OT - Has Calvin surpassed Miggy as a local sports icon?

Submitted by Cold War on October 30th, 2013 at 12:37 PM

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



October 31st, 2013 at 4:12 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 2:30 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 4:41 PM ^

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


October 30th, 2013 at 1:10 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 1:16 PM ^

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. 


October 30th, 2013 at 2:06 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 8:51 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 1:25 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 1:26 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 2:02 PM ^

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.


October 30th, 2013 at 2:05 PM ^

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.

Raback Omaba

October 30th, 2013 at 2:18 PM ^

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.




October 30th, 2013 at 2:51 PM ^

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.