Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Now comes the big test.
The city of Detroit got through All-Star week, passing with flying colors.
People loved us. The media praised us as everything went off without a hitch.
But there was no snow, no 10 degree days, no bored media members spending a week here wishing they were in San Diego or New Orleans.
Super Bowl XL next February is the big test. That is when many of Detroit's demons could be exposed. If it passes that test it could go a long way toward cleaning up the cities' image.
The American League beat the National League 7-5 Tuesday night in the 76th annual All-Star game at Comerica Park. But that is not important.
What is important is Detroit is one of the nation's hot sports cities. Recently we hosted two NBA Finals, the Ryder Cup, a bowl game, a sold out crowd at Ford Field where Michigan State and Kentucky played.
Upcoming is the Super Bowl, an NCAA basketball regional, the return of hockey and of course the Final Four.
When you look at the land scape of sports Detroit is right there with New York and Boston in regards to best sports cities.
On Tuesday's Sports Inferno I said Detroit was the third best sports city behind Boston and New York. As I think about it Detroit is just behind Boston. Bean town edges the Motor City because the Red Sox and Patriots hold championship belts.
There is hardly a day of boredom in Detroit.
The Pistons made back to back NBA Finals and they keep us on our edge with the daily Larry Brown drama.
The Tigers are trying to make noise and some national experts said they are keeping their eyes on this team to make a run at the wild card in the second half.
The Lions have not made the playoffs in six years but we hold more passion for this team than any other. People are getting excited for the return of hockey. And I have to believe despite a salary cap and uncertainty in the lineup that the Red Wings will remain one of the elite teams in the NHL.
If that is not enough we are fortunate to have elite collegiate programs in Michigan football and Michigan State basketball.
This place is red hot and the All Star game made national folks take notice.
Now this could all fall apart in a few months. But it isn't often people are looking at us other than to ridicule about a burning car that occurred when nearly half this city was either in the crib or a twinkle in their parents' eyes.
We complain about being mistreated by the national press. Well, they are showering you with praise today.
Enjoy the fun while it lasts.


Blogger billionaire said...

I am praying that for two things for the city. A new mayor I will say who I am campaigning and donating my money towards on later post . And that the Superbowl has a sunny 20 to 30 degree weather. We know that it will be cold no duh but I think folks will take that weather any time any day. One more caviot no snow on the major and side roads

9:31 AM

Anonymous Nick said...

It's great to finally hear something out of the national sports media other than the usual Detroit bashing. On an other, totally unrelated note, what's your take on the whole Jean Zelesko disrespecting Ernie Harwell during that on air interview?

9:59 AM

Blogger Leelanau Sports Guy said...

Between Buck and Zelesko I can't stand listening to Fox baseball broadcasts. They are the reason we have the "mute" button.

11:11 AM

Blogger Leelanau Sports Guy said...

To stay on subject, Detroit did a great job of showing itself off to the world. I don't live there, I only visit, but I was very proud of the good things everyone was saying.

Congrats to all you Detroiters and the work you did!

11:13 AM

Anonymous xyt listener said...

great job with the all star game, but I'm worried about the superbowl- think all those out of towners will know how to drive their rental cars in the winter here? It seems like a nightmare if you ask me.

In a totaly unrelated note I just read this-
"NHL talks ongoing; deal to be done today"

so the CBA will be completed today, and then my guess is everything should be ratified by Saturday or so? It will be a very interesting press conference, I hope it brings the end of the bettman/goodenow eras.

11:23 AM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

I thought the media was respectful. I was pleased to see that they took the opportunity to shoot footage with backdrops that gave Detroit a clean, big city feel. Even the NBC nightly news pick some great backdrops that really helped the image of Detroit.

With that said, Detroit has along ways to go. When you talk about great sports cities, one of the points of consideration is fan support because there is nothing else.

An example Terry used was Denver. Great sports town because they don't have anything else.

Conversely, I take the point of view that their are some cities that have many other things to do, but still have fan support. I think that is perhaps an even more powerful statement of how great of sports town some other cities are.

Here is my top 5

1. Boston
2. Philadelphia
3. Detroit
4. San Francisco Bay Area
5. New York

Honorable mention... Denver, Miami, Dallas

11:29 AM

Blogger Kevin Antcliff said...

Denver is NOT a great sports town. I lived there for several years. The Bronco fans are amazing, rabid and intense. People only care about the Avs on game day. Nobody even knows who the Rockies are. And they only love the Nuggets when they win.

It's a great football town, but that's about it.

11:41 AM

Blogger billionaire said...

I still question Boston's true claim being number one. When the patriot stunk up the joint where were they. Look at the celtics as well. The only team is the BoSOx but I wonder if it is due to the lovable loser factor. Philly and New York I think goes ahead of boston becuase I like fans that hold teams accountable. I put detroit after Boston because I feel the media tends to be too much of a chearleader versus being more critical. Thank God for the sports inferno and I give San fran number 5. I missed the Zelasko and Harwell deal what happened

12:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to change the subjuct, BUT:

The NHL CBA is done, lets start discussing hoceky again, I've missed it dearly.

What lines do you anticipate?
Who starts in goal?
What kind of "system" will we play?
When will we hear complaints about the starting goalie?
Who will be captain?
Who will you miss the most?


1:09 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

I lived in Colorado as well. Bronco fans are just as rabid as Lion fans. I give them the edge based on success.

From my perspective, Rockies fans are just as passionate about their team as the Tigers, the Tigers however have a longer history. I would say slight edge to Tiger fans.

When the Avs were kickin ass, fans were all over it. They have dropped off some but are still passionate. Red Wings win hands down. The Nuggets are on the rise with, "Carmelo Who" Camby, Kmart, and George Karl. While the Pistons have the edge, I was here during there down years and let me tell you, the tone was totally different.

Finally, Denver has some great things that compete with Sports. Perhaps a few more than Detroit.

Did you frequent Shot Gun Willy's while in Denver?

2:13 PM

Blogger Kevin Antcliff said...

Right Way-

Not debating that Denver has it's sport high-points, but with Hockey and Baseball out there, the offseason is like death. Out here we hunt for trade and FA headlines, we invite the guys over for the draft, etc.

I was out there from 80-86 and 00-02. I agree recent years the tone has improved, but being fans of your teams in recent years and being fans of your teams for decade after just doesn't compare.

Denver could be a great sports town, they just don't have the attention span for anything but the Broncos.

And yes, I've been to Willie's a couple times.

2:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the great college athletics scene we have here? That sure counts!

2:54 PM

Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

kevin antcliff..

I hear you and don't disagree.

One prediction though, the Nuggets are going to make some noise like they haven't done for years. I think they could win the West if they stay healthy.

3:00 PM

Blogger Kevin Antcliff said...

Hey, I picked 'em to upset the Spurs. Oops.

3:15 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sold out every time and built a new stadium after 2-14 and 3-13. How do you top that?

4:49 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

Detroit will have a new mayor unless the media onslaught of Kilpatrick back fires. If he were smart he would tell people in Detroit don't allow the media to tell you who to vote for. They are attacking you and your city. Sometimes folks fall for that trick.

10:15 PM

Blogger T Foster said...

can you guys tell me what happened with Ernie Harwell and Fox. I was at the game and completely missed it and heard bits and pieces.

10:30 PM

Blogger Ian C. said...

T, if you haven't heard the details about Zelasko cutting off Harwell yet, here's a good description from Salon's King Kaufman:

"After the canned feature, Harwell appeared with Fox hosts Jeanne Zelasko and Kevin Kennedy, who said to Harwell, 'Give us your take on Al Kaline,' the Tigers Hall of Famer who played from 1953 to 1974.

Harwell talked for precisely 17 seconds before Zelasko interrupted: 'Yeah, we wish, we wish we could just go on and on. There's so much to say about him, and thank you so much for coming with us.'

Yeah, yeah, love talking to ya, Ernie, you're a legend and everything, but we simply must get to yet another taped thing we have about ... Reggie Jackson's home run! Which we haven't talked about now for 27 seconds!?"

10:43 PM

Blogger SportPsych Detroit said...

T, It was pretty disrespectful. Though I am not sure JZ is the one to blame...her producers should have made it clear Ernie should be allowed at least a few minutes on the air...btw, he sounded great in the radio booth calling play by play

3:02 PM

Blogger Jonathon Combs said...

Hey, Great Stuff. I'll be back to read often.


7:52 PM


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