TSD Memphis

Thu04242014

Sports

Improved Tigers fall to Duke’s Blue Devils

Tigers-Pressure-600With several seasons of not-very-good football a glaring part of the University of Memphis Tigers' recent past, it was noteworthy that Tiger Lane was teaming with tailgating grounds fans ready to see Memphis take on the Duke Blue Devils at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium this past weekend.

Going into the season's opening game, there were some tangible reasons for optimism. The Tigers finished last season with three straight wins and looked like a much-improved team. And under the direction of second-year head coach Justin Fuente there has been a very positive buzz building around the program over the off season.

Memphis's transition from Conference USA to the new American Athletic Conference (a collaboration of the dissolved Big East and a few other programs from around the country) has been another source of excitement for the Tiger faithful.

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‘Respect the Haven’

Haven-1-600The slogan at Whitehaven High School is "Respect the Haven" but someone who felt like being disrespectful spray-painted Fairly Bulldogs and FHS on the schools newly renovated field and track before last Friday's football game.

The audacity was disheartening to many, including Memphis Police Department officer J.E. Kirkwood, who viewed it before the Eagles took on the Bulldogs.

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Rhythm & Blue Tailgate ready for kickoff

memphis logo-600The 2nd Annual Rhythm & Blue Community Tailgate – hosted by The Redwing Group, LLC in partnership with The University of Memphis – will be held on Tiger Lane, Lot 12 on Sept. 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Rhythm & Blue Community Tailgate is a community engagement initiative created by The Redwing Group and is a part of the U of M's official tailgate festivities that kick off the Tigers' season with the game against the Duke University Blue Devils.

The pre-game event is loaded for fun and will include:

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High school football is back and rocking

FB-654378-600Memphis is a basketball town, and after hitting four high school football fields in two and a half hours, I have fresh evidence that Memphis loves its football too.

Memphis-area high school football was in full effect Friday night as the 2013 season got underway. Attendance was high at the four games I attended, with pumped-up fans already in mid-season form.

Melrose, with its legendary Orange Mound community support on display, wasted no time making a statement to MAHS by going into halftime with a 32-2 halftime lead. It was a halftime that featured a Melrose band that had the crowd grooving. The MAHS offense never got on track as Melrose romped 42-2.

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From Grizzlies to Titans in a flash

Titan-ritual-600I've photographed a ton of NBA games shooting the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum but I'd never trained my camera on an NFL field before Saturday night (Aug. 24).

The venue was LP Stadium, the Nashville home of the Tennessee Titans. I picked up my media credentials at will call and thought back to my first NBA assignment, feeling a few this-is-a-totally-different experience butterflies.

I went through the security check and picked up a media vest to enter the field. As I walked through tunnel the Titans were exiting the locker room. I grabbed my camera and snapped away, capturing their helmet-butting ritual.

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Football is BACK! Titans kick off preseason at home

12Titans-3-600LP Field in Nashville was lit up with bright lights to let the world know the 2013 NFL season is about to begin.

The Tennessee Titans kicked off their first preseason game against the Washington Redskins on a perfect night for football. Despite a brief scattered shower, there was a good turnout for this Thursday night game. Not only were fans there to see the home team. It was also an opportunity to see last year's offensive player of the year, Robert Griffin III.

Griffin was back on the field for the first time since injuring his knee in a playoff game lost to Seattle last year. Fans were hoping to see the electrifying player in action seeing Griffin fully dressed out, warming up and being involved with the coin toss. Instead, Redskins backup Kirk Cousins got the start. Cousins threw for a touchdown and missed only one pass as the Redskins defeated the Tennessee Titans 22-21.

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Miller time again as Grizz add familiar sharpshooter

Mike Miller-600Once a Memphis Grizzly, again a Memphis Grizzly as sharpshooter officially returns to the team after two-year championship run with the Miami Heat.

Mike Miller's signing was announced Tuesday. No deal details were released. Miller, who played five-plus years with the Grizzlies, still holds 8 of the franchise's major records.

At Tuesday's press conference, Miller said he has paid a lot of attention to the Grizzlies from afar, noting the team's closeness.

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Hey LeBron! Winning cures everything, right?

LeBronJames-600What a difference a few years make...not to mention a couple of NBA Championships.

Remember not long ago when LeBron James was considered "the enemy?" Well, at least in the eyes of the citizens of Cleveland and those who thought he gave the city a raw deal. I'd never seen such backlash over someone changing employers in my entire life...and I've had nearly forty jobs.

It seemed you couldn't turn to any channel at any given time without hearing someone griping about Lebron leaving Cleveland and signing with the Miami Heat. Now, according to an ESPN Sport Poll, LeBron has actually topped Kobe Bryant as the league's most popular player.

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Tailgate spots at Tiger Lane go on sale Friday for 2013 SH Classic

10shclassic-200Tickets and tailgating spots for the Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx will go on sale Friday (July 12) at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster locations.

The Southern Heritage Classic featuring Tennessee State University and Jackson State University is set for Sept. 14.

To purchase tickets, call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, go on line at www.ticketmaster.com or visit a local Ticketmaster location.

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‘Hard way’ Joerger ready to grit and grind as Grizz new head coach

coach-David Joerger-2-600Saying he came up "the hard way" – 10 years in the minor leagues – David Joerger made his Memphis debut as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday.

During a press conference at the FedExForum, Joerger, who had been an assistant to Lionel Hollins, said his minor-league experience ran the gamut – from being the general manager and head coach to lining up the halftime entertainment and picking up the towels.

"I have an appreciation for being in the NBA," said Joerger, "and I have an appreciation for being in this position."

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When it’s the Reign, ‘serious ballers’ try to stand out

ABA-3-600Sidney Adkins, head coach of the ABA's Bluff City Reign, approaches tryouts for the team looking for players that will fit into a winning mix.

That was the case again last Saturday (June 8) during a tryout-session at Carver High School.

"(We're) looking for guys with good defense skills," said Adkins, "and if the guys are good, team-concept players."

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Parting (with OUR Coach) is such sweet sorrow

Hollins-bowling-600How do you really say goodbye to someone who has meant so much to so many?

What words could really comfort the man who endured the losing seasons of the then-Vancouver Grizzlies, but yet came back to coach the Memphis Grizzlies to the Western Conference Championship?

How does new ownership really explain to the loyal legion of Grizz Nation how "differing views" turned into the non-renewal of a contract and the firing of a coach?

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Hollins’ exit leaves many with sick feeling

Lionel-Hollins-600That warm, fuzzy feeling that many Memphians had about the Grizzlies historic run to the NBA's Western Conference Finals gave way to a knot in the stomach on Monday.

The condition change came with news that Lionel Hollins is out as head coach. According to Jason Levien, CEO and managing partner of the Grizzlies and FedExForum, there was a "thorough internal process" before Hollins was let go.

Hollins' contract officially expires at the end of the month.

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