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.
No reader of this blog wonders about my feelings towards the Yankees. My opinions have been as unequivocally clear as they are opaque when it comes to my politics. But even I can still be surprised by the depths to which the Evil Empire will sink.
Now, admittedly I take this a little more personally because, despite my distaste for his team, Derek Jeter hails from the same part of southwest Michigan where I grew up. I won’t say I like the guy but I respect him as a baseball player and I respect anyone who can escape from that particular corner of hell. To go from the cornfields of Kalamazoo to dating Esquire’s sexiest woman alive, well, that means something.
In general, I support baseball’s modernization. Free agency, although
it means players move around a bit, hasn’t killed the game. But if this Steinbrenner ploy leads to Jeter
wearing something other than pinstripes? Even I think that’s wrong. However, if
it were to drive a wedge between him and Minka and somehow send her my
way, I guess I could get behind that.
In the middle west of our fair country, we hold many things sacred. A short list would have to include potluck dinners, the right to call soda by its Michigan name, pop, and knowing the correct form for tipping over a sleeping cow. We also used to hold college football sacred but now I’m beginning to wonder.
Sure, we’re in the middle of baseball season right now and there’s plenty to enjoy. The Tigers aren’t too far behind, Strasburg finally made his move and there’s even a chance I might get to see him pitch against the White Sox next week. Forgive me if I’m not just a little bit distracted, though, by the news coming out of Big Ten land.
Personally, I still think it’s a little bit of a travesty that the conference added Penn State but decided to keep calling itself “The Big Ten,” only paying lip service to the true arithmetic by getting all cutesy with the logo. But now they’re going to add Nebraska, too? Don’t get me wrong, I understand the pressure that exists in big time college sports and adding a team like Nebraska is definitely going to help the revenue stream. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, though.
On the bright side, at least when they picked a team that starts with “N” they avoided the confusingly named Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. I mean, they do realize that the name of the school is French but the mascot is a tiny Irishman, right?
I guess it’s inevitable and I should probably get over it. It just seems strange that as a Big Ten team you definitely won’t play all the other Big Ten teams. It’s like being in the National League but never playing the Dodgers. Where’s the sense in that?
Now that I’ve said my piece, it’s time to get back to another couple things we hold dear in the Midwest: Beer and stoicism. I think I’ll hold off on the meth, though.
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.
It’s Friday. I’m fried. I’m about to fly to Michigan.
So, today all you get is this video. Consider it commentary on the state of race relations in America. Consider it positive or negative. You can definitely consider it a revolutionary workout.
Happy Friday! Let’s all get out there and do some triple-dubbin’!
Sometimes hating a team takes almost as much effort as loving one. For me, even during the long, dry spells, it has never been hard to support my Michigan teams. I’ve been a Lions fan my whole life except for a brief fascination with the Bears as a result of the Super Bowl Shuffle. I was never much of a hockey fan but if I am going to cheer, there’s no way I’ll cheer for anyone but the Red Wings.
Supporting one team often means detesting another, though. Michigan football is one of my main reasons for getting up on Saturdays during the fall but the thought of watching Notre Dame lose can get me moving, too. When I was little I liked the Pistons but that also meant I detested the Bulls. Sure, Jordan was great and all but I even found it hard to truly appreciate him since he was wearing all that red.
However, despite my love of the Tigers, I’ll be the first to admit that my hatred of the Yankees doesn’t make all that much sense. The Tigers and the Yankees don’t have much of a rivalry and there isn’t much to justify my feelings. It might make more sense if I felt this way about the White Sox but the fact still stands; I hate the Yankees.
So, it was particularly painful for me the other day to learn that my feelings, although normal, are not as widespread as I assumed. Despite what you would think, the Yankees are not the most hated team in baseball, at least according to ESPN and the Wall Street Journal.
Sure, they may be walking it back a little now saying that it’s just fans’ responses to the opening of the season. But hearing even for a second that the Yankees are not as hated as I believed strikes fear in my heart. How could I be so wrong? And so alone? How could anyone dislike Cleveland more than the Yankees? The Indians are barely even a baseball team.
Sure, my dislike of certain teams may not be good for me and may be doing horrible things to my blood pressure. But when it comes to most of them, there’s a very good reason. And even when there’s not, the hate still feels good. Yeah, I’m talking to you, A-Rod.
Several years ago I went through a Frank Lloyd Wright phase. I think it was a combination of reading Ayn Rand and Wright’s embrace of a design style that was completely different from the humdrum ordinariness of the Midwest to which I had grown accustomed. And it also had a lot to do with his masterpiece, Fallingwater. The thing that really set it apart was the waterfall. Who wouldn’t want to have a house built on a waterfall?
Today I still think the house looks amazing and I still love the idea of a house built on a waterfall.
But then I discovered the true definition of amazing:
That’s right. Tom Selleck+Sandwiches+Waterfalls. What does it equal? Nothing short of life-changing. Add in the fact that this particular picture features one of Michigan’s finest wearing the old English “D” alongside a sandwich made of pastrami, god’s gift to the deli counter, and I think we can all agree that we may have discovered the answer to that age-old question, What is the meaning of life?
I know this is all a bit heavy for a Friday afternoon but I hope you can still enjoy your weekend even while contemplating the awe-inspiring brilliance of Selleck, Waterfall, Sandwich.
–Thanks to L for the Selleck/Waterfall/Sandwich link