Detroit: Rest in peace Aretha Franklin

Embed from Getty Images The voice. That voice. A gift from God. Given to a person who was as humble as she was respected. Aretha Franklin passed away on a rainy Thursday. The city of Detroit let out a collective cry.

 

She had money, fame and could have lived anywhere. She chose Detroit Michigan. The city she attended church and served the people. “Being the Queen is not all about  singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has more to do with your service to people. And your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.” Miss Franklin was quoted as saying.

 

73 charted hits on the Billboard Hot 100 the most of any female artist. 18 Grammys. Recording Academy lifetime achievement Award, Grammy Legend award. The first female inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Presidential Medal of Freedom. An incredible talent.

 

Detroiter Bob Seger said “What an other worldly talent. Legendary. Right up there with the greatest singers ever. She will be greatly missed.”

 

Aretha Franklin sang about respect one moment and lifted her voice to God the next. She  loved Detroit, and Detroit loved her back. She paid for funerals of people who could not afford them.

 

She did her own shopping which brought her closer to the people of the city. There are no words that will properly express what she has meant to the city of Detroit. She fought for civic rights in the city. Paid for children to go to school. The list is extensive.

 

When she passed away the Detroit airways filled with her songs. All of them. No matter the type of radio station. That is a powerful statement. Life will go on. The people of Detroit will never forget Miss Aretha. Ever.

Detroit Red Wings: it is time to retire #91

Embed from Getty Images In a 1994 interview NHL legend Wayne Gretzky was asked what he thought of Detroit Red Wings, budding star Sergei Fedorov. “I’ve never seen a player dominate the game the way Sergei does.” Coming from Gretzky, that was high praise.

Sergei Fedorov, a Detroit Red Wing from 1990-2003, is a 3 time Stanley Cup champion. Ranks #6 in Detroit Red Wings points all-time. Fedorov, is the best most complete hockey player I have ever seen.

“He’s the best skater I know.” Former teammate and 20 year Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said. He was right. In fact there was a 6 week stretch during the 1994 season the Wings had 3 banged up defensive players. Fedorov stepped and played defense, and he did it well.

He was a fan favorite. Second to none on the ice. His teammates loved him. As did the Red Wings coaching staff. Then it happened.

An ugly contract standoff between Sergei Fedorov and the Detroit Red Wings lead to his departure. He signed a 3 year deal with the Anaheim Ducks and would go on to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals.

 

On November 9, 2015 Sergei Fedorov was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame. It was then that he and the Detroit Red Wings, mended the fence. Fedorov, began to fly to Detroit for various Red Wings events. He flew in for the closing ceremony of Joe Louis Arena.

Legendary Detroit Red Wing and NHL coach Scotty Bowman was asked where he thought Fedorov ranked all time. “He’s right near the top. Phenomenal talent.”

Now playing at the beautiful Little Caesar’s Arena, the Detroit Red Wings need to take the next step. It is time to retire and hang #91 from the rafters.

There will never be another Sergei Fedorov. He was a lightning bolt. But, those of us blessed enough to see him play. Remember. You simply can not forget a talent like that.

 

Detroit Lions: 2018 season preview

Embed from Getty Images As the 2018 Detroit Lions, training  camp is set to go full speed this coming week. Today I give and honest look at what the 2018-19 season will look like in Motown.

Running backs, dead last for 3 seasons in a row in rushing, the Detroit Lions set out to improve this unit. The additions of  LeGarrette Blount  and Kerryon Johnson should help the ground game gain traction.

Offensive line, This is a very solid group. Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn did a masterful job upgrading this unit. A full season from left tackle Taylor Decker will help open running lanes for the running backs. Newly drafted center Frank Ragnow  sets the Detroit offensive line as one of the top 3 in the NFL.

Quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford lead the NFL in dropped interceptions last season. He must make better choices in the pocket. Otherwise, expect Stafford to play at an all star level.

Receiving crops, The stand out unit of the offense. Golden Tate takes care of the short routs. While Marvin Jones is the deep threat. Throw in second year Kenny Galloday and Detroit wide outs are a nightmare for defenses.

Defensive Line, they simply must, need, have too get pressure of opposing quarterbacks. The lack of a pass rush crippled the Lions last season.  Detroit Lions, fans hope new head coach Matt Patricia can use his defensive mind and improve a woeful pass rush.

Linebackers, second year middle linebacker Jarrad Davis had an up and down rookie season. He comes in with a lot of upside. He finished last season strong and will be heavily counted on. Bob Quinn, signed two free agents to help upgrade the corps. Devon Kennard and  Jalen Reeves-Maybin round out what is still the weak spot on the team.

Secondary, not much can be added to all everything conerback Darius Slay, Who is one of the best in the league. This is the strongest units on the team. Not too mention the Detroit Lions secondary was ranked #1 last season. Hard to see a drop off barring injury.

Having finished 9-7 the past two seasons lead to Jim Caldwell being replaced by Matt Patricia. Patricia, enters his first season as a head coach. With a brutal schedule it is hard to see the 2018-19 Detroit Lions finish better than 6-10.

Sometimes, with a new coach teams must take a step back to go forward. I believe this is one of those times.

Star Wars: and the power of costume

Embed from Getty Images Being a lifelong unapologetic Star Wars fan. I took some time and headed to Detroit and visit the power of costume exhibit at the Detroit institute of art.

It was a day trip. But, not just any mind you. Since I was a kid just the excitement of anything Star Wars, was an adrenaline rush greater than any caffeine rush.

Hopped in the SUV and made the three plus hour trek to my favorite city. It did not disappoint! Not for Star Wars, fandom reasons mind you. It did not disappoint because it was a well put together exhibit.

From the Prequel trilogy, up to Episode VII “The Force Awakens.” The Costumes from the original trilogy were simple. It was layered fabrics. Simple and it did not take away from the all important character introduction of Star Wars “A new hope.”

I must say seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi robe from 1977 and Luke Skywalker’s outfit from 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” were great. My personal favorite was the Tusken Raider. The detail was fantastic!

The prequel trilogy, saw much more complex costumes as many characters had been established already. I must say the inner bounty hunter in me loved Jango Fett’s, Mandalorian aromor.

My two favorite exhibit displays (in no certain order) were the evolution of the Stormtroopers. And the Tie pilots. But Darth Vader, stops people in their tracks. His mask from “Revenge of the Sith” is way cool. As is the full Vader costume from “Return of the Jedi.’

Also, seeing C3PO, R2D2, and BB8 is all their glory was a fun moment. A lot of people seemed to enjoy the droids.

It is a fantastic event. It is well worth the drive. Not to mention Detroit’s Greek food is out of this world. It has a great family feel. The rest of the art museum is well worth checking out before or after depending the tour time.

Take time and go to that galaxy far, far away.

Detroit rebuilds in full swing

Let’s do this Detroit!!

With the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings pawning off players while bringing in marginal players but stocking up draft picks the rebuild is in full swing for these beloved franchises.
Both teams have ample minor league players that can play. I’m the Detroit Red Wings case should play.
The Red Wings who before another trade is made has stock piled nine draft picks in the first three rounds of the 2018 amateur draft. That will help speed things up. Mind you that number is expected to increase to fifteen picks including three picks in the first round.
The Tigers are getting a good close up look at the future during spring training. I don’t think this season will be all doom and gloom as predicted. 72 to 74 wins seems about right. But help is on the way and big time.
Let’s enjoy this rebuild and perhaps pray everything turns out to the teams.