Detroit bloggers’ roundtable (Pt. 2)

Last week, I sent an email to many sports bloggers who cover Detroit teams with five questions about why the city of Detroit is such a great sports city. I received so many great and well thought out responses that instead of posting the answers to all five questions at once, I will spread it out throughout five days.

Today is Day #2 for the Detroit bloggers’ roundtable. You can view the discussion in part one at this page.

I’d first like to once again thank the bloggers who participated in this discussion:
Kurt @ Mack Avenue Tigers (Detroit Tigers)
Scott @ Quo Vadimus & Cutoff Man (Detroit Sports & Detroit Tigers)
Sean @ Pride of Detroit & Michigan Sports Center (Detroit Lions & UM Sports)
Matt @ Lets Go Wings (Detroit Red Wings)
Paul @ Kukla’s Korner (Detroit Red Wings/NHL)
Al @ The Wayne Fontes Experience (Detroit Sports)
Ripismoney @ Detroit Sports Unleashed (Detroit Sports)

The second question I asked the panel was… “How has the team you cover contributed to this title of best sports city?”

Note: These answers all came before the Pistons lost in the 2007 ECF.

Kurt @ Mack Avenue Tigers: “I think the Tigers pushed Detroit over the top with their World Series appearance. Before, you could talk about the great playoff push the Pistons had and great regular season the Red Wings had, but the Lions stank and the Tigers were seldom much better. I think images of 40,000+ Tigers fans bundled up and waving their towels as Magglio Ordonez sent Detroit to the Fall Classic will be the cover image should Detroit be named the top sports city. It’s really a special story and really made us proud to be Detroit fans, I think.”

Scott @ Quo Vadimus & Cutoff Man: “Though I write about all the teams at my personal blog, I’ll answer this as MLive’s Detroit Tigers blogger and say that the Tigers incredible history and tradition are what they contribute. From Ty Cobb to Ernie Harwell, George Kell to Al Kaline, Kirk Gibson to Curtis Granderson, just looking at the history of the Detroit Tigers is looking at a history of Major League Baseball. Some of the best players in the history of the game. The best announcer. One of the best managers in Sparky Anderson. And the tradition and history of Tiger Stadium and the opening of Comerica Park which helped rejuvenate at least part of downtown when it really needed it.”

Sean @ Pride of Detroit & Michigan Sports Center: “I would like to use the Drew Rosenhaus style and just say, “Next question,” but I will answer this. The Lions haven’t won a championship in 50 years and have been horrific to watch throughout this entire millennium. If you discount everything recently, then go to the 90′s. Although the playoff greatness really wasn’t ever there, fans got to watch one of the most elusive players in NFL history in the form of Barry Sanders. If you want added excitement for Detroit fans though, there always is the draft each April that has a buzz around the Motor City.”

Matt @ Lets Go Wings: “The Red Wings have had a huge role. Following the Pistons’ back-to-back championships in ’89 and ’90 this city lacked a true winner. The Tigers were bobbing above and below the .500 mark while the Lions were all over the map and getting waxed when they did reach the playoffs. The Wings were on a steady rise in the standings but couldn’t make that final push in the postseason. I think when Steve Yzerman finally did lift the Stanley Cup in 1997 the emotion of fans in the region — the thirst for a champion after 42 years of disappointment — reached a critical mass that was released on that night. It’s something that they accomplished through the age-old Detroit mantra — a quiet, strong leader in Yzerman and with blue collar players that worked their butts off every night in Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Joe Kocur, Martin Lapointe, Vladimir Konstantinov, et al.

That feat was followed up by an emotional win in 1998 with a wheelchair-bound Konstantinov, and another in 2002 with a roster bolstered by future Hall-of-Famers. This was all during a time while the other major teams broke things down and built things back up (well… except for the Lions, which are still working on that) and it was easy for a large number of fans in the region — even ones on the fence with the sport of hockey — to enjoy this team.”

Paul @ Kukla’s Korner: “I believe the Wings have set the bar for other hockey teams in the US. Other teams set their standards using the Wings as a measuring bar. Now a word or great warning, the Wings marketing department is basically non-existent and they must start attracting new fans and keeping the current fans happy. They are walking a very fine line right now, and must start responding to the fans requests and needs.”

Al @ The Wayne Fontes Experience: “As someone who gives his opinion about all sports, all I can say that the success of the Tigers, Red Wings, and Pistons makes it damn easy to come up with pertinent topics on almost a daily basis. Such as during the Tigers playoff, which was wonderful to write about, I had the Lions and their yearly pratfall to write about as well. Let alone Michigan football, which was on quite a good roll. There is always something to talk about in Detroit, as odds are there is going to be at least 1 team doing well. Each team brings something different to the sports table. For example, the we have the Pistons and their “Team” orientation, a NBA anomaly due to their lack of a superstar, then we had the polar opposite in the (Pre-lockout) Red Wings, who for years were considered the Yankees of the NHL. Every team contributes something to the sports culture, from the Lions yearly fan revolts, to the Tigers recovering a lost generation of fans thanks to their unexpected 2006 success.

It’s amazing how thoroughly each team is woven into the fabric of the area.”

Ripismoney @ Detroit Sports Unleashed: “At Detroit Sports Unleashed, we attempt to recognize the entire sports sphere from the Detroit area. It is not a single team that contributes most to the lure of the D but a collective effort. Rich traditions in baseball and hockey have thrived in the Motor City for decades, and the rest of the sports landscape is notable as well. Through it all, it is theunprecedented ability to watch a sports game or event from Detroit almost every night that is something we all take for granted. I like to refer to NFL Draft day as Super Saturday — the past two years there has been lottery picks for the Lions, playoff games for the Red Wings & Pistons, as well as a Tigers game on draft day. It is the greatest day in Detroit sports annually!”

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  1. [...] Detroit sports blogger roundtable discussion in June and you can view the discussions for part one, part two, part three, part four, and part [...]

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