Saturday, April 30, 2011

Believe Memphis

When I went to work on Friday, I told friends that April 29th would be either the best or the worst night of my life. The first Game 6 in the history of the Grizzlies had all the makings of another Grizzlies letdown. Within 2 seconds of defeating the top-seeded Spurs in Game 5, the Grizzlies blew a defensive possession and the Spurs made improbable shots to force a 6th game.

Losing the series after leading the Spurs 3-1 and leading Game 5 by 3 with 2 seconds remaining would fit perfectly into the Grizzlies' 10 year narrative of unprecedented losing and unmatched embarrassment.

But the Grizzlies won.

These Grizzlies are unlike any Grizzly before them.

For the first time in franchise history, the Grizzlies exceeded expectations. For the first time in Grizzlies playoff history, the team embarrassed someone else. For the first time in Memphis history, fans have more to be proud of than a well-played game here and there and some delicious BBQ nachos.

For once, the Grizzlies seized an opportunity and changed their narrative.

These Grizzlies' narrative is about winning now and winning later. It's trading Thabeet and locking up Zbo. It's selling out the FedEx Forum. It's the volume of emails, texts, and phone calls that prevent me from watching games on DVR delay. It's the Facebook message from someone I haven't spoken with in 6 years congratulating me as if I had done something other than endure 10 years of loyalty to a despicably bad sports team.

The Grizzlies are finally good.


J-Bo said...


andy said...

nice writing, david. i hope best/worst night of your life is an overstatement... but i had a similar feeling of anxiety, dread for that game 6, and i don't have near the years of dedication and investment in the grizz as you.

i think i watched about 4 regular season games this year (i don't have cable), but feel like it's easy to get to know the team through the way they are playing and in the interviews throughout the game. like you said, it feels like the team is cementing the identity players and even allen who said memphis is just another stop for him is playing his ass off.

off to shop for some over-priced grizz gear with the rest of the fair weather fans.

Steve Rutherford said...

Yo, David.

After such a long and arduous trip, how sweet these playoffs have been. And now..... we are just punishing people. With a center who played at Lausanne!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looking forward to seeing you in MEM in Oct. Glad you're taking the plunge.

Captain Steve in Punta Gorda