Since it’s Thanksgiving, I’m not going to be here very long today. But I want to take a couple minutes and add on to what Mr. Lung had to say yesterday.
Without a doubt we are very thankful to have readers who come visit us day after day. Without you, there wouldn’t be much point to what we do.
And despite the fact that this will inevitably be taken as a weakness and exploited by my friend and co-blogger in the very near future, I’m very thankful to have a buddy like Mr. Lung in my corner.
But as we work our way painfully through another NFL season and watch the Lions add to their incredible record of futility, I’m thankful for the Tigers and their ability to at least give us Michiganders a little hope. Victor Martinez may not be Pudge but maybe he’s the missing piece the Tigers have been lacking the past couple seasons. Point is, he’s hope. And hope is something in short supply these days, both in Michigan and the US.
So, enjoy your turkey and be careful as you navigate family that comes around once a year. Despite the potential landmines, it really is the start of the most wonderful time of the year.
Since the Tigers have absolutely no fight left in them, Detroit sports fans have to look elsewhere. And, in general, there hasn’t been much to look for. However, even though preseason doesn’t mean much as far as the record goes, it can show you if a team has fight or not. The good news is that if this video is accurate, the Lions just might have a little more fight in them than we’re used to as Detroit fans:
Ok, so it wouldn’t take much to show more fight than the victory a year the Lions have averaged over the past couple seasons. And, in general, I guess it would be nice if the fight didn’t lead to penalties and suspensions. But when you’re a Detroit fan, you take what you can get.
The best thing about being from Michigan is that you never know what’s coming next and, as a result, you always have something to look forward to. Michigan football goes down the crapper but Michigan State basketball makes two impressive and improbable runs in successive years. The Lions are consistently terrible but the Red Wings are consistently good. The Pistons miss the playoffs after a terrible season but the Tigers are quietly putting together a decent season on the backs of a bunch of young guys.
And if there’s one guy who personifies the ups and downs of the state, it’s former Detroit mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. The guy just goes from one extreme to the other.
Detroit may not be the city it used to be but you still have to have some clout to become mayor. Believing that same clout will then keep you out of trouble for cheating on your wife? That’s Kwame.
Losing your job but then managing to avoid jail and landing a plum job that requires nothing but showing up to work makes for an impressive second act. Pissing off the court by violating probation and getting yourself thrown in jail for five years? That’s Kwame.
And who knows what comes next? We could hope for economic recovery but that’s so blase. Me, I want to see the former mayor flee to Canada and become a grizzly bear wrestling champion under an assumed name. The Michigan Wolverine. That’s Kwame.
Even as the economy begins its long climb towards recovery, problems threaten to dislodge any toehold it has made and send it hurtling back to the base like Sisyphus’ stone. And if there’s any one problem that lies on peoples’ minds extra heavily, it’s the continued lack of jobs. Of course the government is creating programs to try and help with this problem but my personal feeling is that this is not so much an issue of people not having jobs as it is the wrong people still having jobs.
For instance, in Detroit, one of the hardest hit areas as far as job loss goes in the country, how is it that thousands of autoworkers no longer have jobs but an incompetent imbecile like Matt Millen manages to land on his feet? After turning an already dilapidated franchise into a synonym for failure, he blows town and winds up in Bristol, CT analyzing football for ESPN. Here’s my analysis. Millen is a bum and should be on the street peddling pencils at a dime a pop. Although I’m pretty sure he could find a way to turn that into a shambles as well.
However, if you live in Detroit and you’re a fan of the Detroit Tigers, you’re probably just as worried about who is employed as who isn’t. Since my analytical skills are pretty much limited to the aforementioned summary of Matt Millen, I’ll leave the real analysis to someone who knows what they’re doing:
“The Tigers are in trouble.” (scroll down to 23 November to read the full entry)
Yeah, I guess Paul pretty much summed it up right there. Sometimes it’s more about who does have a job than who doesn’t.
The Tigers may not be in as bad of shape as the Lions but there isn’t a whole lot to smile about in Motown these days, no matter where you’re coming from. And even though Dombrowski is no Matt Millen, he definitely faces an uphill battle in making the Tigers competitive. Let’s just hope he has a little more luck than Sisyphus.
As the postseason awards get handed out and as Yankees fans revel in what 1.4 billion dollars can do for you, those of us cheering for also-ran teams have to sit back and hope for better luck next year. Yep, next year could be the year when Verlander wins his Cy Young, Miguel Cabrera finally walks off with the MVP award and Jimmy Leyland and the Tigers win the Series. It’s not impossible.
But even if this is just a pipe dream, it’s still better than watching the Lions continue to redefine terrible, one loss at a time. We used to have the Pistons but they’re just ordinary anymore. And I suppose there are the Red Wings but I am not nor have I ever been Canadian so that just doesn’t do it for me.
The thing is that the Tigers have all the pieces. They’re just missing that elusive something, that killer instinct that could put them over the top. You don’t put that many Venezuelans on a team and not expect some sort of revolution. Expectations are about all we have these days, though.
This whole process is kind of like that old song about playing right field. You daydream about the ideal situation and everything coming together but then something wakes you up and you face the truth, the terror of a baseball hurtling your way. For me, that something is one of my favorite Twitter streams, Sh!tMyDadSays. And if you scroll down to the tweet on October 8th, you’ll see what I mean. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
Hope springs eternal, though. And in case you’ve forgotten the song, the kid ultimately ends up making the catch out in right field. Who knows? Maybe next year the Tigers will get the good news that Justin’s dad thinks they deserve. But I’m betting on god taking another dump in the parking lot.
At this very moment, as I sit here writing this blog a long, long way from Comerica Park, the Tigers are attempting to sew up the AL Central title. But I’m worried. Very worried. I mean, there are the usual reasons as I explained the other day but this time there’s a much more relevant reason. Comerica Park is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Now, I don’t know that the SI cover jinx applies to ballparks or cities but why would SI even risk it? It’s not as though the Detroit (or the state of Michigan for that matter) has anything else going for it. Yeah, the Lions may have finally won and the University of Michigan has eked out some close victories. But that’s no reason to be going around messing with curses. That’s some potent stuff.
I’m not really a superstitious man. I mean, it’s not my fault that my teams do better when I don’t watch them. That’s just how it is. But the SI cover? That’s fact. Just like the Madden cover is fact for the NFL. I don’t buy all this “regression from the mean,” scientific mumbo-jumbo. I believe what I see and what I see is that Sports Illustrated jinxes people by placing them on the cover.
And when you take all of this to its (il)logical extreme, does this mean that all the people sitting in the stands when the picture of the park was taken are jinxed, too? Thanks a lot, Sports Illustrated. Just what Detroit needs: more bad luck.
I have an idea, though. I’m inviting you, SI, to come visit Detroit with me. I have a beautiful old building with a very special elevator shaft I’d love to show you. Make sure you dress warm.
The pessimist in me always begins to worry when people write good things about the teams I support. So, when I read Gordon Edes’ Yahoo! Sports column earlier today, I immediately threw some salt over my shoulder, made a blood sacrifice and purchased gypsy tears to guard against the evil eye. It’s nice to get some recognition and he did hit some of the right notes, pointing out the seeming flaws in the Tigers’ system and why they shouldn’t necessarily be in first. But then he turns around and jinxes them by also pointing out what they’re doing well. It’s just not right.
I’ve mentioned it many times before but Detroit has so little going for it that the last thing we Michiganders need is to get our hearts broken once again. We could laugh about the Lions. But the Pistons? The Red Wings? If the Tigers go into the All-Star break in first place and then slowly bleed it away over the remainder of the season, it’s going to be killer.
How killer, you ask? Well, considering that Tigers fans are already jumping off buildings near the stadium despite the team being hot, it ain’t going to be pretty when the collapse comes along. However, if there is one thing we do well, it’s that we die hard. Did you happen to notice that line in the story about how the person fell three stories and was still texting? Yeah, that’s how we roll. Unfortunately, there’s still no coming back being frozen solid at the bottom of an elevator shaft, though.