Tag Archives: red wings

Detroit Pride…


When you’re from Detroit, you can seem like you’re a little rough around the edges. People sometimes call you negative or pessimistic and truth be told, sometimes we are.

Detroit has seen it’s fair share of heartache.

The Big Three Auto Companies have fallen on tough times… but they’re fighting back.

The City and the State of Michigan have lost tons of jobs and a lot of people have packed up and headed out of State (myself included)… but Michigan is making progress.

So when the lowly Detroit Lions took Center Stage on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears, the table was set for a wonderful Cinderella Story. The team that lost every game in 2008 was finally back on Monday Night Football.

As Barry Sanders introduced the City of Detroit and the Lions to a National audience, I couldn’t help but swell with pride for the City that will always be where I’m from. You can’t take that out of a Detroiter. It’s in us and will never leave.

The emotions I felt were similar to that Chrysler commercial during the Super Bowl. Detroit had been knocked down many times, but they weren’t down for the count.

The Lions have brought a new excitement to Motown. Detroit’s always been a football town. The Red Wings were our only hope for years. They’ve been winning and building an amazing organization for 20 years. The Tigers are doing their fair share lately too, but Detroit has been waiting on the edge of their seats for the Lions to win for 50 years.

Every Pre-Season the excitement and optimism grows… then the season starts and reality sets in. Not this year. Things are different, you can feel it. This Lions team has something special, maybe not a Super Bowl, but they’re on the right track. Shedding their losing mentality and winning football games… even the games they should lose.

I remember going to the parade when the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997 in Downtown Detroit. There were over One Million people there. If the Lions win the Super Bowl, I don’t think the City of Detroit will be able to handle the Millions that would show up. It’d be like a National Holiday in Michigan.

Needless to say, Detroit was proud of their team on Monday Night. There’s something brewing with the Lions and Detroiters all over the Country are loving every minute of it. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, Jahvid Best, Head Coach Jim Schwartz and the entire team gave us plenty to be proud of.

Keep it going Lions… hopefully the best is yet to come.

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Pavel honors Salei

Today the Detroit Red Wings started training camp in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan.

Detroit’s premier talent, Pavel Datsyuk has a bit of a different look this year. He’s wearing the number 24. Normally Pav’s wears the number 13. But during this training camp he is paying tribute to former Red Wing, Ruslan Salei. Salei was one of 43 people who died in a plane crash in Russia September 7th.

In my life thus far I haven’t lost anyone that I was extremely close to. I think the hardest deaths for me were my grandmother when I was pretty young and Cheryl’s mother when I was 19 years old. Honestly the pain I saw Cheryl and her family going through was what moved me the most. I loved Mrs. C, but I didn’t know her like they did.

We also watched the Series Finale of Rescue Me last night. I won’t give too much away, but there was a funeral on the final episode. In typical Rescue Me fashion, the boys paid tribute to one of their own.

I hate to tell everyone this, but death is inevitable. You learn that more and more as you get older. I realize I’m not old, but I’m old enough to finally grasp the concept of, “You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing,” (James 4:14 TM).

All this has me thinking, how do you honor the memory of those you lose?

My friend John just finished riding in Pelotonia for a friend he lost to cancer. He honored her memory by trying to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Pavel Datsyuk wears the number of his fallen comrade. Our country flies the American Flag at half mast for those who’ve been lost. Teams and athletes wear patches on uniforms to remember. Some get tattoos or have stickers made for their car honoring their loved ones.

How have you honored those you’ve lost? Have you seen something or someone honor someone they lost in a special way?

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We Need a Hero…

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my friend, Dave, before. He wrote a blog about a week ago about comic book heroes. You can find it here. It got me to thinking about who my heroes were as a kid.

I never got into comic books – though I have always had an affinity for Batman. Something about a regular guy who runs around at night kicking bad guy butts sounds like something a night owl like me would enjoy… all that Wayne money wouldn’t hurt either.

Most of my “heroes” were really more like people I admired or aspired to be.

I spent a lot of time dreaming about scoring the game winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals. So in some ways, hockey players were my heroes.

Finding a hero on those late 70′s and early 80′s Detroit Red Wings teams was tough… they were known as the Dead Things during most of that era. I did however look up to Steve Yzerman, who came to the team in 1984. I was privileged to follow him throughout his amazing career. Unfortunately, my athletic abilities (more likely my lack of discipline) didn’t inspire Stanley Cup game-winning-goal greatness.

I’ve always enjoyed a great storyteller.

My dad introduced me to Bill Cosby quite early in life. I remember dad laughing while we listened to records of Bill Cosby & Flip Wilson. I, of course, was hooked immediately.

Cosby was not just a “joke man,” he told the greatest stories about his life. I felt like I was there with him. I got to eat the chocolate cake for breakfast! I sang along, “Dad is great, he gave us the chocolate cake!” I knew when I got my first cavity that I too would not feel my bottom lip… “I can’t feel my fay-bace!”

As I got older – and much to Mr. Cosby’s chagrin – I saw Eddie Murphy tell stories with much more colorful language. That color if you’re wondering was BLUE. Dirty, rotten, filthy blue. That color’s not available in your Crayola Crayon box.

Murphy was an amazing storyteller too. He was so candid and real… probably too real for some. I’ve been accused of that many times myself. He just talked about the things people thought, but didn’t say.

I can remember telling the edited version of Eddies Aunt Bunny falling down the stairs and mom and dad laughing until they couldn’t breath. My mother used to ask me to do “Eddie Murphy” for guests at our house!

To this day, I have no idea how I got away with watching Eddie’s stuff… I must have laughed quietly in my basement bedroom. Apparently I was quite a sneaky little teenager.

Let’s not go there…

There have been many others and there are new storytellers that influence me every day. Watching and listening to great storytellers has inspired me to be a part of many adventures in life. I’ve done stand-up comedy, as well as improvisational & sketch comedy. I’ve been a radio DJ and wrote, voiced & produced commercials. I’ve even been a preacher and a teacher to boot.

But my favorite thing in the world is entertaining my friends & family with my wildly exaggerated stories. Full of sound effects and crazy character voices. If I haven’t told you a story lately, ask me to… it makes me feel like I am being exactly who I was created to be. By the way, you probably won’t have to ask. When I’m around a story tends to break out some way or another.

So tell me this, who were your heroes growing up? How have they shaped the person you’ve become?

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Back In Time…

[soundcloud url="http://soundcloud.com/ramblinscotzman/back-in-time"]

The other day, my buddy, Bill Moore, posted a blog about what he would tell the 17 year old version of himself today. He’d travel back in time like Marty McFly to “fix” some of the glaring errors he made back in the 80?s. I’m sure Huey Lewiswould be blaring in the background but I think Bill would be driving his Mustang, not aDelorean.

Either way, it got me to thinking, what I might say… for me it’d be more of a Breakfast Clubscenario.

High School was not a pleasant experience for me. Lots of angst. Thankfully, it’s where I met my wife and that was awesome, but the culture and circumstances I found myself in were less than ideal. There were some good moments, but overall my memory of High School was me getting in trouble constantly. I was a cross between Bender and Claire. A rebel who had a little popularity (plus I was spoiled rotten).

You know how everyone always remembers that one teacher that believed in them and changed their lives? Yeah, that never happened for me. Cry me a river, right? Was I rebellious? Was I a pain in the butt? Was I disrespectful? Yup. Sometimes free thinkers look like that. I was just a kid after all.

I won’t regale you with all the gory details, but needless to say, Mom & Dad got a lot of gray hair during those years (I probably even gave Cheryl’s parents a few).

I have a few things to tell you. Listen up butt-head!

1. Stop arguing with your parents. They actually know a few things. I realize you know everything already, but indulge them.

2. For the love of God, please pay attention to the car in front of you. I know you’ve already crashed your T-Bird a few times by now, but there are many more to come. It’s called keeping a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. By the way, you’ll be waiting a while to get that thing back from your uncle. Get used to Dad’s Grand Marquis.

3. When you graduate from High School you are going to grow a mullett. People are going to make fun of those things forever. I know Richard Marx’s looks really cool, but please believe me they are considered quite possibly the worst hairdo in history. People still have them. There are entire websites dedicated to mocking them.

4. Websites. You are going to love these. Just like Bill said, invest in Apple. Ask your Dad if you can borrow $1,000, in fact tell him to buy a bunch of it too. By 2011, you’ll be set for life!

5. Girls lose their minds around 19. I have no idea why, but I’m just trying to prepare you. Don’t worry though, it all works out in the end.

6. Don’t stop thinking and asking questions. I know, I know, that is what gets you in hot water with the establishment known as Inter City Baptist School, but it’s okay to think for yourself. My suggestion is that you start journaling instead of asking your teachers. They don’t get it or they do and they’re trying to beat it out of you. Your opinions and thoughts will serve you well one day.

7. College is a joke. I know people will tell you differently, but it’s a giant cash cow. Take a few months, even a year or so and figure out what you like doing then pursue it. If college will help you in that pursuit, do it. If not, it’s okay.

8. For crying out loud, stick with something! God’s given you a lot of talent. If you find something you like doing, your natural abilities will take you pretty far, but there will be a time where you have to work hard to achieve your dreams. Quit quitting when things get hard!

9. Stop worrying about what people think. You’ll never please everyone. The only people you need to please are God and your spouse (and you can’t always please her either). Be who God created you to be. He’ll help you if you keep your eyes on Him.

10. Put the potato chips down. They are your kryptonite. Food is not the answer man. Get outside or play a sport or something.

11. Don’t ever use credit cards. You have a serious impulse control problem (See potato chips above). Again, stuff is not the answer.

12. Stop losing your temper. It’s ugly. Yes, people are annoying, but you need to learn that you can’t control every situation and get over yourself. Sometimes the Red Wings/Lions/Wolverines will lose. It’s just a game. Move on.

13. Get a guitar and practice playing it. You’re going to need it.

14. Stop believing the bad things people say about you and stop putting yourself down. God is so proud of you. You are an amazing dude. Trust me, people love you.

15. Most importantly, pursue God with all your heart, body and spirit. He is all that matters in this life. He has plans for you and He loves you more than you can ever imagine.

Now, I want to give you a little good news:

First off, your wife is amazing. You really got the best chick in the world. You guys are madly in love.

You’ll love this, you finally got a dog! Try to figure out why he’s afraid of thunder storms… and pretty much everything else. Either way, you got a dog Dude!

Don’t give up on the Red Wings. The jury is still out on the Lions… things are looking good though (but you’ll think that every year).

Last but not least, it might take a while, but you are finally starting to figure things out. The key is putting your life in the hands of Jesus Christ. He’s a genius at making you exactly who you were made to be. Let go and let God take you on the adventure of your lifetime.

Tell me, what would you tell yourself now that you’re older and wiser?

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Do You Believe in NEW Miracles?!?

It may not be as amazing as the Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid, NY in 1980, but last night when the Men’s US Hockey Team took on the “best team ever assembled,” Team Canada, and won, it was pretty freakin’ awesome!

I thought the match up would be bittersweet for me at first. My favorite NHL team, the Detroit Red Wings, essentially put this team together. My boyhood (adulthood too) favorite, Steve Yzerman, is the man in charge of Team Canada (the favorites to win gold) and he brought along the Red Wings General Manager, Ken Holland & the Head Coach, Mike Babcock to assemble, manage and coach Team Canada.

Once the Red Wings own Brian Rafalski scored the first goal for the US, my alliances to Stevie Y and Team Canada went out the door. As the game progressed, my National Pride kicked in more and more. I really began to hate those rotten, dirty, cheap shot artist, Canadians. There are plenty of no-good, bending the rules, Canadians to dislike on that team too…

Exhibit A, Chris Pronger. Never liked him, never will. He man-handled plenty of Red Wings in his days with the St. Louis Blues, his brief stint in Edmonton and is his dastardly days in Anaheim with the Ducks.

Then we have Ryan Getzlaff & Corey Perry from the Ducks. If watching those two knuckleheads play against your favorite team doesn’t make you understand hockey violence, nothing will. I’ve never seen two guys use their sticks and elbows more than those two goons.

I almost forgot to mention Iginla. He’s deceptively vicious. Especially when he’s losing. Poor sport, no doubt about it. I digress…

The cherry on top of the whole sundae has to be Sidney Crosby. No, he really hasn’t done anything mean or dirty (except beat my beloved Red Wings for the Stanley Cup last Spring), but the constant love-fest of this whiney but talented Canadian is enough to make me puke.

While the current batch of US players are not college kids playing against pros (like the 1980 Gold Medal Team), this group of players, aided by the outstanding play of Michigan States own, Ryan Miller in goal, are a bunch of hard working, blue-collar types… at least by NHL Superstar standards. They just flat out worked hard all game long against a far more talented team.

I’m looking forward to these final days of the Olympics in Vancouver and hoping to see another Miracle on Ice in 2010.

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Another NHL Rant…

As someone who really enjoys watching sports, I’ve officially entered one sport territory until the Fall.

Hockey has always been my first love, but over the past 10 years or so, Football has inched closer and closer to the top. It’s tough for me to admit that, because I like being different. Being an NHL fan is different, let me tell ya’. I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to the being a fan of the NHL.

At this point in the year, the Superbowl has capped off another NFL season and all the Bowl games for NCAA are long gone, so now the NHL can have my undivided attention (except for the NFL Draft… the Detroit Lion’s Superbowl).

The NHL trade deadline & the playoffs are my favorite time of the year. Once the playoffs start, there is hockey every night… oh wait, there used to be hockey every night, but the Commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, toyed with that a bit to appease his hockey flagship, Versus.

So, let’s start again… the playoffs are on quite a few nights during the week on Versus. The only problem is, I have DIRECTV (which I love) and right now they’re in a bit of a squabble with Versus. Did I mention that Versus was owned by Comcast? Yes, the same Comcast that probably would like nothing more than to crush DIRECTV and continue to monopolize TV all over the US (Google it people… they own everything).

The good news is, this little tiff can’t last much longer right? I mean, they took Versus off DIRECTV in October, so they should have this whole thing worked out before the playoffs, right? I mean, Gary Bettman would obviously get these two in a room and work this out by then, I’m sure he’s already tried, right? Oh, he hasn’t? Hm, I wonder why?

Did I mention that Comcast, which owns Versus, also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL? Yup, they sure do. Gary Bettman just so happens to work for the NHL owners, all 30 of them. Maybe he doesn’t want to make his boss upset. Well, that’s just silly. There’s no way that Gary would disenfranchise all those fans that have DIRECTV just because Comcast, who owns Versus and the Philadelphia Flyers, can’t play nice.

Did I mention that Comcast now owns NBC? NBC is the only network that would even put the NHL on real tv (no offense cable/satellite providers). I’m sure NBC paid a lot of money though… wait, did I mention that they didn’t pay anything to air the NHL on NBC? Yeah, not a dime.

So, let’s see if we can figure this out. The commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, has two partners that show NHL games on a national level… Versus & NBC. Comcast owns Versus & NBC. Comcast doesn’t want you to watch satellite tv, because it costs them money (plus you’ll see how amazing HD is on DIRECTV). Comcast – I mean – Versus wants more money from DIRECTV to have Versus in there channel lineup. I’m sure the negotiations went something like this…

DIRECTV: “Okay, let’s see what you have to offer us, I’m sure we can work something out.”

Versus: “We have the NHL, MMA, racing, the Bull Riding and Sports Soup.”

DIRECTV: “Wow! You guys have the UFC?!? People pay big bucks to watch that stuff. Mixed Martial Arts is really gaining in popularity.”

Versus: “Well, we actually have the WEC, kind of like the minor leagues of the UFC.”

DIRECTV: “Well, you do have NASCAR and that sport really has a great following.”

Versus: “Let me stop you right there, we actually have Indy Car Racing – but we also have cycling. We cover that Tour de France thingy too.”

DIRECTV: “Hmmmm…”

Versus: “We also have college football now!”

DIRECTV: “That sounds good, tell me more.”

Versus: “We broadcast Mountain West Conference games, like Brigham Young, Colorado State, University of New Mexico, Air Force and U of N.”

DIRECTV: “Well U of M has a big following, that might be good.”

Versus: “Nope, I said ‘N’ not ‘M’ as in the University of Nevada. Did I mention we have the NHL and Sports Soup?”

DIRECTV: “Yes, yes you did. I think we actually might be paying you too much.”

The long and the short of it is, the main people in charge of the NHL are total idiots. Not just because they have allowed Comcast to stop millions of potential viewers from watching the NHL nationally, but because they have no idea how to market and grow this game.

If I really wanted to be good at something, I would study and emulate someone who was really good at that something. When it comes to running sports leagues, there is no one who does it better than the NFL. I’m sure Gary could give Roger Goodell a ring or even send him an email and pick his brain a bit. Heck, even if he met with the marketing team or former NFL insiders, anything that could help him see how to market the game of hockey.

This whole Versus/DIRECTV is just another blunder in a long line of screw-ups that the NHL has managed to pull off for many years. They’re a distant 4th in professional sports and nobody cares about the game. Even in Hockey Meccas, like Detroit, sports talk radio stations like 97.1 the Ticket barely utter a word about hockey during their drive-time show, Valenti & Foster.

Somebody… anybody with any influence whatsoever in the NHL. Please listen to your fans. You are doing a horrible job and some, if not all of your die-hard fans just might have some good ideas for you.

Until then I’ll keep my fingers crossed that DIRECTV & Comcast can work something out before mid-April… if history is any indication, I may have to become a fan of baseball. I think I just fell asleep even thinking about that.

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Winter Weepings…

For the past thirty-ahem years, I’ve been living in the Midwest. Usually when you live the Midwest you experience frigid temperatures and of course, snow.

Yesterday around 10:30 a.m. or so the snow began to fall in Central Ohio. It didn’t stop until the following afternoon. And when I say it snowed, I’m not talking about that little lightly falling stuff. These were big honkin’ flakes… tons of them.

So what am I getting at? Let me state it plainly… I am done with Midwest Winters.

We moved from Michigan a little over three years ago and I had been dreaming of doing that for quite a while. I wanted to get out of that cold, dark Winter. So where does God open the door to, Ohio. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

Not only do we only move about three hours South, but we end up in the land of scarlet & gray nuts… Buckeye Country. Thankfully we love the people in our lives here… I did pick one of the worst times in history to live in Ohio and be a Michigan fan though – another blog for another day.

The Winters here are milder than Detroit, believe it or not. It really is a few degrees warmer than the Motor City. All that said, I still hate the Winter. It still cold and dark here. The snow is very similar to the snow in Michigan… cold, white and slippery.

To add insult to injury, this little snow storm also stuck to my DIRECTV dish… spare me the cable doesn’t go out in the snow and rain talk. FYI, if you’ve had DIRECTV and switched to cable, tell me about how that HD picture looks… I digress, back to the snow on the dish.

I had to make a little contraption out of two broom handles tied together with duct tape and swish the slightly slushy snow off my dish so I could watch my pathetic Red Wings blow another three goal lead and lose to the Los Angeles Kings!!!

Sorry… I am also a passionate hockey fan. Could it get worse? I like a sport that is just a little more popular than professional soccer. At least saying professional soccer makes me laugh a little.

Back to the snow…

I’m also an avid Twitter user and today I got to see some picks from a friend of mine from Michigan who is currently enjoying the wonderfully sunny coast of California. It’s like insult to injury. I desperately want to live somewhere where I can enjoy a little sunshine and winters with temps in the low 60′s… is that too much to ask?

Let me come full circle on this little rant. I know that I shouldn’t be complaining… I’m not perfect. But as I sat down to write this, a line from a Chris Tomlin song rolled through my head:

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

Every time I hear or sing the line of that song, I get emotional. It reminds me of how beautiful the snow is. It makes me think about God, my Father, and Jesus, my Savior, sitting in heaven and allowing us to catch a glimpse of Their beauty… even if it is a little too cold.

All that being said, thank God He created some warm places for us to visit. Maybe someday I could even live in one of them for a while.

From my mouth to God’s ears…

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