Thursday, January 27, 2005

Detroit? Your turn next year

My friend Mike once referred to Jacksonville as "the Detroit of Florida." I remembered that while reading Tony Kornheiser complain about Jacksonville hosting this year's Super Bowl in yesterday's Washington Post. This should remind the people of Detroit to get ready. Start thickening that skin because the inevitable cheap shots about Detroit will begin soon. You've heard 'em all - the crime, the riots, the cars being turned over and set on fire, and all the other crap that happened years ago. You hear that low-pitched whine? That's the national sports media grumbling about how cold Detroit is, pouting that there's nothing to do in the city, and wishing the "big game" could be in New Orleans, Miami, or San Diego every year.

I hope Detroit proves 'em all wrong and puts on a great show. But I have doubts. And because of that, I'm dreading next year's Super Bowl. (Unless, of course, the Lions are in it - but please, I'm trying to be serious here.) It's great for the city to host such a major event, but not at the cost of being a punching bag. The rest of the country already thinks Detroit is a $#!+hole, and nothing that happens next year will change that. And I'd just rather avoid the teasing.

I like Detroit, I grew up near it, but I know it's not a great city. I would like to point out, however, that the area near Ford Field is developing and growing. Also, "better" cold-weather cities like Chicago, New York, and Boston have never hosted a Super Bowl, while this is Detroit's second time. So just give me time to find some leather to bite down on before taking your shots. Please try to be gentle.