The Roscoe! Report

Ball don't lie.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Someone explains it, and we're pretty sure you all still don't get it

-USC Professor and "D" native Todd Boyd explains the psychology of Detroit Piston fans better than anyone ever could hope to.

Say what you will about Detroit. At this point, you can't say
anything worse than what's already been said. We stopped paying attention
a long time ago, anyway.

Everytime someone says something derogatory about Detroit, we take it in stride. But it's not just a brush off, we don't ignore it. It's noted mentally and we have another example of people who don't get it, will never get it, and we're pretty sure we don't want them to get it. It creates a reluctant pride. Not so much of pride in the city; we know Detroit has its problems. Boyd explains it much better than I could. It had always been inexplicable to me, but not for Boyd.

But it's true. Detroit has an "us against the world" mentality because the world is, more or less, against Detroit. That's why we love the Pistons, they think like we think. After the 2004 NBA Championship, people didn't talk about the Pistons winning, they talked about the Lakers losing. Coming into this season, everyone was talking about the Heat and Pacers. The Pistons just keep winning. We don't listen to the haters (John Saunders) anymore, but we certainly hear them.

Keep in mind, I'm not from Detroit, I'm from outside Detroit. It's an important difference which he acknowledges, but doesn't go into too much detail. (It's not the subject of the piece, I don't blame him.)

There is a huge difference between Detroit and its suburbs, making this one of
the most segregated cities in the country. The Pistons are where the city
and the 'burbs come together, though, where blue-collar whiteness links up with
the urban streets. That collaboration is a lethal combination -- just ask the
Indiana Pacers.

Boyd's right about that too, but I think there's more too it. Us suburb dwellers live on both sides of the Detroit issue. We make the same jokes about Detroit that everyone else does. We don't go into the city unless we have to. But when someone from outside Michigan badmouths Detroit, we defend it mercilessly, or at least say "you don't get it."
But we trully don't get it either. Or at least, we haven't earned any right to get it. We've adopted the same mentality, though. And for all our differences, for all the segregation, for all the whispers and fears of suburbans about Detroit there is one thing. The Pistons.
We're all Pistons fans when we're in the Palace though. We all listen to George Blaha's incessant homerism. We all take offense when the world forgets that the best basketball is the planet is played by our new bad boys. That's the unifying principle. It might be the only subject where the 'Burbs and the D are of the same mind.
I know that seems like thats a lot of influence and a lot of responsibility for a basketball team to have, but it's true.
Maybe you just don't get it.


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