Apr 7th, 2009 - 10:29:48|
Detroit: City Of
The Trinity Of Detroit
Sports' Historic Season
When Detroit was the
king: author Charles Avison salutes 1935, the Motor City’s
incomparable year of glory.
Detroit in 1935 looked
remarkably similar to what Detroit looks like now. The economy
was tanked, no one was buying new cars, the companies and the
nascent labor unions were both grumbling loudly, a corrupt
mayor had been ousted just a few years before, crime was a big
problem and the nation was looking to a new president for a
glimmer of hope.
But Detroit was then, what it is
today and always will be — a town that loves sports and
definitely prefers winners to whiners. And in the year 1935
something extraordinary happened the likes of which had never
been seen before — a single city grabbed all the marbles. The
Tigers brought home both a pennant and a World Series victory;
the Red Wings were well on their way to a Stanley Cup; the
Lions won the top prize on their side of the street; and a
magnificent fighter named Joe Louis was becoming a legend.
Charles Avison has taken these 365 days from yesterday
and fashioned a fantastic book entitled Detroit: City of
Champions. Originally a college thesis, it is a lovingly
researched hymn of praise to some of the greatest players in
history, with an especially strong emphasis on the Tigers in
their glorious hour of victory. We put a few questions to the
author and he graciously responded. This Opening Day pre-game
with a trip
the book store.
long did it take you to research and write City of
for the original college thesis, one year, almost to the day,
for the research, writing, picture gathering and
In a nutshell
- what magical spark happened in Detroit in 1935?
What they tapped into was
the spirit that still makes Detroit sports unique to this day.
The unconditional love of our teams. All we ask is that the
players give their all on the field, win or lose. It's not
"you go out and win or we’ll boo you" — instead it's — "come
on kid we’re all with you."
Do we instinctively turn to sports
and sports heroes when the going is tough?
Sports inspire a sense of community.
They have a way bringing people together who may be different
— culturally, ethnically and socially. Especially in times of
hardship, people tend to embrace their humanity and the spirit
of “we’re all in this together.”
do the legends of yesterday compare to the people we have
today? Some contend that there was more character,
integrity — more guts plain and simple! Do you
I disagree. I truly love history, but what I
love, is to see how people react to hard situations or
decisions that are presented to them. We are capable of the
same toughness, character and integrity as any of our
ancestors, plus we have the advantage of learning from their
examples. The difference is that their story has already been
written. | RDW