Blogs > The Back Page

The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ironic look back at 'Going to work' era Pistons

First, I must admit I get some good blog material from ESPN the Magazine. That being said, I enjoy the magazine, that's why I renewed my expensive ($26/year) subscription while dropping other mags (Men's Health).
In the most recent issue, which features a child in full football pads locked behind a gate in the wake of recent child molestation/rape scandals in sports, there is a refer encouraging readers to buy their favorite old covers. The selected thumbnail image appears to be from the 2004 championship Pistons, featuring Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton.
Whomever selected the image for publication must have a sense of humor. When the magazine was heading to press, Billups was busy becoming a pawn in his second superstar trade in as many seasons, Hamilton was leaving the Pistons (with whom he had a well-documented poor relationship the past few seasons) for the Bulls and Wallace (who himself left the Pistons for the Bulls in free agency in 2006) was getting off with just probation and community service and no jail time after getting a DUI while carrying a licensed gun.
This had to be an inside job.

Celebratory headlines finally used for Lions

Few words describe the joy of a Lions playoff berth better than "Hallelujah," which was our headline on Sunday's sports front. I believe we also used it when the Lions snapped their losing streak stemming from the epic 2008 season. Cliff Avril's touchdown celebration says it all, as the Lions snapped snapped a 10-year playoff drought. 
At left, you see how the Detroit Free Press played on the holiday angle and at right is their front page. (The Detroit News and Free Press publish a shared Sunday edition.)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Detroit Lions hit a 'Speed Bump'

Wonder which team these guys play for? I have to think they're on the fictional Detroit Lions. I can't place the No. 88, it could be a red haring. But No. 20? Barry Sanders. Look at No. 911. Bald-headed big guy is clearly Kyle Vanden Bosch, who actually wears No. 93. And the 9-1-1 allusion — Lions No. 90 Ndamukong Suh was involved in a well publicized car accident over the weekend. And which guy is always hurt? Of course — it's quarterback Matthew Stafford (who, surprisingly, has only suffered a broken finger on his throwing hand)!
This could all be nothing. This could be a comic about a college football team or another NFL team wearing blue, but the clues line up. Kudos to the artist.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

First insult to Spartans' injuries

Twelve hours after Michigan State lost a disappointing Big Ten Championship Game, a pop-up ad appearing on the Spartans' website (pointed out by CNBC's Darren Rovell), was offering B1G championship gear.
After visiting the site, I couldn't confirm the ad's presence (because I run ad-blocker plus), but it's the ultimate kick in the teeth when your team loses and then memorabilia representing what could have been is paraded in front of you and your uneasy stomach.
It's not quite as bad as the seemingly inevitable full-page newspaper ad for championship gear, which The Oakland Press was a victim of during the Red Wings' 2008 Cup run. (They lost Game 5, but a full-page ad for a retailer advertising championship gear ran on the wrong day. The same ad ran again, appropriately, following the Game 6 clincher.)
Spartans fans should take it with a grain of salt being that the BCS rankings, which will likely not include Michigan State in a BCS bowl, will be released late Sunday.