The expectations of the True Blue Nation are always high. When Memphis comes into a season with a top five recruiting class, the fans are just that more enamored.
Yet to the outside world, the Tigers haven't been relevant on the national stage for years. It seems that every year the early buzz fizzles with a quickness.
That probably hurts some feelings, but the truth always does. Winning C-USA championships didn't really carry much weight, and why should it when Memphis followed them up with early exits from the "big dance."
It was another almost-doesn't-count finish on Tuesday night (Dec. 17) at the FedExForum as the Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 96-92.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the reeling Grizzlies.
Entering the contest, the two teams had similar records (Grizzlies 10-13, Lakers 11-13) and plenty of injuries. Memphis played without starting point guard Mike Conley (thigh), All-Star center Marc Gasol (knee) and forward Quincy Pondexter (foot). The Lakers were missing point guards Steve Nash (back), Steve Blake (elbow) and Jordan Farmar (hamstring).
In an effort to find signs of brain damage from repeated concussions, the family of former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher has requested the exhumation of his body a year after he killed his girlfriend and himself, USA Today reports.
The family's attorney, Dirk Vandever, said that Belcher's body was exhumed Friday at North Babylon Cemetery in the Long Island, N.Y., community of Bay Shore, the report shows.
Findings could show whether Belcher was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy when he killed long-time girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, with whom he had an infant daughter, in their home last December. He then reportedly drove to the Chiefs' practice facility and shot himself in the head in the parking lot.
The locker room was more quiet than usual on Sunday night (Dec. 15). Players were dressing and packing their post-game gear to leave the FedExForum.
Grizzlies guard Mike Conley sat in his area, with a small machine connected to his left thigh. The device pushes electricity through the muscles to help with swelling, something Conley needed after taking a hit to the thigh and leaving the game with 3:54 left to play.
Conley led the Grizzlies with 28 points but it wasn't enough to lead the team to a win as the Minnesota Timberwolves downed Memphis 101-93.
There is no fool's paradise in the Bluff City. Grizz fans have come to the realization that the team is in a slump. They still show up hoping for a win, but are prepared for a loss.
Memphis ended a season-long, six-game home stand just like it started – with a loss. On Wednesday night (Dec. 11), the Oklahoma City Thunder came into FedExForum on the second night of a back-to-back and defeated the Grizzlies 116-110. Many of the reported 16,345 fans in attendance left in the fourth quarter.
"It's not enjoyable what is going on out there, said Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger. "Losing by two or 22, losing at home, we take a great deal of pride in playing at home. It hurts."
When it comes to defining that which is "typically American," I think we're going to have to add "sports" to the old expression, "As American as Mom and apple pie."
We are a country full of sports fanatics. (While I might not exactly fall into that category, I am the mother of an extraordinary 17-year-old athlete and lover of all things sports. So, I have to admit, that I need to step up and try to keep up)! Nielsen numbers bear this out.
Sports programs are among the top watched in African-American households as well as those of the general population, with the Super Bowl consistently ranking as the most-watched program across the board. In fact, Super Bowl XLVII drew 108 million viewers nationally. African-Americans made up a whopping 12.5 million of those viewers. (Personally, I enjoy the parties and the commercials, the game? Not so much.)
With their season at an end, the University of Memphis Tigers hosted the Highland Hundred banquet this past Sunday (Dec. 8). Outgoing seniors and outstanding players were honored at the event.
Senior running back Brandon Hayes was awarded the DeAngelo Williams MVP award. Hayes tallied 860 yards rushing and 119 yards receiving with seven touchdowns, which also helped him win the Isaac Bruce Offensive Player of the Year award for the second straight season.
Anthony Brown won the John Bramlett Defensive Player of the Year for recording 52 tackles (four for a loss) and 1.5 sacks. Brown is a junior college transfer and has totaled 86 tackles in his two seasons at Memphis.