Airness or the Mailman, Mother Nature reminded fans who truly reigns supreme. Thunder and lightning, wind gusts, cold rain and even a little hail tested the fans’ durability. By the middle of the first quarter most people were leaving to watch the game somewhere warm and dry.
Virginia Childs, a Salt Lake City resident, said the rain would show who the true fans really are.
A few dedicated fans of both teams stayed in spite of the rain and hail. People scrambled to cover themselves with anything they had handy. The rain continued into the second quarter, shorting out the JumbTron. When the crowd realized the jumbo-sized television would be out for a while, a second wave of wet fans made a speedy Moses-like exodus to dryer ground.
Still, fans draped in garbage bags were seemingly unaffected by the technical difficulties or the wet weather.
Even though some fans came to cheer for different teams, all were united in a common purpose — to stay warm and dry.
“We’re here to cheer on the Jazz regardless of the weather. We’re just trying not to get wet,” said Ed Balani, a Jazz fan who had found shelter in a tent near the Delta Center.
“We came down because we are devoted Jazz fans,” said Debbie Poulsen, a Sandy resident and Jazz fanatic.
The Delta Center sold out all of its 19,911 seats, but outside people came to party. Face painting and funny costumes were worn by fans of all ages. Most fans came prepared with blankets, chairs and, most importantly, umbrellas. One group even brought along the family sofa.
When questioned about who would win the game, a seemingly preoccupied security guard said he thought BYU was going to win.
Weather pending, festivities will begin again before Friday’s game.