Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Monday, February 26, 2007

Happy Hour 02/26: Welcome Back to Detroit, Big Ben

I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't see yesterday's Pistons-Bulls game. Completely forgot about it. And it looks like I missed a good one. Was clearing out the DVR so I could record the Oscars really worth it? (Let me answer that for you: No, it wasn't.)

The booing Ben Wallace thing isn't that hard to figure out, is it? It's ingrained in the Detroit Sports Fan DNA; if you leave for someplace else, we'll take that personally. And Big Ben knows that. Sure, the booing seems somewhat inexplicable, considering that he was a key part of pulling the franchise out of the teal-George Irvine-Bison Dele era, gave DEE-troit BAS-ket-ball its identity, and helped bring the NBA championship back to Detroit. But this was the first chance Pistons fans had to get the disappointment of Ben Wallace signing with Chicago off their collective chest. And a key part of that last sentence is "signing with Chicago."

Not only were the Bulls a hated adversary through much of the 1990s, but Detroit and Chicago are just natural rivals. (How is it that the Chicago media gets that, while Detroit's is apparently baffled?) Plus, the Bulls have the look of an up-and-coming team that could someday supplant the Pistons in the East. What if one of "our guys" plays a role in that power shift? Had Big Ben signed with the Atlanta Hawks, there wouldn't have been the same outrage. (Hell, we'd probably be feeling sorry for the poor guy.)

But Pistons fans took their one shot, and now it's done. I would also argue that there was affection underneath those boos. Pistons fans wouldn't have made such a fuss if there hadn't been so much love to begin with. Applause with boos, you see. Next time, he comes back, I bet he gets a much warmer reception.

▪▪ When I saw the final two-point margin of the game, I first wondered what the Bulls were thinking. Are some people in the organization lamenting not making a deal at the trade deadline, if that's how close they might be to the Pistons? Or was this affirmation that they were right to hold onto their core young players, that if they just show a little more patience, this thing will come together?

▪▪ Check out this stuff from Steve Rosenbloom's blog at ChicagoSports.com:

The Bulls got mauled for 21 offensive rebounds by the Pistons, including the winner by Chris Webber. Fix this.

Then again, it's not like Webber will be a factor when it matters in the playoffs.

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Bitter, party of one?

▪▪ If you haven't seen the Sid Hartman article from yesterday's Minneapolis Star-Tribune that had Flip Saunders emphatically repeating his denials of interest in the University of Minnesota head coaching job (and that there might already be a deal in place), here it is. (Hartman's been beating this drum for a while now.)

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  • At February 26, 2007 7:14 PM, Blogger Mini Me said…

    How can you boo him? He was integral part of that title team. And don't be mad at him for taking the money. Be mad at Dumars for not making him a matching contract offer. And if you aren't mad, don't boo!


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