The Tychkowski Situation

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.

20 thoughts on “The Tychkowski Situation”

  1. Well said. Unfortunately Red Wing fans as a whole have the reputation as being thin-skinned to the point of being overly sensitive. I can remember a column written by John Buccigross at ESPN.com where he “stereotyped” each fanbase based on emails and feedback he received, and he pointed out that saying anything negative about the Red Wings would bring a large backlash of responses his way. He branded us as “sensitive” and I can’t say I disagree with the assessment at times.

    I enjoy seeing fans stand up and defend the team and their city (I say “their” because I have never lived in Detroit or Michigan), and I applaud them for making their voices heard. But as you said, at some point you need to say your piece and move on, and not give them the satisfaction of knowing that they “got you” to the point that it has taken over your entire life. Much like with the guy who taunts you at school, the best thing to do is ignore it, and eventually the shots at the city will stop; half of the reason for them is because of the reactions they get.

    1. This.I’m also angered by his comments. Detroit, or more accurately Metro Detroit, IS my home. It’s home to all three of us here at TPL, my whole family is there, I love it, and always will. I’ve certainly taken offence to this assclown’s comments. You’d think someone from a working-class, blue-collar town like Edmonton would know better than to put down a city and state in such dire need of positivity and love. That said, I can’t begin to tell you how much I LOATHE seeing people climb onto their cross when I know FOR A FACT they’ve never been to Detroit. I appreciate their love for the city and the Red Wings and everything they both stand for, but I’m not sure their insistence on making noise isn’t doing more damage than good. One of those “proving my point for me” things.Those of us that have been to Detroit, or give a shit about it, know the truth. It’s sad that THAT isn’t the rule — as opposed to the exception — but that’s what it is. Like Hollis, I strongly urge readers to voice their distaste for his comments in a classy way (like most seem to have been). Any other sort of digital uprising is ridiculous and counterproductive. If you want to make a difference, go to Detroit. Paint something. Help those who need it. Support Mom-and-Pops within the city limits. Go to the Casino. Don’t be afraid to ride the People Mover. Walk around Greektown. Take a stroll along the river. Admire the Ambassador Bridge. Get a coney dog. If you can afford it, buy a fucking house in Detroit.

    2. This.I’m also angered by his comments. Detroit, or more accurately Metro Detroit, IS my home. It’s home to all three of us here at TPL, my whole family is there, I love it, and always will. I’ve certainly taken offence to this assclown’s comments. You’d think someone from a working-class, blue-collar town like Edmonton would know better than to put down a city and state in such dire need of positivity and love. That said, I can’t begin to tell you how much I LOATHE seeing people climb onto their cross when I know FOR A FACT they’ve never been to Detroit. I appreciate their love for the city and the Red Wings and everything they both stand for, but I’m not sure their insistence on making noise isn’t doing more damage than good. One of those “proving my point for me” things.Those of us that have been to Detroit, or give a shit about it, know the truth. It’s sad that THAT isn’t the rule — as opposed to the exception — but that’s what it is. Like Hollis, I strongly urge readers to voice their distaste for his comments in a classy way (like most seem to have been). Any other sort of digital uprising is ridiculous and counterproductive. If you want to make a difference, go to Detroit. Paint something. Help those who need it. Support Mom-and-Pops within the city limits. Go to the Casino. Don’t be afraid to ride the People Mover. Walk around Greektown. Take a stroll along the river. Admire the Ambassador Bridge. Get a coney dog. If you can afford it, buy a fucking house in Detroit.

  2. Great post. I really didn’t like what he had to say, but it was your standard Detroit cliche. You’re right, we will hear it again and again. It’s always what the hacks are going to write about when they would rather not write about how the Wings are doing vs. how their team is faring. Not worth my time and energy to get worked up about it.

  3. I emailed and I asked other readers to email.

    I actually do think it would be good justice if the Wings revoked his pass to the Joe for tonight though. For some reason, this bothers me more than Lambert or any of the guys at the Pensblog.

    1. But why? So that we can go “nanner-nanner-nanner!!! We took your press pass!!!” and then stick out our tongues? That’s the equivalent to taking our ball and going home, IMO. It’s one dude’s opinion, which he is most definitely entitled to, and to take away his press access because of it is nothing more than a kneejerk, “my feelings are hurt” reaction.

      1. Considering the OIlers are one of the worst teams in the league as far as the way they treat bloggers, I think it would be poetic justice to say that what this guy did is right in line with the kind of stuff that disqualifies bloggers from press box access.

        1. I’m not saying I disagree with the poetic justice aspect of your point here. Yes, it would be hilarious, but it also sets a dangerous precedent in that the Wings veer dangerously close to censorship of their product if they yank his right to cover a game just because people don’t like what he says.

          1. Hell, if I were in the Wings front office and had a say about this, I’d probably go down and ask him what exactly he was thinking and make him account for it straight to my face, but this isn’t a censorship issue.

            Mr. Tychkowski has a right to continue to put into words any shitty ideas he has about the city of Detroit, but he most certainly does not have the right to cover a Red Wings game from the press box. He has a privilege there and it’s a privilege he shat on last night. You’re absolutely right that the backlash against the Wings for revoking his credentials would be worse than anything he or his editors are putting up with today through the hundreds of emails from Wings fans they’ve received. From a public relations perspective, the Wings are caught here and to revoke his credentials would be a bad business decision, but would not run afoul of any certain unalienable rights this guy has to be a dick and put thoughts into words that can do financial damage to both the city of Detroit and the Red Wings without consequence.

            I get what you’re saying and I agree that the weasel should get a talking-to and a “what the fuck, man?” from somebody in that cramped, rat-infested pressbox of torture at the Joe rather than a public turn in the pillory for it, but let’s not turn this into a freedom of the press issue.

  4. The only thing I don’t like about this post is that it’s divisive. It puts you on one side of the fence and the “over reactors” on another side of the fence. But at the end of the day, we’re all Wings fans, and we all support the Winged Wheel.

    Honestly, I think I understand and sympathize with how you feel. I read the comments on the facebook fan page and I’m like, “OMG I am ashamed that this many of our fans are so uninformed.” But I can’t make those fans in my own image, and at the end of the day, we’re all Wings fans, right? I’d rather they cheer for our team than any other. I’ll take all the Wings fan support I can get.

    And I love you TPL boys. You’re my Wings fandom brothers (or, well, step-brothers that I have funny feelings about in the shower). But I can’t agree with the sentiment here. Some people over react, and some people are clueless, but at the end of the day, I’m fine with them all being Wings fans, and I am not going to try to influence their behavior. Partially because I tam sure I’d fail, but mostly because I don’t really care if they give us a “bad” name. Let everyone call us whiny and over-sensitive. We know it’s just passion. 🙂

  5. The only thing I don’t like about this post is that it’s divisive. It puts you on one side of the fence and the “over reactors” on another side of the fence. But at the end of the day, we’re all Wings fans, and we all support the Winged Wheel.

    Honestly, I think I understand and sympathize with how you feel. I read the comments on the facebook fan page and I’m like, “OMG I am ashamed that this many of our fans are so uninformed.” But I can’t make those fans in my own image, and at the end of the day, we’re all Wings fans, right? I’d rather they cheer for our team than any other. I’ll take all the Wings fan support I can get.

    And I love you TPL boys. You’re my Wings fandom brothers (or, well, step-brothers that I have funny feelings about in the shower). But I can’t agree with the sentiment here. Some people over react, and some people are clueless, but at the end of the day, I’m fine with them all being Wings fans, and I am not going to try to influence their behavior. Partially because I tam sure I’d fail, but mostly because I don’t really care if they give us a “bad” name. Let everyone call us whiny and over-sensitive. We know it’s just passion. 🙂

  6. At least the D is known for something other than 1 player in the 80s who was traded to a team that non-fans think he was always on(I know people who thought he won all his cups with the Kings.. yeah.. california) because the Team was practically bankrupt. Let them wallow in their misery in a time where Gary’s parity goals let teams like Chicago, Carolina and Pittsburg win after tanking for a few season. They still haven’t been able to pull out a trip to the playoffs after repeated early round picks.

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