One of the things I like most about Memphis and Memphians is that I don’t find a lot of pretentiousness about us. There’s much to love here (beautiful springs, the Civil Rights Museum, our barbecue, Shelby Farms, excellent colleges, Elvis impersonators may show up anywhere anytime, the Orpheum, the Church Health Center, Cooper-Young Festival, great restaurants, knowledgeable basketball fans, Beale Street of course, and on and on). But we also know we’ve got problems that need attention, and we don’t pretend otherwise. We don’t always know what will work (for the city budget, persistent racism, creating an excellent school system, solving poverty and crime and on and on), but we don’t pretend we have no work to do. I find us to be a realistic, hard-working bunch of folks who keep plugging away at the things we need to fix.
Though the saying has become a cliché, it’s still true: the Grizzlies are just like us. There’s a lot to love about the Griz, but there are no superstars, this year not even an All Star. They are a hard-working, realistic bunch who know they must play together, never quit, and get back up when they get knocked down. They face injuries, Calathes’ suspension, highlight plays by the other team’s superstar, and still they keep plugging away at winning playoff games. So, how can we not believe in them? Believing in the Grizzlies and believing in Memphis is the same kind of belief. If the Griz can beat OKC with its glitzy superstar, then we can create good schools for our kids. Maybe it happens this year, maybe it doesn’t. But we believe it will happen. And belief is half the battle.
As a person of faith, I can bear witness that inspiring belief is not easy. The Grizzlies have given us a great gift. So, we give back by pulling so hard for them! Go Griz!!