New Fan Guide to the Memphis Grizzlies 2013-2014 Season (Part Two)
When teams start to win, they acquire new fans. We all witnessed Grizz Fever during last season's playoffs, so it's clear that this is happening in Memphis. If you are one of the new fans, you may not be up to speed on your Grizzlies or basketball knowledge. Here's a scratch on the surface to get you started. This is Part Two. You can read Part One here.
Awesome poster by Memphis artist Little Owl Designs. Mine is hanging in my office.
4. What's with all the grinding and bluffing? Here's a basic glossary of terms and slogans.
"Grit and Grind" Tony Allen coined this phrase during a random post-game interview. It means a lot of things to our team and our town, but in its origin, Grit and Grind is about how the Grizzlies work hard, hustle, and fight in spite of whether they're winning or losing. Tony's nickname "The Grindfather" is a spin off of this slogan. If you see #GnG, it means Grit and Grind!
"The Grindhouse" Another spinoff from "Grit and Grind", this is a nickname for FedExForum.
"We Don't Bluff" ZBo once got ejected from a game for almost-fighting and said "There's a lot of bluffin' going on…And I don't bluff." ZBo's quote plus Memphis' existing "Bluff City" moniker made for a perfect new Grizzlies catchphrase.
"Growl Towel" These are the yellow towels that you get at some Grizzlies games. They have different things printed on them like "Believe Memphis" or "Grit and Grind". Perfect for waving at games, pinning on your wall, stitching into a cape, or swaddling a newborn baby.
"Floppers" "Floppers" is a less-than-flattering nickname that Grizz fans have for the L.A. Clippers. It comes from the Clippers' alleged tendency to overreact to fouls by falling over and flopping like a fish out of water.
"Grizz Nation" You are Grizz Nation.
5. Who owns and runs the team? David Joerger is the new Grizzlies head coach, and Chris Wallace is the General Manager. Robert Pera is the majority owner of the Grizzlies, one of the youngest billionaires in the world, and plays a little basketball himself. It's also true that Justin Timberlake is a minority owner.
6. Where can I get Grizzlies gear? The official store is the Grizzlies Den in the FedExForum lobby or online. If you're looking for one of those clever t-shirts, try Sache downtown, or online shops Hoop City, Full Time Grind 901, and Hieroglyph. However, we all know that the very best swag goes to first fans at select games. You can see the full schedule of all the giveaways here. I've got my eyes on the Super Grizz cape with matching mask on March 8.
Grizz Gear on Alice the super fan.
7. Are the Grizzlies good? I think the Grizzlies are good basketball, good for Memphis, and just a good thing to watch if you have even a vague interest in the game. The Grizzlies can do no wrong in my eyes, because they're our team, win or lose. However, if you're asking "Are the Grizzlies good?" in terms of rankings or hard stats, I'll leave the discussion to the sports writers and radio hosts. Ron Tillery, Geoff Calkins, Kevin Lipe, Chris Vernon, Eric Hasseltine and others will give you in-depth Grizzlies info, among other things.
When I ask people if other sports teams are good, usually I am really asking "Is this team going to be sad and boring, or is it worth watching?" If that's what you really mean when you ask if the Grizzlies are good, then the answer is Hell Yes.
Tonight is the first game of the regular season, and the Grizzlies are in San Antonio playing the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. Tip off is at 7:30. You can listen to all the Grizzlies games on the radio at 92.9FM, or look at the schedule here, which also lists when and where you can catch the games on TV. Or, of course, you can get tickets to home games. The official watch party is at Chiwawa in Midtown and starts at 7. Go Grizz!