The Red Wings: All Detroit Has Left

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2008

With the "Big Three" automotive companies, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, all in the midst of grave financial problems in a nationwide recession, and the recent removal of yet another corrupt mayor, there isn’t much to cheer about in Detroit.

With the Lions and Tigers failing to produce a consistently bearable product, and the Pistons beginning to wear out their welcome, there’s not much left to brag about here in Detroit.  

But Detroit is Hockeytown. 

There is no team in this league more deserving of that title; despite Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and St. Paul’s efforts to hijack the name from the Motor City.

The Red Wings have made the playoffs an insane 17-straight seasons since 1991, with the lone exception being the 2004-2005 NHL lockout.  

The Red Wings stand in second place in the Western Conference, but this year’s team isn’t playing with that demeanor that we’ve seen in years before.

Chris Osgood hasn’t had the Hall of Fame start that he had through the postseason last year.  

The addition of Ty Conklin, former Penguins’ backup goalie, has proved most beneficial in Osgood’s recent slump.

But enough of the facts, the Red Wings have proved to be more than entertainment for Detroit sports fans.

This hockey team has provided an escape for families, union workers, white-collar workers, and the rest of metropolitan Detroit from their rustbelt woes.  

An escape from the real world that puts a halt to the economic turmoil that this country is undergoing, and allows Wings fans to watch a team that is poised to win yet another championship this year; the likely lone bright spot on this demoralized city.

Until the economy goes through a complete reversal and the other Detroit sports teams create a product half as consistent and half as enjoyable to watch as the Red Wings, there’s no foreseeable end.

Many people who read my articles may think I’m pessimistic, but I think of myself more as a realist.

However, people, nationwide, continue to cut luxury spending, which is already reflected in ticket and retail sales across the country.  

Detroit is feeling the heaviest of the trauma, with the future of the automobile industry unknown.  

Thousands of people are going to receive notifications of cutbacks or layoffs, while the rest are just getting by each month.

But I can tell you this—if the upheaval continues to worsen, you will see a complete revolution in this country. Probably not to the extent of such about 230 years ago, but big enough to make a difference in the way our country functions.

But for now, here in Hockeytown, we still have something—we still have our Red Wings—and I am thankful for that.