ESPN Magazine is about to release their yearly "franchise" issue where they weigh different attributes of professional sport franchises in the four major U.S. sports. I haven't gotten to see the content yet, but I imagine they consider things like fan experience, cost to fans, winning % compared to money spent, community involvement and probably some other intangibles.
And ladies and gentlemen, the Memphis Grizzlies are numero uno, the head hancho, the big cheese, et al., the best franchise in sports. I'll say it again. The Memphis Grizzlies are the best franchise in sports. That feels pretty damn good. While we may be a small market that can't compete with the big guys in media shares and star power, we are doing just about everything the right way.
You can write this off as fluff and pandering to what was the latest craze back in May, but ESPN doesn't generally like to exalt small markets, especially not a small market that is consistently in the top 5 in violent crime, teen pregnancies and was recently voted to have the ugliest population of people in the United States.
This is a huge accomplishment for Memphis and for all fans of the Grizzlies. Part of this ranking stems directly from you, the passionate Griz fan that makes this whole operation of basketball possible. So pat yourself on the back and take the day off! You can tell your boss that's an order from Chris Faulkner.