11
Jun
08

ESPN.com Officially Staffed By Douchebags

Here’s a short little item. I’m not sure what to make of ESPN.com’s Open Letter To Detroit. I’m also not entirely sure why Detroit is the town that catches their ire, and why they somehow need to give the ultimate back-handed compliment on the Wings’ championship. And why is Ted Bauer the champion chosen to lead the charge against us? To point out that the Tigers are in serious trouble and that the Lions sucks is sort of like pointing at the sky and going “It’s blue” or scrolling through their website and going “Look at all these has-and-never-beens.” – it takes no effort. And while ESPN.com seems to think the majority of us are oblivious to the Piston’s issues, we are all well aware that the Pistons are a source of great concern, as we wonder how exactly this team is going to look when it takes to the court next season. Not satisfied with that, Ted Bauer decides that he needs to take shots at everything from U of M football to the Shock. That’s correct, dear reader – Ted Bauer is such a miserable prick that not even the Shock can escape his completely unprovoked wrath. Thankfully, the Flint Generals managed to escape his somewhat unfocused targeting system. How unfocused? How about jumping from sports to local events, like the ever-embarrassing Kwame. Hell, the guy even brings the whole “murder capitol” thing into the equation. Why not toss in a few remarks about rioting or burning cars at the Wings’ victory parade? Be hip and trendy.

Maybe Mr. Bauer is a Buckeye. That would certainly make things much more clear – and would also explain the Shock overkill. Perhaps he’s just sick of the Red Wings, and in venting over our excitement to welcome Stanley back, he decided a low-blow was the best way to do the most damage. Of course, all he has done is pour lemon juice in the wound. As I stated, we all know how the local sports scene is looking, and while the teams themselves may be in trouble, one thing Bauer failed to recognize in his rant was that Detroit is largely seen as the sports town because of its fans. While we may know our teams are in trouble, we still go to the games. We still sell out Ford Field, and it took years for the Tigers to start feeling the lack of love from it’s fans before things got good again in ’06. The Pistons have always had a devoted fanbase, which has only grown stronger over time. If anything, the only fans you might be able to attack are Wings fans, who sometimes are more quiet and contemplative – or, because businesses get tickets moreso than actual fans, a few empty seats. Fine. I can understand that. But to carpet-bomb Detroit, and eventually reaching out to sports outside the Detroit zone, it comes off as little more than an ametuer-hour attempt to get something, anything thrown together in order to meet the ESPN.com deadline – assuming they have such a concept, taking the quality of the articles into consideration. I’m sorry that ESPN.com is located in New Jersey, and that your only connection to sports is the Devils, the Nets, and a parasitic connection to New York City, but that’s hardly Detroit’s fault. I’m sorry that Paramus never be in contention for “Best Sports Town”. But there is simply no reason for this sort of attack, and aside from making a lot of people angry, which I’m sure was the goal, you’ll probably be disappointed when we let this slide off our backs in quick fashion. One of the other beauties of being a big sports town is that we even have our own local asshole sports reporters, and that means that Ted Bauer will live in our collective consciousness for about the next day or two, then we’ll return to being angry at the likes of Drew Sharp and Mitch Albom. Begone, Bauer.

09
Jun
08

A Tale Of Two Boos: The Wings Parade

Detroit is a pretty phenomenal sports town.  Prehaps the best.  We named ourselves Hockeytown, we are a city of baseball junkies, a town that year after year touts the Pistons’ almost super-heroic ability to “win under pressure” (a lie that has kept us comfortable for four seasons now) and don’t you forget that every year we band together for the communal wrist-cutting that is the next Lions season.  And while we laugh along with outsiders who make their comments on our losing franchises, one thing we do not tolerate is when one of our own doesn’t pull the company line and suggest we’re still the best sports town around. Currently learning this lessson is Katrina Hancock, local sportscaster for WDIV. Poor Katrina has come under some pretty heavy fire in town, getting simply showered with boos and various curses at the Wings’ victory parade last Friday. Why the attacks? Because Katrina crossed that line I mentioned, and dared to suggest that Pittsburgh’s fans were better than Detroit’s fans. Here’s a LINK to the brutal mistake.

What a stupid mistake. And fans around here can get pretty rabid, so expect this to remain in the local consciousness for a long, long time. Worse yet, while a select few knew about this on Friday, it seems everyone in town has heard it this morning. As I type this, Mike In The Morning is broadcasting the clip and having a big ol’ discussion. I have to wonder if she’ll say anything or if WDIV would go so far as to let her go, not that I’m looking for her to lose her job. People take stuff like this too seriously, and even if she meant it, I don’t think it’s required that everyone in Detorit or involved in local sports reporting necessarily has to be a Detroit slappy. Besides, Kartina Hancock is awfully hot, even though at 6’3″, she tends to tower over everyone she interviews. She’d definately lead if you danced with her.

And speaking of boos and the home-town crowd, let us take a moment for poor Kwame Kilpatrick. While I understand his presence at the Wings’ parade (he still is Mayor of the city, after all), I question his decision to chat it up with the folks in attendance. The crowd reacted to his introduction and speech with a near-deafening wall of boos and hissing that filled Hart Plaza and came over loud and clear on many of the television and radio stations’ coverage of the event. Kwame delivered what had to have been the shortest speech he has ever given in his entire professional career. During the minute-long talk, Kwame tried so hard to get the crowd to cheer, referencing the Wings’ star players, the Stanley Cup victory, and even a rallying call for Detroit Pride – nothing doing, however. The crowd had one message to deliver in the middle of the good times, and Kwame had no choice but to hear it, and the effect on him was obvious. I imagine that as his voice cracked and he stumbled over his words in order to get off the stage ASAP, Kwame wished he could hire a few hundred thousand or more bodyguards, so he could shove the entire crowd, en masse, as if each and every one of them was Steve Wilson. While the spin is certainly trying to do its best to make it seem like this even was no big deal, there was no hiding what happened. I’ll assume that any following public apperance that isn’t limited to the hand-picked Kwame Supporters will have this similar reaction. Rough road ahead, Kwame – and where’s my beer?




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