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No joke – Tigers blow out ASU

TD-Brandon-Hayes-600As an elderly woman was making her way out of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday, she asked, "What do you do when you win?" It was a joke of sorts.

The University of Memphis Tigers started the season 0-2. And after letting a close game against Middle Tennessee State University slip away (Sept. 14), the Tigers were left searching for their first victory of the year.

So it's no surprise that many were shocked when Memphis recorded a lopsided victory against the Arkansas State Red Wolves this past weekend (Sept. 21). Memphis wasn't favored to win the game, but it wasn't unimaginable to believe the Tigers could pull out a W. But a 31-7 rout of an Arkansas State team with a high-powered offense wasn't a scenario that any serious prognosticator would have predicted.

Tigers look for the measure of progress

Coach-Justin-Fuente-600For the University of Memphis football Tigers, Saturday is measuring day. Time to get a handle on how much progress has been made since the last encounter head coach Justin Fuente and the Tigers had with Duke's Blue Devils.

The two teams strap it up on Saturday – the first game of the year for the U of M and the second for Duke. Last year, as Fuente recalled, the Blue Devils "out gained us in every aspect of the game. We're looking forward to seeing how far we've come."

This year's Tigers have continued to battle through, he said.

Late field goal settles CBHS-Southaven Top-10 scrap

photo-1-600If you could upload the energy of a SEC championship football game and download it in Memphis, Christian Brothers High School could easily have registered as the destination address on Friday night.

The top-10 showdown between No. 7 CBHS and No. 3 Southaven prompted major pre-game tailgaiting on the campus grounds. Inside the stadium, fans were entertained with a marching band, pep band, deejay and eight male students with letters painted on their bodies spelling B-R-O-T-H-E-R-S.

Yes, the fans in purple were rowdy and ready to get the game started against their foes from across the state-line; maybe a little too rowdy. The game could be watched live from Christian Brothers' web cam site. Once on the web page, the sub-heading read, "The Purple Wave takes on the Southaven Crackheads."

  • Written by Christopher Hope
  • Category: Original

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.

‘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.

  • Written by Christopher Hope
  • Category: Original

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:

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.

  • Written by Christopher Hope
  • Category: Original

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.

  • Written by Warren Roseborough
  • Category: Original