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 Twin titles? 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Twin titles?
Freep.com wrote:
MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Twin titles? Pistons, Wings are pulling for each other in quest to make history
BY MICHAEL ROSENBERG • FREE PRESS COLUMNIST • May 22, 2008

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Last spring, shortly before a Red Wings playoff game, general manager Ken Holland took a few minutes to talk to a special guest: Joe Dumars, president of the Pistons.


"I remember the conversation we had," Holland said Wednesday. "We talked about how hard it is to win in both sports, and how it's a fine line between winning and losing. We were only together for 15 minutes, but I wanted to congratulate him on what an incredible program he has put together.

"Sometimes the Pistons have made it look easy. It's hard to win."

We forget that around here sometimes. There are two ways to distinguish springtime in Michigan. One is that it arrives a month later than pretty much everywhere else. The other is that the Red Wings are occupying one half of Michigan's brain and the Pistons are planted in the other half.

But it is hard. How hard? This hard: The NBA and NHL have held championships in the same year 60 times, and no city has captured both at once. A few have come close: In 1994, the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup and the Knicks went to Game 7 of the NBA Finals, and in 1992 the Chicago Bulls won the NBA title and the Blackhawks were swept in the Cup finals.

But nobody has done it.

Now Detroit has its chance at history. There is never a bad time to win a championship, but this would be an especially good time. The economy is down, unemployment is up, and apparently the mayor is having some sort of problem, too.

If the Wings and Pistons both win, how about a dual parade? Forget it. Nobody would talk on the record about a parade; that's like reserving a chapel before you pop the question. But the Wings are one round ahead of the Pistons, and if they win the Stanley Cup, they won't wait two weeks for a victory parade.

Still, the bond among athletes in this town is obvious. Chauncey Billups often wears a Tigers hat as he walks off the Pistons' bus. The Pistons reserve several seats behind the visitors' bench at the Palace for visiting celebrities, and the Tigers and Red Wings are often among them. The Pistons' Jarvis Hayes and Jason Maxiell attended the Wings' game against Dallas last Saturday. Dumars often goes to Ford Field in the fall to cheer on the Lions.

"I honestly think we all pull for each other's success," Dumars wrote in an e-mail.

Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter said his kids had been "begging me" to take them to a Red Wings game. He said he was pulling for the Wings.

"When you have another team in your city and you know the struggles, how hard it is to get there, you automatically pull for them," Hunter said. "It's not even a question, and you're glad to see those guys do well because it's great for our city."

Tuesday night, Holland started watching the Tigers' game on television at 7, then switched over to the Pistons at 9.

"You go to work and people are talking about it," Holland said. "You move into Detroit, you become a part of the community. Everybody else is watching the Pistons. We're going to watch the Pistons."

Holland said he and Dumars didn't really pick each other's brains much. There is no need, anyway. Their brains are remarkably alike.

Holland and Dumars are masters at finding players other teams don't want. Wings stars Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were late-round draft picks, and all five Pistons starters were overlooked before Dumars found them.

Holland and Dumars are willing to make tough decisions. Dumars fired successful coach Rick Carlisle partly because he thought the Pistons needed a different voice; Holland did the same with Dave Lewis.

Holland and Dumars have resisted calls to dismantle their teams after playoff disappointments.

"I read the papers when the Pistons lose and the feeling is 'break it up,' " Holland said. "There is a lot further to fall than there is to go up."

Holland was told to break up his team in 2001. He retooled instead, won the championship the next year and now has the Wings in the Stanley Cup finals for the fifth time since 1995.

Dumars' team supposedly was finished when Ben Wallace left two summers ago, and again after it lost to Cleveland last season. Now the Pistons are in their sixth straight Eastern Conference finals, easily the longest current streak in the NBA.

With a little luck and a lot of greatness, the Pistons and Wings can make June the best month ever for a North American sports town.

This is a tough time to live in the state of Michigan.

Except on spring nights, when there is no place else you would rather be.

Contact MICHAEL ROSENBERG at 313-222-6052 or mrosenberg@freepress.com. Staff writers Chris Silva and Ben Schmitt contributed to this report.

http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article? ... /805220428

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May 22nd, 2008, 9:54 am
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That'd be hella sweet!!

Now if they did, it'd be cool if someone would make a shirt or hat celebrating it.

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May 22nd, 2008, 1:39 pm
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Post Pistons or Wings? Cups finals schedule forcing fans to take
Sort of on topic.....(didn't want to make a new thread)

ESPN.com wrote:
Pistons or Wings? Cups finals schedule forcing fans to take sides

DETROIT -- What is the NHL thinking?

The league gets a mulligan for scheduling its thrilling outdoor game in Buffalo against the New Year's Day bowl games. (What, Super Bowl Sunday wasn't available?) But now, a far worse offense: The first three games of the Stanley Cup finals will be played at the same time as Games 3, 4 and 5 of the NBA's Eastern Conference finals.

Who cares, you say? Well, just about everyone in Detroit, to start with, as fans here will now have to choose whether to watch the Red Wings or the Pistons. On Saturday, Monday and Wednesday, Detroit will face off against Pittsburgh at 8 p.m., and Detroit will tip off versus Boston at 8:30 p.m. So unless fans in Michigan (and elsewhere) have Picture-in-Picture or decide to tape one game or the other (and turn off their cell phones), they will miss part or most of playoff games they anticipated all season long.


To make matters worse, two of the three conflicts will happen on Saturday and Memorial Day, when both the Pistons and Red Wings will be playing at home. This might make for some great moments in Detroit sports bars, but it makes for awful public relations for a league that has battled weaker-than-normal attendance in Hockeytown.


The explanation? "We have rights-holders," says NHL vice president for media relations Frank Brown. "CBC has aired 'Hockey Night in Canada' on Saturday night for 50 years."


Has the CBC aired hockey on Monday and Wednesday nights for 50 years? And what about the "rights-holders" who buy tickets? Or merchandise? Or at least tune into Versus? Detroit has brought a reliably strong and marketable product to the NHL for more than a decade now, during which the league suffered through a work stoppage and the inability of teams in other big American cities -- New York, Chicago and Los Angeles -- to do their part. The lockout didn't do any favors for a franchise that forked over the money for turnstile-spinning names like Brett Hull and Brendan Shanahan. Fans here have understood and hung in there for the most part. And this is the reward?


(Does anyone really think the Knicks and Rangers would be pitted against each other three times in six playoff nights? Surely Mayor Michael Bloomberg would make some noise about this. Don't expect Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, currently accused of using his publicly funded cell phone to plan and discuss an affair with a city employee, to do much of anything.)


Those who grew up in Michigan watching "Hockey Night in Canada" on Channel 9 -- and full disclosure, I'm one of them -- know most Canadians love hockey enough to tune in anyway if these games started at, say, 7 p.m. So, I'm offering a week's worth of Timbits to anyone at CBC who can give Detroit fans a chance to see an extra hour of hockey and an extra hour (on the back side) of hoops. But this really isn't about CBC. It's about the NHL.



Brown calls it "one of those freakish things that happen," and wants to know "why the NBA doesn't move its games." Even if the NBA does decide to accommodate Detroit fans by delaying tip times by an hour -- and remember, those hoops games were set before the NHL Western Conference finals ended Monday night -- that would only be regarded as yet another fan-friendly move by David Stern. Can't commissioner Gary Bettman be the hero instead?


This "freakish" scheduling quirk raises a larger point about what the NHL is doing wrong. Attendance at Joe Louis Arena wavered during the regular season and the playoffs, raising the question of whether Detroit still deserves the Hockeytown motto. Some say the economy is to blame, but readers of Freakonomics know attendance at sporting events actually increases during hard times.


What may be to blame instead, besides the lockout and the absence of fighting, is scheduling. Who really wants to pay the value of a tank of gas for a ticket to watch Nashville or Columbus? Those aren't the kind of rivalries Red Wings fans grew up with. What happened to the home-and-home weekends, with Toronto at Detroit on Friday night and the Wings at the Leafs on Saturday (on CBC, of course)? Even these Stanley Cup finals, which could otherwise be the start of a fascinating rivalry between the Penguins and Red Wings, are a glaring example of this lack of foresight, since the two teams did not meet a single time in the regular season.


Here's the biggest tragedy: The Stanley Cup finals may be more exciting than the NBA's Eastern Conference finals. Apologies to everyone at the Palace -- Where Sheed Happens! -- but the defense-first Pistons and Celtics will not light up the scoreboard the way Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk can. This is a golden chance for new fans to switch over to Versus on a holiday weekend and be smitten by a great sports product. But now, why bother? The NBA is on. And some of the most likely people to choose hockey over basketball -- Detroiters -- have a good reason to keep the remote on the coffee table.


Things aren't great in Detroit. Look on the front page of Freep.com or Detnews.com and most of the popular articles usually have to do with sports. These headlines give a lot of hard-working people a reprieve from cringe-inducing news of rising prices and dropping mayoral trousers. This summer, those headlines will report on the disappointing Tigers, the rebuilding Wolverines and the wretched Lions. So this is Michigan's time to open the paper and feel like the rest of the world is paying attention for the right reasons.


So what's it going to be, Commissioner Bettman? Are we going to read about how you used your clout to do the right thing? Or will it be "NHL to Motown: Drop Dead"?

Eric Adelson is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. E-mail him at eric.adelson@espn3.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs2 ... id=3405656


I agree! I think the NHL should move the Sat & Mon games to a 1 or 3pm EDT start time. Just another example of how Bettman has f**ked up the NHL.

Go WINGS!!!!! headbang.gif

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May 22nd, 2008, 4:17 pm
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Post Re: Pistons or Wings? Cups finals schedule forcing fans to t
TheRealWags wrote:
I agree! I think the NHL should move the Sat & Mon games to a 1 or 3pm EDT start time. Just another example of how Bettman has f**ked up the NHL.

Go WINGS!!!!! headbang.gif

There's no question for me. I'll be watching the Wings. I root for the Pistons, but nothing beats the intensity of playoff hockey, especially once it makes it to the finals.


May 22nd, 2008, 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Pistons or Wings? Cups finals schedule forcing fans to t
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
I agree! I think the NHL should move the Sat & Mon games to a 1 or 3pm EDT start time. Just another example of how Bettman has f**ked up the NHL.

Go WINGS!!!!! headbang.gif

There's no question for me. I'll be watching the Wings. I root for the Pistons, but nothing beats the intensity of playoff hockey, especially once it makes it to the finals.


Agreed. I'm a Wings & Lions fan more than anything else, so for me there is no contest; however I don't understand why both sports have to play at the exact same time. The NBA had their schedule completed first, so to ask them to adjust is, IMO, unreasonable. The NHL should have NO problem moving the start times, if not the games, especially if they want to regain their piece of the major sports pie.

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May 22nd, 2008, 4:29 pm
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Post Re: Pistons or Wings? Cups finals schedule forcing fans to t
TheRealWags wrote:
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
I agree! I think the NHL should move the Sat & Mon games to a 1 or 3pm EDT start time. Just another example of how Bettman has f**ked up the NHL.

Go WINGS!!!!! headbang.gif

There's no question for me. I'll be watching the Wings. I root for the Pistons, but nothing beats the intensity of playoff hockey, especially once it makes it to the finals.


Agreed. I'm a Wings & Lions fan more than anything else, so for me there is no contest; however I don't understand why both sports have to play at the exact same time. The NBA had their schedule completed first, so to ask them to adjust is, IMO, unreasonable. The NHL should have NO problem moving the start times, if not the games, especially if they want to regain their piece of the major sports pie.

I agree completely. I think it's probably at least in part a case of Bettman's ego getting in the way. He probably thinks the NHL is going just fine when in reality, outside of a few select markets, nobody cares. I'm out here in LA, and last year when the Ducks won the cup, it didn't even register on most people's sports radar. It was barely even talked about.


May 22nd, 2008, 4:59 pm
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I been bitching about this for the last week when I found out about the schedules..I like to slap someone, anyone who was involved in putting both games on at the same time..I want to watch the Wings and Pistons..I will have to flip channels..


May 22nd, 2008, 5:05 pm
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Personally, it doesn't affect me since I don't like basketball and never watch it. With that said, this was a stupid move by the NHL (and Bettman in particular). Metro Detroit is still considered a major market and this scheduling cost them tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of potential viewers. This clown will never learn. It's kinda like scheduling a "must see" outdoor game in a football stadium on New Years Day. Oh, wait....

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May 22nd, 2008, 5:32 pm
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