thursday, 1 

thursday, 1

Okay. It s time to pay up. Since the first Grizzlies game I attended at the beginning of the season -- and to the best of my recollection, it was the first time we beat the Dallas Mavericks -- I have half-jokingly bet my vast fortune with many naysayers that we would make it to the playoffs this year, and made it we have. Ha! Oh yes. You know who you are. You thought I was just being a loyal fan and all but was reaching a little too high to be realistic. Ha! Thought I was just being faithful, but that my head was in the clouds. Ha! You were amazed every time I went into shock when we occasionally lost a game, telling me, Tim, we can t win every game. But we might just make it next year. Ha! Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that we ve beaten the world-champion Spurs, the Lakers, the Timberwolves, the Pacers, and all of the other best teams in the league and beat some of them more than once and beat em good. This despite being crucified re lentlessly by the officials, who had it in for us since day one. To the refs I say, Ha! And to my good friend and colleague who actually thinks the Mavericks are better than the Grizzlies and routinely sends e-mails to me trying to make his pathetic case to that end, I say, Ha! I do believe that the Grizzlies have an x beside their name and Dallas does not because, well, uh, it s just that, ahahahaahh, we have a better record than they do. Ha! So you may keep your old Steve Nash. I will take Jason Williams. I hope that hot crow dog you re eating is mighty tasty. And just take a look at what our franchise has done off the court. Since the local owners got the team to Memphis, their charitable fund has donated some $13 to $14 million, mainly to programs and organizations that benefit kids. Oh, I know that Mavs owner Mark Cuban is great about this kind of thing in his own wonderful, wacky way, but come on: Look at the millions and millions of dollars our owners have sunk into this community. So to those who viewed the Grizzlies as a bunch of carpetbaggers come to town to rob us blind and get richer, I say, Ha! Ha! Ha! On a more personal level, allow me to add that the Grizzlies have been able to take politics and war and government shenanigans off my mind. Yes, when the Grizzlies are playing and so often simply humiliating the other team because of their unbridled talent and energy, I don t think about that stuff. Although I do have a friend who s a schoolteacher and she asked her little ones the other day what their fathers did for a living. She got the usual banker, fireman, salesman, etc., until she got to one little boy who said, Well, my father is a professional con artist. He s never told the truth and never done an honest day s work in his life. He bilks in no cent people out of their money and just sits back and laughs. My teacher friend, obviously shaken, got the other kids busy and then took the little boy into the hallway and asked him if that was true, to which the boy replied, No, he really works for Condolleezza Rice, but I was too embarrassed to admit that in front of everyone. Ha! Okay, so I stole that from someone and modified it for Ms. Rice, but you gotta admit the little imaginary boy has a point. And speaking of points, I do believe that the Grizzlies shooting percentage is, uh, well, hahahah, higher than that of the Mavericks, not to mention so many other teams. Okay, I am gloating. But can you blame me? And now I ll stop momentarily and get on with the real point of this with a brief look at some of what s going on around town this week. And since today is April Fool s Day, you might want to check and see if, uh, well, hahahah, the Mavericks are playing! Okay, I ll stop. And there s actually quite a bit going on, so I ll have to be brief. On stage, it s opening night of Neil Simon s Fools at Crichton College; Charles Mee s Big Love at Rhodes College; and If These Hips Could Talk, staring Billy Dee Williams, at The Orpheum. And there s a fabulous opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music for My Africa, My Soul, My Song, work by Phil Dotson, to kick off this year s Africa in April celebration.

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