Friday, January 27, 2006

Stereotypes are the refuge of a hack

The Detroit bashing I expected the media to do with unrestrained glee hasn't happened as of yet. For example,Mike Downey, former Freep lead columnist (Pre Little Fella), has some very nice things to say about Detroit and it's denizens in the Chicago Tribune. The line that hit most home to me?

No wonder a lot of Michigan folk can't take a joke. Most of them have heard one too many.

Truer words have not been spoken.

Up to this point, I've seen more in defense of the D than what you might expect. But that defense has come from either local media, such as in Michael Rosenberg's well thought out Fox Sports column, or from those who have lived here and are thus sympathetic, such as Downey. More typical is this article by Fox Sports Randy Hill, which has a harmless snark to it. He gets extra credit for taking a snide swipe at the Little Fella.

But the NFL Travelling All-Stars & Motor Kings haven't yet hit town. As soon as the heavy hitters of the media land at Metro this weekend, step into 30 degree cold, and see dark skies, they'll wish they were in SoCal and the gloves will come off.

We Michiganders know the drill all too well. Stereotypes will be used in force, and with malice. I guarantee hack columnists and lazy broadcasters will use the following examples: Rioting fans (I'll forever curse Bubba Helms), it's too damn cold, Devil's Night fires, high crime rate, crazy corrupt mayor, Beirut (Thank you Michael Wilbon), Bahgdad, Millen's an idiot. Well, the last is more of a fact, but still...

Maybe I'm going a little overboard, but years of denigrating Detroit have taken a toll on everyone that lives in the metro area. It's become personal. We all remember the cracks made during the last two NBA Finals and the Ryder Cup. If there had been a referee, he'd have thrown a flag for "Piling on."

So, in fairness to Detroit...I'm making a preemptive strike, starting with the Super Bowl participants...

Seattle - Latte drinking, Birkenstock wearing hippies that riot. (Remember the WTO meetings?) They are under the impression that Kurt Kobain was a tortured genius, not a strung out addict.
Pittsburgh - Laid off steel workers who drink beer with funny names and think Myron Cope, of all people, is a God? What the Hell is with those stupid yellow towels? Hey, I saw "The Deer Hunter..."
Boston - Racist city whose Irish drunks think the world revolves around the Sox and Pats.(Just ask them) Have a huge a inferiority complex in regard to NYC.
NYC - Smug goodfellas who think the universe revolves around them, but for some reason have to go to Jersey to watch football.
Philly - Thugs who believe Steakums and Cheez Whiz on a bun is a delicacy. I hear they hate Santa too...
Miami - Cualquier persona habla ingl├ęs?
Atlanta - General Sherman went through there for a reason. Nothing but a bunch of good ol' boys who are the worst sports fans in the country, unless it involves cars truning left.
LA - Anyone actually from LA? Anyone at all? Home of the transient, front running, bandwagon fan. (Suddenly a college football town thanks to USC, wasn't the Coliseum half empty 5 years ago?) They can't keep a pro football team and think Kobe Bryant's a role model. You best be packing heat when driving the expressway.
Chicago - Politically corrupt (Dead people vote...multiple times), full of fat guys that root fer da Cubs and da Bears. Have a World Series winning team that they could give two shits about. Think Ditka is the messiah. Let's not forget Steve Bartman...
Cincinatti - Hicksville. One step up from Columbus, and they thought Pete Rose had a cool haircut.
Cleveland - "Mistake on the Lake." Nothing more to be said.
Dallas - Cowboy boot wearing nouveau riche, meaing they have gold plated gun racks and 22" rims on their F-150.
Houston - Wants to be like Dallas. Everyone drives a beat up pickup truck with a gun rack while drinking beer from a paper bag. Hey, I saw "Urban Cowboy..."
Phoenix - I wouldn't know, it's too damn hot to go outside. Want to steal our water.

I could go on, but why bother? I already know everything I need about other big cities, even if I've never been there before.


  1. Add the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to the "Be Nice to Detroit" crowd. Mike Householder basically wrote a travel piece, with loads of suggestions of things to do and places to go, and details on buildings and areas that have been built back up.

    You know what's interesting about your list? Only six of those cities likely have a chance of hosting a Super Bowl. For all the shots Detroit takes, other cold-weather cities are getting "The Big Game."

  2. We care about the White Sox in Chicago. We can't help it if the Cell is next to the projects.