Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, October 06, 2005

It's never boring in Detroit

It's been a tough fall for Detroit sports fans so far. The Tigers sputtered toward the finish, and then just flat-lined. Now, it looks like the Lions could be following their lead. And who knows what the Red Wings will look like in this new, post-strike/rules-changed National Hockey League? The championship days are likely making a pit stop. Thankfully, we still have the Pistons.

But here's something I love about the Detroit sports scene (and missed so much during my two years in Iowa): Two of the four major teams may stink like skunk roadkill, but it is never boring around here. Look at this past week.

On Sunday, the Tigers' season came to a merciful end. The very next day, the Tigers' front office fired manager Alan Trammell and his coaching staff. And as General Manager Dave Dombrowski was explaining his decision to the press, revealing that he'd already interviewed two candidates for the job (who, conveniently for the Tigers, both happened to be minorities), former Pirates and Marlins manager Jim Leyland was in a car, on his way to town - ostensibly to replace Trammell. By Tuesday evening, it was a done deal: Leyland was in as manager. It took longer for me to have a post-root canal bottle of whiskey shipped to my friend Mis Hooz in New York.

(Photo by Steve Perez/ The Detroit News)


On Sunday, the Lions lost to Tampa Bay, 17-13, after a touchdown was (wrongly) taken away by the referees. The next day, sports talk radio was on fire, ripping the Lions' wide receivers for dropping balls and lazily running pass patterns. Inexplicably, one of those receivers, Charles "Half Baked" Rogers, who'd been on a milk carton so far this season, complained to the Free Press' Drew Sharp about his increasingly diminished role. Later in the day, everyone who said "What the hell is Rogers smoking?" got a surprising answer to their question. ESPN reported that Cheech Rogers was being suspended by the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy.

And once all the smoke from the teams that suck cleared, the good things in the Detroit sports scene returned. On Tuesday, the Pistons reported for training camp, eager to win back the NBA title they lost back in June. And last night, after a year-long absence, The Red Wings - who made their own coaching change in the offseason - took their first step in re-introducing professional hockey to fans by stomping the St. Louis Blues, 5-1.

How many other cities have a week like that? Our baseball team might not be in the playoffs, and our pro football team has a losing record, but they're keeping things interesting. And this coming Saturday, we'll get to watch two good college football programs take the field. I love it here.

I took my sweet, lazy time addressing the issues of this past week, unlike several great Detroit sports blogs that stepped up right away to comment on what's been going on. You probably read these already, but I can't just pretend no one else has written about these stories - and really well, to boot. If they weren't so good at what they do, I wouldn't have spent the last couple of days wondering whether to bother jumping onto the pile.

♦ The Detroit Tigers Weblog not only thoroughly covers all sides of both the Trammell firing and Leyland hiring, but takes a look at the team on the field, and analyzes perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this past season: the Tigers' limp, ineffective bats.

♦ Greg Eno provides angles on Trammell and Leyland too, while also pointing out the silly shell game losing teams play when they change coaches, at Out of Bounds.

♦ Brian at Beyond Boxscores made me pound my desk in admiration, by addressing something that really bothered me about the Trammell firing - the token minority interviews - before I could do it. (But I'll try to do it later, anyway.)

Bless You Boys points out how important a role public relations has played in the managerial game of musical chairs that the Tigers are playing.

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2 Comments:

  • At October 06, 2005 3:38 PM, Anonymous susannah said…

    Hey Ian, I wouldn't be too quick to assume championship days are gone from D-Town hockey. They looked *really good* last night, and I think they will adapt better than most teams to the new rule changes (more than I can say for poor P. Lalime, who was seriously yearning for those extra inches of padding last night).

     
  • At October 06, 2005 5:19 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Hmm, I might've exposed my atrophied hockey knowledge there, Suz. Did I mention I somehow chose to watch America's Next Top Model last night?

     

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