Friendly Neighborhood Ranger Fan Visits Detroit Red Wing Territory
I think most people who read this will agree that Hockey in any form probably beats any other sport ten fold even in the scorching heat of Summer.. In August 2009, I continued my journey visiting NHL Original Six cities as myself and the Crisis crew trucked it on down to The Motor City. On the way to Detroit we stopped off in Ann Arbor Michigan and even found some hockey there in the former of a Super-Chexx Hockey game. I have to say Ann Arbor is a great town with great people and more importantly a great place to play pinball.
When I arrived in Detroit or as Hockeytown as it is known to the legion of diehard Redwings fans, I couldn't wait to visit some of the puck related spots that the city had to offer. First Stop was the Hockeytown Restaurant. The Hockeytown Restaurant is not a typical eatery by any means, its mostly a Redwing museum, with memorabilia not just displayed in the dining area but pretty much on every level of the building. There is even a Hockeytown mural in the Mens bathroom !
One of the perks of being a fan of an Original six franchise is that you have a tremendous amount of History that goes hand in hand with your team. The Redwings have no shortage of that and it is proudly displayed in the forms of Plaques, pictures and murals of their finest players such as Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio, Sid Abel and Steve Yzerman.
One of Hockeytowns most prized possesions is the old Zamboni that used to clean the ice at Olympia Stadium. The Olympia also known as The Big Red Barn was where the Red Wings called home for 50 years playing there from 1927-1979. The Wings then move into the Joe Louis Arena which was my next stop in Detroit.
In what seems to be a running theme with these original six franchises in the Midwest , their buildings seemed to be placed in the seediest parts of town. As I ducked the myriad of wildings and taping of COPS episodes, I found myself at the foot of the grand stairs of the great edifice known as the Joe Louis Arena. As I climbed the stairs I thought to myself the fans who have climbed these stairs have seen some of the best hockey over the years as well as some of the worst. The Wings were pitiful when the Joe was built and really didnt get any thing going for quite a while until Steve Yzerman blossomed into a full Superstar.
After getting a feel for what the Joe looked liked from the outside, I made my way down below into the ticket office, to perhaps get my hands on a Wings schedule and maybe talk to some fans. Surprisingly, there were no fans to be found but I did have a great conversation with Joe the ticket guy who was good enough to talk to me and tell me who some of his favorite players have been over the years.
One of the main reasons of doing this piece was to get to talk to the Wings fans much like I did in Chicago, I guess because of my freak of nature looks or my New York accent or both , I couldn't get anyone to agree to come on camera with me to talk about their beloved Red Wings. But, its clear just from the atmosphere and mood sports wise in Detroit that you don't need fan testimonials to let you know that Hockey is King here.
Ranger Crisis is a video blog hosted by The Mouth. Established in February 2009 Ranger Crisis was created to discuss New York Ranger Hockey from the fans point view as well as explore the lighter side of being a Ranger fan through a satirical lens. However, in this case the lens is being wielded by a 48 yr old boccalone who has been following the Rangers since he was 10 like it was a religion.
The Mouth also has more Complete Ranger games and Ranger archival footage 1952-1985 than any other person on the planet. The big guy from time to time will crank up the time machine and share these video gems with his fellow Ranger fans with the intent to hearken them back to the simpler days before salary cap and Gary Bettman.
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