After a smoking start to the second half, the Tigers have seen their fortunes wane. Ok, they’ve sucked. Sure, they’re only a couple games behind the White Sox but when you’re playing in a division as bad as the AL Central, that’s not really saying a whole lot. Detroit could still make the playoffs and even if they don’t, it’s probably still safe to say that they’re the best team in the Central. That being said, Detroit has become known for quite a few things as of late but they don’t tend to be baseball related.
If the Tigers do make the postseason, you may find yourself in the position of visiting Windsor’s American cousin sometime this fall. And although Detroit does have a few well-known monuments like the giant tire and the River Rouge plant, it’s easy to find yourself wondering where you are. Since we here at RSBS would hate for you to be unaware of where you are, today we provide you with guide to identifying that you have arrived to Detroit.
Well, not yet. But if Mark Siwak gets his way, Detroit may soon be known for its roaming zombie hoards. This isn’t all bad as the plan could provide a boost to the city’s GDP. It could also increase the city’s DNA with all those body parts strewn about.
The most successful cities develop clusters that support and develop the culture and economy of an urban area. London and New York are known for their clusters of financial whizzes while the area around San Francisco has developed a reputation for tech know-how and venture capital. Detroit? Well, it has clusters, too. Clusters of feral dogs. Chances are that if you are attacked by a pack of wild dogs in a major US city, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re in Detroit.
Despite everything else, Detroit has become somewhat unrecognizable as of late due to the arrival of something more foreign than zombies or wild dogs. Hope. The auto industry received a bail-out just when it seemed that Detroit’s last economic life-line was being cut. The University of Michigan not only had a winning football season but also managed to beat Ohio State for the first time in seven years. And the Detroit Lions, the holders of the only 0-16 record in NFL history, actually made the playoffs last year. That’s even more hope-y and change-y than Barack Obama.
Hopefully we’ll see you in Detroit this fall for some postseason baseball. If so, you’ll now be able to come prepared to identify where you are.
“Ideology is just a pejorative word for principles in which you happen not to believe.”
–The Economist, 11 February 2012
Ideology colors everything. For the dyed-in-the-wool conservative, Obama’s healthcare plan is a socialist plot that threatens the very foundation of the United States. For the liberal, it’s a half-assed compromise that sells out to big business and especially insurance companies. In reality, it’s the first step toward reining in out of control healthcare spending that simultaneously provides a laughable level of actual service.
And ideology goes further than that, filtering everything through a lens of principles and beliefs. This is fine to a certain extent when the debate is constructive and leads to better proposals and more responsive policies. But when ideology goes too far, it leads to a total lack of common sense.
For instance, take the uproar over Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad. Setting aside the fact that Clint Eastwood is apolitical at best, it’s hard to see how this car ad could be taken as anything but a commentary on the tough economic conditions Americans have faced over the past few years and how Chrysler wants them to know that they went through the same thing. Look at it again:
Me, I see a pretty darn effective car commercial. But conservatives see a hidden campaign for Obama’s re-election while liberals interpret it as anti-union. It makes me wonder what they’d see in last year’s Chrysler Super Bowl commercial:
Xenophobia? Racism? Socialism?
Here’s what I think. Detroit is a metaphor for America. And Detroit has had a rough decade. But Detroit hasn’t given up. Look at the Tigers and Lions. Look at the new line of Fords. Hell, look at what Chrysler is turning out. That, my friends, has nothing to do with ideology. It has everything to do with inspiration.
He’s larger than life. He’s estranged from his father. He could possibly eat his body weight in donuts. And he’s all ours!
Detroit has fallen in love with Prince Fielder and it seems like the feeling is mutual. Me? I couldn’t be happier. One of the happiest memories of my childhood was watching Prince’s daddy crush a ball that flew out of old Tiger Stadium, right over me, my brother and my dad. You don’t forget that kind of thing. And now we can go relive it in Comerica Park with Prince doing the honors. It just feels right.
At the same time, I’m a little worried. The baseball world hasn’t been this giddy about the Tigers since 2008 when they were shoo-ins to win the World Series. Shoo-ins, that is, until they ended up falling flat on their face right out of the gate. This team is too good to fail but, well, if there’s anything we’ve learned in the past few years it’s that nothing is too anything to fail.
All that aside, I’m excited about 2012. It’s an election year, the Lions should be even better next season and now the Tigers have made a move that in retrospect seems brilliant, even if no one saw it coming. Verlander and Fister. Prince and Miggy. You can forgive me for feeling a little giddy.
I remember how excited I was when the Tigers beat the Yankees in the playoffs. If you take the inverse of that, it’s about how I felt after the Lions lost last night. The thing about Detroit and Detroit sports is that despite all this talk of a Detroit renaissance, it keeps falling a little short.
The Tigers made the playoffs and beat the Yankees in spectacular fashion but then barely showed up against the Rangers. The Lions look nothing like the 0-16 laughing stock they used to be but after getting trounced by the Saints in the playoffs, they obviously have a ways to go.
No, the fact of the matter is that Detroit is still Detroit and, at this point, its best years are somewhere in the past. In fact, it’s completely possible that this is the moment where Detroit peaked:[youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFt6MyiVx54]
…but I sure hope not.
It has been an up and down kind of week. The Lions got smacked by the Bears on Sunday but then Verlander goes out and gets a unanimous Cy Young award win. Wilson Ramos got himself kidnapped in Venezuela but then he went and got himself rescued as well. Like I said, it has been up and down.
Luckily, during the down times, there’s always one place I can go to feel better: the highway.
Seriously, could anything make you feel better than the Russian motorcycle sidecar band?
Actually, there probably is one thing. Winning a prize from Crown Royal by proving that you’re RSBS‘ biggest fan. We’re still waiting for more of those pictures so get out there and show us your RSBS spirit!
I’ve never understood the religious conservatives’ fascination with what goes on in the bedroom. It took until 2003 for the Supreme Court to strike down a Texas law prohibiting sodomy and even today, despite the overturning of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and multiple polls showing that a majority of Americans now support a homosexual couples’ right to marry, these same religious conservatives continue to use people’s private lives as a wedge to drive us apart.
So, what’s truly going on here? Do they really feel so strongly about what goes where behind closed doors or is there something more to it?
Sadly, it seems to be the latter even though it has also become cliche. Take the story of Roberto Arango, for instance. The nadir of this sordid tale isn’t so much the part where the guy who opposes gay adoption rights posts naked pictures of himself spreading his cheeks on the internet. No, it’s the excuse that follows: “You know I’ve been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I’ve been taking pictures.”
But there’s always an excuse, isn’t there? There’s an excuse for how the gay porn shot ended up on a site called Grindr just like there’s an excuse for why people’s private lives should be legislated. If you left it up to people like Rick Santorum and Tim Tebow, everyone would wait until they were married to have sex (heterosexual, of course) and even then, it would only be missionary and with the lights off. Yes, this is the same Tim Tebow who kissed a guy full on the lips after the biggest (and only) victory of his NFL career.
It’s the height of hypocrisy because the same guys who tell you what you can and can’t do in the privacy of your bedroom will get full up in your face if you question why they feel the need to flaunt their faith in front of everyone on the field and millions of TV viewers. They call it their “testimony” but I call it hypocrisy and it’s that hypocrisy that makes the “Tebowing” phenomenon so hilarious. It’s what makes me laugh whenever I see a replay of Stephen Tulloch sacking Tebow then dropping to a knee to “Tebow” right next to him. It’s also what makes me crazy when people start going off on Tulloch and calling him “un-Christian” because of the move. Get out of our bedrooms and get off of Tulloch’s case.
Ultimately, the Republicans and especially the religious zealots of the party would be better served if they took a moment and listened to Clint Eastwood. When asked about gay marriage by GQ, he responded, “We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of.”
Now that, my friends, is a true patriot. Too bad no one actually listens to him. Not like they do Tebow, at least. On the bright side, though, if Tebow continues to play the way he did against the Lions, the only testimony he’ll provide is how quickly a QB can get bounced out of the NFL.
There is a movement coming. Axel Foley is coming.
I’ve been trying to get over my most recent trampoline accident and my cat circus just went bankrupt… BUT!!! One of my favorite cites (DETROIT) is having a renaissance. I got Iraqi, German and Chicago in me, yes. But I’m thinking that maybe I watched Beverly Hills Cop too many times and listened to too much Motown, because I got definitely got some Detroit in me too. In fact, I feel the need to go undercover to find out what Detroit’s new secret is. Maybe in drag?!?!
If those Chrysler ads don’t pump you up then YOU HAVE NO SOUL. I want cars that talk back to you. DETROIT CAN GIVE YOU THAT! And I want a lot of things back in my life. I want sideburns back. I want Paul Reiser and Judge Reinhold back. And though I don’t smoke, I want people to bring smoking indoors back!!!
This song has nothing to do with Axel Foley, nor the Motor City, but something about it makes me feel like I’m in the mitten. (Or is Michigan a glove?) Anyway, it gets me pumped up for my second city so much that when I hear it I can’t help but take a swig of a cold Samuel Jackson before pouring a little out for Jack Kevorkian and Gilda Radner. (I was going to mention Barry Gordy here but I just googled him and he’s still alive!!!)
The freaks are coming out! Lions, Tigers, and Wolverines …oh my! This is the best gift life could ever give our fellow RSBS writer, Allen.
The Tigers!!! Verlander makes me woozy. Miguel Cabrera is the Natural. And bad@$$ Jim Leyland is The Marlboro Man! If Sam Elliott had turned down his role in The Big Lebowski, the Coen Brothers would have had ol man Leyland on the phone in a jiffy.
His Tigers can do it all. And if you want, they can also chain you to a wall in a sex dungeon and make you watch two octogenarians go at it with mayonnaise all over them. NOW THAT’S PROGRESS.
Michigan State basketball couldn’t save Michigan but Emmmminnneeemmmm, the Lions and Verlander will by golly.
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All it took was a new NFL collective bargaining agreement to make my globetrotting and oft voguish colleague, Mr. Allen Krause (9 year-old version pictured above), rejoice like he was at a Justin Bieber concert. Now that we know there will be football, Mr. Krause can use his soon-to-be Detroit Tigers disappointment as a perfect segue into yet another Detroit Lions season of disappointment.
The world will be good.
Still, I have a hard time congratulating a group of unionized millionaires on doing what they should have done to begin with. I know the owners were skimming and scheming, but these things need to be addressed and taken care of PRIOR to a lockout, PRIOR to pissing off a Joe Six-Pack fan base, PRIOR to holding my sports news hostage.
DIDN’T THEY LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE 1994 MLB STRIKE!?!?!
Look, I nearly died in ’94. I was crushed like a man forced to watch his lover in bed with another man. I went so far as to QUIT baseball for the entire 1995 season. If it weren’t for an Albert Belle sized tub of syringes and a jheri curl renaissance, I might still be hootin’ and hollerin’ over the CICL.
But, as is usually the case, no one cares how we, the fans, feel. As long as we keep schleppin’ out the dough, sports franchises and the athletes who make them will continue to spit on us. Because they can.
And, I can attest, a certain Mr. Krause would be the very first in line with a pocketfull of benjamins for some Matt Stafford lugeys.
Hate me. It’s cool. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
What’s your favorite throwback jersey?
I feel like this question could have been better addressed by Jeff. Without a doubt, he would have said it was one of those old-timey woolen uniforms, perhaps even that of his beloved-like-an-adopted-child AL team, the Chicago White Stockings:
But me, I look for something a little more timeless. I’m not talking Pittsburg Pirates timeless, either, as in, ugly no matter what era it exists in:
No, what I have in mind is something simple and elegant, like Carey Grant in a tuxedo:
Surprisingly enough, that combination of simplicity and elegance in sports finds itself draping the frames of the very definition of futility, the Detroit Lions:
Hey, they may not be good but at least they can look good doing it.
There you have it. My favorite throwback, the Detroit Lions.
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The only thing worse than supporting a team that loses all the time is supporting a team that doesn’t even put up a fight. I’m fairly open about the fact that I’m a Lions fan and as anyone who watches football knows, that’s a painful cross to bear. But a couple years ago, when they set a modern record for futility in losing every single game, they at least put up a fight. The seasons where they went 2-14 and, despite winning a couple games, it was obvious they just didn’t care, that was much worse. Honestly, I’ll take 0-16 over that any day.
This is why it’s also frustrating to follow US politics. It’s not so much seeing the democrats flounder away the high ground in all this budget mess or even seeing the republicans bully their way back into control of the House. It’s the absolute lack of fight in the democrats. Sure, there’s some occasional posturing but even that only serves to remind me of this:
I’m sure there are multiple reasons for this. Ok, not so much for the Pakistani boxer but for the democrats inability to stand up for themselves. According to one study, democrats systemically favor compromise. Honestly, that’s all right. That’s how government happens. But there’s a difference between compromising to keep the government running and compromising your basic principles.
Last year democrats finally showed some cojones when they jammed through the health care overhaul. They looked for compromise, they worked with their republican colleagues to come up with something that both sides could appreciate but at the end of the day, they finally made a stand. For that we can thank Obama.
And that’s the one thing that gives me hope in the current mess. Sure, the democrats lost control of the House. Yes, the republicans claim that they won’t stop pushing until health care is repealed and the US becomes some sort of Ayn Rand themed fantasy-land. But like the health care debate, democrats only seem to find their backbone when Obama enters the fracas. If recent microphone “slips” can be believed, it looks like the president might getting ready to once again ride that snake.
You know, I could deal with the Lions going 0-16. At the end of the day, football isn’t life and death. I don’t accept the democrats going 0-16 or even 2-14, though. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that Obama gets his colleagues to realize it’s time to win one for the Gipper.