Yesterday on the radio I heard a debate on whether Detroit is now a basketball town or hockeytown. While I think we can celebrate both, I wondered what most people thought. You know my bias is basketball. But what do you think??
Last week I attended my first Pistons game ever and it was awesome. The Pistons didn't play very well against the Wizards (I assume because they had already made it to the play-offs so they weren't playing their first stringers), the hot dogs were disgusting and we were totally in the nosebleed section. But I had a great time learning about the game, watching the game and just soaking up the game atmosphere.
I even managed to get over the excessive amount of corporate sponsor signage that covered every surface save the court itself. "Fine," I reasoned, "corporate sponsors are a part of professional sports and they deserve recognition for the money and resources they provide." To a point. What I couldn't get over was when the announcer said, "Bank One has graciously provided $1,000 for this half-time lottery game, let's hear a big round of applause for our corporate sponsor Bank One!" Asking for a round of applause for a wealthy corporation that donates a small sum of money to make itself look good is, in my opinion, crossing the line. It's like applauding for money. And that--again in my opinion--is disgusting.
What a season, and it's still not over!!! Pistons broke the record for franchise wins after the win over the Knicks last Sunday. They set a record of 64 wins in a season, breaking the record previously held by the 88-89 Bad Boys.
That's not all. The Pistons had many milestones along the way. Take a look at pistons.com for a list of milestones during the season. This team has really come a long way. I can't wait until playoffs!
It's the start of summer, OK maybe spring. The sun is out, the air is crisp, and it's like senior skip day for baseball lovers all over Metro Detroit. It's OPENING DAY!!
For many, Tiger's opening day is a tradition in skipping work, school, and responsibilities to enjoy the pitch, peanuts, foul balls, steals, slides, crack of the bat, 7th inning stretch, take me out to the ball game fever. I remember skipping school to drive down to the Old Tiger's Stadium and tailgate with family friends. People had wide grins on their faces and the excitement of summer ball was in the air. Of course, that year, I remember many people in their drunken states running onto the field for their 15 seconds of fame, then arrests. But it was still a day to remember.
I was reminded of the skip-day tradition recently when a client of mine wanted to push meetings back so he could attend the festivities. He told me that it has always been a tradition for him to drop all things and attend opening day. Today he is continuing this tradition with his son. He is not alone. When I got into work today, desks were empty and the office seemed desolate. (I work in advertising, so I assume many are on "business" gatherings with media vendors and the like.)
So for all of you skipping folks today, have fun! I should have joined you, but maybe you can enlighten me with your stories of continuing tradition.
Yesterday's game versus the Phoenix Suns proved to be another exciting one for the home team. The game started off slow for the Pistons with the first quarter completely dominated by the Suns. The Suns were shooting at about 70% and put Pistons in a 17 point deficit. Other troubling matters in the first half were technical fouls handed out to Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, and Chauncey Billups. This marks the 16th tech for Sheed, which automatically suspends him for one game under the new NBA rules.
Something must have been said during half-time because all changed in the second half. Piston's defense came back in full swing with Ben leading the charge (11 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 blocks). Chauncey Billups put up an enormous 35 points and orchestrated pick and rolls, picture perfect plays, and aggressive ball handling. Rip and Ben paired up to dunk three in a row in the 3rd. The turnaround was great and the Palace fans were roaring as the Pistons beat the Suns 109-102 and clinch home advantage for the first 3 rounds of the playoffs.
Interesting Note: If you were at the Palace Sunday, you may have noticed that Rasheed Wallace was notably missing for warm-ups. In fact, he did not walk onto the floor until it was very close to game time. So much so that Mason announced Antonio McDyess to start and then changed it to Rasheed. So where was Rasheed? Is so happens that Sheed was thrown off by Daylight Savings Time. All of his clocks said 11 when it was really noon. That was until Sheed looked at his cell phone displaying the correct time. Ooops!!! We're glad you made it to the game Sheed.
I'm not sure I can honestly say that this will be the year that the Tigers win it all. But with a new (but old) veteran manager, Jim Leyland, who has taken other teams to the World Series, we will be able to place the blame squarely on the players if they don't produce. Most of the roster is the same as last year, but there remains a pool of talent that just never put it together in 2005. See this article at the Detroit Tigers website...
The home opener at Comerica Park is on Monday April 10, versus the Major League Baseball champions, the Chicago White Sox. All the games in the three game series start in the early afternoon so you get three chances to play hookey from work or school. Hopefully it will be the start of a competitive season, but the Central Division will be a tough one with the White Sox and the Cleveland Indians who just missed a wildcard spot last year. Let's see what happens.
"A different direction." That's what coach Rod Marinelli said of former QB Joey Harrington. So here's my question to you. Are you glad to see Harrington go? Do you think the new regime will make a difference??
Ok it's round three. Thanks to all who's been voting for Automotion in the NBA dance team brackets. A few have asked me if there's a point to all this and the answer really is no. It's just for fun and for bragging rights to the winning team. But, I'd still like to see Detroit win.
This time it's Automotion vs. the Heat dancers, a team known in the league for the strong sex appeal. I noticed that Automotion stepped up their webpage to answer that challenge. This is going to be a hard one for the home team. Plus the Heat Dancers have a large fan base. So let's show them up. Please vote today (March 21) for Automotion. And tell all your friends too!
If you love the Pistons and hate the Pacers, it's time to vote for Automotion! It's round two of the NBA dance team brackets. Please vote today for Automotion. Click here to go to the NBA dance team brackets.
By the way, the Pacemates are ahead 60% to Automotion's 40%. So please vote and tell your friends to vote. Voting ends at 8 AM tomorrow.
Update: Automotion fans pulled through in the end and helped Automotion (51%) beat the Pacemates (49%). Next vote against Miami Heat Dancers on March 21. Thanks to everyone who voted!
This weekend had ups and downs for our Detroit Pistons. Saturday night the Pistons lose to the Wizards 110-92 for the second time this year. They are the only Eastern Conference team with a road win over the Pistons.
Newcomer Tony Delk scored a season high of 16 for Detroit, while Rasheed scored 18, and Rip 16. But that was no match to the Wizards Arenas, who had a great game scoring 30 points. Arenas was pumped up to play the Pistons because he wanted to get the east coaches back for not selecting him for the All-Star Game. "I said that I was going to get Flip back," Arenas said. "My team was behind me, they were ready to go. Easy way to get them riled up."
The loss seemed to have motivated the Pistons because Sunday their undenying denfense returned with a 94-78 victory against the Bobcats. This after losing three of the five past games. While my faith in the Pistons stayed strong, I admit that I was getting disheartened by the losses.
Yesterday's win was a show of the defensive team we know the Pistons to be. Ben Wallace had 15 rebounds and 8 points, but he did give us a scare in the 1st quarter when he rolled his ankle. (He came back before halftime.) Tayshaun Prince's offensive magic returned as well with 23 points.
This win marks the 50th win for Detroit, breaking the record set by the 88-89 team by 4 games. They need to go 14-6 in their final 20 games to break the franchise mark of 63 wins.