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Sports

Tigers’ win blunts troubling pattern

Tigers-600Memphis played (insert school name).

They ran out to a big lead. During the second half, (insert opponent's name) rallied, thanks to a seeming lack of intensity or focus by the Tigers. Ultimately, Memphis was able to hold off the rally and come away with a 10-point victory.

OK, that may be a little too generic, however, this scenario is all too familiar to anyone that has regularly watched the Tigers this year. This past Saturday (Jan. 19), the Tigers beat Harvard (60-50) and, once again, the script held.

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Grizz fall short in MLK Day nail biter

Coach-Hollins-Jim-Brown-600The Memphis Grizzlies battled the Indiana Pacers on Monday as the nation celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a noon tip-off at FedExForum in front of 17,508 fans.

The Grizzlies fell to the Pacers 81-82 on a day with significance well beyond the game. Three sports legends – NBA Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Patrick Ewing and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown – were honored by the Grizzlies during the 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Day.

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RG3 gets down to business

robert-griffin-iii-600African-American sports pundit Rob Parker created a clamor and got himself suspended for saying on live television: "My question is ... Is he a brother or is he a cornball brother? He's not real ... He's kinda black, but he's ... off into something else ... I keep hearing these things... he has a white fiancé ... there's this talk he's a Republican. ''

Robert Griffin III's reply to the criticism was: "I don't want to be the best African-American quarterback; I want to be the best quarterback. But to fans ... who think that way and look at me as an African American, it's important I succeed for them."

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Slow growth in numbers of African-American coaches

In 2003 there were only four African-American head coaches at the 120 programs on college football's highest level, which was extremely embarrassing. The NFL started to clean up their act a while back, and their numbers have greatly improved, but college football had always lagged behind.

Since 2004 the numbers have improved, but it still shows how African-American coaches were locked out for so long. Today there are 16 African-American coaches in Division I-A football, and 61 percent of all the minority football coaches ever hired on the FBS level have been hired in the nine years since the publication of the first Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA) Football Hiring Report Card was released.

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Grizzlies get drubbed by L.A. Clippers

"Embarrassing." "Tough." "Lack of effort."

These are three words spewed in the Memphis Grizzlies locker room after a brutal-looking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (99-73) at FedExForum on Monday night.

A wintry mix of cold temperatures and an intermittent freezing rain did not stop the 15,837 fans from coming out to witness what turned out to be a seemingly lackluster style of play. The Grizzlies just didn't deliver against the team that so many wanted to deliver a serious beat down.

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Grizz Track: Rivalry games produce highs and lows

Grizz-Rudy-434After sweeping a three-game West Coast road trip, the Memphis Grizzlies returned home to face the San Antonio Spurs, where they won in overtime 101-98 on Friday (Jan. 11).

Facing a difficult back-to-back, the Grizzlies fell to the Dallas Mavericks (104-83) on the road on Saturday (Jan. 12).

Some say the Grizz's hard-fought game against the Spurs zapped Memphis' energy. Others see the loss as inexcusable.

Against the Spurs, the Grizzlies were a hard-working bunch. Fans at the FedExForum witnessed a playoff-atmosphere battle against a team Memphis had not beaten since Game 6 of the first round of the 2011 playoffs.

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Tigers ride winning roll into C-USA

IMG-DJ-600The energy that the University of Memphis displayed against Tennessee's Vols seemed to flow right through the first half of the Tigers' Conference USA opener against the East Carolina Pirates on Wednesday night.

For the first 20 minutes, overwhelmed would be the best word to describe the Pirates.

Memphis ran out to a big lead. And between the Pirates' terrible shooting (30 percent and as low as 15 percent with six minutes remaining in the half) and costly turnovers (12), the Tigers were able to mount a 39-19 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.

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Baylor, Ewing and Brown set for Grizz/King Day salute

grizz9elgin-baylor-160Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was 5 years old when Elgin Baylor was born, 7 when Jim Brown entered the world and 33 when Patrick Ewing came along.

Baylor was 33 years old when the 39-year-old Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4. 1968. Brown was 32; Ewing was 6.

On Monday, Jan. 21, those timelines will intersect in Memphis as the Memphis Grizzlies host their 11th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Day. NBA Hall of Famers Ewing and Baylor and NFL Hall of Famer Brown will be honored for their contributions to civil and human rights when the Grizz play the Indiana Pacers at noon.

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Oprah nets interview with Lance Armstrong

9opraLanceS001610486-400Lance Armstrong will give his first television interview since being stripped of his Tour de France titles to Oprah Winfrey, her network announced Tuesday.

A news release from the Oprah Winfrey Network said the 90-minute "no-holds-barred" interview will air at 8 p.m. (CT) January 17 and will be simulcast on Oprah.com.

Winfrey will ask the disgraced cycling star to address the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's report, which said there was overwhelming evidence he was directly involved in a sophisticated doping program, the statement said.

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C-USA honor for Joe Jackson

Joe-Jackson-600University of Memphis' Joe Jackson is the Conference USA Player of the Week for Dec. 31-Jan. 6.

It is the first C-USA Player of the Week honor of Jackson's career. He was named C-USA Rookie of the Week Dec. 27, 2010, during his freshman campaign.

The league honor is his second weekly accolade of the 2012-13 season, as he was named the Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) Player of the Week for Dec. 10-16.

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Timing & a coach’s demise

CoachBevKearn-600The woman who had a romantic relationship with the head coach of the Texas women's track team 10 years ago reported the affair to the university about the same time the head coach was negotiating a significant raise and contract with the university, the coach's attorney said Monday.

Derek A. Howard suggested it was no coincidence that the now 30-year-old woman who was involved with coach Bev Kearney in 2002 came forward in October while Kearney was discussing a $150,000-a-year raise and a new 5-year deal.

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Redskins should have stopped RGIII

robert-griffin-600One night, back when I was Robert Griffin III's age, I drank six glasses of grain alcohol mixed with grape-flavored Juicy Juice. My roommate Anthony said it was a bad idea. My other roommate, Chris, also said it was a bad idea. My closest friend, Daniel, insisted it wasn't merely a bad idea but the worst idea ever. "You barely touch booze," he said. "This won't end well."

"Quiet," I replied. "I can handle it."

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Memphis roll flattens two

tigers-Peekaboo-600With two recent wins that looked fairly routine, the University of Memphis Tigers now have a 9-3 record, but have yet to showcase the team's true potential.

Memphis' conquests last week included Oral Roberts (72-57) and Loyola (78-64).

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