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Abel to Yzerman

Live Blogging Detroit Sports Radio Ignoring The Wings

Update: 1025 EST.  Two hours of Sports Radio on WDFN devoted to nothing but the Lions, with the exception of fifteen exciting minutes on fantasy basketball.  Wing references only at the top of the hour and bottom with ten second references to last night’s win in Denver.  Moving on to WXYT. 

Over the summer we live-blogged our phone call to Verizon Fios.  Thousands of you responded that it was the most creative example of hockey blogging in hockey blogging history.  Since then we’ve taken the whole idea of live-blogging to new and genius levels.  We’ve live-blogged airplane delays, annual physicals, tee-ball games and fishing derbies…as well as 19 of the last 20 Wing games. 

But today we tackle an issue.  I’ve got WDFN tuned in and it’s STREAMING LIVE!!  The morning following another spanking of another yester-rival, we’ll see just how badly your Wings are ignored.

0803:  Top of the hour update. Lead story, “Dominik Hasek is 7-0-1 his last eight…”

0806:  Coming out of commercial break, a 30 second rap thing devoted to Brett Favre.  Sean Baligian is your host and he’s now discussing 28 December 1957, last time the Lions won a championship.  First Lions conversation. Yes, we’re keeping track.

0812: Baligian’s opened up the phones, asking for listeners who were alive in ‘57 to call in and discuss the Lions, who haven’t won in forty years.  Cleve is on the line.  His friends in Texas pick on him for being a Lions fan.  Riveting.

0821: First Wing reference as Baligian says Michigan kids should feel lucky they’ve experienced Wing Stanley Cups, Pistons championships, Tiger series appearance, UM success (relative).  Smooth segue into a promo for Wojo and his affinity for cream-filled donuts.

0824: Back with more Lions futility.  “Travelin’ Charley” is on the line.  His dad, Uncle Bill and older brother attended the ‘57 title game.  Conversation has shifted to Lion fans expectations back then that they’d see more championship opportunities.  Might be a good opportunity to reference the fact that Wing fans actually live those expectations and have since…woops, Wing reference, nice job.  “Hockey fans have it good here…”

0831:  Bottom of the hour update.  Wings 19 points up on the Hawks.  Difficult to hear the update, of course, because Baligian keeps inserting wacky audio drop-ins.  I literally heard nothing after the first word, “Dominik…”.  By the way, A2Y staffers have dug up this bit of info: since the Lions last won a playoff game in 1992, the Wings have won 11 division titles, 4 conference titles, 5 Presidents’ Trophies, 3 Cups. 

Recap:  30 minutes on WDFN.  Other than the top and bottom of the hour updates, one Wing reference…for four seconds.

0842:  Baligian is regaling us with American events that have occured the last forty years.  He’s now discussed how bad the Lions suck for 42 straight minutes.  Meanwhile, the Wings are 14-3-2 their last 19.  He’s now claiming Art’s show in the afternoon is a “Lions-free zone.”  We’ll see.

0850:  Valteri Filppula scored twice last night.  His fourth and fifth goals the last four games.  He’s on track for a 28-goal season.  Dan’s calling from a cell phone. He and Baligian are now comparing the movie “Back to the Future” to the Lions franchise.  Baligian’s amazed at the metaphorical prowess of the Detroit sports fan.

0857:  Tomas Holmstrom is out for another three weeks.  Henrik Zetterberg has back issues that we don’t know the extent of.  Mike Babcock is coaching the West in the ASG.  Nick Lidstrom just extended for two more years.  Dive fans are sad—again—today.  Barrett Jackman is on the IR as a result of Franzen’s check.  Baligian says we need to delve further into the Lions woes, and we will…after the break.

0906:  Back with Baligian. Before he gets to our calls, Sean needs a brief moment to set this up:  “Have we seen progress this year in any way shape or form?”  Here we go. He’s going to review the 2007 season.  Guaranteed.  Two straight hours of Detroit sports radio with no mention of the most successful sports franchise in the state’s history.

0914: Callers are going nuts, peppering Baligian with hard-hitting analysis.  “The Lions can’t run the ball.”  Baligian’s now breaking down the San Diego game, because that hasn’t been done yet.  “Rowdy” is on the line now.  Baligian and four straight callers have all used the phrase “the manner in which they’ve lost.” Brilliant.  I suppose we could examine the “manner in which the Wings lose”.  One word to describe that manner?  Sparingly.  78 consecutive minutes of Lions chatter. 

0920:  It was bound to happen and now it has.  Check out the comment section below.  We can blame the MSM all we want for ignoring the Wings, but you’d better believe this:  Advertising drives the topics on sports radio.  Hosts will discuss the subject matter that keeps the audience tuned in.  Research dictates every conversation and if Detroit sports radio is Lion-centric it’s because that’s what surveys and polls are telling station managers.  Probably not that simple as more discussion would generate more interest, etc, etc.  It’s a big ugly circle of apathy.

0930:  90 consecutive minutes devoted to the worst team this state has ever known.  Good point below that controversy generates discussion.  People generally call in to sports radio to complain and the deplorable Lions certainly provide fodder for doing that.  But, if you’re reading this, you’re probably an A2Y regular.  Do you come here to complain about the Wings?  If they sucked, you would.  But, the Wings win consistently and traffic doesn’t diminish or increase during the rare bad patch of games.  I’m sensing some sort of grass-roots effort may be in order.  Bottom of the hour update:  “Wings do their thing again. They just keep winning.”  Mention of Filppula, finally. First since 0800.  You have to wonder what Baligian and his cronies think when the updates lead with the Wings, then they just head right back to the Lions when the mic’s open up.

0944:  Moving on from the Lions to fantasy football.  Baligian’s claiming state-wide depression that FFL season has come to a close.  Ahhh, there’s a point. He’s moved on to fantasy basketball.  He’s now got a guest on giving fantasy NBA tips.  No word on point totals for felony arrests.

0956:  Nice.  Twelve minutes dedicated to fantasy basketball.  I’m ready to rescind what I said above about advertising driving conversation.  Baligian just said he’s “an NHL guy,” in reference to fantasy hockey.  He’s moving on to the Pistons.  “General Pistons talk next on 1130.”

1000:  Let’s wrap it up.  Two straight hours listening to WDFN.  The only time devoted to Red Wing hockey were the ten seconds at the top or bottom of every hour.  Other than that? Nothing. 

1015:  I take that back.  Since I spent two hours ripping WDFN, it’s only fair that WXYT receive equal treatment. 

1027:  Rich Rodriguez is the subject on WXYT.  Relevant topic considering the lawsuit filed by the West Virginia crowd yesterday.  We’ll cut them some slack for the time being.

1053: Still riding the Rodriguez train.  It’s as boring as the student section at the Big House, but they appear intent to drill this one down.  Excellent.

1057:  UM talk is over.  Shifting gears to the “importance of the MSU bowl game.”  After the break. Stay tuned.

1104: Top of the hour on WXYT. Lead story, Texas’ win last night.  Today’s bowl games.  West Virginia suing Rodriguez.  Wings win…fourth story.  Wings have lost once in regulation since November 22nd, but that’s not important enough to knock the Longhorns out of the top spot for our Detroit-based sports radio station.

1112: “If you think this isn’t a big game you’re not passionate about Michigan State football.” 

1129: Jeff just directed us back to WDFN where they’re talking Wings.  “Wings are on pace for a special season.  If they get hot, they might break the record of 132 points.”  Agreed.  Woops. Back to the Lions after the break. 

1153: Kept it on WDFN and it would appear that four hours of sports talk in Detroit has left us with a ten minute segment on your Wings.  Thanks to Jeff for the pointer on that.  Now…having said that, I’m impressed with Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski who is absolutely ripping the Lions.  Get this straight: a Detroit beat writer is ripping the team he covers, and I mean blasting them.  Dropping names of players who’ve quit, predicting a Favre fiesta against a terrible Lions secondary.  Just going off.  When is the last time, the only time, you’ve read or heard a Wing beat writer say a single word other than the positive about this team?  Sure, no reason to…right?  Really?  How about Shanahan’s departure? How about Yzerman’s retirement decision? You don’t think those two scenarios were deserving of something more than the propaganda organ-I-zational garbage thrown at us by the diggers? 

Alright, that’s it for our look at the MSM in Detroit…for today.

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About Abel to Yzerman

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: wphoulihan@gmail.com