Saturday, March 18, 2017

Michael Rosenberg's incredible whine

Dear Mr. Rosenberg knows a thing or two about Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, long the home of the Detroit Red Wings. Mikey worked at the Detroit Free Press for many years before joining the staff of Sports Illustrated as a "senior writer". That term sounds odd in itself, given Rosenberg isn't age eligible for AARP, much less Social Security, and since when does a guy jump into a new scribe job only to be conferred the title of "senior writer"?

Nevertheless, Mikey recently penned a feature article for SI in which he pointed out all the shortcomings of the Joe, and why it's past time the Red Wings deserve a sparkling new arena. Most of it is laughable, but given it was written by one that evidently feels a sense of great entitlement, perhaps understandable. In no particular order, consider the following---

Joe Louis Arena smells too much like beer. Well gee, Mikey, this is Motown, not the upper East Side of Manhattan. People in Detroit are pretty much blue collar folks, and have always liked their beer -- a lot. You won't see them indulging in too many of those limp-wristed pansy drinks with the sissy little umbrellas sticking out of them. And besides, the Joe is for hockey, not a French fashion show, with $500 an ounce perfume available on tap. You know, the game where the players crash into each other at high speeds, routinely take stitches, and lose their front teeth? Yeah, that game. So yes, a beer smell is more than appropriate. It's called "atmosphere".

Rosenberg laments there is but one loading dock in the entire building. Well then. How many did they need? Supplies come in, trash goes out. One is sufficient.

Oh wait, the Red Wings' equipment manager doesn't have a big enough headquarters. He has different rooms on different stories of the building to keep all the team necessities. Again, if the dude knows where everything is, seems happy with the situation, and gets it to the players when they want or need it -- what difference does it make?

Rosenberg wondered why anybody would build a riverfront arena with no windows. Only a pompous sort that hasn't had to pay much attention to reality would pose such a naive query. But here's the obvious answer ---

People came to the Joe and paid exorbitant prices to see a -- need he be reminded -- hockey game. What do they need windows for? And what would they see outside if they were even present? Most games are played at night, so they could gaze out at the Detroit river, which they wouldn't be able to see in the darkness, and notice the bright lights of Windsor on the other side. The river has a lot of fish in it, and probably more than a few human skeletons lying on the bottom, to go along with boat traffic tooting their horns occasionally. And while they're sightseeing at all those non-visible things, the roar they hear behind them likely means the Red Wings scored. Oops, they missed it. If you want windows, talk to Bill Gates. Microsoft's got layers upon layers of them. But in the meantime, what good are they at a hockey arena other than to lead one astray from the real action?

But the most ridiculous part of Rosenberg's whine-a-thon came when he talked about the press box at the Joe. Too crowded, he whimpered.

Well, let's see. Since leaving the Freep, which busted their union a while back, Rosenberg got a hefty raise by going to SI. And the perks are off the charts. Mikey gets to fly first class all over the country, and sometimes world, in his pursuit of stories. He also stays in first-class hotels, has his dinner and entertainment/bar tabs, any rent-a-cars, and taxi fares taken care of by his publication. Plus, like other media, he gets in free to the arena, some of the best viewing seating in the house, and any food/drinks he wants while "on the job" comped as well. This is a pretty sweet gig.

But not good enough for Mikey. Heaven forbid he should actually have to -- horrors!! -- come in physical contact (rub elbows) with other scribes, particularly those low-life locals like he used to be. Too crowded? Please. The man obviously forgot where he came from. It happens sometimes when people experience just enough success where they start getting cocky -- and feeling entitled to royal treatment. This does not normally play well amid the down-trodden masses (see Detroit fans), foolhardy and gullible as they may be.

In another part of his article, Rosenberg mentioned the concourses at Joe Louis were too narrow. That raises an interesting question. How would he know, having gained free admittance through the press gate and whisked up to the press box by an elevator?

Also a whine about not enough rest rooms. OMG, the men's even had troughs for urinals. Well, so what? Men at sporting events typically couldn't care less about taking a whiz alongside their fellow drunken fans. The main thing is getting to go at all when you have to. The availability is a lot faster with those troughs than it would be with individual facilities. Plus, it's cost effective. One trough costs a heck of a lot less than 20 urinals. Uses a lot less water too. All those thousands of flushes aren't necessary.

And while we're on that subject, maybe the women should have the same experience. If they want to go to a DEE-TROIT hockey game, they should woman up and squat over troughs themselves. A little humility and team spirit couldn't hurt.

Outrageous, you say? Nonsense. Seeing as how the Wings would appear to be little better than NHL cellar dwellers in the near future, they could use a little livening up in their new arena. What better way to do it than have a roof panel open up and occasionally drop an octopus (which the Joe was famous for) -- splash -- into that same women's communal urinal while they're congregated together in their unholy communion? Surprise!!! That would most DEFINITELY get the fairer sex into the game, as it were. Plus, it would certainly speed up the process for those still waiting in line.

Even the wimpy Michael Rosenberg might appreciate such a forward-thinking feat of engineering.

And if he keeps writing such limp-wristed articles, perhaps that would be the very rest room where he should squat to tend to his business anyway.

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