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Evolution and elevation of the ‘Grind House’

  • Written by Kelley Evans
  • Published in News
Another action-packed victory against the San Antonio Spurs wrapped up at the “Grind House” on Monday night. 
 For Memphis fans, the ‘Grind House’ is celebration station. (Photo by Warren Roseborough)

by Kelley Evans

Special to the Tri-State Defender

Another action-packed victory against the San Antonio Spurs wrapped up at the “Grind House” on Monday night.

That’s what fans are now calling the FedExForum – a place where players “grit and grind,” according to Grizz Forward Tony Allen.

And it’s become a catchphrase adopted by local and national media outlets.

The grind all started as a reference to the scrapping, scratching and clawing that the Grizzlies have shown all season to become a playoff-caliber team. Grinding is how they’ve gained respect in a league of players who have learned Memphis is not a team that will back down or fold under pressure.

Grizz fans have become part of the grind by creating an atmosphere that has developed into more than uncomfortable for opposing teams, while spurring the Grizzlies forward. After Monday night’s rout, Spurs star Manu Ginobili noted that the challenge of defeating the Grizz included that they were playing at home.

A Grizz fan helped lay the foundation for the “Grind House” idea that Allen has built upon.

Allen recently took to Twitter to express his feelings about the “grit and grind” of the team and his Twitter followers joined the conversation.  Super fan Ryan Hamlin took notice of Allen’s tweets and responded, tweeting that the FedExForum is now the “Grind House.”

Allen replied, saying that he loved it.  “FedExForum is the ‘Grind House’,” Allen tweeted.

Since that tweet from the adorning fan graced Allen’s mind, it has soared and remained in his psyche. T-shirts declare ‘Grind House’ and fans are even showing up to the arena in self-made hard hats.

Allen is happy to be part of the construction crew.

“It’s really fun and it makes me feel good,” Hamlin said.  “I came up with it and Tony (Allen) gave it his sign of approval.”

Hamlin said that the name and the amount of energy that has come along with it is a very opportune turnaround for the labels that have plagued the city of Memphis.

“We always show up in ‘miserable city’ polls and we get no respect,” Hamlin said.  “It’s about time that we have something positive that shows unity in the city.”

Hamlin also said he’s not quite sure if fans actually understand how important they are to the big Grizz run in the playoffs.

“I think they kind of get it but they haven’t really realized how important they are to this city, these players and the Grizzlies organization,” said Hamlin.

“Being in a place where we are never seen or heard and now that we have a voice, outsiders are beginning to see the uproar the fans create and how coming into the ‘Grind House’ impacts these players.  It’s a great time for everyone.”

Game 6, if necessary, would be back in the ‘grind house’ on Friday (April 29).

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