I’ll say this for Utah, we might have the spirit of the Mormon church wrong. When I think of Mormons, I think mostly of people in their Sunday best trying really hard to convince everyone else that their crazy church is right by going door to door and telling everyone that there was no truth before the early to mid 18th century.

But the Mormon spirit that I get when I am in Utah is one of fierce independence and rugged survivalism. The fascination with the trek from Illinois to Utah is one of the driving forces behind interaction here. These are not small thin white guys who call each other elder and talk about God. These are big husky white guys who call each other elder and go fishing.

I never fully understood why Karl Malone was so embraced here, I always thought that Mormons would see a giant strapping black guy from the south as some kind of problem. But, it seems that it was because he owned ATVs and shot deer and argued with his bosses that the Mormons loved him. Sure, they loved Jeff Hornacek and John Stockton for all the obvious reasons, but you shouldn’t discount how much Malone there is in these people.

I mean, the whole believing in God thing, the whole ‘old testament’ approach to religion in politics, and the desperate depression and hostility coupled with an overt cloying sexuality I see in the women, make this a religion I have actively avoided since I came of age. But these are not people to be trifled with.