In a town known for its grit and grind lifestyle, the new Memphis way embodies that to an absolute T. From south Memphis to Arlington and everywhere in between Memphians are abuzz about the basketball, football, and now the World Golf Championship.
If a city deserves great things it would be the city of Memphis. After years of negative vibes from the crime to the racial tension, one thing has remained in the 901, and that is the love for our sports teams. From people of all ages and backgrounds dancing to Whoop That Trick in the Grind House for a Grizzlies playoff game to kids growing up dreaming of being the next Penny Hardaway or DeAngelo Williams, people from the 901 have always rallied around our sports teams.
The last several years have been special for Tiger football fans as Memphis has played in four straight bowl games including a birth in the AAC championship, where the Tigers dropped a one-possession game to rival UCF. The Tigers recently had two massive draft picks in the recent NFL draft. Anthony Miller a native Memphian went in the second round with the 51st pick to the Chicago Bears, and Genard Avery who was drafted in the 5th round with the 150th pick overall to the Cleveland Browns. Despite losing Avery, Miller, and Riley Ferguson the Tigers will look to carry on the winning ways into next season. The football Tigers have taken on the attitude of the 901, and it has paid off for Coach Norvell and company as they have taken the whole city by storm.
Memphis Tigers basketball hit rock bottom this past season with hall of fame Coach Tubby Smith at the helm. The Tigers missed the NCAA tournament for a fourth straight year marking the second time in a program that has happened. After Tubby was let go, the Tigers went out and hired the coach who most represents the 901: Coach Penny Hardaway. Hardaway is an all-time Memphis legend who is from Memphis, played at Memphis, and who has always called the 901 his home.
With the hiring of Penny Hardaway, Tiger Nation is a complete and utter buzz, something in the likeness that the city has not felt since the 2008 Final Four run. The buzz that surrounds the program has carried over into the recruiting as Penny and company has signed two Memphis kids and in the running for a third. Coach Hardaway was also instrumental in getting the rivalry with Tennessee renewed, Memphis will host the Volunteers next season in Memphis before heading to Knoxville the year after. To close it out Memphis and Tennessee will square off in Nashville the third year of the rivalry. With the renewal of the rivalry, College Basketball in the state of Tennessee will be on full show mode as a basketball-rich state.
Reasonable expectations for Memphis basketball heading into next season are to compete in the AAC and make the NCAA Tournament which is likely to happen with the talent-rich roster that has been put together. With that being said, going into years two and beyond the Tigers will be a force to be reckoned with.
Memphis is a city rich with love for St. Jude and golf with an annual summer tradition that goes back to 1958. The annual golf tournament has seen the likeness of legendary golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Billy Maxwell, Jack Nicklaus, and various others. The tournament will now have a new look starting in August 2019 as the World Golf Championship will make a stop in Memphis, and will be renamed to the World Golf Championship- St. Jude Invitational. This golf tournament starting next August will attract the World’s top 50 players including, Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, etc. The move to Memphis is much deserved for a city who loves not only the kids at St. Jude but also its golf. This addition to Memphis will also add to already impressive lineup of major sporting events coming to Memphis in the next few years. From NCAA Tournaments to World Golf Championships, Memphis has become a destination place for major sports.
Memphis as a city is set up to become one of the top sports towns in the south and maybe just maybe in the whole country. In a city known for Barbeque and water, Memphis is here to stay and the sports fans of this great city need to enjoy the ride and continue to grit and grind and enjoy the good times that bound to follow.