Who would have thought that my hiatus from blogging would come because of the Memphis Grizzlies? When I started posting daily blogs on January 1, I never dreamed that I would consider a Grizzlies game to be the best part of my day. In fact, I was somewhat hesitant about becoming a season ticket holder. Thirty-one games seemed like an incredible amount, and the thought of going to three games in a single week worried me. I would be so tired of basketball...Ugh, ugh, ugh.
Boy, was I wrong.
I have become a Memphis Grizzlies super fan. I loved those weeks where we had multiple games. I have enjoyed every single moment of this season.
I always respected the franchise and team for their charitable work, but after a few games, I realized there was a bigger reason why the Memphis Grizzlies are the most philanthropic team in the league.
They have heart....lots and lots of heart.
This season, I've seen wins. I've seen losses. I've seen amazing victories in person, and I've listened to the radio and cheered loudly as we knocked off Oklahoma City, Miami and the Lakers, among others.
I've seen guys who have been troublemakers their entire careers blossom on the court. They cheer on their teammates, rally the crowd and tweet the most positive messages after the game.
I've seen guys who no one knew prior to this season become household names in this city.
I've really enjoyed following the antics of Tony Allen. I am now the proud owner of THREE Tony Allen t-shirts as well as a Dante Cunningham t-shirt. Dante is one of those guys who has shined in Memphis. He's got some serious energy and works HARD.
Throughout my life, I've always been a fan of the underdog. Memphis is the underdog -- it has been all season long. Honestly, it has been the underdog since the Grizzlies franchise arrived in Memphis in 2001.
Everyone said last season was a fluke. We wouldn't make the playoffs this year. We wouldn't be any good.
When Z-Bo got hurt, they decreased our chances some more.
When we started playing well, they didn't give us credit for any of our wins. When we beat top seeds, they said those teams were having off nights. When we made it to the 5th seed, they said we wouldn't get any higher.
When the Clippers lost, they said we wouldn't pull it off. When we beat Orlando, they finally, FINALLY gave us a little credit.
Until we lost that game...that terrible, terrible game.
Tonight, they're playing for everything. They're playing for the chance to live another day but also for pride, for each other and for our city. No one outside of Memphis believes they can fight back and take over this series. It has only happened eight times in the history of the league.
Can they be the ninth? If so, they have to win tonight. They have to win in FedEx Forum in front of Grizz Nation. I'll be there cheering them on, regardless of whether they win or lose.
This team has inspired me this year, when I needed it the most -- I needed the distraction and the reason to believe in Memphis.
So, regardless of what happens tonight, I'll be back next season. I'm part of Grizz Nation. I will always cheer for these guys. They have won me over, and they have made me believe.
Here we go....