Believe Memphis: Grizzlies Fever Part II

April 29, 2011.

Hopefully, ten years from now, that date will resonate with Memphis sports fans in a way that no other date in history has.

People will toast to the day when the city finally broke through – the day when Memphis legitimized itself in the eyes of more than just NBA fans.

Memphis will be on display to the world tonight, and I’m not just talking about the 12 players dressed in blue on the court at FedExForum. The game is in primetime (8 p.m. CT) on ESPN, and there won’t be a better opportunity for Memphis to show what it’s all about tonight.

The Commercial Appeal reported yesterday that officials are expecting 120,000 or more people to crowd into downtown Memphis this evening between the Grizzlies, Redbirds, and the Beale Street Music Festival.

Streets and bars will be packed. Money will be spent at local restaurants and shops. People around the country will be talking about one thing – Memphis.

When’s the last time you could say that for the right reasons?

NBA analysts will be talking about the perks of Memphis, where they’ve eaten (I’m going to guess the Rendezvous gets mentioned at least once), what type of Southern hospitality they’ve been afforded. People around the country will hear about the positive sides of the city – our great music, food, and best of all the people.

Memphis is a city of underdogs. As I stated in a previous post, “The Grindhouse” is a very appropriate nickname for FedExForum.

Memphians work hard to earn what they have, and the Grizzlies have worked damn hard to get where they are this season. The team started the season with a coach that didn’t even have a contract. They stumbled out of the gate, and fans started to lose interest. People wrote it off as another disappointing season. Articles were even written about the potential and possibility of the franchise moving out of Memphis past 2016.

Then, they started playing better –  before a fight on a plane between teammates put the Grizzlies back in the national news for the wrong reasons yet again. And, then even past that, the team’s superstar, Rudy Gay, went down with  a season-ending shoulder injury.

Yet, amidst it all, the players formed a bond stronger than the hardwood court on which they compete. They embraced each other, and most importantly, they embraced the mentality of this city.

Grit. Grind.

The people here have longed for something to get behind for years, but Memphis seems to always come up just short.

Twice a national runner-up in the NCAA Title game.

Looked over for the state’s NFL franchise.

But, tonight could be the night where that all changes. Memphis will break through – on and off the court.

The Grizzlies will beat a team stocked full of former NBA Champions.

Memphians will celebrate together.
Believe Memphis.

About pmccllln

21 years young. Senior PR student at the University of Memphis. Student intern for Memphis Athletic Media Relations. Follow me @p_mcclellan.

Posted on April 29, 2011, in J4801, memphis grizzlies, NBA and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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