Monday, October 16, 2006

Where's the happiest place on Earth?

The happiest place on planet Earth? Take a guess.

Disneyland? No. Disneyworld? Not even close. Epcot Center? Euro-Disney? HA! Michigan State? Let's not go there. Ford Field? They are relieved more than anything else after the Lions' absolutely meaningless win. tOSU? Not happy, they're just flipping insane. The University of Michigan? They're in a damn good mood over in A2, but no. How about where they are still playing baseball, St. Louis or New York? More likely terrified.

No, the happiest place on Earth is the whole of SE Michigan, with the epicenter being the corner of Montcalm and Witherell, Comerica Park. The Worldwide Leader says as much, so it's got to be true, right? Amazingly enough, for once they are correct.

The Detroit Tigers won the PENNANT! The once lowly, now mighty, Tigers, are the champions of the American League!

Come on, the American League Pennant? No F'n way. It wasn't supposed to happen, not this year. Not next year. Not anytime soon. Maybe not ever. But it did...

I'm not sure I can actually grasp how amazing this season, and especially the last 2 weeks, have been. The enormity, the unexpectedness, of the Tigers accomplishment left me at a loss for words. How many ways can you say that you are happy? Happy is an understatement. Honestly, words like delirious, estatic, giddy don't come close. There are no words that could describe how happy the feelings are of the long downtrodden Tiger fan.

As I wasn't lucky enough to be at Comerica Saturday night, (Unlike good friend of TWFE, BrianDTW, who has a great post about his Comerica experience at The Sports Frog) I was with the girlfriend (A huge Tigers, and especially of Placido Polanco, fan. You can guess how happy his winning the ALCS MVP made her...) nervously watching what we hoped would be the clincher. When Magglio Ordonez swung, and as soon as the ball left the bat, you knew the game was over, we were as loud as 2 people could possibly be. She was screaming, clapping, jumping up and down, while I just sat there, stunned, yelling "Oh my God, oh my God," over and over. Then I got a HUGE kiss, for which I will be eternally greatful to Maggs.

2 days after the game, I still smile when thinking about it. Hell, I'm still smiling, period. I'm sure the rest of us have similar stories, and feel the exact same way.

It's being said all over, and I totally agree, that this utterly unfathomable season long run of the Tigers may be the most gratifing of any ever seen in Detroit. Damn near every title won in the D was with a team you knew had a chance to make some postseason noise, at the very least.

The Bad Boy era Pistons built to their 2 titles, and you could see the possibilites beforehand. We knew the 2004 Pistons were good, we just didn't know how far they were capable of going. Their dominating finals win was unexpected, but not in making the playoffs. The Red Wings were much like the Bad Boys. The '97 run you saw coming, a Stanley Cup was going to happen, Hell or high water. '98 and '02 were gravy. They were all great, same goes for the runs of the Wolverines and Spartans, and I'll never forget them.

But... The baseball love runs deep here, it was just dormant for a couple of decades. Basketball and hockey don't connect with everyone, not nearly to the extent that baseball does.

The past great Tiger teams of my lifetime, the '68 (Whom I was too young to appreciate) and '84 teams, built up to their championships. Much like the Wings, you saw it coming. But the 2006 Tigers? I wouldn't have been more surprised if you walked up behind me, and whacked me across my head with a 2X4. It's been that stunning. And leaves a mark...

No one saw this coming. Not a soul. Not me, not you, not the MSM, no one in baseball, no one. A team that is 3 years removed from 119 losses isn't supposed to be .500, let alone contend. That's what makes this Tiger season so great, so unexpected, and so absolutely wonderful.

We'll probably never see something like this again, at least not in our lifetimes.

Go Tigers!


  1. Well said, Big Al. I was thinking about that last night. All the other championships had "warning" signs.

    But THIS....


  2. This season has been such a gift. I admit tearing up a little bit during the presentation of the American League championship trophy. Even if the Tigers don't win it all this year and they win 20 World Series in the next 60 years, I will never ever forget this team.

  3. I'd say it's all of Michigan! Fans in NW Michigan are equally excited about our Tigers and judging from everyone I talk to on the streets (granted the streets aren't as crowded as SE Michigan) but we can't wait for the World Series!