Abel to Yzerman
by IwoCPO on 06/02/09 at 07:20 AM ET
Tonite’s game doesn’t mean that much, you know. In the grand scheme of things…it really carries very little weight when you consider what so many of our friends and family are going through right now.
I “opened’ the Detroit News this morning, read about a paragraph of Wojo’s column, then glanced to my right.
In the latest round of cutbacks, announced Monday as part of GM’s historic move to file for bankruptcy, an estimated 8,900 jobs will be lost at GM facilities in Pontiac, Orion Township, Livonia, Flint, and Ypsilanti Township. The cuts will follow the closure of a Grand Rapids stamping plant on Friday that employed hundreds more. Nationwide, GM plans to eliminate 21,000 jobs at 14 plants, plus three warehouses, in eight states.
Michigan’s share of the total job loss: 42 percent
Hockey’s a tough guy’s sport. There are a lot of tough guys in Michigan today who had their backs broken yesterday. Hundreds of thousands more have been devastated over the last several months.
Nobody who suits up for Detroit tonite will ever understand what it must feel like for a father to go home and tell his family that he’s lost his job and he literally has no idea what’s in store for them.
But hopefully somebody, Mike Babcock probably, puts it all into perspective. Actually, he probably doesn’t have to. These guys see it. Nobody, not even the most callous of sports superstars, could be blind to the plight of Detroit.
A twelfth Stanley Cup is not going to bring back a single job for those guys. A win tonite, a win Thursday, or a series clincher on Saturday isn’t going to ease this, so saying “win one” for those folks is childish.
But I have a feeling our Wings have this in the back of their minds. I have a feeling that this run isn’t about winning it for Hossa or for Osgood or anyone else. I have a feeling that when all is said and done, it’s going to come out that quite a few of these guys have recognized from the beginning that this thing is about those tough guys in the plants, and in all the other businesses getting the hell kicked out of them right now.
I honestly believe that’s the motivation right now. I think guys like Dan Cleary and Kris Draper and Chris Osgood, millionaires who will never have to worry about money again in their lives, are playing hockey for the dad who’s going to try and forget about some pretty huge problems for three hours tonite, and again on Thursday.
The Cup’s the thing. I get that. That’s what they’re ultimately playing for and that’s the honest to god, real life motivation for these guys. But a part of each of them knows that this run, this specific run at the championship, is giving our state the briefest of respites from what has to be a terrifying existence right now.
I hope they do it. Not for me. I’ll get over it if they don’t. It sickens me to even put myself in this equation because how I would feel if they lost is so inconsequential. I hope the Wings do it so that Detroit is jam packed in about a week. Frigging overflowing on a sunny June day. Millions of people lining the streets, paying tribute to a team that let them forget about reality for just a few nights over an extended Spring.
Do this for them. Do this so that a dad who’s out of work today can take his kids to a parade downtown and listen to their heroes describe how they just won a Stanley Cup for every single auto worker who’s lost his or her job.
That’s the real motivation. And if it’s not, it should be.
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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org