This comes to me from a Detroit area man, and sports fan, who’s enduring a professional setback, and some personal financial uncertainty right now. Yes, you might have heard a thing or two in the news about the city of Detroit and its economic hardships. Now you’re hearing about their athletic successes as well.
Well the media often likes to present those two situations together, often into being something they’re not.
We’re here to tell you what really happens when sports triumph hits an economically depressed city. Here’s our piece from Detroit Sports Fan:
I’m unemployed. It’s not a lot of fun. In fact it sucks. A lot.
I know I’m not the only person in this economic environment without a job and I haven’t even been unemployed very long. But unemployment takes a psychological toll very quickly. The “it’s-going-be-be-ok” attitude that was prevalent the first few days of unemployment is already starting to chip away.
And while I have confidence that things will, eventually, be OK, it’s nice when the things that I can’t control are going my way. Like, for instance, my sports teams doing incredibly well.
See, I’m also a Detroiter. (Technically a “metro-Detroiter” since I’m from St. Clair Shores, just a stone’s throw from Detroit.) Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Detroit-area teams are the word in the sports world (Not unlike, the bird).
The Tigers won a division title and are now in the ALCS. The Lions are undefeated and heading into their first Monday Night Football game in several years. The Wolverines are undefeated, the Spartans just came off a big road win at Ohio State and both are on a collision course for an epic showdown next weekend. The Wings start their season today. And no one in Detroit has to watch the Pistons play because of the lockout.
So, yeah, things are going VERY well for a Detroit sports fan. And I’m not ashamed to admit this is making me feel better.
See, the national media likes to play up the idea that the success of Detroit sports will pull the city out from its doldrums and kick-start a rebirth. Well, that’s not going to happen. Detroiters will make that happen. Detroiters with big and creative ideas who will wrestle the city from its paralyzing bureaucracy and lead it into a brighter future.
Sports teams won’t do that.
But they can make us feel good and there should be no shame in believing sports teams can have that positive effect. While it’s dumb for the national media to speak for the city and claim that it “needs” sports teams to do well (see CBS and their MORONIC fallacies presented in stories of the MSU Spartans reaching the 2009 Final Four, held in Detroit) it’s just as stupid for individuals to speak for their fellow Detroiters and claim the success of the Lions, Pistons, Tigers, Red Wings, Michigan or Michigan State doesn’t help in some way.
It helps me. It puts a smile on my face. It makes my otherwise normal life just a little bit more fun. And there is nothing wrong with that.
(Go here for a parody of the media’s common archetype of the sports victory and crisis model)
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