AUTHORS NOTE: Kirk, I find it encouraging that you were able to have that experience at a sports bar. I think you along with my readers will definitely be encouraged by my findings this go-around.
For those catching up here are Part One and Part Two of this blog.
I continued my off day-slash-experiment by trekking into East Memphis to do some shopping. I couldn't wait to discuss the Grizzlies with people here. These were the people who would go to the games just for the social aspect and to see and be seen...The people who have the season tickets and whos companies have the season tickets and skyboxes. Surely there are the most passionate of passionate Grizz fans to be found here!
Errr....Not really. I found one. The other 3 people I talked to weren't that big on the team. One even wished we had a football team instead.
The first person I met was in Macys at Oak Court. I needed some shoes, so I wanted to find a pair of Lacoste tennis shoes. Dude hooked me up with an all-white pair...nice. He started askin me if I played a sport and I said "Nah, these are just for jogging and s*** like that." You're welcome for the censoring, kids.
I told him I couldnt play basketball worth a lick but I enjoy watching it, and that I was a big Grizz fan. This apparently makes people stop in their tracks and ask you why.
"They suck bro...I wouldnt go if they paid me."
I go...and I pay them.
"Well why not man? Basketball is basketball...ya know?"
"Yea, but I like good basketball."
"Mayo and Rudy are pretty good man...you oughta give em a chance."
"Eh, they just gonna leave in a few years cuz noone goes to see em."
Well, with that attitude, yeah. But that someone who doesnt go to see them is you! Cmon man...
I thanked him for the shoes and went about my business. I headed over to Laurelwood and did "Good Man Duty" for the Mrs. and found her christmas present at Joseph. Ladies, respect my prowess. I love my woman AND I can put up with stuck-up snobbery to get my lady what she wants.
Oddly enough, the salesperson ASKED me if I was going to the game against Houston because Joey Dorsey was coming back to town. Since when was Dorsey a marquee player?
I told her that no, I wasn't going to the game but that I was a huge fan of the Grizz so I'd be seeing Dorsey during the regular season when I had tix and time.
She goes on to say that she's not a Grizz fan per say, but she couldn't wait to see Dorsey tonight.
Great. Another "fan" not wearing blue and yellow and white in the Forum. Oh well.
I leave, wondering if I was going to ever meet a professional sports fan in this city....and I did.
Trouble was, he was a Titans fan, lamenting the fact that Nashville got them and we didn't get to keep them. I guess he was one of the hundreds sitting in the Liberty Bowl watching the Tennessee Oilers. What was the reason for them not going to those games? Oh yeah, they're just going to leave anyway. That's right.
He launches into why professional basketball would never work in this city, and why Nashville should have gotten the NBA franchise and we should have the NFL. It's more expensive per game, he said, but there are less games.
Less games for people to go to when they werent winning, or when the team had one commercial per year perhaps.
Basketball wouldnt work in this city? Tell that to the Tigers.
This experiment wasn't working out as I had hoped, but it was going all according to what I thought it would be. This city just doesn't seem to care.
Alas, a glimmer of hope....
A guy about my age comes up to me at The Grove and sits down and has a beer. ESPN is on. Gotta love bars and bar areas. Always a good sports crowd. They were talking about Elton Brand's potential impact on the 76ers and I said "Let me guess, youre not a basketball fan either."
"Nah, not really."
I knew it.
"I do like the Grizz though. I think they could get me into this stuff."
Hooray! I found one. This guy lamented the fact that noone seemed to care, and was going to be at the preseason game not to watch Dorsey, but the GRIZZ! I told the guy what I had done today and I said "I know its a bit strange, but I just wanted to see if anyone cared that there was a team here."
His answer was great. Just brilliant. Later this week, I'll tell you his answer, why he must be a 3SoB reader ;) and upon demand from readers that I keep this up, update my Diary of a Mad Grizz Fan series with trips into Bartlett, Collierville, Southaven (hopefully I'll run into the couple that my Grizzlamic brother Kirk ran into) and South Memphis.
Until then, spread the word and fill that Forum.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008