Saturday, April 19, 2008

You want to know what Detroit sports fan Hell is?

No, it has nothing to do with the Lions. Actually, we lived through that Hell Friday night...

Around 10:15 PM, we fans found ourselves in the following heart stopping mess.

The Red Wings were going into OT of a damn near must win game 5 with the Predators. This was a game they DOMINATED for 59:20, yet still could not close out in regulation, as the Preds tied the game 1-1 late. As in the final 40 seconds...

This was a game we have lived over and over again, as the Wings out shot Nashville seemingly 150:2, but only beat Preds goalie Dan Ellis once, by Valtteri Filppula in the first 5 minutes of the game. The rest of the night was spent holding out breath, in a deathly fear of the Wings somehow finding a way to lose.

While at the exact same time, the smoke and mirrors closer, puff ball throwing Todd Jones, entered the game for the Tigers in the bottom of the 9th, hoping to close out their matchup with the Blue Jays.

The Tigers had, as is quickly becoming their M.O., came back late in the game, plating 4 in the 7th inning to take the lead. Their surprising bullpen held up, and the Edgar Renteria capped off a fine night on offense by knocking in an insurance run in the top of the 9th, giving Jones a 4 run cushion, 8-4. I'd hope that would enough leeway for a close by the Rollercoaster.

Thus, here we were in Detroit sports fan Hell, with the Red Wings going into an OT they shouldn't have been in to begin with, and the Tigers starting the 9th with the scariest closer in all of baseball.

To say my heart was in my throat, and stomach was in knots, would be putting it mildly.

Jones got the ball before the Wings took the ice. He gets the 1st out on a DEEP fly to center, but a 390 foot out is still an out. Jones then proceeds to channel his inner D-Train, and WALKS the next 2 batters. Beads of sweat have formed on my forehead.

A mound visit from Chuck Hernandez prolonged the agony. As the Red Wings OT was close to starting, Jones, with the tying run on deck, got a fly out and a force to end the game Tigers win, 8-4! WHEW...

One game down, one to go.

With the Tigers in the win column, I turned my attention back to Red Wings, and the start of OT. A 1:40 into the OT, the Red Wings forced a Preds turnover. The Mule, Johan Franzen, found himself open on a breakaway, and praise be to GOD/ALLAH/BUDDAH/ZEUS, pulled the string, and shoved the puck past a sprawling Ellis, allowing Red Wings Nation to finally exhale. Wings win, 2-1!

It was a Detroit sports fan's Hell, a horrifically scary moment in time, but a least it was short lived. By 10:30, my blood pressure was normal, and all was as it should be. The Tigers winners, and the Red Wings back in control of their playoff series.

With the Wings and Pistons in the playoffs, and the Tigers trying to recover from their painfully bad start, we may have more of these overly tense nights to come. I don't know you may feel, but in my mind these games aren't exactly pleasant to watch. I feel as if I endure them, one white knuckle situation after another...

I suggest you stock up on your alcohol, meds, or whatever gets you through a tense situation, as it's going to be a loooong spring, if Friday was any indication.


  1. Add the hellish twist for me that, because of work committments, this was the first Wings playoff game I really had a chance to watch...and because of a reverse-karmic-linkage of some sort, hockey fans felt compelled to cheer for Jones to blow the save to help the Wings win, since they had opposing results the last few games.

    That and we were planning various animal sacrifices to ensure success.

  2. Baroque, I was lurking in that A2Y thread you're referring to, I got a big laugh out of the "animal sacrifices." Hell, I was in shock over the Preds goal...

    I was aware of the "Tigers win, Wings lose" and vice versa issue as well. To be honest, my post was inspired by the the ongoing A2Y and BYB thread that were going on simultaneously.

    There was angst aplenty in Detroit Friday night.