Tigers Opening Day, Wrestlemania, and Detroit survival

250px-detroitskyline.jpg 

Tigers Opening Day.

Wrestlemania.

Detroit.

Man, it was crazy out here. And not just by a little bit. First thing yesterday morning I looked out the window from my fifth floor window downtown, and all I could see on every street was a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam. Not one street was clear. Not one. Tiger fans everywhere flooding the sidewalks and the streets. It actually looked like a vibrant downtown down there. It looked normal. Or at least like what normal ought to be…

 To look at all the happy people, all of them so charged with the sheer emotional electricity of the occasion, it would never cross your mind that Wayne County leads the nation in home foreclosures, as does Detroit, Michigan’s biggest city.  You’d never imagine that The Big Three are crumbling like a dry cracker squeezed in an angry fist, or that Michigan is currently leading the nation in unemployment and personal bankruptcies.

During that brief freeze-frame in time, when the weather was near 70 degrees beneath smiling blue skies, it was all good. Everything was just… fine…

Then came the next day. You have to wonder if it’s an ugly coincidence that the forecast predicts rapidly dropping temperatures throughout the rest of the week that are expected to do a bungee jump into the mid-20s. We might even see some snow mixed with the heavy rain. We’re back to typical Michigan weather, back to reality.

It’s funny like this in Detroit right now. On the one hand we get headline snatching events like the Superbowl coming to town back in 2006, where we even got compliments a year later from a normally hostile national press saying we did it better than Miami did a year later in 2007. 

And after a remarkable Tigers season last year, where even a couldn’t-give-less-of-a-damn-about-baseball person like me was watching the playoffs, and then the World series,  jumping up and down like a maniac, it was no surprise that attendance records were broken at this year’s Opening Day.

As for Wrestlemania, thousands upon thousands of rabid fans poured into the city from all across the world – yes, that’s right, the world –  to storm Ford Field and worship at the altar of mass insanity. Sorry, some things I  can’t even pretend to care about, but I couldn’t be happier for all the cash those fanatics brought with them to spend in our city. I ain’t gotta love ya to take your money.

For those few days, Detroit became the center of gravity. We were the place to be. We were once again Motown Almighty, and couldn’t nobody bring us down to Earth because we ruled the Earth and we were making the rules.  We were once again blessed with a brief glimpse of how life is supposed to be here, and it felt good. It always feels good to be on top of the world, if even for just a moment.

But now comes the rain. And the clouds. And far too many of us without even decent clothes or a place to sleep, let alone an umbrella, waiting for that next brief break in the storm where we can once again rule as Motown Almighty.

Someday – someday soon – we must learn how to rule throughout all seasons, not just those rare occasions when the sun cracks through the clouds. If we are truly Motown Almighty, then this is something we can do. Must do.

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~ by Keith A. Owens on April 3, 2007.

5 Responses to “Tigers Opening Day, Wrestlemania, and Detroit survival”

  1. […] Read more here… […]

  2. I must admit, it was very exciting to see the events jump off over the last 2 days in the D. Although the events were exciting & the weather perfect, it was also a good weekend not to be downtown.

    Bygbaby

  3. Without a doubt downtown was the last place you wanted to be. Couldn’t move. Took me 45 minutes to make my normally 12-minute drive home.

    But it was still cool to have the excitement. Ain’t no party like a Detroit party…

  4. congressional hearing reveal very little return from using public funds to build stadiums for millionair owners.Wayne county leads the nation in foreclosures but we have two stadium downtown

  5. Tootsie,

    That does kind of make yhou think, doesn’t it? Thanks for dropping by.

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