Suns Retorter: The Outsiders
If you aren’t paying close attention before a game at the US Airways Center, you’ll probably miss it. It’s not meant to overshadow the other things going on at the same time. Come to think of it, it is kind of like the team itself, unassuming until you really pay attention.
It, is a highlight video played while the team is warming up prior to the national anthem. While the new retro player intro is getting all the attention, and rightfully so, it’s the other video that speaks to the team’s journey. The clips played in it are the same high-flying and intense ones we’ve all come to associate with this year’s Suns. But the song and its lyrics played behind them are what give the video it’s impact by providing a perfect description of the team.
The song is Eric Church’s The Outsiders, a collision of country and rock that describes the journey of a group not expected to do much in other’s eyes.
The song opens:
They’re the in crowd, we’re the other ones/It’s a different kind of cloth that we’re cut from
If that doesn’t describe the 2013-14 Suns to a tee, I’m not quite sure what does. According to the “experts” every team in the West was more “in” this season than they were. So much so that Grantland’s Jalen Rose said before the season “I feel bad for the Phoenix Suns fans. You’d much rather be playing in Lakers Purple and Gold than in Phoenix.”
The misplaced pity came from the fact that he and fellow pundits underestimated just what the guys on the roster were made of.
It’s not just one verse that coincidentally connected with the team either. Take this one from later in the song:
We’re the bad news/We’re the young guns/We’re the ones that they told you to run from/Yeah, the player’s gonna play, and a haters gonna hate/And a regulators born to regulate
The roster was built from guys cast off from other teams. A group of young players who other general managers had run from. P.J. Tucker had played for 10 teams in eight different countries in eight years. Gerald Green’s passport was almost as full. Miles Plumlee had played 55 NBA minutes before this season and Goran Dragic had actually been traded from the Suns once before. And that's just the starters.
Yet, having people expect next to nothing out of them, they’ve proven to be one of the best and most exciting stories in the league. They’ve already won almost twice as many games as they’ve expected and their play has warranted ESPN to televise several games.
Yep, they’re the outsiders. The team the most didn’t expect much from. The group of guys that have outworked and outhustled them all to give themselves a shot at something no one would have thought, the playoffs.