Saturday, March 20, 2010

Its OK, Tigers.

Well, the Memphis Tigers hoops season has come to its rather depressing close with a loss to those Ole Miss bastards, in Oxford no less, at their crappy arena.  But I have a few positives I'd rather focus on regarding the 2009-10 Tiger season rather than all the bitching I've been doing on Twitter, the Goner Board and live in person for a year:

(1) Will Coleman.  When this guy said he was not giving up on Memphis like his fellow Miami-Dade bro, whatever-his-name is, who went to Kentucky with Cal, Orlando Antigua, Rod Strickland & the bulk of what was our (yes, OUR) recruiting class, I definitely shrugged it off.  I had no idea who he was and I also thought the decision likely lay more in Cal not wanting him more than him wanting Memphis.  That attitude is pretty typical of a native Memphian--i.e. "Mane, who'd care about us anyway. We suck.  Shelby County and Nashville think so, so it must be so.  Gimme a drink."

Little did I know that this guy would end up to be my new favorite Tiger in many a year.  He went from literally being a completely embarrassing clod to playing teams 1-on-5 at the end of the season.  I made excuses for him for awhile ("Well, he just started playing in 11th grade, you know?") to my ecstatically spilling beer on my father at the Tulsa game screeching, "Are you watching this guy???? OH MY GAWD!" as he took the entire Tulsa Golden Hurricane on for at least 4 minutes by himself while who knows what the rest of the Tigers were up to.

I simply cannot wait to see him after a Spring and Summer of workouts get out there with our #1 recruits.  Pastner and Cyprien are geniuses. Which leads me to...

(2) Josh Pastner. Who would have thought?  I mean, really?  A 32-year-old non-drinking, non-cursing, Peter Brady-looking eternal optimist as the Head Coach of Memphis?  Being a total Tiger sucker, I didn't even blink when they named him head coach and simply ran to the internet and my husband to ask questions.  After reading piles of history and hearing my husband--a Tiger fan but above all a Michigan State Spartan, Tom Izzo-loving diehard fan from Lansing--wax seriously on about how Pastner was "perfect" for a litany of reasons, I had something to back up my sucker fan sunshiney self.  The only time I was concerned was earlier in the season when I saw that he was a little reticent courtside, but by the end of the season, he was as demonstrative as Cal, but without looking like a total jabrone about it.  The fact that he yells "Gosh Darnit!" is priceless and precious.  Plus suddenly the Tigers aren't embarrassing at the free throw line and shocker of shockers, can play DEFENSE.  Several versions at will, even.  Love you Josh.

(3) The 6th Man. Yes.  You.  Us. The Tiger Nation or whatever they're calling us now.  While Robin noted that she didn't see as many signs and flags as she used to, we came correct this year, people.  Selling out games like the one against LeMoyne-Owen etc etc and never giving up even when we seriously had some reasons to get very, very pissed.  We rule.

I hate saying "Next year!" but I'm gonna say it.


Friday, February 12, 2010

That girl's a Superfreak.

December 1983, Mid-South Coliseum, Rick James Street Songs tour, Memphis, TN.  Ed Slaughter always had money.  He always had tickets.  And he always asked me out.  Natch, I was in the "Just friends, RIGHT?" mode with the kid, but what a gent.  Funny, smart and a 40-year-old in a 14-year-old's body.  He was the pill fiend teenager before there was such a thing and I don't even really know if he actually used pills, but I thought he did, even then, when I had probably--by the time this picture was taken--had smoked marijuana about 10 times, MAYBE.

Anyway, this was a fabulous evening.   Rick and the Stone City Band tore it up and the Mary Jane Girls were real and hot where Vanity 6 were weird and hot (not the same show, just comparing/contrasting).  Rick pulled a screeching woman out of the audience that night and laid her down on a brass bed he had on stage, poured champagne on her and licked it off.  I don't think I even did drugs that night but well, you didn't have to be high to feel high watching that man!

I had my heart broken by My First True Love, Steven Pittman, about a month before this night and when I look at this photo now, I am so relieved to see a true smile on my face.  Ed,  you always showed  me a supremely good time.  And I'll always love you for it.  I hope you are alive and happy somewhere out there and I wish I'd run into you so we could go get drunk together again and laugh it up.