Reader Column: Lions, Tigers, and Rick

Tiger Rick is a Detroit sports nut and sports history buff.  While I was recovering from my hangover from MSU’s victory, he posted a nice comment to one of my columns. I decided to post it. Enjoy.

The hilarious wit and various opinions are not necessarily my own.

While you were suffering through the brown bottle flu, you missed the Lions first official victory of the season. You are lucky, I can pick up your slack and report to your followers. Junior and I normally hang out on the Comerica Park side of Brush street, but we decided to throw caution to the wind and went down for the Meijer sponsored Lion Alumni autograph signing and the other pregame activities outside of Ford Field on game day.

After an hour or so we decided to approach a few scalpers who were unrealistic. We found one guy outside Chelios’ place who wanted $80 for two tickets, I countered with $40, he came down to $50 which I was prepared to pay. Junior, in an unscripted move, said it wasn’t worth it and started walking away, I followed and you guessed it, the guy came chasing after us for the $40.

The atmosphere inside Ford Field was very calm, nothing like the NFL stadiums you see in Oliver Stone movies. The ubiquitous downriver bleach blonds who haunt the Joe and Comerica were there hustling drinks and tripping over themselves, but otherwise it was very boring. The skinheads from northern Oakland County were even peacefully coexisting with their African American brethren.

If the Lions said the game was a sellout, Tom Lewand is now selling tickets to ghosts because I estimate the place was half empty. The suites on one side were completely dark and empty. The suites on the restaurant side were about 60-79% filled, by, IMHO, people who do business with the auto company.

It was nice to see a young quarterback actually play a game at Ford Field, even if the Lions got to him on several occasions. Hill finally decided to throw to Calvin and, to be honest, his passes were not all that great, Calvin just went out and got them. The only real excitement came from the guy who sings Forward Down the Field.

The Lions honored Dick LeBeau, who had the weekend off, at halftime. LeBeau, who was one of my heroes growing up, specifically mentioned “the Corner” and how special it was to play at Tiger Stadium. Several old Lions were there including your dad’s buddy, Mike Lucci, who looks like he could still play. Lem Barney showed up looking like he just stepped out of one of those old Pam Grier movies from the seventies. Conspicuous by his absence was Barry Sanders, the most overrated running back in football history. Don’t believe me, ask his father who said Jim Brown was the greatest he ever saw.

We left after the third quarter to go catch the end of the Rangers – Rays game and the party was going strong outside the stadium. The Elwood was rockin. We had to step over a few people on Brush street who had the same bug you did and starred out at the Comerica park through the iron rails. It was a perfect, sky blue, seventy degree day. Junior said that he wished he was inside Comerica today instead of Ford Field because that would mean the Tigers were in the playoffs. And with that, we took our last look, until Tigerfest, of the best place on earth.


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