Memphis Tams Fan Memories

FROM A 1973 TAMS PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ROBERT "STEAMBOAT" FULTON: "Fans attending Tams home games do not have to look long or far to see that Memphis is a first class operation. It comes at you like Kelly green and California gold usually does. Upon entering the Mid-South Coliseum, a fan is sold a ticket and directed to the main arena by coliseum staffers outfitted by Charles O. Finley in green blazers, gold slacks and white shoes. He is then greeted by a pleasant smile worn by an usherette who is also wearing a gold, form-fitting body shirt, green hotpants and gold boots. He follows quite attentively if not awestruck as he is ushered (or usheretted) to his seat. During pauses in the action, a fan can watch the cheerleaders, or Tamerettes, if you please, kick and dance about in bright gold outfits trimmed in green. They wiggle and twist in step to a variety of musical sounds emitting from a 25-piece band, also decked out in Kelly green, naturally. Assorted concession items, including beer, are constantly hawked through the stands by green and gold clad vendors. And, for another ABA first, members of the stats crew on press row and the team's front office personnel are attired in green blazers with black slacks, gold ties and white shoes....Aside from their three sets of uniforms which are interchangeable into nine different color combinations, the Tams are beginning to resemble Finley's flamboyant Oakland A's in another respect. The players, coach and trainer are all sporting mustaches commensurate with a 'Mustache Night' promotion Finley has scheduled for February 25, 1973. Like those now famous mustaches worn by the A's, the Tams' facial growths will be worth dividends from Finley (i.e., a $300 suit of clothes and a sterling silver mustache spoon)."

MEMORIES OF KELLY BUSTARD: "When I was a freshman and sophomore at Memphis Catholic High School (1972-1974) my school band played at halftime and during time outs at Memphis Tams games. We split home games with the Hillcrest High School band. I have no idea how we got that opportunity... but its a fact! Our band director was a man named Richard Marstellar. Just another interesting ABA tidbit!"

MEMORIES OF BOBBY BLAIR: "I have lots of memories of the 1973-74 Tams team. Unfortunately, I have no memories of actual team victories or losses. But I do remember seeing "Baron" Adolph Rupp (I had seen him when he brought his Kentucky Wildcats team to play at Ole Miss, but this time he was in Memphis with the Tams); Wilt Chamberlain (who could believe such a big man could wear such great looking suits?); Dr. J (with his thundering dunks, he reminded me of Memphis State's Larry Kenon); and Randy Denton (who played summer league softball and routinely hit home runs so long that they went beyond the lights of the ball field)."

MEMORIES OF KIM EVANS: "I was a 13 year old basketball fan when I learned that Memphis would have an ABA team. They had a contest to name the team, with the winner to receive a grand prize that I very much wanted (although now I cannot remember what it was). After much thought, I sent in my nomination - the "Memphis Moccasins". Later, I read that they decided on the "TAMS." I was heartbroken. However, a few weeks later I received a letter from the organization thanking me for entering the contest, and giving me 2 free tickets to attend a Tams home game. I treasured those tickets, although I knew that it would be impossible for us to go all the way to Memphis from our home in Suttle, Alabama. My father took another job in Tuscaloosa, and low and behold we heard that the Teams were going to play the Kentucky Colonels in a pre-season exhibition game in Tuscaloosa's Memorial Coliseum! My Daddy took me, and after begging the man at the gate to accept our complimentary tickets, we were able to attend. I was on cloud nine. After rooting hard for the Tams for the first 5 minutes of the game, I quickly changed my allegiance over to the Colonels, awed by the performance of Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore."

MEMORIES OF PAUL G. ALEXANDER: "I grew up 100 miles from Memphis and was a big fan of the Pros, Tams and Sounds. I kept scrapbooks of clippings, yearbooks, game programs, and even owned stock in the Pros. I still have the official stock certificate somewhere. I took an old Zenith AM radio and strained to get Dick Palmer on WREC AM 60 in Memphis carrying the broadcasts.

The biggest day of my ABA life was going to Jackson, Tennessee, to see the Pros play a regional home game against the Floridians. The game was broadcast on WMC TV Channel 5, and I even made a sign to hang on the rail. After the game, I had the guts to just walk out on the floor and get autographs from Steve Jones and Babe McCarthy.

After Finley bought the team, I had the honor of meeting Adolph Rupp at a game and getting his autograph on his page in the Tams' yearbook.

One of the kids in the neighborhood got his dad to buy a real Rawlings ABA (Jack Dolph) ball......Freddy became a god.

As sophomoric as some of the players, uniforms, etc. may seem now, it was all so serious to us kids back then. Gerald Govan was a monster. Johnny Neumann needed a spanking and no dessert. Charles Finley REALLY meant well. Randy Denton was going to rule. And when the Sounds brought in the washed up remains of the was going to be the final piece needed to make Memphis for real. NOT."


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