As we told you yesterday, Sports Illustrated triggered rule #6 of Assignment Detroit: The Drinking Game with their cover story about a plucky Tigers team raising Detroit’s weary spirits out of the economic doldrums. This lift Detroit in sports meme is an almost semi-annual rite of passage for lazy sports writers and, when the Lions finally win a game, we’ll probably get some soft-focus awfulness about how much it all means. But SI’s piece reached a new low for schlock. Just how bad was it? Pull up a chair, this may take a minute.

For starters, the SI piece was wrong. They could have sent Janet Cooke or Stephen Glass (or Mitch Albom) to write the thing. It’s fiction. Detroit isn’t enthralled with the Tigers, not this year. Attendance has fallen sharply from 2008 and Detroit’s pennant race is one of the quietest ever. There’s no buzz, no slogans, no jingles. The Tigers didn’t lift Detroit out of an economic funk. The recession has sucked any excitement out a pennant race in this storied baseball town. That’s the story and Sports Illustrated missed it completely.

Worse, at least some Detroit Tigers actually believe this lame PR spin. Do you know why Brandon Inge runs out ground balls? If you said because they pay him $6,300,000 a year to do that, you’d be wrong. Brandon Inge (.549 post-All Star OPS) legs out grounders because you are poors.

If unemployment was at 5% and everyone was buying downtown condos, Inge wouldn’t care. But Inge looks in the stands and sees the hurt and pain. He knows that, without his hustle, all is lost for Detroit. Seriously, that’s what he told SI. Arrogant turd with his $6,300,000 guaranteed salary, .549 post-All Star OPS, and condescension. As our commenter jdg points out, Inge’s place on this team has a lot to do with Roseville knowing that he’s not a Mexican. MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera? They aren’t so sure.

Thankfully, people are starting to realize that this “sports lifts Detroit” is absurd. Sports blog juggernaut Deadspin thinks the entire notion is “like saying a terminal-ward patient might feel better about himself if someone bought him a big red balloon.” That pretty much nails it. Here’s your balloon, retards. Assuming Fernando Rodney doesn’t pop it in the ninth. Michigan gets bread and circus while the rest of the nation gets a slow but steady economic recovery. (Deadspin)

Categories : Big Important News



10 points for the brookens pic.


Bravo! I am a Tigers fan who cannot read the Free Press coverage of the Tigers, because I know that at some point Mitch Albom will get into how the team’s success is a barometer of the mood of Detroit. Sport is sport and economics is economics. I never read SI for the same reason.


What? No picture of Aurelio Rodriguez? Or as he would be known today, The Natural A-Rod.

The only thing more pathetic than millionaire athletes playing hard to lift the flagging spirits of the unemployed fans is athletic sanctimony (“God hit that homerun , not me”). I keep waiting for a devout shortstop who pointed to the Heavens after getting a hit, to boot an easy one and shoot the Heavens an angry finger. God never seems to get blame for errors.


The only reason the Tigers are even in a pennant race is because the other teams in their division all shit the bed at once. You almost never see the Twins, Indians, AND White Sox play this badly in the same season. The Twins are making a late charge, and I believe they will overtake the Tigers.


Hey, it almost worked for Terri Schiavo.



I still want to know why Granderson’s mom was staying at Greektown’s hotel and not Motorcity … doesn’t Twenty Grand know Mrs. Ilitch owns MCC?


Oh, and no snark for the SI’s cover headline calling the Tigers “The Righteous Franchise?”


Every time Brandon strikes out, or there’s a base hit off his glove, I know he’s doing it for us.

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