Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Thank You note to Mike Ilitch

This is a Thank You note.
Not to my aunt for a pair of argyle socks or my nephew for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt.
Nope, it is to Mike Ilitch.
And no, Mr. Ilitch didn't give me a Hickory Farms basket for Christmas.
I want to thank him for the Red Wings. I want to thank him for the Tigers.
I was watching the Red Wings beat the Bruins in their home opener Thursday night and it got me to thinking; the Wings have made it into the playoffs the last 23 seasons and I’m not sure we all appreciate that fact.
I remember when Mike Ilitch bought a Red Wings’ team that was so woeful he had to give a car away pretty much every game just to get people to stop by the arena.
They had been called the Dead Wings by Channel 4 broadcaster Al Ackerman. Or was it the Dead Things? Either way, neither was very complimentary.
It's 11 o'clock, do you know where Ned Harkness is?
Those Red Wings were a joke and that is something that should be remembered when people grouse about these Red Wings not getting to the conference finals or the Stanley Cup Finals or even winning the Stanley Cup.
I just wanted to send a Thank You note to the team owner.
Not for argyle socks. Not for a T-shirt. Not for a Hickory Farms assortment basket. But for turning the Red Wings back into a winning organization and keeping them there.
While I'm at it I ought to get back to the Hallmark store and pick up another card.
Dear Mr. Ilitch, thanks for the Tigers.
I know they have to be frustrating the heck out of you lately. You spent all of that money and not all of it has brought a good return. A team that was supposed to make a serious run at the World Series championship stumbled in the opening round of the playoffs.
But the team has won the Central Division the last four seasons. They have played some outstanding baseball and the lineup is sprinkled with some of the best and brightest in the game. Comerica Park is a great place to watch baseball and there has been lots of good baseball to see in recent seasons.
I know you are a baseball guy. I know you grew up a fan of the Tigers and even had a shot in the minor leagues.
You are one of us. Someone from here who has a passion for the game. You want the Tigers to win as much as we do if not more and you're willing to pay the price.
That passion alone is something to say thanks for.
You have proven that you can field competitive teams -- and even championship teams -- in a town about as far away from the bright lights as you can get. We don't have South Beach. We have Metro Beach. We don't have Broadway. We have Henry the Hatter on Broadway Avenue in downtown Detroit. We don't have Malibu. We drive Malibus.
But we have Cabrera. We have Zetterberg. We have Datsuyk. We have Verlander. So I guess that means we have Upton, too (Kate, not B.J. or Justin)
We have our share of stars. We have more than our share of wins and even a few titles.
We have a pretty darned good owner.
That Thank You note is in the mail.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home