Tony Allen Forever.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had hoped for this moment but never believed it would actually come. And then out of nowhere the moment came and changed my life. What moment am I talking about? That would be the moment that Tony Allen followed me on Twitter. That's right. Tony Allen following me on Twitter nearly 6 years ago changed my life. The initial follow was because of some Future lyrics I quoted from a song TA had made me aware of and I was now listening to regularly. That song was "Go Harder" and eventually it became a sort of theme song for Tony Allen. When it was time for the Grindfather to do his thing, the DJ at the Grindhouse would turn that up, and the camera went right to Tony Allen. I never remember a time that the crowd didn't go crazy when it would start to play. But unfortunately, now another moment I hoped would NEVER come is here. Tony Allen is leaving Memphis to play somewhere else. I could go into all the times in Grizz history that TA made an impact, but plenty of writers that are far more talented have done that already. So I just want to take a minute and discuss what Tony Allen meant to me. 

That's right, I still have the screenshot of when Tony Allen followed me on Twitter in 2012.

That's right, I still have the screenshot of when Tony Allen followed me on Twitter in 2012.

One of the many times TA humored me on Twitter. 

One of the many times TA humored me on Twitter. 

I am sort of known as an intense, outspoken Grizz fan on Twitter. But it wasn't until Tony Allen followed me on Twitter that I started to realize my words could matter a little bit more than I thought they ever could. Tony Allen following me on Twitter legitimized me to some extent. Suddenly there were people who WANTED my opinion on the Grizzlies. Me. Katee Forbis. Who am I? No one really. But Tony Allen recognized my fandom and passion. He gave me a few shout outs on the radio, and it wasn't long before my name was synonymous with Grizz fans. Tony Allen is my favorite basketball player. He is at the top of a short list of my absolute favorites in basketball. My short list consists of Tony Allen, Michael Jordan, Shane Battier, OJ Mayo, JJ Redick and Zach Randolph. Yeah, I know. It's an odd list. But I'm also kind of an odd girl.

I make jokes to numb the pain! 

But TA isn't my favorite player just because he followed me on Twitter, he's my favorite player because of who he is as a person. His defense is unlike almost any other player in the NBA. His energy changes the room. It changes games. It changed the city of Memphis. "All heart. Grit. Grind." wasn't just a saying in Memphis, it became our identity. I know that's said a lot, but it's said a lot because it's true.

#TBT to that time that I was mentioned in Hoop Magazine. It still makes me smile. (It wasn't the first time we met, but I didn't tell Tony who I was the first time we met. I was too nervous!)

#TBT to that time that I was mentioned in Hoop Magazine. It still makes me smile. (It wasn't the first time we met, but I didn't tell Tony who I was the first time we met. I was too nervous!)

I met Tony Allen a handful of times over the last 6 years, and in all of those times, I only said a handful of words to him. Partly because there is rarely time for a long sit down chat with your favorite NBA player, and also because I never wanted to be annoying or say something stupid. As much as TA and I interacted on Twitter, I never asked him for anything. Well, I take that back. At the first Memphis Grizzlies wrestling night, I really wanted Tony to sign my Grizzlyweight Championship (Yes, that's a thing.) but I didn't have much time to get his attention before he went back in the tunnel from an early shoot around. He was running into the tunnel and everyone was yelling "Tony! Tony Allen! Please sign this!" and I couldn't get him to look over at me. So finally I did the one thing I said I would never do. I named dropped. And if that wasn't obnoxious enough, I name dropped MYSELF. I didn't say I was proud of it. But it was my last ditch effort and I was desperate. So as TA ran past me, I yelled "TONY! IT'S KATEE FORBIS!" I had no idea if it would work, but suddenly Tony stopped, turned around, smiled, grabbed my hand like politicians do when greeting people in a crowd, and signed my Grizzlyweight Championship belt before running back into the tunnel. The people around me were looking at me like I had two heads. It's like their eyes were saying "Who the hell is this chick?" I was nobody. But Tony Allen always made me feel like a somebody. He didn't have to stop that day and sign my belt. He didn't have to follow me on Twitter or respond to my tweets as often as he did. Tony Allen didn't owe me anything. But that's just the type of guy that Tony Allen is.

Me proudly wearing my "GrizzlyWeight World Champion" wrestling belt in early 2015. 

Me proudly wearing my "GrizzlyWeight World Champion" wrestling belt in early 2015. 

Tony is all heart, and I'd like to think he could sense that I was all heart too. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I often do too. I can't speak for him, but I know in my life, this is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing when your vulnerability helps you form relationships and help others get through difficult times in their lives. It's a curse when that same vulnerability causes you to put your trust in someone who ends up disappointing you, whether they intended to or not. But that vulnerability is why so many people love Tony Allen. He is the real deal. He is going to say what's on his mind, and he is going to be himself at all times. There is an authenticity about TA that you just don't come across every day in the NBA. Tony Allen made us fans feel like part of the team. He showed us respect. He made us feel, as TA himself likes to say, like "He with us." 

The first time I met Tony Allen in 2012. I didn't tell him who I was even though all my friends said "Tell him you are Katee Forbis from Twitter!" 

The first time I met Tony Allen in 2012. I didn't tell him who I was even though all my friends said "Tell him you are Katee Forbis from Twitter!" 

My BIG Tony Allen painting that is proudly displayed in my "Tony Allen room." Artwork by Adam Exelbierd.

My BIG Tony Allen painting that is proudly displayed in my "Tony Allen room." Artwork by Adam Exelbierd.

Tony signing my Grizz backpack.

Tony signing my Grizz backpack.

I am the owner of a fair amount of Tony Allen memorabilia. I have his rookie card and a signed basketball from his days with the Celtics. I have wristbands and a jersey he's signed to me. I even have a room in my new house that I lovingly call "The Tony Allen room." It got its name from the giant Tony Allen painting I bought and hung on the wall. Call me obsessive, call me a weirdo, but don't you dare call me a fair-weathered fan. I will always be a fan of Tony Allen. No matter where he plays. And if he has to go, I'm happy he's at least going to New Orleans this season, because that drive is fairly easy.

My lucky TA jersey that is signed by the Grandfather himself. 

My lucky TA jersey that is signed by the Grandfather himself. 

It's difficult to put into words what Tony Allen has meant to me over the years. Personally, I've had the hardest and darkest years of my life since Tony has been here. He didn't really know that, but he helped me through those years anyway. He gave me something to believe in. I believed in the Memphis Grizzlies because Tony Allen believed. And pardon the corniness, but I even started to believe in myself a little more because of Tony Allen. His confidence and passion made me feel like it was okay to be me. It was okay to be emotional and intense. It was okay to love the game of basketball on another level. Without even realizing it, Tony helped me come out of my shell. He inspired me to put myself out there and be my weird, crazy self. And most importantly, TA taught me how to not care what others thought about me.

When I went to Dallas for an away game and Tony saw me in the crowd. 

When I went to Dallas for an away game and Tony saw me in the crowd. 

My Tony Allen rookie card.

My Tony Allen rookie card.

So as Tony Allen leaves the Memphis Grizzlies and moves on to another chapter in his career, I wish he and his family nothing but success and happiness. In a perfect world, Tony Allen would've retired in Memphis. And who knows, maybe he'll come back for one more year. Maybe he won't. But either way, I'll never forget what he did for my city, my favorite basketball team, or what he did for me. Tony Allen came from very little and he made a name for himself in the NBA. He got to where he is at by working hard and following his heart. One of my favorite things Tony Allen has ever said is "Stay ready and you won't have to get ready." Tony Allen stayed ready in Memphis. And when the opportunity was finally given to him, he was ready. TA took that opportunity and turned it into more than anyone could've expected or dreamed. Tony Allen showed me that if you stay ready for the opportunity, there's no limit to what you can do with it once it's there. 

When you tweet about Tony Allen so much that you make the local news.

When you tweet about Tony Allen so much that you make the local news.

Thank you for being YOU, Tony Allen. There will never be another like you. And that's why we all love you. I will forever be grateful to you, the Grindfather. And I will forever stay ready. Good luck in New Orleans. YOU DESERVE IT! *Future voice* 

Sincerely, your #1 fan,

@KateeForbis

Forever and ever. Amen. 

Transformation Challenge 2017 - What have I gotten myself into?

For the next 6 weeks, I'll be participating in my gym's (Iron Tribe East Memphis) Transformation Challenge! This is a competition to see who can improve their fitness level while cutting the most body fat! I'm in it to win it! I've decided, against my better judgment, to document this process along the way. I don't know if I'll fail or succeed, but I'm ready to see what happens. I hope you'll join me and commit to making these next 6 weeks a time for transforming your life in some way too! 

A post shared by NBKay (@kateeforbis) on

It's A New Season, And We Still Breathin'

Here we go again. Tonight, my favorite obsession is officially back in my life. The Memphis Grizzlies will take the court tonight for the first time in the 2016-1017 regular season. They are playing the Timberwolves, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is that the thing that makes my heart race, the thing that makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, the thing that gives me more joy and more heartache than any sport should give a person is BACK. It doesn't take long for people to realize I have an obsessive personality. When I find something I love, I think about it all the time. Thankfully I don't do drugs, and I don't drink excessively.... very often. Instead, I've tried to find other things that make the blood rush through my veins and give me an escape from life when things get a little too real. And things have gotten too real this year. I won't go into the details here, but this has definitely been the hardest year I've had in a long time, maybe ever. There's nothing I will enjoy more tonight than "stressing" over things like whether the starting lineup is right or whether my team is going to make it all the way this year. When you love a sport as much as I do, it's inevitable that people will try to remind you that this kind of stuff isn't what truly matters in life. They'll tell you it's just a game, and there are much worse things than losing a basketball game. And I agree, basketball isn't what truly matters in life and it's absolutely true that there are MUCH worse things than losing a basketball game. I've experienced some of those awful things. I don't want to get too Debbie Downer over here but it's not a matter of "if" but "when" life will kick you down. In the real world, we experience pain and loss in ways we never thought were imaginable. We look back and wonder how we got here and if things will ever be okay again. That's why we need things like sports, music, and movies. That's why sometimes we need to care about things that others might dismiss as trivial. I truly believe the weight of only caring about absolutely serious and "meaningful" things will eventually bury you. Yes, we should be informed. Yes, we should fight injustice and take a stand for what we believe in. But we also have to cut ourselves some slack from time to time. We need to let ourselves (and others) have fun. Recently with all the terrible things going on in the world, there has been a lot of things written about self-care, and I think basketball is part of my self-care. I'm not sure humans are capable of fully freeing themselves of worry, but we can take a break from worrying about the awful things in this world and instead worry about our favorite team's record for the season. So when the lights go down tonight at the Grindhouse, I'll be doing just that. Maybe it's only for a few hours, but it's a few hours that I get to care about something fun. I get to feel this excitement with others that share this same passion as me. It's hard for me to sum up or even explain all the emotions I feel on opening night every season. I just know I get what I need. And I hope others do too. Let's do this thing. 

It's A Wonderful Life..... Thanks To My Dad.

I haven't written anything on my website in several months. But I was trying to think of the best gift I could give my Dad for Christmas this year. While I think I've picked out many nice things that he will enjoy, I've decided the greatest gift I can give him is making sure he knows how much I admire him. I wish I could tell the world how much I admire my Dad. And although I may not be able to tell the world, I can tell anybody who is willing to read my words.

The older I've gotten, the more I've learned to appreciate my Dad and the sacrifices he made for his family. Anyone that knows my Dad can tell you that you don't even have to be related to us for him to treat you like family. His door is always open, and he's always willing to help. I could tell a lot of stories about him, but I'm not sure there is anybody that could tell better stories about my Dad than my Mom. My Dad met my Mom on a blind date. I remember my Mom telling me that she thought he was charming and that he could make anybody laugh. There is one story about my parents dating history that I have always found particularly funny. My mom used to love to tell it, and my Dad always swore to us that she was exaggerating. My Mom worked at a bank and was getting ready for the annual Christmas party. My parents were broken up at the time, and Mom said that Dad found out she was bringing another date to the party. He called her and told her she needed to "ditch the guy" and go out with him instead. My Mom, being the nice girl that she was, told my Dad she couldn't just "ditch" her date. So my Dad told her he needed to warn her about something very serious. My Dad proceeded to tell my Mom that he had heard the guy my Mom was going on a date with had "stuck his head out of a car window and it had been hit by a bus or something" and that the guy "wasn't right in the head." My Mom said, "Oh come on, Dean, there is no way that's true!" It obviously wasn't true, but my Mom said she couldn't help but laugh every time she thought about what he said. Of course, it was my Dad, not the poor guy who "got hit by a bus" that my Mom ended up marrying. My Dad always knew how to make my Mom laugh, even when she was mad at him. I also remember my Mom telling me that my Dad was very romantic. That was something else she loved about him. When I was a kid, it wasn't that unusual for me to see my parents slow dancing in the hallway to "Just The Way You Look Tonight." It wasn't until I was older that I realized not everybody's parents were that close. My parents raised three kids together. Whenever my parents felt like they messed up, they would apologize to my brothers and me. That's something else that I now realize isn't that common. My parents weren't too prideful to tell their kids (or each other) when they made a mistake and ask for forgiveness.

 

  Dad and me at the St. Louis Cardinals game.

  Dad and me at the St. Louis Cardinals game.

 

Dad would never want me to lead people to think he is perfect, but I think that's one of the greatest things about him. My Dad always taught my brothers and me that people are flawed and that it's okay. My Dad taught us how to have empathy for others and to put ourselves in someone else's shoes before we judged them or took something personal. If it wasn't for my Dad, I might have grown up to be a bitter person who believed that everyone that wronged me was out to get me. Instead, my Dad taught me that most people are just the same as me. They want to be loved and appreciated. And that when they mess up, it's best to try and understand their side of things, realize their past has shaped them and forgive whenever possible. My Dad made a conscience decision that he wanted to be there for his kids. He made a real effort to be at every school or church program, every recital, and every baseball or basketball game that we had, even if it meant he had to work even later after we went to sleep. My Dad taught me by example that family and friends are what really matters in life. He didn't just say these words, he lived them. He still lives them by example every day. Most people that know my family are aware that my Mom was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's about five years ago. She probably had it for several years before that, but she was misdiagnosed several times. My mother was still young, beautiful and vibrant. It just didn't seem possible to anyone that she could have "an old person's disease." Over the last five years, everyone that knows my mom has had to watch Alzheimer's steal her from us. And it has stolen something personal from each and every one of us that has known her. Alzheimer's has stolen a friend, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a mother, a wife, and a great woman. We have each felt a personal loss because every one of those relationships was different and meaningful. But I'm not sure that anyone has felt as much pain as my Dad has felt losing his wife. My Dad had to become a caregiver when my parents were supposed to be starting the next chapter of their lives. This chapter was supposed to be filled with traveling, time with family and good memories. Instead, it has been filled with devastating heartache, pain, endless stress, financial burdens, anger and unspeakable tragedy. To try and explain everything my Dad has dealt with in caring for my mother would be impossible. There is just no way for me to fully convey the deep ache I feel watching my Dad lose the love of his life. My Dad does EVERYTHING for my mom. There is nothing my Dad hasn't done for my mom. My Dad, who would tell you himself that he wasn't very good at anything domestic, learned to cook, do laundry, paint nails and help my mom put on her makeup. He ironed her clothes, he did her hair, he gave her baths, he brushed her teeth, and he did pretty much anything else you can imagine. Things that you or I couldn't even fathom having to do for another person, my Dad has done for my Mom. He did all of this while also working full time and raising my little brother, who was only 14 when my mom was diagnosed. When you do these things for a child, the reward is seeing them grow up and learn new things, and feeling the love they give you in return. When you are doing these things for an adult with Alzheimer's, you don't get those rewards. The person doesn't thank you because they don't understand what is happening. A lot of times, they even get mad at you. They don't learn new things, or remember what you told them, and they get worse every day. There is no reward, or feel good moments. It's not pretty or heartwarming, and that's a big reason the growing epidemic of Alzheimer's disease is still ignored in this country. My Dad could've easily shut down and said he couldn't deal with any of it. But he didn't do that. In fact, it wasn't until a few months ago that we were able to convince him that my Mom would be better off in an Alzheimer's specific facility. Even now, it's still a very stressful time for us as my mother's condition continues to deteriorate. Each day brings something new and difficult to deal with. It's been hard to watch my Dad deal with all of this. My Dad has never had an easy life. Even well before my mom got sick, my Dad was caring for family members. He lost his own Dad when he was younger than me. He lost his mother, sister and aunt (who was kind of like a second mother to him) all within a few short years of each other. My Dad, more than anyone I know, has every right to hate the world. I wouldn't blame him at all if he completely shut down. Life hasn't dealt him an easy hand. But even with all the tragedy, I've never once heard him blame anyone else. It would be wrong for me to let people think all of this hasn't impacted my Dad. It has definitely taken its toll. But even now, my Dad continues to amaze me with his determination to see the positive in every situation. My Dad is a testament to picking yourself up, and pressing forward. He teaches me every day that life is what you make of it. My Dad has taught me that even though all of life isn't wonderful, I can still do my best to make it a wonderful life for me and for others. He has taught me that life is short and that most of what we worry about doesn't matter. My Dad always likes to say that everyone needs three things in life to make them happy: 

1. Someone to love.

2. Someone that loves them.

3. Something to look forward to. 

My mom will never be able to thank my Dad for all the things he has done for her. But I can do my best to thank him on her behalf. So thanks, Dad, for loving my mother so unconditionally. Thank you for everything. She would be so proud of you and how well you've continued to take care of our family. You are a great husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend. I have never once doubted your love for me, my brothers, my mom or our family.

So I think it's safe to say that you love us, and we definitely love you. I also know Mom would want you to spend some time looking forward, and she would want you to still try and make it a wonderful life. You deserve happiness more than anyone I know. Thanks for making it a wonderful life for me, Dad. 

I love you more than words can say. 

Love, 

Your Daughter, Katee

I hope that me writing this will encourage others to do something similar for the special people in their lives. Happy Holidays. 

           Mom and Dad on their way to a concert.

           Mom and Dad on their way to a concert.


Hey Katee! The One With The Comeback...

Hey Katee! is a weekly column where I'll discuss different topics every Friday. Have a question or topic you'd like me to ramble or rant about? Let me know!

Hey Katee! What did you think of Mike Conley's comeback performance in game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-finals?

I can probably assume that most of the people who are reading this don't really need any backstory on the Memphis Grizzlies starting point guard, Mike Conley, being injured. Long story short, Mike Conley suffered multiple fractures to his face when he was elbowed in the face during a game in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Just 8 days post surgery, a masked Mike Conley came out and played an incredible game against the number one team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors. He finished with a game-high 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting. It was no doubt, an amazing game for Mike Conley, and the fact that he did it while being in pain and still very swollen from surgery had the sports world buzzing. Being a huge Memphis Grizzlies fan, I naturally was beaming with pride that night. Mike Conley made a comeback, and he was able to play better than anyone could have ever expected him to play when coming back from such an awful injury.

As I thought about Mike Conley's comeback story, I started thinking there might be more we can learn here that goes beyond a masked man playing incredible basketball. So if you don't mind going to a deeper level with me for a few minutes, please read on.

We all love a good comeback story. There's something so satisfying about seeing the underdog come back and do what others said he couldn't do. I tend to think we see ourselves in these kind of stories. Ultimately because there are times in most of our lives where we have to make our own comebacks. We come back from injuries. We come back from disease and sickness. We come back from depression and hopelessness. We come back from broken relationships. We come back from having life pull the rug out from under us in some way or another. We all like seeing the end result of a comeback story in the news but what they don't alway show us is what the person goes through prior to the comeback. In order for a comeback story to be authentic, the person usually has to experience pain in some form. It may be physical, mental or a combination of both. Regardless of the type of pain, the common ground is that it all hurts. And who likes to hurt?  I know I don't. In fact, I spent a long time running from pain. The pain of having to close my business that I had put my blood, sweat, tears and money into for several years. I had also been running from the pain of dealing with my mother's early onset Alzheimer's diagnosis. I stayed in bed and avoided the world. I became depressed and it started to feel like all the good things that were going to happen in my life were over and all that was left was the painful stuff. And I didn't want to deal with that much pain. Most of us will do everything in our power to avoid pain. It's in our nature as human beings. It's instinctual. But as the author John Green said, "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt." What a simple yet profound thought! Pain demands to be felt. A real comeback doesn't happen without real pain. Real pain is awful and rarely seems inspiring when we're in the middle of it. It isn't until we take that first step out of the darkness and decide to face the pain that we can start training for our comeback. One day while driving, it dawned on me that all of this time, I had been fighting to avoid a lot of the pain that I needed to face. That was when I decided to make a phone call to get help in facing it. I didn't do it all on my own, and I wouldn't want anyone to think I did. Reaching out for help was my first step in facing and fighting through the pain. When we start fighting through the pain instead of fighting to avoid it, that's when the real comeback begins. Otherwise, don't call it a comeback. (Yeah, I said it.)

So give yourself credit for the pain you've hurt through to make your comeback. If you are in the middle of the pain right now, and it hurts like hell, keep going. If nothing else, the pain means you're still here. It also means your comeback can start now! As for Mike Conley, I would like to think his comeback is part of a bigger picture. What some may think is just about basketball could actually be inspiring someone else to start their own personal comeback. Most of our comeback stories won't make the news, but that doesn't mean our stories aren't important. So don't be afraid to share your comeback story. We all tend to stay silent because we think that someone else has the bigger and better story. But I'm here to tell you that the level of the comeback isn't what's important, it's the comeback itself. It means you went through real pain that hurt and despite all the odds, you CAME BACK. So in this case, we will call it a comeback. 

"There is nothing as sweet as a comeback, when you are down and out, about to lose, and out of time."

- Anne Lamott

Hey Katee! The One About SuperFans...

Hey Katee! What do you think is required for one to actually call themselves a SuperFan?

This is a really fun topic for me because I consider myself to be in the SuperFan group versus the casual fan group. Although it's obviously subjective, I will do my best to break down what I think differentiates a SuperFan from a casual fan. Being a SuperFan of something can apply to a lot of different forms of entertainment and even people, but in this case I'm going to write about SuperFans in the sports world. 

1. A SuperFan is dedicated to their team. No, like-- REALLY dedicated.

A SuperFan is so dedicated that it can occasionally borderline into an obsession. Okay, maybe more than just occasionally. A SuperFan will be at the game if at all possible. And if you can't, you are finding the nearest radio or tv because that one time you couldn't watch the game last season resulted in a loss. And even though you wouldn't necessarily admit it, you kind of feel responsible. You know, bad mojo and all that.

2. A SuperFan has friends and family that refer to the team as YOUR team.

SuperFans get texts and other messages from loved ones that say things like "I see that your Grizzlies won last night." or "I'm sorry about what happened to your Grizzlies." Family and friends also check on you after a rough loss and ask you how you are holding up. 

3. A SuperFan does NOT always have extra tickets.... but your friends think you do.

When the playoffs roll around every year, there's always at least a few friends who ask you for tickets or if you can help them get tickets. Those friends expect you to have an endless supply of free or cheap tickets. Oh and if this sort of hook up actually exists for other SuperFans, then please, help a girl out.

4. A SuperFan finds ways to bring up their team in social situations where it would seem impossible to find a connection.

"It's funny that you mention newborns because Marc Gasol actually had a baby a few months ago and he also said it was a challenging transition." The people in these social situations may or may not look at you like you've got two heads. "Who is Marc? Oh, that's the starting center for the Memphis Grizzlies. Yeah."

5. A SuperFan has cried before, during, or after a game.

At the very least you have gotten misty-eyed, but more than likely you've flat out cried after a game. You may never admit it to anyone, but you know you've gotten emotional. Maybe it was because of a win, maybe it was because of a loss, but you've cried. I'm sorry to break it to you, but being an emotionally unattached SuperFan is impossible.

6. A SuperFan is invested in their team.

Not only is a SuperFan invested in their team, they are also invested in the physical, emotional and mental well-being of the players. When the game is over, a casual fan may be able to move on to the next activity or task with little to no effort. A SuperFan does not have that luxury. You will be thinking of all the things that went wrong.

"Did they start the wrong guy? Why did the coach put that lineup in? Did the ref get that call right? I don't think he got it right. I'm going to watch this again and see if he got it right. Yeah, I knew he didn't get it right. I bet that's why Zbo was looking over at him like that. It kinda seemed like the team was tired. Did you think they are getting enough rest?"

This will start as a conversation with another person until he or she is worn out. The conversation will then continue in your own head until you fall asleep.

7. A SuperFan will not handle another person telling them "It's just a game." very well.

In fact, after a loss, it's the last thing you want to hear. You also don't want to hear someone say "They'll get the next one." or "They almost won." Never, in the history of fandom, has any SuperFan wanted to hear this. It has never made you feel better. It has never made you "let it go" and it never will. Unless the person is going to offer a real opinion, you'd just prefer they say nothing at all. During these moments, a friend or family member has probably called you a jerk. That brings me to my next distinction....

8. Sometimes SuperFans are jerks, and they have to apologize to their friends and family.

Whether it was for throwing the remote control across the room, or ignoring a loved one because you were too busy looking at the box score, you've had to apologize for acting like a jerk to somebody. And you probably know by now that "I just really wanted them to win." usually doesn't cut it for an excuse.

9. SuperFans are passionate, and they don't always get along with other SuperFans.

Just because a fellow SuperFan likes the same team as you, does not mean you two will automatically be best friends. In fact, it may be just the opposite. SuperFans are very opinionated and when they get together, it can get kind of intense. When you all care about the same team THAT much, your passion can lead you to become defensive. You have probably ended up saying something rash like "If you think that one play at the end of the third quarter is why we lost the game, you've obviously lost your mind!" (Note: If you think this seems kind of mean, please refer back to #8.)
 

And lastly....

10. A SuperFan is sincere.

In my opinion, the most notable quality that all true SuperFans have in common is that they are sincere. They sincerely love their team. And being sincere about anything in today's world can be hard for other people to understand. To be a SuperFan, you have to be okay with a certain amount of vulnerability that comes with sincerely loving something that others merely see as a way to fill a few hours on a Sunday. You have to be okay knowing that yes, there are some people rolling their eyes at you. But just remember they don't always understand your connection to all of it. They don't realize how this team has gotten you through some really hard times. They probably can't see that it's provided a much-needed distraction for you when life hasn't gone your way. They may never understand, and that's okay. Because you know what's in your heart, and you know that it's something real. Your sincere love for this team has provided you with special moments where time stood still. It's helped you meet new friends that are now lifelong. Unfortunately, it's also the reason you've been so deeply disappointed when they got THAT close to winning it all, but came up short. And in what perhaps may be it's highest purpose, that sincerity has given some people an incredible memory with a dad, grandparent or other loved one that is no longer with them. A memory that they will cherish forever. But all of these moments, from the exhilarating wins to the disappointing losses, are what makes being a SuperFan so great. In a world of artificial, being a Superfan is sincerely the real deal. And that's why you wouldn't trade it for the world.

Welcome To NBKay.com

Welcome to my new website, NBKay.com! Spoiler alert: I'm no one special. I consider myself a Memphis Grizzlies SuperFan, but you won't find me sitting courtside or rubbing elbows with the Memphis elite. You'll usually find me in the terrace section of the Grindhouse, screaming my head off and holding up my Grizzly Weight Championship wrestling belt. I'm just a normal girl with an abnormal level of passion for grit and grind. And I was inspired to share my story with all of you. Not because my story is more important or more interesting than yours. I guarantee that the majority of the people reading this have far more exciting lives and important stories to tell. But I started thinking that maybe if I open up and share some of the things I'm passionate about, it will inspire all of you to do the same. My story is a work in progress and my life is far from perfect. And although I plan to write plenty about my favorite team, this isn't a Memphis Grizzlies fan site. NBKay.com is my personal website where I am free to be myself. This is a place where sincerely loving the heck out of something is appreciated and encouraged. I've come to the conclusion that being snarky is overrated. So I'm giving myself permission to be sincerely excited about the things I love. I hope you'll do the same. Thank you for giving me a shot.
Love,
Katee

"I ain't really lookin' to be no star. I'm
not a star. I'm just a blue-collar guy who work hard every day."
- Tony Allen