Pow! Tigers break out strong against Austin Peay

IMG-Pregame-600IMG Tigers_Ball_9171Whether you were headed to the FedExForum, the couch in front of your TV or a seat at your favorite sports bar, don't worry about missing the Tigers' slow start in their first official game of the season.

It didn't happen.

IMG looseball_9889IMG Dunked_on_9286The University of Memphis jumped out of the gate in a hurry. Austin Peay was down by 8 points right from the beginning and the Tigers were just getting going en route to a 95-69 blowout.


ZBoHand 600As the Grizzlies work to find a 2013-14 team identity that will yield consistent wins and fan satisfaction, reminders that things can change in a heartbeat in the NBA rolled into town recently.

Last Saturday (Nov. 9th) former Grizz reserve big man Marreese Speights stepped in to the FedExFourm with his new team, the Golden State Warriors. On Wednesday, longtime Memphis star forward Rudy Gay returned with the Toronto Raptors.


Back-to-back losses have Grizzlies frustrated

IMG-Frustration 600Frustration has set in with the Memphis Grizzlies and eight games into the season fans are growing increasingly nervous.

The frustration was evident on Wednesday as the Grizzlies welcomed former teammate Rudy Gay back to the FedExForum along with his new team, the Toronto Raptors. The result was another disappointing Grizzlies lost, 103-87.

The Grizzlies (3-5) ended the first quarter down by six points, with Toronto's Demar DeRozan leading all scorers with 13 points. By halftime, Memphis was down by 11 (55-44).


Tigers exit tune-up ready to roll

IMG-looseball-8073 600Fans in True Blue Nation were clamoring after the story surfaced that their University of Memphis Tigers had been beaten, quite handily, by the Baylor Bears at a secret scrimmage last week. Memphis is ranked No. 13 in the nation preseason and this private game had many questioning what to expect this season.

So when Memphis took the floor for an exhibition game last Friday (Nov. 8) against Christian Brothers University, Memphis fans packed the house to get a look at the Tigers for themselves.

And what did they see?

Memphis head coach Josh Pastner deployed a very heavy rotation – with 11 players getting quality minutes. No one player put in more than 22 minutes during the 40-minute exhibition. Pastner would often substitute all five players on the floor, much like a hockey line switch.


For the Tigers, a win is a win, but…

FootballTigersIMG-B-Hayes-8191 600This season the question has been: Who is beating the Tigers – their opponents or themselves?

Memphis (1-6) has had a chance to come away with a win in most off its losses, but costly mistakes have proved too much for the Tigers to overcome. So many would say the Tigers are, in fact, beating themselves.

With all that being said, Memphis still has a good opportunity to string together some wins late in the year and making this season somewhat respectable.


‘Old’ Grizzlies show up and show out against Golden State

IMG-Tony--scores 600The Memphis Grizzlies were five games into the season and experiencing a major identity crisis until Saturday night at the FedExForum when the team Grizz fans know and appreciate showed up.

The Grizzlies got back to defense and pounding the ball inside the paint, beating the Golden State Warriors 108-90. The contest marked the Grizzlies' 10th win in a row against the Warriors.

The hard-working, grind-it-out team found its way back. The Grizzlies dominated play in the paint 54-18, outrebounding Golden State 44-33.



Lesson learned for Sergio Garcia after ‘horrible’ Tiger slur

Garcia-Woods 600(CNN) – Tiger Woods was whacking golf balls across a bridge in Turkey last week, but back in Spain, Sergio Garcia is still feeling the need to build them following the "fried chicken" saga earlier this year.

Speaking to CNN's "Living Golf," Garcia once again struck a chord of contrition over the comments he made about the World no.1 last May.

"I didn't mean it in a bad way. When I was driving back to the hotel, I started thinking about it," Garcia told Shane O'Donoghue.


Titans hand Jaguars first win of season

11defenseplease 600After a road victory over former coach Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams last week, many figured a Titans victory over the winless Jacksonville Jaguars was automatic. That turned out to be bad math.

Thanks to four Tennessee turnovers, Jacksonville finally got its first win of the season overcoming a late rally by the Titans to win 29-27.

The Jaguars (1-8) had been outscored 70-15 in the first quarter this season but found themselves ahead 7-0 early after Titans running back Chris Johnson was stripped of the ball by Paul Posluszny on Tennessee's first offensive play.



Redskins’ name debate – an issue worth probing

William Reed-160President Barack Obama recently said that if he were the football team's owner, he'd think about changing the Washington team's name. The normally non-committal president's comments fueled a debate over the top sports team in the nation's capital.

The debate involves some of the nation's richest men. A wealthy member of the Oneida Indian Nation has taken it upon himself to lead the charge against the Redskins' name. Ironically, after meeting with NFL officials in New York, ultimately the decision will be made by 31 white men.

The Oneida, meaning "the People of the Upright Stone" are a Native American/First Nations people that are one of five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy located in an area of upstate New York. Historically, the Oneida were believed to have emerged as a tribe in the 14th century that inhabited acres of land that later became central New York, particularly around Oneida Lake and Oneida and Madison counties.


Redskins: More than a name

R Jackson-160I was once told that the only bad thing about being a good sport is that you have to lose to prove it. So it is with democracy; you have to have the freedom to disagree to prove that it works.

This brings me to the issue of the Washington Redskins. They are one of the oldest teams in the National Football League (NFL). Lately, they have come under unrelenting pressure from certain quarters to change their storied name from the Redskins. Some are suggesting that the name is offensive to Native American. The Oneida Indian tribe has been at the forefront of this controversy.

They have been making the argument that the name Redskins is racist and insulting to Native Americans. One thing I have learned in life is not to argue with a person's feelings. Feelings are not always logical nor are they always based on facts. Feelings have everything to do with emotion.


Grizzlies peck away at deficit but can’t catch the Pelicans

IMG-Mike-Conley 600The disappointment from the crowd was evident, with a few boos oozing from the 15,209 in attendance as the Grizzlies fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 99-84 at FedExForum on Wednesday night.

It was a lack of effort and seemingly lethargic attitude that disappointed the crowd most. The reaction sent Grizz guard Mike Conley into flashback mode.

"It hurts a lot because we've come a long way," Conley said. "We've come a very long way in my six years here. I remember the boos as a rookie, second year and third year and I don't ever want to go back to it."



‘Close’ not what Tigers are aiming for, says Fuente

Tigers 600Over halfway into the 2013 campaign, the University of Memphis football team has been competitive in each and every week. Yet through seven games, the Tigers have only been able to tally one win.

So is head coach Justin Fuente satisfied with their improvement?

"In a lot of ways, we should sit back and say 'look at the progress.' It's encouraging to get close. It's a lot better than where we were last year. We were getting our doors blown off left and right," said Fuente during his weekly press conference.



Dolphins’ player told to ‘toughen up’ teammate

NFLbullying 600Miami Dolphins' coaches reportedly asked the offensive line's leader, Richie Incognito, to toughen up teammate Jonathan Martin, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Incognito, who is currently suspended from the Dolphins for bullying Martin, may have taken those instructions too far.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Incognito was given his missive after Martin had missed a voluntary workout last spring. Incognito is reported to have left threatening voicemails and text messages, including one calling the player a racial slur.