Mamba…Out! by Butch Ford

Kobe Bryant
Mamba…Out! by Butch Ford

Sunday January 26, 2020…A day we’ll all remember; where we were, what we were doing and how we felt upon hearing the devastating news of the helicopter accident that claimed the lives of Los Angeles Lakers’ Great Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, her friend Alyssa, her parents John & Keri Altobelli and the pilot, in Calabasas, California.

I’d reserved my thoughts, feelings and comments until after I was able to process everything.  But as my timeline began to flood, my phone began to ring and my messages began to mount. I took time to reflect on my numerous memories and the unbelievable career accomplishments of the man nicknamed, The Black Mamba.  Kobe was an 18 time All-Star, a 5 time NBA Champion and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player. He entered the NBA as a teenager from Lower Merion High School (Pennsylvania) in 1996 and dazzled us for 20 incredible seasons.

Widely regarded as an All-Time NBA Great, Bryant leaves his wife Vanessa, three daughters, his parents, The NBA Fraternity and an entire world of fans to mourn his untimely demise.  The Altobelli’s were survived by a son and a daughter.  This was truly a sad day.  Let’s pray for healing, strength and courage for the families.  And let’s take better care of each other.  For none of us know the day, the hour or the time we’re gonna be called home.  God Bless Us All.

 

Butch

Better Days by Butch Ford

Comerica Park

Better Days by Butch Ford

As a life-long Detroit sports fan, it’s been extremely tough to root for our hometown teams lately.  But what seems to be the problem?  Why are they all so bad at the same time, you ask?  Let’s get into this.

The Red Wings are the easiest to explain.  After 25 consecutive years of consistent winning and four Stanley Cup Championships between 1986-2011, they’re entitled to a down period.  They’re in a rebuilding process and deserve a pass.  You can’t stay on top forever.

The Pistons; after two very successful title runs, resulting in three NBA Championships (2 in back-to-back years by The Bad Boys in ’89 and ’90 plus another one by The Going to Work Squad in ’04) are in a bit of turmoil.  They suffered the loss of longtime owner William Davidson, the subsequent sale of the franchise, growing pains by new ownership and management and relocation to a new downtown arena.  This will take time.

The Tigers also suffered the loss of their long-time owner Mike Ilitch, who tried feverishly to put together a World Series title team before his untimely demise in 2017.  The aftermath is the Ilitch off springs searching for a vision and direction.  It isn’t working very well.  This could be a while.

And then there’s the lowly, cellar dwelling, career doormats known as The Lions.  There have been several dozen coaching changes, countless shuffling of management personnel, and a revolving door for players over the past 6 decades.  The one constant is the ownership…The Ford family (no relation).  And still NO Superbowl appearance to speak of.  What’s it going to take?

One thing’s for sure, Detroit is a passionate sports town that loves its teams and deserves much better.  Hopefully we’ll see better days in the near future!

 

Butch Ford