The Grizzlies are back in the playoffs and the local fans are getting pumped up.
The team’s attendance is now 20th in the league. Not great by any means but the best since the inaugural season in the FedEx Forum and an increase of over 1000 people from last season.
Now the Grizzlies have to find a way to replicate last season’s passionate fan support in the playoffs. It won’t be easy for the Grizzlies front office. After all it wasn’t the Grizzlies front office that created the stir last season. It was a ground swell of support from the fans themselves.
What the Grizzlies do have going for them is a fan base schooled on college type excitement. This is a crowd that is used to cheering like college kids. The Tigers routinely are in the top 10 in college attendance. The Forum is considered one of the most difficult college arenas to play because of the ravenous support of the fans.
Memphis knows how to support basketball as long as you give them something to support.
So perhaps the Grizzlies should take a lesson from the Tigers when it comes to generating fan enthusiasm. Chants of De-Fense are great but the team needs something else to get the fans off their feet.
A fan on the Memphis Grizzlies message board started a thread titled Official Grindhouse Playoff 2012 Chants, Ideas, Ect… The idea is to generate ideas for the fans to chant during their playoff series. It has a lot of great ideas.
Oh sure the usual “LA Sucks” and “Beat LA” ideas were thrown forward and these are easy chants that can be heard in most arenas around the league from time to time but by their own nationality they aren’t unique to Memphis. To really generate excitement and build support in the community Memphis needs a chant that only Memphis fans can own. That is where the really good ideas come from.
My personal favorite came from a poster named GTG. He suggested a simple idea (they are usually the best) where the team chants Grit and Grind. That simply idea evolved on the thread to be a chant where half the arena chants Grit while the other half chants Grind. The cheer can be started by the Claw Crew and Grizz himself. The fans would jump on this as you make it easy for them.
Other good ideas included chanting “Over-Rated” when Blake Griffin was on the free throw line, yelling “Flopper” at Chris Paul every time he hits the court (Chris Paul made the top 5 floppers list on ESPN’s TrueHoop poll) and “RUDY” to honor Rudy Gay’s first playoff appearance.
I must admit I am more partial to cheers that glorify our team than degrade others but the most important thing is to get the crowd involved. The Grizzlies organization needs to take the lead here and keep the momentum going. Eventually it will reach the point where is is considered a habit but until then the organization needs to take the lead and make sure people know that being at a Grizzlies game, playoff or not, means making noise and cheering for the home team.