Category Archives: Detroit Lions

Tigers things on a Lions Thanksgiving

photos by Samara Pearlstein

That is what I was doing on Thanksgiving, but of course you can’t go down to Ford without getting an eyeful of Comerica in its winter plumage. Here are just a few Tigers things that we stumbled upon on an otherwise very football-centric day.

The ferris balls have been bagged up.

Champions of the Central, champions of our hearts.

Ford/Comerica face-off.

Dave Dombrowski was there! Just walking around like any other mere mortal! Not, alas, wearing a striped polo, but wearing Tigers orange, which is almost as good. I did not run after him and make him aware that he had been recognized, because that would have been creepy. Not that taking a photo from afar isn’t creepy, but at least it’s a type of creepy that didn’t bug him in person. Right? Right.

So unseasonal, so beautiful.

Found these on the windows of the Germack Pistachio building out by Eastern Market. Germack is a nut supplier for the Tigers (and other Detroit teams), so I guess it makes sense for them to have baseball-related decorations in their windows, but these generic baseball decals are somehow unexpectedly funny– and much more charming than an outdated mini-Fathead of Magglio or whatever.


It’s a pretty good time to be a Detroit fan.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The Tigers are division champs and are going to the playoffs (ooo, still fun to type). The Lions are 2-0. The Wolverines are 3-0 and Denard Robinson has the best smile in all of college football. You had better enjoy the heck out of this right now.

Yesterday was especially enjoyable. The Lions beat the Chiefs. They beat the Chiefs 48-3. I mean, if you are not a longtime Lions fan, you do not understand. Even when the Lions did get one of their rare wins in the recent past, it was NOT a 48-3 blowout. That’s the sort of thing that happened TO the Lions.

But the Chiefs committed and were called for all sorts of stupid penalties (this used to be the Lions’ favorite thing to do! [actually, as long as Gosder Cherilus is on the team, it will be to some extent. But they were clean compared to KC yesterday.]) They turned the ball over 7 billion times. They were unable to stop the juggernaut (!) that was the Detroit offense (!!). Matthew Stafford threw the ball where it needed to go and, more often than not, it got there! He was able to come out and watch the backups get some reps in the 4th quarter! The crowd was even able to get in one resounding SUUUUUUUHHHH at the end of the game.

Roary got completely taken out by a Chiefs player on the sideline and popped right back up, while the Chief had to be carted away with some sort of horrific-looking knee injury. It was that sort of a game.

Meanwhile, the Tigers (AL Central division champion Tigers!) handled the A’s. They had a hangover loss on Saturday, but bounced back strong thanks to the magical wonderbeast that is Justin Verlander. And, you know, some other cats too.

Guillermo Moscoso, whom you may remember we traded away for the privilege of experiencing Gerald Laird, had a no-hitter going for much of the game. Austin Jackson ruined that with a home run, the rudest sort of no-hitter ruination. Brandon Inge later pinch hit and doubled in a run, just to make the haters choke on their bile a little. Ramon Santiago sacrificed in the third run, because why not.

But it was really the Verlander (and Valverde) show, as per usual. Justin went 8 innings and gave up 3 hits (all singles) and 3 walks with 6 Ks. He got his 24th win. Justin Verlander has more wins than Rick Porcello has years of life. Papa Grande got his 46th save, keeping his streak perfect.

Savor this, Detroit. Bask in it. There’s no telling how much longer it will last.

Clayton Kershaw’s Detroit connection

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Fun fact from the game tonight: Clayton Kershaw grew up with Matthew Stafford. They both went to Highland Park High School in Texas, and according to Kershaw they had been playing sports together since they started soccer in second grade.

Kershaw played high school football for one year, where he was Stafford’s center. More importantly, during baseball season Stafford was Kershaw’s catcher, apparently from early elementary school on up through sophomore year of high school (after that Stafford quit to concentrate on football). This information was relayed during the Monday night broadcast and it was so intensely delightful that the only thing I could do was draw a Terrible Cartoon about it.

Clayton Kershaw and Matthew Stafford: BFF 4EVA

–Austin Jackson made a great leaping catch at the wall to rob something serious. It miiiiight have been a home run, but at the very least it was extra bases, and Jackson just stole it away. Flawlessly timed. These catches are starting to seem almost routine for him but at least Mario put some excitement into his voice while making the call, so we can all remember how crazy it really is.

–Everyone says this was the best performance from an opposing pitcher the Tigers have seen so far this season. Rod and Mario said it, after the game Leyland said it. But nobody can say it’s the best pitching performance, period, that the Tigers have seen, because the Tigers get to look at Justin Verlander all the time.

–Ryan Raburn had one of only two Tigers hits in this entire stupid Kershaw’d game. Yay? No, not yay, because Raburn somehow managed to get picked off at third by Dioner Navarro, of all dudes. Right now, Raburn is terrible; at that point, the game was terrible; getting picked off third base is terrible; Dioner Navarro is terrible. PERFECT STORM OF TERRIBLE.

Ryan Raburn giveth, and Ryan Raburn taketh away. Mostly he taketh away.

–Tigers pitchers need to stop giving up walks and hits and RBIs to opposing pitchers. They just… they just need to stop that.

–Brad Penny did something to his knee while batting. He limped all the way to first base (he was out anyways) and tried to act like everything was cool. In fact, after the game John Keating asked him about it.

Penny [nonchalant]: “My cleat got caught and my knee kinda slid outta the socket.”
Keating [horrified]: “That sounds kind of awful.”

Penny shrugged this off and insisted that it was fine, he was fine, all future Brad-Penny-pitching-related things should go off without a hitch, etc. I agree with Keats, if your knee is ‘sliding out of the socket’, and you’re a Major League pitcher who gets much of his power from his legs, that is probably not a good thing.

–Even though he technically had a quality start, Penny dourly stated that he doesn’t count it as a quality start if the team loses.

–Keats asked Leyland about Daniel Schlereth. Almost before he could finish asking the question, Leyland barked, “Yeah, lot of concerns. He’s gotta be able to throw his fastball… he’s not throwing his fastball over the plate,” and other similar such sentiments. He sounded sort of angry, like there had been Discussions on this very point, but there had not yet been Results.

–Lots and lots of empty seats at Dodger Stadium. West coast Tigers fans, take note.

In honor of two wins in a row

MegaTRON illustration by Samara Pearlstein

No, this isn’t anything to do with the Tigers, but the Lions have won TWO WHOLE GAMES in a row, and one of them was ON THE ROAD. They had not won a road game since October of 2007. These are exciting times we’re living in, kids and kittens. Terrible Cartoon times!

Thinking back to the kick that almost was.

Stefan Logan, I know you were in Tampa and that made you think of sunshine and glare, but that is TOO MUCH eyeblack. It’s supposed to make two little bars under your eyes, not a Batman mask.

A question we have often had to ask this season, but NOT AFTER THIS GAME. No, after this game there was only HAPPINESS. Happiness and coach fist pumps!

Unlike the leader image, this is the more normal Calvin Johnson Megatron interpretation.

Four and ten, you guys! FOUR and ten!

the trouble with September in Michigan

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The trouble is simply that there is TOO MUCH GOING ON in Michigan in September. And that makes it hard for me to concentrate.

Normally I can manage to turn only a small portion of my brain over to football while baseball is still going strong, but I am having an unusual amount of difficulty this year. There are several reasons for this.

1) For the first time in a few years, I was actually present for the first Michigan game of the season. The RotT family all went up for the event, because every single one of us went to either Michigan or UConn. Basically they scheduled that game specially for us. We were clearly destined to be there.

The last game I had seen in the Big House was this horrible disaster of a loss, so the whole experience of the ‘new’ stadium, the pregame ceremonies, the bit with Brock Mealer, the bit with Denard Robinson being good at football, the winning, and so on– it was overwhelming. In a very good way.

It had been a long time since I last saw a good win in Ann Arbor, ok. I was at the Appalachian State game.

2) I was expecting to miss the entire Lions game, because this time of year I usually work weekends, but I ended up getting out of work a little earlier than anticipated. So I got on the road and raced home, from freaking Maine, which is where I had been working, and got in right around halftime. Yay! I get to see the Lions after all!

Of course you know how THAT worked out. Did we really need to get into a philosophical debate about the nature of the touchdown, or the profound state of touchdowniness? Couldn’t we all agree, using our eyes and our brains, that the Calvin Johnson catch was in fact a touchdown? It seems like this was pretty obvious to everyone on the planet except for the referees working the game, and the stupid Rules Expert the broadcast guys brought in to explain the metaphysics of touchdownery.

The NFL refs hate Detroit just the MLB umps do. FASCINATING. I don’t know about you, but I smell conspiracy.

Anyways, this made the Lions take up prime real estate in my brain.

3) The Tigers are barely playing for anything at this point, aside I guess from vague pretensions at pride and some general sense of The Integrity of the Game. And because everyone is just getting more and more injured (Miguel Cabrera) as the season wears on, the more we have to watch the Tigers play, the more it starts to feel like the only thing we’re seeing is a long string of pointless opportunities for next year’s team to ruin itself.


To be honest, I think that Lions game is still coloring my thinking.