Discussed on a couple of local sports talk shows. Has Calvin surpassed Miggy as a local sports icon?
this may be of some local interest
No way, put simply haha.
Calvin was there before him in my opinion anyways
Not a huge baseball guy, but Calvin Johnson has broken Jerry Rice's record and has been the main key in getting the lions relevant again. Cabrera is great too, but as a football guy I put Calvin ahead of him.
Datsyuk has to factor in here somewhere too. Possibly Verlander? Those are all guys that have made a claim to be a top 3 player in their respective sport.
Datsyuk should be the icon going away, but hockey isn't popular enough. Purely a dominant day to day player who has won championships.
Detroit lives and breathes hockey. We're Hockeytown in a hockey state. It may not have the national appeal but don't sell it short in this market.
I agree that people in Detroit love their hockey as much as just about anywhere, but it's still not top dog. In fact, it might even be third right now.
Ya I mean for someone like me growing up in the mid-90s we only had the Wings because the Pistons, Lions and Tigers we're so bad. I don't think people care any less it's just that 1) people got so used to them being good it wasn't fun anymore. It was kind of a wake me when we make the playoffs attitude. 2) Finally being able to root for the other 3 took some attention away.
Teams that are successful will always be popular, and one the reason the Wings were more popular than the other Detroit teams during that period is just like you said - the other teams weren't good. That said, when the Lions are good, they're more popular than the Wings. When the Tigers are good, they're more popular than the Wings. Hell, when the Pistons were good for the bulk of the 2000s, they led the NBA in attendance for like 5 years in a row.
The real test is how popular the Wings would be if they weren't good, at least for more than a couple seasons. That hasn't happened as long as I can remember so it's hard to say. My guess is the Wings' popularity has a lot more to do with them being a great franchise than simply because Detroit loves its hockey. The latter is certainly true, don't get me wrong. But it's not terribly hard to cheer for a winning team.
it might shock people to learn that the Pistons beat the Wings in TV ratings during the Wings last Stanley Cup season. Sure, they were still rebuilding fan trust after the lockout and Yzerman retiring , but hockey's reign as our top sport here was always more of a perfect storm. That said, we are a hockey area in a hockey state as he said and Wings players can be just as iconic as players on the Tigers and Lions.
But the point remains... if you're over 30, you probably have the Tigers number 1. If you're under 25, you've probably got the Lions there. And if you're 20-25, maybe you've got the Wings there just out of nostalgia.
Steve Yzerman had no trouble holding his own against Barry Sanders in terms of recognition.
He held his own, but even in Detroit Barry was the bigger name. That said, Pavel Datsyuk is not Stevie Y.
I don't agree. As far as I could tell, Stevie Y was the bigger icon in Detroit during those years.
Are you a pretty big hockey fan though? That could be why. To your average sports fan, I would be that wasn't the case. I'm a bigger football fan than a hockey fan, so I always though Barry was the bigger name. Thing is, there are a lot more people like me.
I think at the time I was, and I guess a lot of kids I grew up with played hockey. But I still don't agree. It just seemed like Stevie Y was more of a cultural/ community presence than Barry. Probably had a lot to do with the relative success of the two teams.
In this area of all places, it's probably safe to say that there was a (probably subconcious) racial factor in the burbs where I grew up that led to Stevie Y being venerated as a god amongst whereas Barry was always looked at as a special player.
Didn't want to say it. But yeah.
Hockey was on ESPN back in those days. It's a totally different scenario post-lockout. Gary Bettman can tell us all about attendance records, but hockey is no where to be found on TV and it's off of people's radars.
I'd say no. I don't think Calvin has surpassed Barry to be honest.
Miggy is the best pure hitter baseball has seen in quite sometime.
I would still say that Cabrera is more of an icon. I think Megatron still has to compete with Barry Sanders in the eyes of Detroit fans.
I do love that Megatron has similar characteristics to Barry: Hardest to defend at his position, beast of an athlete, and always humble.
Miggy has done some great things on a bigger stage, but I like Megatron a hell of a lot more. I put Calvin Johnson way ahead just because I don't personally enjoy watching baseball all that much.
I think it mostly depends on what sports you like. If you like baseball, then it's Miggy. If you like football, its Calvin. If you like both the Lions and the Tigers equally, its more of a tossup.
I'm a huge fan of both sports, but a bigger of a Tiger's fan than a Lion's fan, and I think it's definitely Miggy.
But he is The Perfect Human, and a first-ballot HOF, and the best shutdown D-man in the history of the sport.
But yes, not the top Icon in MoTown, deserved or not.
I really like Lidstrom. But I think in the eyes of most Detroiters, Lidstrom still takes a back seat to Yzerman.
Detroit loves Stevie Y. Always will. Man had every characteristic you would want in a sports figure. And he had Robert Probert to protect it :)
No. What Calvin has done has been amazing. But football is still a team sport. Not only has Calvin been on a team that hasn't accomplished much of anything yet, he's also been the benefactor of a QB who can get him the ball, an oline that blocks for that QB (to an extent), and other recievers who are competent enough so that the entire defensive backfield doesn't try to cover him. To put it simply, Calvin is dependent on a lot of people to get his stats (as jaw dropping as they are) and has not helped bring the Lions to greatness yet.
Miggy's individual accomplishments are much more noticeable. He doesn't need the help of a teammate to swing his bat. Not only has he done things that were never meant to happen again (recieving yard records were meant to be broken, but we were not supposed to have a triple crown winner again), but he has helped the Tigers turn into one of the best teams in the Majors. Miggy has already cemented himself as one of the best to ever play the game, and arguably the greatest hitter in history, even if he retired tomorrow, that would hold true. CJ's got some work left to do. He can start a push towards taking Miggy's crown as king od Detroit once he starts making big time plays in the playoffs.
That's an unfair criticism of Johnson. Yes, he depends on other people to get him his stats. Yes, the offense that surrounds him is above average. But by that standard, no football player would qualify. I understand the argument, as Barry was in my mind objectively better than Emmitt Smith, but it's not fair to use that against Megatron. He's the best in the world at what he does. He would be the best in the world at what he does regardless of what the surrounding cast can do.
For starters, Cabby needs others to produce or they will simply pitch around him.You can take a great hitter out of a game. Secondly, the Tigers still haven't won a championship. Baseball is still a team sport. Cabby hasn't exactly been terrific in the playoffs either.
The fact of the matter is, Cabrera's accomplishments stand out more. The appearance of not having to rely on teammates is greater in baseball than it is football. Dubious logic as it may be, it's a quite obvious observation, and it's shared by anyone who's watched both sports, regardless of if you know the inner workings of each sport or not. At the end of the day, when it comes to the end goal of winning games, I do truly think baseball is more of a team sport than football in that you are completely dependent on your teammates to come through for you, and there's nothing that you can do about it. Calvin can compensate for constant errant throws by Stafford with his athletic abilities. Miggy can't compensate for when Prince Fielder is not seeing the ball well.
It wasn't meant as a criticism. Just from a personal standpoint for me, it's easier for Miggy to stand out as a face of a city or team because he seemingly does it all on his own. That's by no means to downplay what Megatron has done, just the basic fact that one the offensive side of things, individual stats in baseball are much more self relied upon. I'm well aware that the fact CJ does what he does despite who his teammates are is sometimes an incrediblely impressive accomplishment in it's own right. But football is more about the team, and even the standouts in that sport blend into their own team a little more than other ones.
you can pile up all the hits you want but if you're teammates aren't on base you're not going to drive in any runs....where's your triple crown then? Do you think if Prince wasn't a .300 hitter season before last, Miggy would be getting the same looks?
I think it's totally fair to question whether a wideout, by their very nature, can have the same kind of iconic status as a franchise QB or RB. Not that I don't think Megatron is a amazing or that he bails Stafford out more than he should have to.
You're not going to get RBIs unless your teammates get on base.
Also the Tigers turn around happened before Miggy.
Yeah, but you need teammates for RBIs. But even the most mediocre player gets on base every once in awhile, especially when the pitcher sees Miggy in the on deck circle and gets distracted. Also, a 3rd of Miggy's RBIs this year were runs scored by him due to homers. He still can get plenty of RBIs all by his lonesome.
And yes, the Tigers had made the World Series without Miggy. But there's no denying they've kept making it back to the playoffs in large part due to Miggy's play. The Heat had won a title not too long before Lebron got to Miami, but you don't see anyone not giving Lebron a lion's share of the credit for the ones they've gotten since he's been there.
If we're talking current "local sports icons," the Mt. Rushmore is Miggy, Verlander, Datsyuk, and Megatron.
If we're talking all-time "local sports icons," all of these guys get left out b/c of Barry, Yzerman, Howe, and Zeke.
But Miggy v. Megatron still has to go to Miggy. Both are valuable to their respective teams, but Megatron plays at a dependent position whereas Miggy does not.
+1 on everything here
Does Chauncey get an honorable mention on the Mt. Rushmore of Detroit sports now that he's back in town?
What about Joe Louis? One of the hardest punches of all time.
Ah, great point. The bad boys were always a team, and no one person was the best player on that court for them for 2 games in a row. So, demote Isiah, and give the Brown Bomber a place on that mountain.
Great point. Zeke should be demoted, no doubt. Can't believe I forgot about him. I feel great shame.
He has to. No mountain that precludes him can be taken seriously. He is that dominant.
And his dependency actually makes him greater. It's not easy to be great on your own, but it is even harder when you have to rely on someone else.
Wait... What about Cobb (it's a Detroit sports Mt. Rushmore, I know he was a prick.)? Kaline? I think either of them could easily be on a Detroit sports Mt. Rushmore.
Al Kaline? Doesn't feel right without a Tiger.
I agree with your top 4, but I'm going to make the case for Calvin over Miggy:
1) The Lions are more popular than the Tigers, despite being historically much worse. If the Lions make a run for the division title this year (which looks completely possible) and Calvin is dominating week in and week out, his popularity in Detroit is going to go sky high.
2) Miggy isn't the most likeable person. He's had his fair share of issues with the drinking and the domestic violence reports. Heck, he barely speaks English. A few years back when his issues were more prevalent, there were some Tigers fans who wanted to run him out of town. Not taking anything away from his dominance at the plate or the smile on his face when he plays the game, but off the field, no one knows much about him because he's not the most open person. I think more Tigers fans relate to Justin Verlander, who is American and does a lot of stuff in the community. Likewise, Calvin appears to be a great human being even though he has a quiet demeanor... Calvin is more marketable and approachable to the fans.
3) Calvin is more valuable to the Lions than Miggy is to the Tigers (which sounds nuts). But if you take Miggy off the Tigers, they can still compete with pitching and they have a few other bats. But you take Calvin off the Lions and they don't have a chance.
have any interest in Detroit sports Calvin is bigger to me but baseball also is very uninteresting now to me with all the cheating.
And SPOILER ALERT
MANY NFL guys are on a lot of different PED's and all the "adderall" suspensions are just an agent's way of downplaying his client's transgressions.
Totally Agree. MLB gets skewered on PEDs, when they have by far the best testing in major sports. The NFL doesn't even test for HGH.......
Nobody tests for HGH. But your point still stands, the NFL has probably got far more PED users.
That is an extraordinarily small part of their testing program. But valid point.
Though a much more minor sport in the USA than either, cycling probably gets the biggest skewering for this kind of cheating. Despite having a very high rate of testing in addition to considerably harsher penalties, typcially a year or more of being banned from the sport for first offense. I haven't heard of any MLB or NFL player who got more than 1/2 of a season let alone an entire year...not that it seems to be any deterant in cycling.
but if they test for it don't keep doing it. I loved roid ball and don't care what nflers do, but baseball has guys winning awards using something they call illegal. Just makes baseball look bad I guess and I stopped looking at baseball players as best local athletes. Between the salaries and lack of loyalty to teams compared to football where the best athletes tend to stick to there teams baseball took a backseat to me now. It's on par with the NBA but I would rather watch the NBA then the MLB any more if I have to. Besides we all know Al Borges is the best local athlete
Miggy can't speak english very well and it hurts his marketability. Calvin on the other hand is a superstar with a humble attitude at a position where you don't see that very often. Calvin has a Nike campaign designed specifically for him.
Pavel, Z, Calvin, and Miggy.
/s but not really
Sidenote: weird to be excited for the Pistons again tonight.
I watched the Detroit game on Sunday. And holy hell, Calvin Johnson looks like he just stepped out of a video game. My humble suggestion is to enjoy him all that you can, because most teams never have a guy like that.
Gonna have something to say about this in a few years
"It's sure nice to be the 8th most popular athlete in Detroit."-Andre Drummond, October 30, 2016
I spit out water on myself.
The poor English really limits Miguel's endorsement opportunities which could make him a global brand like Jeter, Lebron or locally JV.
CJ plays the most popular sport and for Detroit's most popular team.
Do you really think the lions are more popular in Michigan than the Tigers? I am not so sure.
The NFL is the most popular sport, while the Tigers have been far more successful than the Lions it's still the NFL, and the Lions are still the more popular team.
Fact is more people like football than baseball just check out the ratings for game 2 of the World Series compared to Thursday night football between the Panthers and the Bucs.
No one can deny that the NFL leaves every other sport in the dust, but I think you'd be surprised how many people in Michigan like the Tigers. rating be damned
I know very few big lions fans. In fact the popularity of the NFL as a whole is probably the only thing that keeps the lions going. But the Tigers are huge and there are a ton of people in the state that love them. I don't think the lions are nearly as popular as the Tigers and would bet their merchandise sales are significantly below the Tigers. How often do you see someone in Michigan sporting a lions cap compared to a Tigers cap, I can barely think of ever seeing people sport lions gear outside of a game.
Trailing the yanks and phils.
They were 6th in 2011
Don't you think that's partly because the Ole English D is more of an iconic logo for Detroit than just a blue lion silhouette?
The D is the more popular logo, not necessarily the more popular team. I'm saying this as a far bigger baseball fan than pro football fan too.
I'm surprised there isn't more talk of Yzerman for all his years, Stanley Cups, 10 all-star years, 2 decades of being captain, Conn Smythe, Selke and Masterton trophies. And I think he almost won the Calder once. He's my #1 and he's running away with it.
Hence, the lack of talk about Yzerman.
Eh. In most of the country maybe, but not Detroit. Hockey and the Red Wings are huge here. Maybe not as big as the Lions or Tigers, but not very far off.
Over here in Chicago everyone seems to care about hockey all of a sudden... But I can't complain as long as hockey is growing somewhere. Unless ice time gets more expensive, of course.
Apples to Oranges. One of the hardest things in all of sports to do is hit a baseball, and Miguel is doing that at a HOF level right now.
On the other hand Calvin is an overall freak of nature physically, statistically, and is helping carrying the Lions from the basement of the NFL to a competitive (hopefully) playoff team.
It's really not a fair comparison to be honest.
Get to the NFC Championship game, then we can talk.
Yes. While we're at it why isn't Calvin getting enough of a push off the line? His coverage skills are poor also. And don't get me started on his tackling.
This isn't a good criticism of Calvin.
Football is a team sport and so is baseball.
That's a horrible argument. There are 21 other guys starting on O and D. This isn't basketball where one guy can carry a team.
I think it depends on the sport you watch. It seems like almost all Detroit fans love both Cabrera and CJ. I mean they both work their asses off and dominate at their position.
Personally for me Cabrera is slightly ahead of Megatron as Detroit icon because maybe it's just the people I hang out with but I see Detroit as more of a baseball city than football. They both work through injuries but from what I've heard that groin injury had him in big pain and he gutted it out.
Personally though its Cabrera > CJ.
Yes, but I don't watch baseball anymore and I haven't been local in 24 years. But I watch the Lions every week expecting to see something great from Johnson. I go see the Tigers when they're in town, but I can't remember the last time I watched a baseball game on TV.
Background - Royal Oak resident, sports fan, but not necessarily a huge Detroit sports fan. I'm not originally from Detroit so don't have the affinity to the home team, but have lived in the region for 10+ years so I've followed very closely.
Both Cabrera and Megatron are obviously once in a lifetime talents at their sports - we may never see that type of caliber of player again in our time. Having said that, I give the nod to CJ as a stronger "Detroit Sports Icon" IF the Lions continue to make noise and Win.
As good as Cabrera is, I dont get the feeling around town that he is as endeared and as appreciated as his skill set and accomplishments should warrant.....Mainly because of the language barrier. There really isn't a whole lot of marketing and star power there. As a City with a rather nominal hispanic population (as far as large cities are concerned) he doesn't really relate to the local populace on a personal level. Additionally, I feel that previous legal problems hurt his marketability and likability in this town.
Just my two cents, mostly based on just being around Detroit and the general sports scene. He's a great player and certainly appreciated and cheered, but as far as a "Detroit Icon," I'm not so sure. He's definitely not the type of personality that most Detroiters can relate to.
I would personally give Verlander the nod over Cabrera as the Tigers most beloved player here locally.
Having said that, I feel that both Megatron and Stafford can overtake them if they can continue to put the Lions in the spotlight and in the W column.
Who the hell is Miggy?
He'll never be Lance Parrish.
Or Tracy Jones.
Miggy is Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers' third baseman who is about to become a back to back MVP. (He won it last year after hitting for the triple crown for the first time in most people on this board's lifetime.)
I heard "Miggy" and I was like, "...eh?" Haven't heard that one before.
Mr. Miggles, highly respected member of this sports blog and local sports icon.
For this being downvoted so many times, it sure has sparked a lot of conversation.
I'll take Miggy. He's gotten us to the playoffs and the World Series.
Talk radio callers have the attention span of a fruit fly. The tigers were eliminated a week and a half ago, and won't play again until the spring... and it's fair to mention that Cabrera was a lot less than his normal superstar self with his injuries at the end there. Calvin Johnson and the Lions set an NFL record three days ago and will play again in a week and a half. So of course they're higher on Calvin Johnson right now.
I go back and forth on this and I can't make up my mind. Truth is, both are in their prime and have just superhuman abilities in their sports. If you asked me which is the better player in their sport I'd say Calvin. But as to which is a "bigger sports icon"? I don't know. I'm not sure it's a question with a right answer. I'm just feeling privileged right now to be able to not just watch them but root for them. Both fit the mold very, very well of what fans in this town embrace in their superstars. I like to leave the "Manny being Manny" stuff, the celebrity bullshit, for other towns.
Miguel Cabrera plays on a team with multiple star players, while Johnson does not. If one were to poll Tigers fans on who their favorite player is, Cabrera would probably finish first, but there would be a lot of support for Verlander, and, to a lesser extent, Fielder, Scherzer, and others. Whereas if one were to poll Lions fans with regards to their favorite player, Johnson would win in a landslide.
It should also be noted that Johnson has spent his entire career in Detroit, unlike Cabrera. This is not intended as a knock against Cabrera, but at the same time when you look at Cabrera's legacy today, you note that he has one WS ring and he didn't earn it with the Tigers. Seeing as the question is who is the bigger local icon, this seems relevant.
I don't really agree with the first paragraph. Calvin would win, but enough folks would say Stafford or Suh to keep it from being a landslide.
No, I think they are about even.
It's tough to compare apples to oranges though. Calvin is by far the best receiver in the NFL and Miggy is the best player on a already loaded Tigers team.
I'm going to have to go with Johnson on this one. Not since Barry Sanders has a single player contributed as much to the Lions as Calvin.
Win a playoff game, then we'll talk. Right now, Johnson is a great player but in terms of iconography he isn't up there with Miggy, who honestly is a step behind guys like Trammel/Whitaker in terms of "recent" famous guys IME. Heck, I'd argue Verlander has been more iconic, or at least as memorable.
Detroit is arguably the best sports town in America. Despite the crap sports radio options, the fans are very knowledgable. But this is more a baseball town than any other sport. The best player on the most revered team in the city will be idolized more if that team is winning like the Tigers have been the past few years. If the Tigers were winning 60 games a year, Cabby would be just a good player on a bad team.
The only thing holding Miggy back from being accepted to some is his drinking episode back in 2009.
How did you read my mind?
It is literally called Hockeytown, so I can't agree about Detroit being more of a baseball town than any other sport.
Yeah, joking or not, still Bolivia-able.
Depends on your sport of choice. Mine is easily football and many of the people I know feel the same (which was not intentional). Ergo, my choice is Megatron.
Good question. As a die-hard Tiger fan and a jaded, casually interested Lion fan I say unequivocally it's Cabrera. I readily admit, however, I am biased. Johnson is spectacular without question. But I believe Cabrera is on the Montana/Magic/Gretzky/Mantle plane. He's that good.
I think yes. I think Miggy, fair or not, because he was brought here as a free agent while CJ was drafted to the D, has to do even more to be the #1 sports icon. I think they are close. But I think regardless of how terrible the Lions are/have been/will always be, I see Detroit as a football town. These two facts mean that to me, CJ is the greatest current sports icon. Miggy #2.
When all is said and done, I think CJ will be considered #1 or #2 greatest WR ever, with the only thing olding him back is his lack of a Super Bowl. If he can win even one, he'll be considered the best ever. My opinion.
Miggy hasn't won a World Series here, but if he does and CJ doesn't win the Super Bowl, he could over take him.
Miggy was traded here and we traded players we drafted. Call it a wash.
I don't think winning one Super Bowl will be the determining factor of passing Jerry Rice who has multiple and an MVP award. Of course he could wind up the best ever but he could also get hurt and fade into the TO area. It just Seems a little short sighted to me.
if the Lions win the Super Bowl, whoever is responsible will be a hero in this state for the rest of eternity.
No my Detroit icon is Datsyuck. Go Wings!
If we're going the city of Detroit, then it's Megatron no question. If we're going "greater Detroit area," then I think it may be Miggy, though the fact that he doesn't speak fluent English definitely limits his popularity. If he spoke more fluently, he would be the face of baseball no doubt.
I'll take MEGATRON over Miggy all day long, but that probably has more to do with my preference for football over baseball.
I'd say right now people love the Tigers more. But if the Lions ever won a Super Bowl, the bedlam in Detroit I believe would dwarf any Tiger World Series championship.
I'm also going with Calvin over MIggy. Calvin is of that Barry/Yzerman mold that people in Detroit love. It's also a shame that Datsyuk doesn't get more love due to the lower popularity of hockey. He's seriously our Barry Sanders on ice.
Thank you Jericho