Two years ago, I looked at Coach Norvell at the annual women’s football clinic, Night with Norvell and said, “Thank you for staying with us. I am not sure if you know it, but this city needs you.” You see, for the last five years I have watched my city go to war with itself. My husband and I have been active in this community and to be honest, I never thought there was a day I would see what I saw yesterday.
While everyone was focused on the sea of blue shirts and the funny signs, I saw something much bigger than College GameDay. My heart swelled at the sight. In case you were not aware, Memphis is the second most dangerous city in the United States, and for the past five years, I have watched as my home has declined into this. Memphians cannot come together over anything. Seriously, we argue over EVERYTHING.
I saw it, did you? All the labels that we wear to divide us were discarded for one label, Memphis Tiger. Memphis versus Everybody took on a new meaning. We were Memphis. We were one. The nation saw it. No videos with captions such as “Keep is classy Memphis” or “Typical Memphis.” Today, I hold my head up and proudly say , I live in Memphis. I look at those pictures on Beale, and I say, “That is my city.” That is the Memphis we can strive to be. You, my dear Tigers, got the ball rolling.
Phil, there was a miracle yesterday. To my knowledge, there were zero incidents of violence on Beale while we were there. To my knowledge, there was zero violence when the 58,000 plus descended on the Liberty Bowl.
To my beloved Tigers, you did the impossible. You brought out the best in our city. You got us beyond the negativity that surrounds us. The light shined down on Memphis yesterday, and I believe it is just the beginning. Thank you for being here and thank you for investing in us and thank you for praying for us. You have proven that Memphis is a city whose heart can be mended. You have proven we are not our negative press. We are not a dying city. We are a city whose heart beats blue. WE ARE MEMPHIS!
The Most Grateful Tiger Fan