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Monday, February 25, 2013

The stoned out of its gourd moon at the end of this Little Caesars clip www.youtube.com/w
fills me with rage. But not enough to not grab some of their product when I went to see the Detroit Red Wings play Saturday night, the first time I’ve managed to do so in over a decade. To save on parking costs, I put my car in the Greektown casino structure, thinking I might walk the just over 1 mile to the Joe Louis Arena. As I exited the lot, a cold wind dictated I take the People Mover, Detroit’s joke of a transit system, instead. It was the first time I’d been on that thing since 1998, as far as I recall, and it sounds like a creaking old geezer of a system, brakes wheezing into each stop en route to the arena. I walked into the stadium a half hour before gametime, and decided to take a walk around, trying to recall which of the decorations had been in place back in 2002. JLA is outdated, as per today’s hockey arenas, with luxury boxes located only at the top of the seating, and no flashy scoreboards ringing the arena, but it felt nice to just watch a game without the whizbang graphics. Not to say I’ve seen much in the way of NHL hockey lately – the last NHL game I saw was in 2003, when I went down to Columbus, Ohio to interview for grad school on a weekend that just happened to have a Blue Jackets/Vancouver Canucks game on the Thursday, and Michigan-Ohio State showdowns on Friday and Saturday. Hey, they asked which weekend I wanted to visit, who was I to ignore a perfectly fortuitous calendar?

The Canucks won that game back in 2003, and they were the opposition for the Red Wings Sunday night. Even though they scored first, and led 3-2 after the first, they would not be victorious again. As I chomped my thoroughly mediocre Little Caesars pizza (some would claim that that’s the best Little Caesars pizza ever rises to, but I grew up on the stuff, and enjoy it just fine, more often than not), I had to be careful, as I kept having to jump up to celebrate Wings goals. Three times in the second, twice before I’d disposed of the meal, the red light went on and Red Wings fans rejoiced. Thrice more in the third, and we left happy with an 8-3 victory, the exultant roar of “South Detroit” as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” played late in the game still ringing in our ears.

I fully intended to ride the People Mover back to the casino stop, but the massive line at the ramp up to the platform decided that I would walk the distance, after all. I walked down the step in front of the Steve Yzerman entrance, uncertain if I was going the right way, but then I spied the Detroit River, and the glow of a whole different country on the far side, and I knew where I was. Had a moment’s mirth thinking that I’d have to pay one heck of a toll to get across the bridge, or through the tunnel nearer by, as I don’t have a currently valid passport. I kept walking, going past the Detroit Princess (cool old riverboat www.detroitprince
), strolling behind Hart Plaza, over the tunnel to Canada, arriving finally at the Renaissance Center. Turning left at that collection of cylinders, and walking a few blocks further on, I arrived back at the casino. Emboldened by the altered employment status, though I don’t actually start for a couple of weeks, I played a few dollars I haven’t earned yet. Fortune was with me, though, as the evening’s expenditures were swiftly won back (as in, hockey ticket plus gas plus food plus the $20 I tossed on the craps table, plus about 50 bucks more), and I left, not trusting the next player to do me any more favors.

I had a pretty decent Sunday, then. How about you?
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