I was at the zoo yesterday with one of the kids and when we stopped off at the tiger exhibit I got a little nervous cos this random grandma next to us was hollerin’ at the kitties. She kept making kissy sounds at the tiger who was sitting and relaxing, trying to get him to turn around and look at her. ’Come here, kitty! Look at me! I wanna see your face! Turn around!" It was so patronizing. Meanwhile I’m all, there’s just a crappy chain-link fence separating us and two really fierce animals. Is this the best idea? I’m not sure I’m ready to throw my body on top of a toddler today in order to ensure his survival. Eventually the tiger did acknowledge her presence by turning his head slightly to the left, then made slight eye contact, turned his back to her, got up and prowled towards the door where the zookeepers leave his pre-butchered tasty dinner.
Memphis is in the Elite Eight for the third year in a row. This is the first year that I have confidence that they’ll run with this momentum. Fuck what the pundits say; Memphis has it going on. I can’t explain it with statistics or anything like that. It’s just feeling. When you’re a fan of Memphis- or hell, just from the city, period- you are accustomed to being a pessimist and expecting the worst from your people. This is the year that things are different. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t feel like there was some sort of a mystical energy guiding my gut instinct right now.
Call it fate. Call it a program, a school, a city getting off of its knees and owning their shit. I have no idea. All I know is that I am ready to be emotionally invested beyond Sunday morning. And I feel like there’s a reason for that.
This is what I’ve been waiting for since I was five years old and watched Keith Lee take Memphis to the Final Four on the big screen TV at my aunt and uncle’s house, thinking he was so huge and amazing and special. I watched Memphis fall to their knees about a hundred times since then, so I know what it feels to get my heart broken in that especially painful basketball way.
I’m pretty certain that It’s Time.
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