I thought since we are in offseason mode, some of you might like to read this.
DAN LE BATARD: Detroit is the real pit of the universe
May 23, 2005
BY DAN LE BATARD
MIAMI HERALD COLUMNIST
It has been voted America's worst city for sleeping and dating. It is pocked with bad roads, abandoned buildings and the Detroit Lions. It is responsible for foisting upon us Ted Nugent, Tom Selleck and John Salley. It is dark and dirty and cold and sad and dangerous.
MITCH ALBOM: Miami is all sunburns and alligators
Other than that, and the murders, Detroit is swell.
But at least the basketball fans never throw things at opposing players or get into fights with them.
If the team can't beat you, its fans will try.
Mitch, like its city, Detroit's basketball style is ugly and depressing, too. The Pistons drag the ballet into the sewage. If rules allowed it, Detroit would play against Dwyane Wade with machetes. The uglier, the better. Playing the Pistons is like setting your face on fire with a blowtorch and then putting out the flames with a screwdriver. Seventy-five points will beat them. This isn't basketball; it's soccer.
If this were the circus, Shaquille O'Neal would be the tuxedoed ringleader and Wade would be the acrobat and the Pistons would be the elephants going to the bathroom all over the court.
Their offense needs a calendar, not a shot clock. Fast break? That's what the Pistons do out of town the moment the season is over. Even Detroit's coach, vagabond Larry Brown, has spent the season talking about not particularly wanting to be there anymore. Imagine how eager he'd be to leave if he hadn't won his first pro championship there last year.
Ah, yes, the championship. That's what they'll flash in our faces today.
That one ring from last season. Come on, Mitch. You know Detroit didn't steal that ring from Shaq as much as Kobe did. Motivated and skinny Shaq has three of those things. He is about to show you and your starless team how he got them. Big, bad Ben Wallace looks like something that Shaq wears on his key chains. Shaq dropped 36 and 34 on his Afro last season even while having to pry the ball out of Kobe's cold, dead fingers to do it.
Never mind Shaq's motivation to silence Kobe Bryant, Jerry Buss and MVP voters. The greatest motivation for the Heat to beat the Pistons quickly is so that the players don't have to return to the eighth ring of hell for Game 6.
"That's not fair," Satan said when reached exclusively by the Miami Herald. "I don't have anything down here as bad as Detroit."
Detroit would have to add Miami's beaches, weather and nightlife, New York's culture and restaurants and L.A.'s entertainment to upgrade to being merely awful. The fans burn things to celebrate victories, so about the only positive thing you can say about the city is that arson is never a problem around the Lions.
In the history of man, has anyone ever gone to Detroit to vacation? The next tourist to arrive in Detroit for pleasure will be the first, and will have to be there only because all the vacation packages to Iraq were booked.
It's a shame that crime and poverty won't allow people there to sleep.
There's not much else to do in Apocalyptic Detroit, except maybe fight with basketball players. Mitchigan Albom over there will argue that the people are nice. And maybe they are, when they aren't killing each other. It is hard for Miami to mock any city when it comes to violence, but Detroit makes Miami look like Pleasantville.
Come on, Mitch. How can you be proud of a place that grades on a curve and calls its dump of a basketball arena the Palace? And is replete with fans like those frumpy dorks who ran on the court during the famous Indiana melee ... guys who wear their baseball caps backward because the things don't come with instructions?
Detroit counters Wade, one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people, with Rasheed Wallace, one of People magazine's 50 angriest people. Wallace always leads the league in screaming at refs. And when he was in Portland, he blazed a lot more than trails.
They deserve each other, Wallace and Detroit.
They are both technically foul.
DAN LE BATARD is a columnist for the Miami Herald, which, like the Free Press, is owned by Knight Ridder. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.