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Did They Get Detroit's Mount Rushmore Right?

07/28/2022 at 9:12am EDT

from Bill Bender of the Sporting News,

The SN Rushmore project named four pro athletes from the 13 cities that have had at least four of the following five leagues represented for at least 20 years – NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, WNBA. While there were no hard-and-fast rules pertaining to the athletes selected, our panel of experts considered individual resumes, team success and legacy within the sports landscape of each city. Multiple players from the same franchise were allowed, and not every franchise needed to be represented. All sports fans have an opinion on this topic. This is ours.

Blue collar is more than a tagline in Detroit.

It's a mindset, an ethos tied to the Motor City's identity from the factories to the recording studios. After all, the 1978 movie "Blue Collar," starring Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel is set in Detroit. In sports, to be labeled "blue collar" is not a five-cent cliche. It is the full-day compliment for athletes who personify that mindset for the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons.

"The national perception is that Detroit is not an emerald city," Bally Sports Detroit's Johnny Kane told The Sporting News. "There is a blue-collar, tough-minded, work-for-what-you-get-mentality, and that carries over to the fan bases."

SN's Mount Rushmore picks for Detroit are blue-collar picks, but it's more than that. Gordie Howe, Al Kaline, Isaiah Thomas and Barry Sanders combined for 70 professional seasons with Detroit sports teams. Loyalty matters, too.

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