Entertainment options/The Red Line
Last night, I sat down with my dinner as the Red Wings game started. How very kind of them to play while Game 1 of the World Series was going on so I didn’t have to subject myself to that.
It was 3-0 Ottawa and Jimmy Howard had taken a seat before I’d gotten around to putting my plate in the sink.
Such is life these days when you’re trying to take the temperature of the Copper Country sports fan.
It’s been several days since the Detroit Tigers lost the American League Championship Series rather decisively, so too late for a post-mortem. Besides, Paul Peterson basically took care of that Wednesday.
I suppose a look ahead might be useful, but for a team with no manager and no games that count for six months, that’s something like trying to cut snowbanks that don’t exist.
So, my intent is to try and look for something all of us can latch on to for a while. Here goes.
As previously mentioned, the Red Wings season is underway (now 285 days lockout-free!).
Detroit has rewarded its fans rebounding from the Tigers to Joe Louis Arena by playing a 0-0 tie after 65 minutes against San Jose Monday (insert soccer joke here), then losing in a shootout. Chapter two was Wednesday’s utterly unimpressive dismantling at the hands of the Ottawa Senators.
It sounds bad, but we’re also six months from the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well, so it’s probably not worth sweating.
As has been repeatedly mentioned, Detroit is now in the Eastern Conference, which dramatically lowers the numbers of 0-2-1 Western Canada road trips they’ll have to take in February but also means I’m going to have to look up the names of members of the Florida Panthers between now and their first game against the Wings, which thankfully isn’t until Dec. 7.
In other bright-side news, all those jokes about the Toronto Maple Leafs are now relevant to me again.
We’re about a week away from the Detroit Pistons season starting (Oct. 31 vs. Washington). Since they’ve made an effort to improve the team for the first time in about three years, picking up Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings and Chauncey Billups, I may make an effort to watch them.
After all, us Brandons have to stick together (except Brandon Weeden. He’s on his own.)
On the collegiate level, both Michigan and Michigan State are expected to be good. I’ve always tended toward the blue side of the spectrum, but now that writers and broadcasters haven’t reflexively inserted mentions of Draymond Green every 100 words, I might even give Tom Izzo’s Spartans some time.
College football is a little more dicey. Both Big 10 behemoths appear to be playing dramatically worse than their records would indicate. The Spartans scored one offensive touchdown against Purdue. The Wolverines allowed six to Indiana. Neither team lost. Wrap your brain around that.
And as for the pros, the Packers survived the hard first third of their schedule 3-2, shoved the Browns aside with all the intensity of that game of Madden football you played while eating a pizza, and face a back nine that will include: two games against the Vikings, the Bears with no Jay Cutler a week from Monday and games
against the Steelers, Giants and Falcons, all of whom are poor and will have quit on their seasons by the time Aaron Rodgers arrives to put out their misery.
Meanwhile, the Lions are good enough to carry a conversation (maybe even a Wild Card berth?) and will have accomplished the minimum I ask of them: to be interesting enough on Thanksgiving that I don’t fill up on appetizers while watching the game.
Locally, there’s lots to look forward to. Friday’s Copper Bowl is potentially the most meaningful in the eight-division playoff era, as for the first time, Houghton must win to ensure automatic qualification.
We could see as many as three local volleyball teams in the MHSAA Regionals.
The first high school hockey game of the season is less than a month away (Marquette at Hancock, Nov. 22).
A new world begins in the WCHA this weekend when Michigan Tech plays Northern Michigan in a home-and-home series (Friday’s game in Marquette is already a near-sellout. What say you, Houghtonians?)
There are still three more Tech football home games, not to mention an entire slate of Husky basketball ahead of us, just to name a few.
But if you’d just like to sit around and wallow about the Tigers, I’ll be right there for you. Stupid David Ortiz…
Brandon Veale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/redveale.