My son and I recently attended Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals pitting the Memphis Grizzlies against the San Antonio Spurs. The game was played in San Antonio, which meant that black and silver were the popular colors.
During a timeout, I asked Aaron, my 10-year-old son, to look for any Memphis fans. The task was to find someone dressed in light blue and white. It didn’t take long for him to spot a Memphis follower. The young man was sitting just to the right of us, and he even had body paint covering much of his body. I was able to sneak a picture that I posted in this blog.
The Fearless Fan
As a lifelong San Antonio Spurs fan, I was hoping we would quickly take command of the game. It’s uncomfortable when the home team is outplayed, and the visiting fans rub it in, even though they are greatly outnumbered.
I was impressed with the Memphis fan. He had to know that we were not going to welcome him. Plus, with the Grizzlies jersey and the rest of the flare, it was obvious that he wanted everyone to know his team preference.
Think about it, though, how often is anyone bold enough to walk into a room and take a stance. This is the type of person you might want in your company. This is the type of individual who is unafraid to share his perspective on a particular issue. He might not be right, but at least you will get his perspective.
He Never Stood Up
The Spurs took control of Game 1 by jumping to a big lead. In fact, the San Antonio team made 14 three-pointers, and many of them came early in the game. The fanatical-Memphis had a tough time finding an opportunity to cheer for his team. Even when Memphis closed to within 6 points in the 3rd quarter, he remained seated. I think he knew the Spurs were playing too well on this Sunday afternoon.
The Spurs extended their lead in the 4th quarter, and won by a score of 105-83. To beat the after-game traffic, we left with a few minutes remaining. The Grizzlies fan remained seated. Given that his team was getting trounced, I’m sure he felt more comfort staying in his seat.
What made this example impressive is that the Memphis fan knew there would be very few people in his corner. Regardless, he attended the game in hopes that his team would play well.
I understand the blue-and-white adorned fan never stood up and cheered his team. He was probably a bit shell-shocked that they were not playing well. But, he did show up, and it was obvious that he was walking into hostile territory. While the Grizzlies lost convincingly, he was able to make a point. He stood up for what he believed, and he made his presence known.
On that day, his team fell short, but my guess is that he will continue to take a bold stance. He has something going for him … this type of fortitude is a requirement of success.