For much of the last century Detroit, Michigan has played a pivotal role in major American sports. Yet [as a city] we have certainly had our rendezvous’ with rock bottom. It wasn’t that long ago when Detroit was the laughing stock of the sports world. The Tigers couldn’t buy a victory, and a game against the Lions was simply an extra bye week. Though as the old saying goes, “trouble don’t last always.”
The Empire Strikes Out. It was the headline plastered across the Detroit Free Press this morning, symbolizing the Tigers knocking the New York Yankees out of postseason play last night. It was long, mentally draining, and sometimes ugly, but in the end the Tigers held on. Symbolic of the city they were representing, it was that steady hustler, grinder type mentality that enabled the club to a victory.
In a region that has been afflicted by social and economic turmoil for nearly a decade, sports have been the outlet, and our teams have been our pride. It’s a relationship no outsider can understand, for it stretches far deeper than sports. For the teams and athletes that represent the city, their success is what we have when we have nothing else.
A strong (4-0) start to the Lions season has also created a buzz. After three games many still wondered if it was a fluke start, but a convincing comeback win on the road against the Dallas Cowboys now have many believing. And come this Monday night, the Lions will get to showcase their talents on a national level as they host rival Chicago Bears on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. As if that feat isn’t enough to rile up the city, several media outlets have reported that the Lions first-round draft, DT Nick Fairley, will make his season debut.
These events, paired with the Red Wings season opener tonight at The Joe, make for a helluva exciting time to be a Detroit sports fan. All that is lacking is recent misfortune for the Pistons, though after a solid draft this past April, things are getting back on track — minus the lockout!