Sports seem to be officially “back,” and I couldn’t think of a better way to cap off a strange, uncertain and outright weird college experience. A little-known – depending on who you are – fact about me is my history as a collegiate athlete. But, unlike the athletes you’ll read here, I couldn't quite cut it.
However, it gave me unique insight from both player and fan perspectives. Anything from the way a packed crowd can completely swing momentum to the way electricity can spread through a crowd in a fraction of a second. Memphis fans are just different than any other fanbase, simple as that.
But that fanbase was mostly absent from many sporting events the previous two years. But not this year. Electric plays, packed stadiums and All-Americans were able to perform in front of the naked eye of thousands of spectators and my god, it was glorious.
As we begin to put the pandemic behind us, for good this time, I hope, The Daily Helmsman staff and I wanted to bring you a sports magazine that was different than in prior years. Yes, we are going to highlight Memphis sports and Memphis athletes, but we didn’t want to stop there.
Throughout COVID, it was apparent that something was missing completely from sports: fans. Sure we can be crazy, sometimes downright nasty, but the pandemic showed what many athletes took for granted. But that’s why the fans, the band and student section can all be found in this issue.
We are as much a part of the Memphis sports scene as the athletes we cheer for.
What is the Liberty Bowl without thousands of fans gasping with every massive hit, screaming with every explosive play or the ringing in your ears that remains for hours after the game?
What is the FedExForum without the cheers, the chants or the crowd singing “Whoop that Trick?”
What are Memphis soccer games without the jeers and trash talk the opposing goalies receive?
Simply put – sports are back, and so are the fans – and I welcome you to read along with the wild ride that was Memphis sports this year.
Lucas Finton is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Helmsman and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.