A symbol of postseason basketball in Memphis, the Growl Towels are made by the Nashville-based company, Something Inked
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nothing says playoff basketball in Memphis quite like the Growl Towels.
Draped on every seat at FedExForum before every home playoff game, these cloth collectibles are the fibers that link the excitement of today's Grizzlies all the way back to the team's first playoff appearance in 2004.
"We won 50 games that year. It was amazing," said John "Pugs" Pugliese, Grizzlies vice president of marketing and broadcast. "All the lint started coming off the towels."
An immediate hit, they were a no-brainer to bring back as the Grit N' Grind era began.
"We went beyond your headlines and tag lines and started to reflect what the players were saying and feeling," Pugliese said. "And that reflection was back on the city."
Since 2010, the Nashville-based printing company, Something Inked, has brought the towels to life.
"We're given anywhere between 2-3 days notice per game ahead of time," said Bill Feldberg, executive vice president of business development at Something Inked. "So not a lot of time to get the towels printed and delivered and get them there for the stadium set."
When the next home game isn't guaranteed, the entire staff waits at their facility. When the final buzzer sounds, their printing presses kick into high gear.
"While it's a lot of work, it's one of the things we actually look forward to," Feldberg said. "The Grizzlies towel is a pretty iconic piece for us, and something we're proud to be a part of."
Something that has become engrained in the culture of Memphis. It's something to display, to collect, or used to show off your spirit. Emily Easley brought her husband's towel collection to Grahamwood Elementary, so her first grade class could record a video for Grizzlies Spirit Day.
"My husband said please make sure you take really good care of them," Easley said.
Their 10-month-old son, Emmett, is experiencing the playoffs for the first time.
"I want to show him like this is where it all started," she said. "We can show him the Core Four and Ja Morant when he first started out. So hopefully we get a lot more towels with this playoff run."
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