Discussed on a couple of local sports talk shows. Has Calvin surpassed Miggy as a local sports icon?
Mike Lantry, 1972
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.