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The Weekend Desk Report

By Natasha Julius

Dear Blackhawks Fans:

You are absolutely correct; Detroit sucks.

Much as I would love to defend the playground of my ill-spent youth, Detroit is a bone-thin city strapped to the bloated carcass of a dead industry. Its problems are painfully well-documented, from business exodus to crumbling infrastructure with every symptom of urban blight in between. Its remaining citizens live in worthless homes and receive thread-bare services from a city government so corrupt it would make a Daley blush. It is an American tragedy, to be dissected in the breakfast nooks of its antagonistic suburbs and fretted over at the dinner parties of more fortunate cities.

In fact, the whole state of Michigan is a bit of a suckfest right now. It boasts the highest unemployment in the nation and a staggering foreclosure rate; its glamorous governor is considering a move to the less-stressful job of Supreme Court justice; and there's a very real chance it will soon be run by Amway. Basically what I'm saying is, if you're going to shout that at me, I really can't argue the point.

Here's the thing, though. The Detroit Red Wings are very good at hockey. You may not want to hear it, but it's true. They are the defending Stanley Cup Champions. They won their division by eight points despite taking the last fortnight off. They sort of know what they're doing. Yes, they are older than the Blackhawks. So are you. But you are not a six-time Norris Trophy winner or a finalist for this year's league MVP.

The fact that the Detroit Red Wings are good at hockey does not mean the Blackhawks are not also good. The fact that I am admitting the Blackhawks are also good does not mean I'm not a Red Wings fan. The fact that I'm a Red Wings fan does not mean I don't love living in Chicago. Somehow, I have been able to separate my fervent support for the team I grew up watching from my deep affection for the place I now live. It's a little trick I call being reasonable.

These should be the halcyon days for you, watching your team climb out of obscurity to become a force within the league. You don't have to resort to bitter playground taunting anymore. You can spend the game discussing team strategy rather than shouting rude things about our mama. You can be reasonable and enjoy watching what will hopefully be a hell of a series. If the Blackhawks win, it doesn't mean the Red Wings aren't a good hockey team. And if the Red Wings win, it doesn't mean Detroit doesn't suck.

Now, let's drop the puck and talk about hockey.






Preakness Poop
"I'm hoping the wagering public doesn't get the dreaded Mine That Bird disease and pound every horse with double-digit odds," our main on the rail writes. See who he's putting his money on.

The Weekend Desk Tip Line: A good bet.


Posted on May 16, 2009

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PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.

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