Monday, January 24, 2011


Michigan Monday: Tiger Stadium in a cold November

Sometime in November, around 1970, my dad took me to see the Detroit Lions play the Oakland Raiders.

The Lions played at Tiger Stadium down in Corktown, and during the game you could still see the outline of infield and base paths from the baseball field; the players would kick up dust when they crossed it on the run on a warm September Sunday.

That is, they did if the weather was dry. It wasn’t on that November day—it was cold and wet, with rain turning into sleet turning into snow. The infield wasn’t dust—it was mud. Down on the field, the Lions were winning a slugfest, but I was fascinated by everyone around us. It was all men, from what I remember. Warmth was provided from wool army blankets and cigars, lots of cigars, resulting in a rising column of smoke over the old stadium. No one left, despite the weather.

It was such a guy thing, that game. Probably that night was one of the post-game evenings that Alex Karras got in a fight with some off-duty cops down at the Lindell AC—that’s just how things went back then. For some reason, that game with my Dad got rooted into my conscience as part of what guy culture is—equal parts outdoor life, bad weather, sports, and lousy food, along with a certain amount of getting time with people who matter. There has always been some of that in my life, too; it comes with the territory.

I'm not exactly sure why I would enjoy sitting in sleet with my dad in a cloud of cigar smoke, but I did, and I still would now. I also sing when I ski, a song of joy with a good turn in a quiet and beautiful place; I dig aimless holes at the beach with children when I get the chance; I drive too fast when I'm happy; and on a calm August morning I find nothing more beautiful than a thick writhing fish in my hands, removing the hook to place it back in the water, flipping once before returning to its own familiars.

Thanks for your vivid description of a father-son bond. I really needed to read this today... Both you and your adorable father are lucky guys.
You don't eat the fish?
Beautiful. But who stole my initials?
Oh boy! Catfight!
If that is what it must come to... hiss!
Watch out! It turns out I am a biter. I bite.
Apparently, I bite as well. And scratch.
I think Pickles may need to referee.
Oh, right! I hear you are scared of your own hairballs.
ok - back to Tiger Stadium in November. My dad took us to a Lion's game at Tiger Stadium once. We had recently moved to GPS and I remember it being cold and sleety. I don't remember the cigar smoke, but my Dad smoked cigars so that was a normal smell to me. When we got home we 'stupidly' went down to the lake to watch Mr. Sehoyan dive for someone who had driven their car into the drink.
We all caught bronchitis....

Let's leave my hairballs out of this!

Christine: how do you drive into a drink?
Hey, fake ktn-- look, I found a video of you!
the video is funny, KTN, but i wonder-- what if that cat didn't actually live in that apartment and was just trying to break in? that guy is an accomplice...

mark, i'm going to the super bowl with my dad and my brother to watch our glorious green bay packers in a couple weeks. i'm sure i'll have the same fond memories, sans cigar smoke, add one enormously hideous HD screen at jerryworld.
Back off! It turns out I am a biter. I bite!!
What is this? Imposters fest?
That's it! Biting schbiting...this calls for a bomb!!

(the bona fide one, of course)
Sooo... now we have two kittens and two Pickles? And they are all in a fight? Wasn't this a low-budget late-night film on Cinemax?
Also, that other ktn has been neutered.
Mark: We also went to a U of Mich - Purdue game and watched the gritty Drew Brees whip the powerful Michigan team. Drew Brees was too small to play for Baylor but big enough to win the Super Bowl.

I would prefer to have that fish squirm onto a familiar stinger, then to the fillet table and to my plate.
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