Saturday, June 28, 2008

Well...hello again...

So it's...hmmm...midway between 1 and 2 AM and I'm sitting here...suddenly motivated to try to drag this blog up off it's ass...right where I left it. It's June now...summer is in full swing...Essex County gets it's daily hammering of thunderstorms, it's humid as hell and there's a bumper crop of fish flies this year...and I see the last time I posted was...hmmm...March? If anyone is still out there...still interested, your patience is astounding...confounding and possibly misplaced. If you're new here...that's cool...I'm going to do my best to keep this stuff going...we'll see.

So...I write about anything and everything--usually news or sports...current events stuff...I'm given to ranting...I don't reveal a whole lot in the way of gory details as far as my personal life goes--but you'll get to know me through my posts...the smartest among you will fill in the blanks...I'm in my 30s, I'm married, I live a suburban's good...not easy...but good.

So...sports...I'm hung up on sports. Just as I wrote about baseball in clutches of winter, it always seems the out-of-season sports are coming to mind. Lots of movement in the NHL this week...likely more to come. I still love hockey, it's still Saturday night to me...and those Saturday nights over the summer never seem quite right. We'll have to deal with new theme music on HNIC next season...which is actually fairly traumatic...and it will be downright odd hearing the old theme on TSN...I'm still not sure what they're thinking on that one--sort of like Coke suddenly deciding it should rename itself Pepsi...but I digress. With morbid curiosity I've been following Sean Avery's stint at Vogue...I actually give the guy huge credit for his willingness to be a non-conformist...he's certainly no dumbass, and I think the verdict is still out for me as far as whether or not he deserves to be labelled for all his alleged douche-baggery. He editeded a Men's Vogue feature on the worst sports uniforms in history...which was actually pretty entertaining and MOSTLY spot on...the old Astros uniforms made the cut, which surprised no one...the Pirates' pillbox hats and the old black/red/orange/yellow Canucks jerseys were up there. The only bone to pick for me was the inclusion of the U.S. team's Sunday shirts from the 1999 Ryder Cup--the Cup infamous for it's raucous fairway celebrations at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass...I liked those shirts--Ben Crenshaw, the captain that year, was meticulous--conceptualizing the shirts--which featured portraits of past Ryder Cup winning teams. All this got me thinking about my own interest in pro-golf, and how it has waned so much over the past decade--just as the game itself has risen to prominence in the world of pro sports. I stumbled on a bunch of quotes from the 1999 team members--some had sold the shirts, others had lost them...Tiger Woods...well, he said it was ugly and that he'd thrown it into his fireplace...and people wonder why I don't like him...or find him interesting to watch. Payne Stewart's widow noted that Payne's shirt was still hanging in his closet. Man do I miss Payne Stewart.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hope-Thy Name Is Kenny

See, it's been WAY too long since I've posted. That's what's dogged me so badly on my past Blog attempts--I post for a bit, get distracted and forget all about it. So--I see here that's it's closing in on 8 weeks since I've posted--so I'm getting back on the horse instead of letting this thing go to seed.

I've got a lot going on--a lot on my mind--but coming here to write today--all I can think to write about is the political situation in Detroit--namely the indictment of Kwame Kilpatrick--the mayor of a major city indicted on multi-year felonies--simply amazing. Of course the media has had it's day--I actually don't think there's much room for analysis really--it is what it is, a fair and just decision on the part of Kym Worthy to at least begin to try to hold KK and those he has surrounded himself with to account for their actions.

Every step of the way, Kilpatrick has angered me with his arrogance and defiance--yet, just when it seemed I couldn't get angrier--I read about this legal defence fund that has been set up--a place for folks to go and donate up to $12,000 a pop to help Kwame pay for his Chi-Town lawyer--who disturbs me everytime I see him due to his uncanny resemblance to Ron Popeil. In a city wracked with poverty and crime, riddled with abandonment, suffering due to the foreclosure crisis--in a place with a population that has been shrinking for over 50 years and is increasingly indigent--the audacity of this "charity" is beyond appaling--it has left me in complete disbelief. I switched up my commute today--not sure why--but I slipped off I-94 on the near eastside--at Exit 219--M3/Gratiot Avenue--and I rode this broad, six-lane avenue into downtown. Gratiot--not unlike Grand River to the west, represents everything that has happened to Detroit in the past 50 years. It exemplifies decay, loss, crime, fear and poverty. Some neighborhood streets are well kept--others are dotted with weedy lots and roofless, charred wrecks. In spite of all this, Kwame and Company believe that if you have dollars to give, you ought to give them to him, so he can give them to his lawyer from Illinois--not to feed the homeless, or help the DMC care for the indigent, not even to keep someone's heat on in the winter--but to save his sorry ass from prosecution.

Which brings us, in a way, to Kenneth Cockrel Jr. I like Ken Cockrel--I'll go on record. I find him plain-spoken but intellectual--clearly from a family of educated activists. His steely gaze from the audience in Orchestra Hall when the Mayor launched into a tirade during the State of the City address cemented my feelings. Cockrel isn't an opportunist--waiting anxiously to pounce on a politcally weak Mayor. If anything he has been the City's, and the City Council's conscience. Cockrel doesn't have much in the way of flash--he's certainly lacks Kilpatrick's bejeweled swagger--nor does he possess what came across as the sometimes cool indifference of Dennis Archer (whose own impressive list of accomplishments has now been almost entirely co-opted by Kilpatrick's spin cycle). I also don't think it's an understatement to say that Ken Cockrel Jr. is no C.A.Y. For the tragedy, for the loss of money, for the destroyed careers--part of me believes--hopes at least--that out of all of this, Detroit may back half sideways into getting an administration run by a Mayor who is a Manager, who has a conscience--and who can be someone to whom the city's youth can look to as a leader and inspiration.

Prayer seems to be a big part of this story--at least on the public side. Tonight, I'll say a prayer for Ken Cockrel, and for Detroit.

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Spirit of Coleman Young

In keeping with the trend of giving honor to Coleman Young (the City-County Building and a rotting Airport have been named in honor of hizzoner), I was only mildly surprised today when Kwame Kilpatrick played the race card as part of his multi-pronged strategy at saving himself from the mire of scandal he finds himself sinking into. Specifically, he accused WDIV investigative reporter Karen Drew of asking a racially motivated question when she asked Kilpatrick about Candia Milton, the Mayor's new chief of staff owing the city thousands of dollars in back taxes. Drew, Kilpatrick suggested, only asked the question because Milton is a black Detroiter. This all comes a day after the City-County Building (or Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, if you prefer) became off-limits to reporters and Drew got manhandled by a member of Kilpatrick's security detail. This is classic Coleman, playing the race card to his advantage, deflecting criticism--making the blonde TV reporter the villain. It's just another prong in Kilpatrick's well-crafted public rehabilitation--the religion card has been played, the family card has been played--it was only a matter of time before Coleman's card was played.

The sickening part is that WDIV-TV--given exclusive access to Kilpatrick's contrition speech, has barely touched any of this. Steve Wilson, who's built his career at WXYZ by chasing Kilpatrick, gave more air-time to Drew's run-in at the City-County Building than Channel 4 did--and they ran nothing today regarding Kilpatrick accusing Drew of being a racist. I love Detroit, and Detroit deserves better. Any outlet with a public voice--The News, The Free Press, 2, 4, 7, WDET, The Metro Times--everyone should be tearing this story to pieces to get at the truth--Detroit and this entire region deserve nothing less.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Baseball In January

So, I am fresh off watching *61, a movie that I had never previously had the opportunity to see--it's a masterwork really, a story that needed to be told--and one that Billy Crystal needed to tell. It was nice to go back in time--not only to 1961, but also to 2001 when Tiger Stadium had only been "freshly" vacated by the Tigers and was still in camera-ready condition. It's impending disappearance will be like a death that you expect to be prepared for--but ultimately are not. It is hallowed ground, the ground of Ty Cobb, and since it's abandonment it has been all but completely useless. Unfortunately even a heritage designation could not make the place useful again--and it has been a sickening decade watching the place slowly, surely, decay. Nonetheless--that view--whether it be from Michigan Avenue, or from I-75--or simply of it's aged lighting towers--will never be the same once the white siding and blue trim disappear. It's intamcy--it's wall of grandstands surrounding it's field...are irreplaceable.

But the spark, that inexplicable something that follows baseball, and the Tigers lives on. It lives on the minds and memories of thousands of fans--and yes, it lives on at Comerica Park.

So, in the dead of winter--the coldest spell we've had yet--my mind is one baseball. A few months back Men's Journal published a list of the reasons that we all still love sports. I will share what they had to say about baseball...

Walking out of the tunnel into any stadium is a narcotic rush of obsessively manicured lawns. imported red clay and pristine chalk lines laid down in surgical precision. You know in that moment when the field opens before you that, despite all the agony and disappointment, this is why you'll always come back.

Friday, January 18, 2008


So, here I am...again. The Blog is one of the great innovations of our time--for a guy like me, with lots to say and a desire to hear what other people are saying. I should've been on the Blog-wagon a long time ago, but my past efforts have been sorely effort. Each time I've started a Blog with high-hopes before getting distracted and letting the Blog go stale. I've abandoned 2, and have no intent on making this one the third. With that being said, I hope to drop in here at least a few times a week and say my piece. On any given day I doubt anyone will care what I have to say, but I'm still going to put it out there. The trick of course is writing as though 1000 people will read it, when in reality it might be 1000 less than that.

Anyway, if you do wander in--stay awhile and feel free to participate.