Thursday, August 26, 2010

Up That Guys'

Remember the good old days where I had the pride in my work to come up with a good title? Man those were heady times during which I had the time and inclination to wow you with my cleverness. Time is just a little bit more limited these days, but one thing that is completely independent of available time is my willingness and ability to get super pissed with someone.

Over the past few days in the sports world, there has been a pretty interesting story evolving on the Detroit sports scene. I've tried not to comment on it because it is pretty saturated in the media and from everything I was hearing, it was difficult to formulate a clear opinion on it. In basic terms, Tigers' player Johnny Damon was requested by the Boston Red Sox (his former team) to return to them to assist that team with their run toward the playoffs Because of some stipulations in his contract, Damon had the option of going to the Red Sox or staying a Tiger, and after much consideration, he decided to stay with our hometown good guys. There are many possible reasons for this decision - Damon himself claimed that "I definitely thought long and hard about it, and the bottom line was my happiness here and the guys here telling me this is a good place for me." Others have suggested that his decision was entirely based on the likelihood that he would get a better contract next year if he stayed with the Tigers instead of moving back to Beantown. He also had a difficult relationship with the Boston fans after he decided to leave their team for the hated Yankees. It's not possible to say with 100% certainty the true reason for his decision, but I would like to take at partial face value that he genuinely enjoys playing for the Tigers organization, the Tigers' fans, and living in Michigan. I'm happy whenever someone publicly speaks positively about the Detroit area, so maybe I'm fooled by the right words.

That's the background to the story. The foreground to the story is that giant poophead columnist from The Boston Globe Dan Shaughnessy took this opportunity to take a dig at Detroit, and that is the kind of shitty thing a giant poophead would do (because his head is made out of poop). He wrote "Think about it: For the next five weeks, you could live in downtown Boston and your wife could shop on Newbury Street. Or you could live in downtown Detroit, amid the boarded-up buildings and the proverbial skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets. Is this really a tough call?" What the hell, dude? Do you know shit about this place that you are insulting on a national level? Do you feel jilted that Michigan was chosen over Massachusetts?

The biggest problem I typically have with many people from the coasts in particular, and I've written about this before, is their absolute certain belief that they are simply better than you - if not for any other reason than they live in Boston, or New York, or L.A., or Seattle. These are all great cities with many positives, but is it so impossible to believe that many people who don't live there are actually making a choice not to live there? That's how it is for me and many of my friends. Maybe we couldn't stand the thought of being close to more people like you. It's impossible to ignore that there are many legitimate reasons to take a dig at Detroit, but it is really crappy that this dude chose to make someone saying positive things about the area one of these reasons. That is hurtfully unwarranted. He must have known exactly what he was doing though - he's from Boston!

In response to this, for his part, Johnny Damon was pretty awesome. He said "Detroit gets a bad rap. I love it here, my family loves it here, a bunch of the players who have been here a while love it here, the new guys love it here. There's a lot to offer here." He's only been here a few months, and already knows what so many of us know.

As the story continued to spread, Matthew Stafford responded to this story with the following: "Oh, yeah. I am going to be here and I want to be here for a long time. I am from the south but this is a place that I've started to adopt. I've had a great experience with the fans and all the people." These are professionals who know what to say to get the fans behind them, but just maybe there is some truth to their sentiment.

From all this, what it really comes down to is: Up Yours Dan Shaughnessy.

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