BY JON SCHWARTZ
The Schwartz Authority
Published October 15, 2001
I"ve never played on a well-organized football team. Sure, I love throwing the ball around with friends and watching my opponents fly by me, but I"ve never put on pads, I don"t own cleats and I"ve yet to have a number grace my back.
More like this
But I"m not the least experienced football player in the world I have extensive experience on both the college and professional levels. Of course I"m talking about video games, but I still know my way around the game enough to watch, enjoy and criticize poor play.
So here"s what I know for sure if I"m Germane Crowell, and I just caught a ball with about 10 seconds left in a game my team is losing by 5 points, I"m getting out of bounds.
Sure, in my case it would have a lot to do with fear of crumbling at the hands of a Minnesota cornerback, but I"d still stop the clock.
Unfortunately for the Lions, Crowell cannot be blamed for the team"s 0-4 record. No, that mark of futility is entirely related to the fact that the team plays in or around Detroit.
It"s no coincidence that the Motor City likes to call itself "Hockeytown." In my opinion, it"s not because of any success that the Red Wings have found, it"s simply a result of the fact that hockey is really the only game in town.
No, Detroit politicians and businessmen spend nights in rooms painted with Red Wings wallpaper. They kneel beside their bed, praying to the Little Caesar in the sky that nothing ever happens to that team. Because if it does, I am certain that the city will cease to exist.
As far as I can tell, there has never been a more amusing city in terms of its sports teams. It"s not just because they"re awful which the Lions, Tigers and Pistons most certainly are. It"s because I"ve never seen a city so convinced that "this is the year things turn around," even though last year wasn"t and the decade before that certainly saw no such changes either.
I"m convinced that the old-English "D" on the Tigers" hats actually stands for "Doh!" It comes in handy every time the team opens camp, looks great and then wins just eight games in April.
I"ve only been in the metro Detroit area for a little more than two years now, but I have already seen enough to know that the city is so undeserving of participating in athletic competition, it"s amusing.
I"ve seen Tiger Stadium, rotting from asbestos, close down. In its place, I"ve seen Comerica Park, rotting from the Tigers.
I"ve seen the fans in the Silverdome so drunk by the second half, they have no idea what"s going on in the game. Which is a good thing, because a sober fan would probably be in tears.
I"ve seen The Palace no wait, I haven"t. Auburn Hills is too far away. But I"ve definitely seen it on television, enough to know that the Pistons fit in perfectly.
Red Wings" coach Scotty Bowman could run for mayor of Detroit and win in a landslide. Why? Because he"s actually created something respectable that the city can brag about. If the Wings fall below .500 this year I plan on going to Windsor so I can watch the city go up in flames.
So what do I suggest? It"s hard to tell at this point. There"s nothing that can save these teams. But here"s something to think about.
The Lions are about to get a new stadium to suck in. It"s being constructed right next to Comerica Park. I suggest a new arena for the Pistons in the same locale.
It would be perfect. All three of Detroit"s miserable sons will be hanging out in the same neighborhood, causing trouble and public drunkenness.
And then, they can all be taken out in one fell swoop.
Until that point, coach Mornhinweg, sign me up.
Jon Schwartz can be reached at email@example.com.