08 March 2009 by Published in: General musings 15 comments

Susan and I just made a quick overnight trip to Hockeytown, USA, which is also known as Detroit, Michigan. Thanks to fellow blogger Jack Dempsey, we got to watch the Columbus Blue Jackets destroy the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings 8-2 at Joe Lewis Arena last night. Many thanks to Jack for the tickets. It’s very cool seeing those 11 Stanley Cup banners and the retired numbers, and all of the other banners that fill the rafters of the venerable old arena. Considering that this is only our team’s 8th season, and we’ve never even made the playoffs, we don’t have such stuff hanging from our rafters (yet). The monuments to Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Sid Abel–the legendary Production Line–are also neat.

Go Blue Jackets!

I have to say that, considering we were both wearing Blue Jackets jerseys in a place where not much but red and white can be found, we were pleasantly surprised that the local folks were extremely friendly. A couple of Red Wings fans congratulated us on our team’s record-setting performance last night, and one fellow looked at me and said, “If your team does this well in the playoffs, it will go a long way” as he headed out after the 7th goal.

Neither of us had ever been to Joe Lewis previously, and it is one of those pilgrimages that every serious hockey fans needs to make.

I had actually hoped to mix a little history into the trip, but the weather defeated that good intention. It rained somewhat heavily yesterday, but it was like a monsoon today, meaning that there was no real reason to stop in Monroe, Michigan on the way home as I had planned. The intent was to visit the handsome equestrian monument to George Custer in his adopted hometown, see the home where his wife Libby grew up, and then spend a bit of time visiting the War of 1812 battlefield there, which was the Battle of the River Raisin. The Custer monument is actually on a portion of the River Raisin battlefield, but I am told that there is interpretation being placed on the battlefield. I’ve never really visited a War of 1812 battlefield (unless you count the Perry Victory Monument on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie), and I was really looking forward to it. Looks like another trip is going to have to be in the offing to make it happen. I want to go to a Tigers game this summer, so hopefully we will be able to visit Monroe then.

Thanks again to Jack Dempsey for his generosity in giving us the tickets last night. That generosity was made all the more remarkable by the performance our team put on.

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Tom Thompson
    Sun 08th Mar 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Eric,
    Don’t forget the prospect of a visit to see the Lions play.
    There’s always plenty of seating available when the Lions play.
    Tom

  2. Phil LeDuc
    Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 12:10 am

    I’m sure that the fans of Hockeytown USA will want to congratulate their counterparts in Terrace, BC, Canada – the newly named Hockeyville, 2009. See this article http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jd98r4yUamzW5PVVbt6Dlw129pMQ.
    (This from a fan of the Montreal Canadiens – go Habs!)

  3. Rae-Ann McDonald
    Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 12:21 am

    Hi Eric,
    It sounds like you and your wife had a great time watching the game in Detroit.
    I have yet to see my first NHL game, but when the Bruins come to town I will be there.
    R A McD

  4. Tom Vincent
    Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 9:28 am

    That’s Joe Louis arena.

  5. Jana Beaverson
    Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 9:52 am

    Eric,
    The home where Libby Bacon grew up in Monroe is no longer there. It was torn down long ago and replaced with a post office, which in turn was taken over by the Monroe County Historical Society. There is quite a nice Custer display there,

    For War of 1812 visit Fort Meigs, just off I-75 along the Maumee River in Perrysburg, Ohio. Over Memorial Day weekend there is generally an encampmnet going on.

  6. Rich
    Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 10:04 am

    If you go back to Monroe don’t miss the Custer display at the historical society.

    What would happen if you wore your Blue Jacket’s sweater to a Flyer’s game?

  7. Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 10:14 am

    Tom,

    That’s a scary thought. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Eric

  8. Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 10:14 am

    Rae-Anne,

    I can’t believe that you live in Edmonton and have never been to an Oilers game….

    Eric

  9. Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 10:16 am

    Rich,

    I doubt that I would. Having grown up in the Philadelphia area, I am a lifelong Flyers fan–I was 13 when they won their first Stanley Cup in 1974–so it’s not likely that I would wear a CBJ jersey there.

    When the Flyers come to Columbus to play here, I am always conflicted and end up rooting for both teams.

    Eric

  10. Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 10:17 am

    Thanks for the tips, Jana. I will keep them in mind the next time I head north.

    Eric

  11. Chris Evans
    Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 11:25 am

    I remember when I visited Michigan a while back that the town we stayed in had a monument to one of the local regiments that were a part of Custer’s Michigan Brigade. I’ll have to try and remember what town it was but I remember that it was pretty neat.
    Chris

  12. Jim Epperson
    Mon 09th Mar 2009 at 12:07 pm

    “we were pleasantly surprised that the local folks were extremely friendly.” See, that’s the way we are in Michigan — friendly sports fans! Now, what would happen to someone wearing Michigan regalia along High St. in late November?

  13. Mike Peters
    Thu 12th Mar 2009 at 8:29 am

    Jim,

    Try it out and report back. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mike Peters

  14. Thu 12th Mar 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Eric,

    Glad you enjoyed the game. I think they’ll not only break their playoff drought, but will probably make the second round.

    Chris,

    Was it by chance Adrian?

  15. Chris Evans
    Thu 12th Mar 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Greetings Don. I think I have finally remembered what town it was. I believe we saw the monument in Durand. Really neat to think about those guys enlisting and coming from there to go off to the war in Virginia.
    Thanks,
    Chris

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