Here at the Deep End, we feel particularly blessed that The Jimmer has granted us his first exit interview as he closes out his illustrious athletic career at Brigham Young University. We found The Jimmer to be a nice young man, who comes across as your average college kid. Other than the reddish hue of his face, which seems to be the result of the hottest spotlight of the season burning down upon him (or maybe he was just blushing), The Jimmer appears relatively unharmed by his season of suffering under the cruel mother of Jimmermania.
Deep End: The roster lists you at 6 feet, 2 inches. Is that an accurate measurement?
The Jimmer: The guys over at BYU’s office of sports information insisted on adding a couple of inches. But I’m almost 6 feet after I’ve spiked up my do with product.
DE: How does it feel to no longer hear the groans of an entire nation every time you miss a shot?
TJ: What does that frog say? It’s not easy being green? Well, lemme tell ya, it’s not easy being The Jimmer. I can’t ever be myself. Dude, I get so tired of the media hanging on my every breath, light or heavy as it might be. Yes, I breathe! And like everybody, I have to attend to all the bodily humiliations that flesh is heir to. I get tired of the love-struck stares and longing glances cast my way by infatuated sports scribes.
DE: Do you ever wish your name were just Jim or Jimmy or even James?
TJ: Like every second of every minute of every hour of every day. The mother of Jimmermania, by the way, was my very own mother who, as everyone knows by now, named me Jimmer.
DE: Was it hard being The Jimmer as a young child?
TJ: At recess, the other kids would circle around me and start singing, “Jim Jimmer, Jim Jimmer, Jim Jim Jaroo, With a dumb name like Jimmer, we really hate you.”
DE: Kids are mean.
TJ: I wish my mom had named me George or Stanley or Gordon, anything but Jimmer!
DE: But would The Jimmer by any other name shoot the three-pointer with such uncanny accuracy? And you have to admit, being Georged or Stanleyed or Gordoned doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the way Jimmered does.
TJ: And people take liberties with my name that would get them kicked out of BYU for violating the honor code. Did you see the signs at March Madness that said, “Hey, Jimmer, have you Jimmered your girlfriend today?”
DE: But think of what a virtuous role model you are, what a humble emissary of the gospel you have become.
TJ: I’m a freakin’ basketball player, OK? I’m not the Second Coming.
DE: But look at the signs of the End of Days—natural disasters, turmoil, wars and rumors of wars. Some say you are the One Mighty and Strong told of in Holy Scripture.
TJ: It like totally freaks me out! I didn’t sign up for this. If I had known better, I would have gone to Notre Dame. Lemme tell you how out of hand this whole Jimmermania has gotten: I go to the ward last Sunday, and for the closing hymn they sing, “We Thank Thee O God for The Jimmer, to guide us in these latter days.” Worse than that, the sister missionary giving the closing prayer says “In the name of Jimmer Christ, Amen.” You remember what happened to Jesus, don’t you? I don’t like the direction this is going.
DE: What are you going to do?
TJ: I guess I could go on a mission and get fat, or dye my hair and go into the witness-protection program. But the first thing I’m going to do is change my name, something totally nondescript and anonymous.
DE: Like what?
TJ: Promise not to tell? I like the ring of Jimmer Jones.