Thursday, September 27, 2007

Love the Club Hate the League

Let me begin this post by proclaiming my love for the game of hockey and the Detroit Red Wings. This goes back as long as I can remember, which is about 1978, give or take a year or two. Even when they were so pathetic they couldn't get into the NHL playoffs when sixteen of seventeen teams made the post season, the Wings had their charms. Helmetless characters with colorful names like Rogie Vachon and Václav Nedomanský (though those two did wear a face mask and helmet respectively) let you know that management at least looked far and wide for their mediocre squad.

Now of course the Red Wings are a Grade A ass kicking NHL franchise. It's been sixteen straight seasons of playoff hockey and three Hockeytown Stanley Cap Champions. No team except for maybe the New Jersey Devils have had a good a run as we have in those years and since the Devils play the most boring, plodding style of hockey imaginable, I'll saw we Wings fan are plenty lucky.

But as usual I digress. I'd like to talk about the clowns who run the NHL and how I view them as bad as any cellar dwelling professonal hockey club. I live in the New York metro area with three professonial hockey teams within 25 miles of my door. And this year I have found out the Wings will not play any of them at home. Which means since I am a pretty much a Detroit homer when it comes to sports, I will not see any professional hockey in New York City (or New Jersey or Long Island) this season. Which is kind of a shame because New Jersey has a brand new arena I'd like to check out.

The Wings will play teams like the Columbus Blue Bonnets and the Nashville Easy Prey (k, Nashville not that bad) eight times this season. What a fucking waste of a legendary franchise. If I was the owner of the Red Wings, I'd threaten to leave the league and maybe hook up with a European or Russian League. I am serious, that's how bad I view this. And this summer a guy wanted to buy the Nashville club and move them to London or Kitchener Ontario which I thought was a great idea. That would set up a rivalry with the Wings straight away but those clowns want to keep the team in Nashville, hoping it catches on with the Deliverance crowd even though they don't draw fans for shit and never will.

On the other hand, with the glass half full, I like the fact that the Anahiem no longer Mighty just Ducks are potential new rivals. I'm still smarting from that playoff loss the Wings suffered to the Ducks and how they raided our roster for a couple of veterans (good riddens, let's give the youngsters a shot.) I can't wait to really give it to those goons, Eddie Shore Toe Blake old time hockey style. Make Reg Dunlap proud.

I am so ready for the WIngs season, although because they play on Versus I won't see them because half the bars in New York City don't have it and the other half could give a shit about hockey. Nice going NHL Management. I blame you. And no I am not going to go out and buy satellite because you don't know how to distribute let alone market your product.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lions got me Angry and Confused....Again

Whoa Nelly! It has been a spell since I have weighed in on our boys in the Detroit uniforms. It's given me time to get a little more philosophical about these sometimes tortorous games I so enjoy. You see the trouble with sports is the eventual failure all your teams face (except for that lucky lone champion every year.) The Tigers get to the World Series only to be undone with throwing errros from their pitchers! and got beat by the most beatable team another team will ever face in the world series. That sucked. And made only worse by the fact that we are most likely going to miss the playoffs this year. You got to win it when you have a chance. You never know when you will make it back to the big show. The Pistons sleepwalk to the conference championship and get beat by Lebron and some 14 year old punk by the name of Gibson. That was typical. The Red Wings made it to the conference finals and lost a series they could have easily won. That was kind of a new thing for them. Either they are gone in the early rounds or doing laps around the Joe Louis ice with Lord Stanley's cup.

But given the Keith Jackson-ism I started the first paragraph with, this is now about the Lions. Because the Lions never fail to disappoint when it comes to disappointment. Going into Philly this weekend, we knew they were a fradulent 2-0 team. They were lucky enough to start the season against teams as inept as themselves. And there were believers out there who said they could stretch it to 3-0. The Eagles were looking vulnerable as they played horribly on national television Monday night. Of course, the elixer for any struggling team was about to come there way. What the Lions did was revisit some of the worst times of the Lions past. I think the Eagles, had they wanted to, could have scored on every possession. Which they almost did in the first half. Yeah guys, how bout them Lions linebackers. Were they even playing in the game? These guys could not even tackle. I'm not sure if they had 42 or 49 first half points but this game was a blowout. It was like even UofM played Appalachin State. Or, ahh, something like that.

I do not live in Detroit so unfortunately I have to go watch the games at a public bar. It is embarassing to be a Lions fan, sure people can sort of understand and feel for you, the typical response when I tell them I am a Lions fan is "God Bless You." I knew we were not that good, that we were fradulent, but I had no idea we would once again visit yet another bottom and wake those demons again, so soon.

But you know it could be worse. I thought for sure after Calvin Johnsons made that awesome catch and fell hard to the ground that he was done for the season. That would be so Lions. But he'll be back and he'll be good. And when I was at the bar, next to me was a fresh faced philly, who enjoyed this game no doubt, but to be a Philly fan is almost as bad as being Lions fan. They have not won a championship since the Sixers won the championship in 1983. I have seven warm memories to get me through every Sunday. (Not to mention the Michigan State Rose Bowl and BBall Champions.)

The Lions are like the circus animals affixed to the side of their helmets. Incredulous performances that are more comical than heartbreaking. Can they ever turn it around? Where do you start? What can really be done?

We just gotta Pound That Rock.