As many of you have seen and read over the last few hours, the Edmonton Sun’s Robert Tychkowski took a few shots at the city of Detroit in his pregame post last night (all credit to Triple Deke Tyler):
“Welcome to Detroit, where the forecast, as always, is muggy, with a chance of murder.
When you’re trying to breathe a little life back into your year, this is not the place to visit. And not just because they use more white chalk at crime scenes than they ever did in the schools.”
Predictably, this word bomb from a guy who probably thinks Edmonton is a bright, shining star in the global city standings stirred up the emotions of a proud Wings fan base, this fan included. It’s never fun hearing people knock the city that we all love and it does cause the fires to burn a bit each time someone drops “guns,” “murder,” or “killing” into a story about Detroit and the Red Wings and the first inclination is always to step up and go to bat for our fair city. It’s a pride thing and I believe in it just as much as all of you do. We all know Tychkowski is taking the easy road here by playing up the city’s reputation as dangerous and deadly, and we all recognize that his efforts are journalism at their crappiest. It’s not the first time some asshat writer has played this card, nor will it be the last.
That said, I have a plea for all of you fans out there who feel “disrespected,” “attacked,” or “insulted” based on Tych’s column:
Please. Calm. Down.
Remember back many moons ago when the common response to a poorly written piece of journalism was to write a strongly worded letter to someone or some thing? Please, exercise that practice in this situation. Send an e-mail to Tych and tell him what a piece of garbage his story was. Send an e-mail to the editorial staff at the Sun and let them know that you think this hack of a journalist is just that: a hack. But for the love of God, stop martyring yourself, the city and everything else attached to the Red Wings organization for the sake of some farcical “justice” that you think is owed to you and the rest of the fan base.
In short: Get over it.
Why this approach you ask? Well, let’s see. Maybe it’s because my Twitter feed is full of tweets trying to rally a revolution together to turn Tych into an official Enemy of the State. Or maybe it’s the multiple mails I’ve received asking me to send a mail to the Detroit Red Wings to implore them that they remove this guy’s press pass for tonight’s game. Both are definite factors in the writing of this post, but I think the biggest single catalyst for my soon-to-be very unpopular opinion is the fact that every time someone says something negative about the city of Detroit or the Red Wings, the only way everyone feels satisfied is if a digital uprising takes place in an attempt to regain some sort of honor for Detroit.
I get it. It’s hard to stand by and watch someone say something stupid and hurtful about something that we all care about very deeply. But these “DEFEND AT ALL COSTS” reactions need to take a step back into the realm of reality at some point, otherwise the monikers of “sensitive” and “thin-skinned” will only continue to be used when describing the city and the fan base. Case and point: Someone asked me the other day about how I feel every time Ryan Lambert slams Red Wings fans for being sensitive and “whiny”. Do I like it? No. Does he have a point? Sometimes. When it comes to Detroit, his game is based solely on exploiting the insecurities of Wings fans, and there is none bigger than slamming the city itself and calling it’s defenders names. Whatever. If that draws readers, then good for him. He’s just playing the game. But to start an uprising every time someone says something that stings or isn’t fair only serves to strengthen his position and put bullets into the proverbial chamber; the same one that holds the “Wings are too old” and the “If you aren’t a murderous city, why is there a show on ABC dedicated to Detroit homicide?” bullets.
Look, it’s not easy to tune these things out and I’m not asking you to. If you were offended by Tych’s piece or if it wronged you in some way, then write an e-mail to him and his editors and step away from the computer. There’s no need to take to the e-streets and demand e-justice. Stiffen that upper lip, straighten up that spine and realize that Tych is probably worse off having to sit in the press box with his peers tonight than he would be if he was banned from the arena, which would solve nothing except provoking a slam job story on Detroit and the Red Wings.
It’s a great thing to be proud, but it’s time to put the pitchforks and torches away.