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unsaddleddonald

Red Wings popularity in Detroit/Michigan

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Its 97.1. I think that is enough said. They know nothing about hockey.. Their proof for people not liking hockey in Michigan is nobody ever calls in their show to talk about it. They make this argument all the time. In reality, nobody calls in because they don't want to talk to THEM about hockey. Maybe its just because I grew up playing hockey, and everybody I know loves hockey, but it seems like the Wings are up there at the top. Especially in my home town. Some of it is also that the Wings have been good for so long, while the Lions and Tigers sucked for that same period, and they are finally getting good.

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Weren't the Wings a lot more popular in Detroit in the late 90's, than they are today?

If you asked this question in 95 the answer would be the Wings no.1 hands down. This town was so cup crazy, with that ridiculous drought and how good that team was in the regular season it was gonna be our year. I want Stanley playing on the radio, wings flags from every car it was a beautiful thing till we got swept. Which made finally winning it in 97 all that much more gratifying and to this day I've never seen this town more excited for one team then for the Wings back then. Of course after winning it a few times fans got spoiled and Yzerman and the old school retiring left a disconnect for awhile. Now with the Lions and Tigers being good and still without a title for a long time that hunger has shifted to them and the Wings being good is just old hat now. Just a side note being in Chicago and watching this city after they won their first cup in ages paled in comparison to how crazy Detroit was in 97.

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The central problem with the argument on 97.1 is (at least when it was first brought up, the only part I heard) they made it seem like people only are interested in one sport. Most people in the area follow none or all.

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Weren't the Wings a lot more popular in Detroit in the late 90's, than they are today?

If you asked this question in 95 the answer would be the Wings no.1 hands down. This town was so cup crazy, with that ridiculous drought and how good that team was in the regular season it was gonna be our year. I want Stanley playing on the radio, wings flags from every car it was a beautiful thing till we got swept. Which made finally winning it in 97 all that much more gratifying and to this day I've never seen this town more excited for one team then for the Wings back then. Of course after winning it a few times fans got spoiled and Yzerman and the old school retiring left a disconnect for awhile. Now with the Lions and Tigers being good and still without a title for a long time that hunger has shifted to them and the Wings being good is just old hat now. Just a side note being in Chicago and watching this city after they won their first cup in ages paled in comparison to how crazy Detroit was in 97.

Agreed.

Do you guys think that the fact that so many of the team "pillars" now are European might have some small effect on how fans relate? I don't think like that personally, but others might. Of the current long term core, only Howard and Abby are North American. Plus, they don't seem like "characters" in the way much of the old crew did.

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Agreed. Do you guys think that the fact that so many of the team "pillars" now are European might have some small effect on how fans relate? I don't think like that personally, but others might. Of the current long term core, only Howard and Abby are North American. Plus, they don't seem like "characters" in the way much of the old crew did.

I absolutely agree with this sentiment. Regardless of whether or not it makes sense, I don't think people can fully embrace the best players on this team for the simple fact that they aren't North Americans.

And for the 97.1 argument, I'm not gonna say that they are hockey gurus, but they can make intelligent conversation. They know the team, they know the identity, they have been saying they want to see Kenny do a lot of the things we mention on here. Unfortunately, idiots out there would rather voice their useless opinion on who the Lions should draft or who the Tigers should pursue via trade.

Let's face it: when you lose, there is more to talk about.

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Agreed. Do you guys think that the fact that so many of the team "pillars" now are European might have some small effect on how fans relate? I don't think like that personally, but others might. Of the current long term core, only Howard and Abby are North American. Plus, they don't seem like "characters" in the way much of the old crew did.

Helm. Smith, Deke (lashoff, if you want to include him) will all be our new core, with guys like mantha who is also NA

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Agreed.

Do you guys think that the fact that so many of the team "pillars" now are European might have some small effect on how fans relate? I don't think like that personally, but others might. Of the current long term core, only Howard and Abby are North American. Plus, they don't seem like "characters" in the way much of the old crew did.

A good point also, I think there may be some truth to that:

Our soccerclub here used to have only 3 foreigners, the hockeyclub around 5 both with huge traditions and a huge following after that changed, ratings and interest went down. I think every team needs local heroes because they make it that much easier to identify with the team.

I think having two role model superstars is great but it for sure would help to have some michigan born stars on the team to gain some momentum again.

Also don't forget how spoiled we as Wings fans are, it is hard at least for me to understand why this team does not try to built something like 2002 again.

After all I think if they can fix their conservative approach, become tougher, add local heroes, find the right mix between skill and physicality fans will come back.

Sent from my BlackBerry

Edited by frankgrimes

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Agreed. Do you guys think that the fact that so many of the team "pillars" now are European might have some small effect on how fans relate? I don't think like that personally, but others might. Of the current long term core, only Howard and Abby are North American. Plus, they don't seem like "characters" in the way much of the old crew did.

Helm. Smith, Deke (lashoff, if you want to include him) will all be our new core, with guys like mantha who is also NA

Whoops, sorry Helm! My bad.

Yeah, I think DeKeyser will be a really popular "hometown" player in the years to come, maybe moreso than any of the old crew save for Stevie.

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I absolutely agree with this sentiment. Regardless of whether or not it makes sense, I don't think people can fully embrace the best players on this team for the simple fact that they aren't North Americans.

And for the 97.1 argument, I'm not gonna say that they are hockey gurus, but they can make intelligent conversation. They know the team, they know the identity, they have been saying they want to see Kenny do a lot of the things we mention on here. Unfortunately, idiots out there would rather voice their useless opinion on who the Lions should draft or who the Tigers should pursue via trade.

Let's face it: when you lose, there is more to talk about.

Wha? I have never heard Valenti or Foster (assuming this is who we are talking about) make an intelligent conversation regarding hockey. Foster is an absolute idiot when it comes to hockey.

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I see people wearing Wings gear down here in Toledo literally every day, and see stickers on cars constantly. (Tigers and Pistons too) I only occasionally see people repping the Lions.

Edited by sleepwalker

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I think the Tigers and the Lions beat out the Wings. I don't think its always been like this. I'd say the Wings were #1 in the mid/late '90s.

After the core of the dynasty years faded away, I think fan interest decreased a bit. Folks were so used to guys like Yzerman, Shanahan, and Fedorov. Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Osgood, Maltby, Draper, McCarty, Lapointe, etc are all gone. This team had such a great core and team chemistry and had guys that played very long careers in Detroit. It's tough for many fans that grew up with these players (myself included) to see their childhood favorites move on.

Also, I think a lot of people related to guys like Kocur, McCarty, Draper, Maltby, and Lapointe not because of where they were born, but the style of game they played. It's no secret that Detroit is a working class city. People like to see hard work, grit, and snarl that is central to the culture of a beaten up working class city like Detroit. There's a reason Darren Helm got popular so quickly upon his arrival in the NHL.

Having players with ties to the area always helps, but its not necessarily compulsory to gaining the team popularity.

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Hockey is by far the best sport, though it has the worst officiating which is probably due to so many rule changes all the time and deciding what's a penalty.

Football is 2nd, but I mainly stopped watching cause it gets old quick when every play some overzealous ******* just NEEDS to celebrate the play, no matter what it is. Holy crapballs!...I ran for 2 yards, here's a pre-cursor to my end zone dance in another 80 yards.

Baseball...home runs are cool, that's about it. The rest of the game is so painfully boring that if I had to suffer watching an entire game, I'd peel my skin off like a fiending drug addict.

Basketball. What can I say. You want a sport that's so much hype... You can win a championship with 3 good players. 3! Oh no you di'int just slap my wrist. Foul! Look ref, you can see where he slapped me.

Soccer. They play dead every time someone slide tackles you. If a football or hockey player (not named Mike Ribeiro) saw that, they would be completely disgusted.

Which brings me back to baseball. Synchronized swimming is pure excitement compared to that s***. I'd take the Westminster dog show if given the choice.

Don't knock Westminster. I love it, and watch it every year.

But I agree with you. Football and basketball, to me, are egos and paychecks fighting to see which one gets bigger first. Baseball is so boring, I can read an entire book between pitches (and have actually done so).

I love hockey, and I have since I was a kid. Of course growing up near Canada and being able to watch CBC might have had something to do with that, I don't know. That might also explain why I love curling. And please don't say that sport is a bore. It's really a cerebral sport, encompassing geometry, physics and psychology. Maybe that's why people don't like it - it makes them think. That might explain why they like a stupid non-thinking game like football instead.

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Not really sure why people feel the need to disparage other sports, but to each their own.

As far as 97.1 goes, what makes good radio is conversation and controversy. You can only take so many "the Wings need a big tough defenseman/tough power forward" calls. Other than that, really, what is there to talk about? Winning is boring and if there's nothing to complain about, it doesn't leave much room to discuss anything. I know that's been my own personal experience. Still a fan and love the Red Wings, but it's just hard to get too worked up over anything after winning 4 Cups, especially when you thought you'd never see one. A regular season loss used to leave me seething for days. Now losing in the playoffs leaves me only slightly disappointed until the next day.

I do think the foreign players do play a role in it. It's hard to get to "know" them and let's be honest, watching paint dry is more exciting than listening to an interview with Nick Lidstrom or Henrik Zetterberg. I think the fact that many of the foreign players don't live here year round plays a part in it as well.

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I do think the foreign players do play a role in it. It's hard to get to "know" them and let's be honest, watching paint dry is more exciting than listening to an interview with Nick Lidstrom or Henrik Zetterberg. I think the fact that many of the foreign players don't live here year round plays a part in it as well.

Good point. Many or all of the NA old crew made the Detroit area their home, and got involved in the community. Drapes, Cheli, Kocur, Malts, Stevie, etc. None of these guys were even from Michigan, but they adopted it as home. Holmer isn't NA but he basically bought right into that as well.

The new crew...almost everyone goes home for the summer. Even Jimmy Howard spends the offseason at his home in Maine.

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Here's some reading material for you on a very similar topic I started 2 months ago:

http://www.letsgowings.com/forums/topic/74703-971-the-ticket-hocketown-dead/

It is an interesting topic to me, though, especially now as an out-of-market fan.

Detroit is a good sports town, all-around, but I think it's a very balanced sports town. I'm almost 32 now, so I grew up through a very unique period where the Wings really were the biggest and best thing in town from maybe 1997 to 2002. The NFL is the biggest and most popular professional sport, whether you're talking about New York, Detroit, or some market that doesn't even have a team. On that basis, you could always say that the NFL is king. But I've never bought that the Lions have EVER been the most beloved local sports team in Metro Detroit. There's a lot of schadenfreude going on with Lions viewership. Even here with the Minnesota Vikings (which has its own painful history of losing and disappointment), it's still undeniably cool to be a Vikings fan and wear Vikings stuff. When I grew up in Detroit, you literally got made fun of in school if you wore Lions stuff. That's definitely changed nowadays, but the stink of hilarious failure will stick with that team until they take a knee to close out a Super Bowl win, IF that ever happens.

I disagree that the Tigers have "always" been the favorite, but since 2006 (or perhaps the NHL lockout), the passion that the average Detroit sports fan used to have for the Red Wings has shifted to Comerica Park. I moved away in 2003, so it's been bizarre for me ever since to see all this love for the Tigers on Facebook for people that I know could have cared less about the team when Buddy Bell managed them.

But sports fans are all frontrunners. You could argue that the Pistons "owned" 2002 to 2004, also. The Wings popularity in the late 90's was great, but it was also an anomaly. Just like Rangers in '94, the true fans will stay, but you can't recapture the magic of a really good rivalry (in their case, NJ), coupled with killing a 40-year Cup drought.

Edited by StormJH1

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Had this question been asked in 1980, the Wings would have been dead last.

Every team has its ups and downs, which correlates to its popularity. The Lions are the most popular, despite being horrendous for almost 60 years, because football IS the most popular sport in the US. The Tigers rank (probably a close) second, between baseball's historic popularity in the US and the Tigers' recent success. The Wings have lost some of their luster because they haven't been quite as good the last few years, and as some of you have said, the fans have almost become numb to their success. The Pistons are in another doldrums and their embarrassing attendance figures last year showed the fans' apathy.

Hockey does rank higher in Detroit than in almost any other US city (Boston and Minneapols/St Paul could challenge) but is still a distant third to football and baseball.

The one type of "fan" who pisses me off is the "I only watch hockey in the playoffs. I don't watch the regular season." You know what, guy? Don't watch the playoffs either! You are no hockey fan! It's impossible to truly appreciate the game if you only watch it for 2 months.

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This thread is full of s***. Everytime I come to this site all you guys do is talk about Red Wings this, Red Wings that. Hockey must be pretty f'ing popular. Nobody talks about how Angelina Jolie is too skinny, how Oprah is too fat, just hockey, hockey, hockey. LOL.

Here in columbus, my friends think it's odd that where I grew up in MI every driveway had a goalie net in it like the driveways here have basketball nets. Our Gordie is their Archie. Strange since we are so close to eachother. Like a previous poster stated outside of MI and Min hockey is down the chain.

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Don't knock Westminster. I love it, and watch it every year.

But I agree with you. Football and basketball, to me, are egos and paychecks fighting to see which one gets bigger first. Baseball is so boring, I can read an entire book between pitches (and have actually done so).

I love hockey, and I have since I was a kid. Of course growing up near Canada and being able to watch CBC might have had something to do with that, I don't know. That might also explain why I love curling. And please don't say that sport is a bore. It's really a cerebral sport, encompassing geometry, physics and psychology. Maybe that's why people don't like it - it makes them think. That might explain why they like a stupid non-thinking game like football instead.

Personally I think that football has strategy, as long as the dummies on the field listen to their coach. Some teams D is really good and you need some trick plays to break the line which makes it interesting sometimes. The only kinda boring sport I watch on occasion is golf, but that's not very often anymore. Curling i'm not really big on. All the "hurry hard" grinds on you pretty quick. It does require skill, I'll give you that, but not my kind of sport. There's just something about hockey that seems so much more pure compared to everything else. You can be successful as so many different kinds of player. You can be a bull in a china shop like Lucic, a dirty dangler like Datsyuk that has more moves than Michael Jackson, a hard nosed little s*** disturber like Brad Marchand or a militant like sniper in Stamkos and you can all be successful in your own way. And then when you get duos like Dats-Z, Stamkos-St. Louis, Backstrom-Ovechkin and so on, you see some real magic on the ice. There's nothing better than hockey, getting to OT in the playoffs, game 7 with everything on the line. Seeing that 3rd or 4th line player being a hero for just one night.... Now that's a sport.

This thread is full of s***. Everytime I come to this site all you guys do is talk about Red Wings this, Red Wings that. Hockey must be pretty f'ing popular. Nobody talks about how Angelina Jolie is too skinny, how Oprah is too fat, just hockey, hockey, hockey. LOL.

Here in columbus, my friends think it's odd that where I grew up in MI every driveway had a goalie net in it like the driveways here have basketball nets. Our Gordie is their Archie. Strange since we are so close to eachother. Like a previous poster stated outside of MI and Min hockey is down the chain.

Aren't the best college hockey programs in Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota?

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Personally I think that football has strategy, as long as the dummies on the field listen to their coach. Some teams D is really good and you need some trick plays to break the line which makes it interesting sometimes. The only kinda boring sport I watch on occasion is golf, but that's not very often anymore. Curling i'm not really big on. All the "hurry hard" grinds on you pretty quick. It does require skill, I'll give you that, but not my kind of sport. There's just something about hockey that seems so much more pure compared to everything else. You can be successful as so many different kinds of player. You can be a bull in a china shop like Lucic, a dirty dangler like Datsyuk that has more moves than Michael Jackson, a hard nosed little s*** disturber like Brad Marchand or a militant like sniper in Stamkos and you can all be successful in your own way. And then when you get duos like Dats-Z, Stamkos-St. Louis, Backstrom-Ovechkin and so on, you see some real magic on the ice. There's nothing better than hockey, getting to OT in the playoffs, game 7 with everything on the line. Seeing that 3rd or 4th line player being a hero for just one night.... Now that's a sport.

Aren't the best college hockey programs in Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota?

Yes.

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I may be in the minority but I also like watching Golf. For sure it is not as physical demanding as hockey, but you have to be SO focused for a long period of time and knowing the inns and outs of beautiful golf-courses. Although I agree nothing comes to close to hockey and like mentioned, I love the fact that hockey is not mainstream or as popular as soccer, baseball, basketball or football.

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I may be in the minority but I also like watching Golf. For sure it is not as physical demanding as hockey, but you have to be SO focused for a long period of time and knowing the inns and outs of beautiful golf-courses. Although I agree nothing comes to close to hockey and like mentioned, I love the fact that hockey is not mainstream or as popular as soccer, baseball, basketball or football.

Basketball is the only sport I have a hard time watching. I like golf too!

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