Saturday, April 1, 2017

Those lovable Detroit homers

Earlier today, yours truly noticed a headline in the sports section of a Detroit area newspaper. It read (Detroit) Pistons fall to "lowly" (Milwaukee) Bucks. Well, let's see.

At last look, those lowly Bucks had been playing some pretty decent roundball of late. They currently sit in the middle of the NBA's eastern conference playoff field and might win a series or two before they're eliminated. Chances of a championship? Zero.

They're also 5-6 games ahead of the floundering Pistons, who have nose-dived out of playoff contention and seem to be getting worse by the day. Chances of a championship? Sub-zero. Brrr, and getting colder.

Milwaukee remains the main headquarters of Harley-Davidson and still pumps out a ton of beer. These are good things.

In their infinite wisdom, the people of Detroit would likely re-elect their former mayor, one Kwame Kilpatrick, if he could ever find a way out of that pesky 20+ year federal prison sentence on a variety of corruption charges he's currently serving. This is not such a good thing.

So who is "lowly" indeed here?

Incredibly, the Detroit Red Wings and their boosters still insist on calling the Big D of the North "Hockeytown". It remains painted on the ice at the soon to be shuttered Joe Louis Arena, home of the team. Why a professional hockey franchise in Detroit ever named their arena after an illiterate boxer from Alabama, that wound up punch drunk and broke, would seem to be a good question. But it's Detroit, after all. Go figure.

Though not along ago a force in the NHL, including winning a few Stanley Cups, the Red Wings have been living on the proverbial "borrowed time" in recent years. True, they kept their making the playoffs streak alive (until this year), but it meant little because fully half the teams in the league qualify for the post-season. You have to be pretty bad NOT to make it. But the Wings were also routinely blasted out of those same playoffs early on. They had basically been living in a form of purgatory. Not good enough to seriously contend, but not bad enough to get themselves into a position to draft a difference making young talent as we've seen other teams do of late.

Finally, they went into long-overdue "sell" mode and got rid of most of their half-way decent players. Few would doubt the "rebuild" is going to take a while. Already a bottom-feeder, the short term prognosis for the Red Wings in the next few years likely resembles that of the Titanic, post ice-berg. In other words -- not pretty.

How in the world the Detroit homers can still refer to their digs as "Hockeytown" is astonishing. These people are obviously delirious.

Have they not noticed in recent years that quality free agents from other teams have turned down MORE money offered by Detroit and would rather play elsewhere for less? "Anyplace but Detroit" would seem to be their line of reasoning. Definitely not a good sign for Motown, or what's left of it. Most of the auto companies bailed long ago.

Finally, just yesterday both these teams found a way to bring even more ridicule raining down on their weary incompetent heads.

A Red Wing got into a fight on the ice. OK, that happens in the NHL. But this guy not only got pummeled and taken to the ice by his opponent (see ass-whupping), he managed to break one of his own fingers in the process sidelining him for the rest of the season.

And the, ahem, not so "lowly" Pistons had a player pulled over for drunk driving and thrown into the slammer. A multi-millionaire that doesn't have the sense to call a cab, or is too cheap to hire a driver, even without a limo. What could that cost a year to have somebody drive his own car when he wants to go out and get loaded? Fifty grand tops? Lots of guys and/or gals would jump at that sort of gig. Chump change for a guy knocking down the big bucks HE is, but no, he just had to get behind the wheel. Idiot.

Of course, the NFL draft will roll around soon, and the Detroit Lions faithful will crow about what a killing they made. It happens every year. Maybe they'll even get a pick that can -- gasp -- start -- on a team with glaring needs everywhere to begin with. Imagine that. And they wind up going nowhere -- every year. But dammit, this is the one, they'll claim. Right.

Ah yes, just another day and season in the magical world of Detroit sports. The legendary Mr. T once likely put it best. You just have to -- "pity the fools".

Homers are like that.

The poor souls haven't a clue.

And likely never will.


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