If you're not a basketball fan, you may not know that the roundball game of the century is taking place tomorrow (Saturday) night in Memphis.
The U/Mem Tigers are unbeaten and ranked #1 in the nation. Way to the east side of the state, you'll find the UT Vols -- ranked #2 nationally. How completely exciting it is to have the two top-ranked teams from Tennessee.
And tomorrow night, they meet here at the FedEx Forum for a big stakes, high emotion game. I heard that there may be two vacant hotel rooms left in the metro area. Restaurant and club owners on Beale St. (a short walk from the Forum) are licking their lips. They expect tomorrow night to be equivalent to a New Year's Eve in revenues.
Last year, we played the Vols on their home court and they beat us by double digits. They're good, but we're even better this year. Our Coach Cal has been trying to keep the public's expectations in check for the last couple of games. He says, "The boys aren't machines. We'll probably lose one or two games before the end of the season."
We don't want this to be the one. There was always rivalry between the two schools, but this year it's multiplied by infinity.
U/Mem is my alma matter. I'll probably have to wear blue & gray to work tomorrow. I have a cousin over in the mountains of East TN who's a UT grad. I emailed him a couple of days ago with a friendly wager, but I haven't heard from him. Hmmmm
Everybody in Memphis is psyched for this -- even Graceland, Elvis' home. It was announced today that the bulbs of the more than 100 outdoor spotlights have been replaced with blue bulbs in honor of the Tigers. They will go on at 7 p.m. tonight and stay on through tomorrow night. The Graceland folks are calling it Operation Blue Suede Shoes.