Thursday, December 13, 2007

Heart, Backbone and Balls

I love the Memphis Grizzlies. I don't think that is a secret but I am getting tired of the timidity of the team. Some people say the team isn't timid but I think I have found a statistic that verifies my opinion.

Memphis is last in the league in Technical Fouls called against them. What's worse is that they are last because they haven't had one called all season (except a worthless call with less than a minute to go against Detroit). Even Utah has had a technical foul called against them and they play in the shadow of the Mormon Tabernacle for Christ's sake.

The teams that have received the most technical fouls all have winning records. Is that surprising? These teams stand up to the refs when a bad call is made. They won't stand by and allow the refs to dictate action without calling them out.

Everyone can guess that Detroit leads the league in technical fouls called. What you may not know is who leads Detroit in technical fouls (hint: it isn't who you think). Indiana, Dallas and New Orleans are the next three teams on the list for most T's this season. These teams are not known for physical play.

Last season Memphis was 26th in the league in technical fouls. The teams below them were Boston (2nd worst record in the league), Atlanta (3rd worst), Philadelphia (6th) and Toronto (actually made the playoffs.

Do you notice a trend here?

I understand the attitude of keeping control of your emotions. I understand the attitude of not getting the refs upset against us. These are valid excuses. However, technical fouls usually gets the home crowd fired up. It shows the fans and the team that you are passionate about the game. And if the refs are already calling fouls against us who cares if they are doing it with dispassionate, objective opinions or just pissed off? The calls aren't going in our direction either way.

The last two years I criticized Fratello for being too passive on the bench. So far I have seen Iavaroni having a similar dispassionate demeanor on the bench. Coaches need to complain to the refs about bad calls. Players need to show they care enough to occasionally get a technical call. Let us see that you really want to win.

I know it has been debated that picking up technical fouls doesn't have any effect but I don't believe it. Technical fouls mean someone is losing their composure. That they are emotionally involved at such a high level that they can't maintain their composure. I like seeing that occasionally on my team. Far better to see a player lose control once and a while than see the team passively accepting defeat after defeat.

Show some heart. Show some backbone. Show some balls. Show the fans in Memphis that this is more than just a job. Show us you are emotionally involved to the point that things not working out makes you upset.

Maybe a little excitement directed at the refs will translate into excitement coming from the stands.

By the way, feel free to put your predictions on who has the most technical fouls on Detroit's team in the comments section.


hptmatt said...

I like most SoB posts, but when I saw this title, I knew I was gonna like this one more than most others.
This is what I'm screaming regarding players, balls, and passion...this "character guys" CRAP is TOTAL GARBAGE,and I'll say again, I really think the "good apples only" idea for the Grizzlies locker room was a straw-clutching attempt by Heisley and West to appeal to the fundamentalist crowd so prevalent in these parts, especially in the neighborhoods that could afford seaason tickets.
I am sick to death of being a fan of the nicest team in the league. I do NOT want us to turn into the Thuggets,but dammit, I want somebody to get pissed off (and Pau playing with the chest area of his jersey does NOT count).

Chip, what did Ivy say/do that got him teh tech? do you know?

SouthernDreadz said...

Been lurking on the Grizz page for years and I occassionally read SoB since you guys started...

This drove me finally to respond. I have been sick of the nice guy players for years! Indeed, when it comes to professional sports, stocking the team with nothing but nice guys do mean you will finish last.

I don't want to see the Grizz getting more reporting from Court TV than from ESPN. However, someone, anyone with a real testicular fortitude needs to step up and act like a man.

Just as the Sanitation Workers wore signs proclaiming I AM A MAN!, so does someone needs to proclaim their man, ehr, playerhood.

ChipC3 said...

I don't know but it was too late to make a difference in the game. If a coach is going to pick up a Technical foul do it earlier in the game when the team has a chance to respond and get motivated.

I remember when Hubie got thrown out of a game once, really threw a temper tantrum and the team rallied and came back to win the game. Sometimes you have to stand up and say 'Im mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!'

MemphisX said...

I think there is a difference between tough/mean mofos and criminal deviants. We need some tough SOBs in our rotation.

Lance said...

Okay, nice post but "temerity" does NOT mean "timid." Just the opposite, actually.