Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers was on hand in Memphis last night to see the Memphis Grizzlies defeat his hometown Clippers in Game 3 of their opening round playoff series. To hear him tell it, the assignment was akin to being an journalist dodging death in the streets of Syria.
I've put my life on the line to be here in this rathole with our Clippers.
And so I expect more than what I got from them Thursday in a rather flat 12-point loss to Memphis in Game 3.
The Clippers played a step slow, as if hesitant to go on the attack, even though that's just a way of life here if you want to survive.
True story, and I shouldn't be trashed for reporting the facts:
They just put up billboards at the Memphis city limits that read: "Danger: Enter at Your Own Risk. This city does not support public safety."
They were paid for by the Memphis Police Assn.
I hope you're not planning your next vacation here without a body guard.
Oh, he’s not done. Nevermind the fact he’s far from the first person to visit Memphis. Nevermind the fact thousands of middling journalists would kill for the opportunity to cover the NBA Playoffs, have an expense account and trade salaries with Simers. Nevermind the fact nothing fucking bad happened to him. He’s got an ax to grind and nothing’s going to stop him.
When the Grizzlies faithful arrived they were given "growl towels," which read "Believe Memphis." You know, as in believe there just have to be better days ahead, Memphis.
Or, as the local columnist who wrote about the towels, and that's what they write about here, put it: "In Memphis the towels have become a symbol of something larger, of belief in the broader community."
I thought it was just a basketball game and a towel just a towel. But I guess it's Memphis' hope the towels will somehow make this a better place to live, although I might suggest handing out bulletproof vests for the next game.
Whatever the decision, we know this: The towels worked in stopping the Clippers cold.
If anyone sees Simers walking around his new favorite city over the next few days, be sure to tell him what you think of his “column.” He’d like nothing better than to have some anecdotal evidence for his next “basketball article.”
[H/T: Los Angeles Times]