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There is a thread up on the Memphis Grizzlies message board right now about giving a team hero award in a losing effort because it was a moral victory for the team. In the past, team hero threads were always reserved for winning efforts. Great efforts in a losing cause were shunned in the past. To be called a hero, you had to win, not just give a great effort.

I stated that expectations for the team have fallen far when moral victories get hero threads.  I was blasted by some for saying that. One poster went so far as to defend the lowered expectations because Marc Gasol has been hurt. He totally missed my point, but it is hard to go into too much detail on a message board, so I will blame my poor writing skills for that. I can go into more detail here, however.

Expectations for effort shouldn’t change because Gasol or anyone else got hurt. Effort has always been expected in Memphis. Grit and Grind was more about effort than any specific coaching strategy. This city fell in love with the Grizzlies because they gave their all every night despite the obvious lack of talent compared to other teams in the league. The old Grizzlies never quit, especially not at home in front of their fans who paid money to see them play. They didn’t win games on talent. They won on effort. They simply refused to lose to teams and outworked their opponents until their will carried them to victory.

Somehow, this season that has changed. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone on why, but clearly that expectation from the fans isn’t there anymore.  That  change in expectation is what is shocking, not losing more games because the team lost a great player. Everyone can understand the team losing more games. No one should accept giving less effort.

In the past, no one would have started a thread like that. Everyone could count on great effort as a given. There were no moral victories for making the WCF last season. The Grizzlies were swept in the playoffs and things needed to change so that never happens again was what people said then. And the changes did come. Now, the Grizzlies are 0-3 in the regular season against that same team. This was the only game remotely close and only because the team came back from 12 down in the last 90 seconds of regulation.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing the effort and the amazing comeback. I wish they could have closed the deal and ended this horrible record in our division (0-9 as I type this). I hope the fans who left early remember this game and refuse to leave early again. I hope people who have given up on the team already see this as a reason to renew hope and come out to the games again. I hope the posters happy with the changes this season are 100% correct that this is a sign of greater things to come.

If the title of this thread was “The team is finally showing us something” that would have been fine. I just can’t support starting a thread about a ‘Moral Victory Team Hero’ after a loss… and at home to boot. That’s all I’m saying. Last year there was no moral victory in reaching the Conference Finals. This year there isn’t a moral victory about losing on the home court for the 12th time. The attitude shouldn’t be “well, we played hard but lost.” It should be “We lost again and this sucks!”

I don’t want this team to fail. I want them to win. I don’t care if it’s from the new system or old, from the new coach or the old or from the new players or the old. It doesn’t matter to me. Call me Al Davis but “Just Win, Baby!” — and I don’t care how. I don’t want a mediocre team, I want a winner. I want 50+ wins. I want the playoffs. I want a team that understands this is what is expected of them.

Photo by Nikki Boertman/Commercial Appeal

No home loss is a moral victory. That is reserved for road games if at all. The Grizzlies SHOULD win at home. They should give their fans a great effort every night. It shouldn’t be a surprise or so rare that we thank them for the effort. They owe the fans a great effort at home because we paid for that.

I agree with the fans who say things are looking up now and are optimistic about the future. I said when Gasol went down that this will force our bench players to grow up faster, and when he returned the team will be that much stronger. I hope everyone wants the team to win every night and are encouraged by what they saw against the Spurs. It isn’t a moral victory. It is the evolution of the team’s young players and new acquisitions. It is the development of team chemistry destroyed by the plethora of roster moves, coaching changes and injuries since the playoffs last year.

If the Grizzlies bring the same effort Friday night against the Suns, they will likely get the win and then there will be a team hero to celebrate in a thread.

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3 Responses to No Moral Victories At Home

  1. theGrizzFanNo Gravatar says:

    “The old Grizzlies never quit.”? Seriously? You say that as if they’ve been around since Bob Cousy was playing. If you are a fan that only can recognize a good game as it appears in the won/loss column, then you aren’t much of a fan. Get off of your high horse. The Grizzlies didn’t quit, and you are in dire need of learning about the true makeup of men and character. For a so called fan to have issue with a fan of the Grizzlies that wanted to recognize their good effort is beyond shameful. What will be your next article, why the hall of fame should purge itself of all the inducted players that never won a championship? Winning is not a prerequisite of accolades.

  2. SailinStuffNo Gravatar says:

    I had to register to correct theGrizzFan. This isn’t the Mets of the 1900′s where everyone knows the team is going to be crap and all the fans even take a perverted kind of pride in their blind allegiance to a hopeless team. This isn’t even the Grizzlies of old who came to town as the dogs of the NBA and got supported right from the get-go. This is the team that got a big wagon load of public money, got years of fan support and money and built a legitimate winner and then was dismantled. No moral victories. The OP is far more generous than I. The OP says no moral victories at home. I say, no moral victories. At all. This is the team that is taking its first step backward in many years. This is the team that was remade by choice of ownership – not by the normal evolution of the team’s players. This is a team owned and led by people who are rightly held accountable. The NBA does not hand out moral victory trophies or rings. There is one standard and one standard only in the NBA, and that is winning a championship. This is the shreds of a team that was in position to achieve that goal. Hell, this is a team that realistically had/held/pursued that goal. I do not believe there is a player, a coach, a scout, an analyst, an owner or a knowledgeable fan who gives the Griz a snowball’s chance to win a ring this year. Part of character is having the guts to deal with things the way they are. Take note, theGrizzFan. Part of having character is having the guts to own mistakes and shortcomings. Take note, theGrizzFan. This is not a 10 year old child’s recreational league. The NBA doesn’t pat teams or players on the back and hand out consolation rings. Everyone in the NBA does not get a trophy every year. Part of character is learning to compete and to prevail in that competition. Take note, theGrizzFan.

    • theGrizzFanNo Gravatar says:

      You honestly don’t have a clue to what being a fan is about, or sports history for that matter. “The Mets of the 1900′s” and “the Grizzlies of old”??? Looks to me as the author of this dribble just registered a new account. Are “the Grizzlies of old” that Vancouver team, or the one that has been in Memphis a little more than a whole decade. I’m assuming that Met team from way back in the early 1900′s you are talking about is the Mets from their expansion in 1962, and prior to their world series win just 7 years later.
      Being a fan is not all about winning. Period. That is beyond shallow. A love of the sport is where true fans come from. “Take note”? I’ll tell you to take note of something, and that is to take note of exactly how many banners are hanging from the rafters in the FedEx Forum. Just as many that are hanging from my cellar, which is a place that “the Grizzlies of old” would be at home in . Laker and Celtic fans would be the only ones that could demand such unreasonable things from their teams, but even they do not hold such an arrogant, entitled view as you chip, or sailinStuff, or whatever else you may call yourself. Almost half of all the NBA championships have been won by the Celtics and Lakers. Just the numerical odds of winning a championship are one in thirty. The deck is stacked against us. Love the game, love the team, but to demand a win or nothing is not being a fan. I’ve been following the NBA for over 40 years and have never read such shallow, heartless garbage as this article and above comment. For the same reasons we clap and cheer during the game, we give the players a pat on the back for a good effort, win or lose. Or perhaps we should all remain totally silent until the outcome of the game has been decided? Take note, you have brought more shame to this team with this putrid mess of an article than any fan ever could have for applauding a player in an overtime loss.

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