Infamous for their buzzer-beating shots and ridiculous comebacks, there is no doubting the Grizzlies irrepressibility. Every game promises a nail biting, heart pounding, edge of your seat, white knuckling win. Authenticity bleeds from the Grizzlies’ fundamental basketball style and exclusivity pours from their hometown court: the FedEx Forum. It’s a mystery to all that the amount of electricity packed into the Forum’s 18,119 seats doesn’t blow the roof off. An enigma to all, the FedEx Forum breaks the mold for NBA Arenas. To put into words the origin of the invigorating vibes you get as you pass through the double doors, we’ve compiled a list of 11 Traits That Make The Grindhouse Epic.
1. The Grindhouse
With a name like “Grindhouse” how can adrenaline not get pumping? Even if you have never heard of it or the Grizzlies before, the idea of gears grinding is enough to warn you something serious is about to happen.
2. Growl Towels
Memphis’ version of rally towels, fans find Growl Towels on their seats prior to playoff games. A device to rile the opposing team, a spirit stick to show Grizz pride, and a stress ball during games; Growl Towels are an extension of every fan’s passion. You truly know Playoff Season is here by the slight dusting of growl towel fuzz that lingers in the air from constant swinging and rallying.
3. Super Grizz
In Memphis, children don’t dream of meeting Superman, Ironman, or Spiderman; Memphis’ youth yearn for the day they will meet Super Grizz. The quintessential Beale St. Blue furry grizzly bear mascot can be found flying through air, slam dunking, and jumping off ladders to crush enemies.
4. Soul Food
A homage to the Bluff City’s good eats reputation, you’ll never have to worry about an appetizing meal at the Grindhouse. You can enjoy Memphis’ own Chiwawa, Jet’s Pizza, World Famous Rendezvous Barbecue, and lots more! The Forum has special food items for each game as well as the Pyramid Lounge.
5. The Seat Ushers
Not only do the seat ushers help fans locate their seats, they set the tone for southern hospitality. Nothing shy of southern charisma, you can hear them ask “Honey, may I see your ticket? To the right 3 rows down! Thanks sweetheart! Ya’ll enjoy your game!” Involved members of the community, it’s nothing for a student to be ushered by their neighborhood school crossing guard!
6. Bongo Lady…. (And other cool things you see on the JumboTron)
The center court colossal scoreboard highlights profuse all-star moments in the arena other than just on the court. Dancing fans, bongo drummers, embellished signs, and hype up videos are just a few of the bits shown during the game. The nation is still reeling from Memphis’ newest celebrity: Bongo Lady! You never know, you might find yourself on the Jumbotron one day and become insta-famous.
7. Dance Parties
In addition to the The Grizz Girls, the Grindhouse is also home to the Grizz Grannies & Grandpas. This group is a one of a kind NBA dance team. The squad is composed of Memphis’ best boogying senior citizens. Between the gorgeous Grizz Girls and the rythmatic Granny & Grandpas, it’s always a dance party!
8. Good Tunes
Set in the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Blues; the Grindhouse doesn’t have any other option but to be a center for good tunes. With a diverse selection, Justin Baker, the Grizz DJ, keeps fans on their toes playing “Whoop That Trick”,”Cotton-Eyed Joe”, “I Feel Good” and much more. He always knows how to fuel the crowd and build momentum during the game.
9. Lobby & Concourse
Giant sports balls mark the Grindhouse territory. Once the line is crossed, the experience begins. With t-shirt cannons, mascots, and hype teams before games; the concourse plays a prelude to the epilogue about to be written. After games, enthralled fans surge to boast their pride through the live post-game broadcast set up in the lobby. Concluding the Grindhouse story of the night is another after-party with a live band on the concourse.
10. The Players
Okay, so obviously the Grizzlies players have to be important because they are the reason for the season; but the Grizz boys are often caught interacting with the crowd. It’s always fun to watch Tony Allen for his next gif moment, from pointing to signal a call or celebrating a victory.
All previous mentioned traits serve as supporting actors to the main character: Greater Memphis. Endorsing the grit grind spirit, the traits foster a bond between all of Memphis. White and blue collar fans, college students and children, life long Memphians and transplants form the thousands of enthusiasts gushing out their team pride. The Grindhouse exemplifies a mission Memphis has been chasing a long time: kinship of every Memphian. Gathering in the Grindhouse, uniting under the Grizzlies team, and fighting alongside one another; the Forum is where a #GreaterMemphis is built.
The Grindhouse deserves gratitude for enlivening and uniting Memphis. You should check it out, then tell us all about it below or tag your photos with #choose901 on Instagram.