Joe Louis Arena was more than just a building

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Published on : April 13, 2017

 

 

On Sunday April 9th, 2017 the Detroit Red Wings played their last game at Joe Louis Arena, signaling the end of an era. For 38 years Joe Louis was the heart and soul of Hockeytown, and the list of players who graced the ice in that building is a who’s who of hall of famers. It is one of the most iconic places in hockey, even for those who don’t support the winged wheel. Everyone respects the history but for some of us, Joe Louis Arena is more than just a building where our favorite team played, it’s hallowed ground. It’s like a part of the family, a piece of our sports culture. A piece of Detroit’s culture.

 

JLA is a monument to a time before corporate sponsorship of stadiums. When places that represented a people were named in honor of the greatest champions among those people. The Red Wings new home, Little Caesars Arena, inspires considerably less Motor City pride. Joe Louis Arena was too old, too small, too ill-equipped to handle the needs and desires of today’s sports fan. Because of that, it was time to move on, but damned if it wasn’t a great place to see the game. That place was always rocking and the atmosphere was always electric. Four Stanley Cups were won by the Red Wings during their time in that building. The team was built into a dynasty during that era; they were royalty, and Joe Louis Arena was their castle.

 

 One of 31 octopi that were thrown on to the ice during the Red Wings last game at Joe Louis Arena.

 

The Red Wings are missing the playoffs for the first time in 25 years and it almost seems fitting that in the same year we all said goodbye to beloved owner, Mike Ilitch, and Joe Louis Arena. This is the beginning of a new era for the franchise and all of its fans. What makes this franchise so special is that even though they are planning for the future they know they had to honor their past.

 

The Illitch family has always had a deep love for the city of Detroit and they know what that building and the team mean to the city. The organization recognized the meaning of that moment, and they knew that the fans in Detroit needed a chance to pay their respect to a place that means so much to them. In a ceremony that involved over 90 current and former players and coaches, the city and the team had a chance to process the moment and reflect on everything that had happened under that roof.

 

 Current and former players salute the crowd following the closing ceremony at Joe Louis Arena.

 

Steve Yzerman was in the house and was greeted by adoring fans who begged him to come back home to Detroit. Bob Probert’s widow spread his ashes in the penalty box, a place where he spent a considerable amount of time during his career. Guys that couldn’t attend, like Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan, sent in video messages. Hell, Wayne Gretzky did a video message, and he didn’t even play for the team but he wanted to be part of saying goodbye to a piece of history.

 

Joe Louis Arena was more than just a building. For some people, it was their earliest memory of going to a game. For some people, it was where they fell in love with the game. For some people, it was where they saw champions made. For some people, it was sports Mecca. For some people, it was home. As for me, it is the place where some of my fondest memories happened, and the best place to watch a hockey game on the entire planet.

 

 

 


The Scariest Athletes of All Time

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Published on : October 31, 2015

 

In honor of Halloween we take a look at some of the Scariest Athletes of All Time. These are players that strike fear into the hearts of both opponents and fans alike. They are the hard-hitting, ass kicking, monsters of the game. You definitely DO NOT want to fuck with these people.

 

 

Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor was a reckless monster on the gridiron, who no one wanted to go up against. With 142 career sacks, he was damn near unstoppable for the better part of a decade. He could do it all, and he did it with an intensity and viciousness that led him to be considered one of the top outside linebackers of all time and gained him a spot in the Hall of Fame. There’s no doubt many a retired offensive NFL player that still see Taylor in his nightmares. Oh yea, he was pretty wild off of the field too.

 

 

Mike Tyson


All you have to do is watch the above video of brutal Mike Tyson knockouts to know why he is here among the “Sports Monsters Hall of Fame.” During his prime, Tyson was amazing to watch and terrifying to imagine going up against. He made it look so effortless to absolutely destroy opposing fighters. His short stocky frame could deliver brain damage at will and he even once said he wanted to “eat Lennox Lewis’ children.” If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is.

 

 

Bill Romanowski

Known for his lack of self control, explosive temper and neck like a semi-truck, the 4-time Super Bowl Champion linebacker was a force to be reckoned with on the field. With no shortage of violent hits on opposing offensive players, he would make me shit my pants if I was a running back. This raving lunatic didn’t reserve his roid-induced rage just for the opposing team, and even once ended his teammates career but crushing his eye socket with a punch.

 

 

Bob Probert

As a well known enforcer, Bob Probert, did his best work with the gloves off. A throwback to the days of ‘old time hockey’ when fighting wasn’t seen as taboo. He was one of the toughest players ever to step out on the ice. He was willing to put his body through whatever it took to get the job done. If that was the case then imagine what he would be willing to do to you if you were unfortunate enough to get in his way? During the pinnacle of his career in the 1987-88 season, he amassed an outlandish 398 penalty minutes, and still managed to tie for 3rd on the Red Wings with 62 points. Rest in Peace, you beautiful beast.

 

Brock Lesnar


Just look at this guy and tell me he isn’t the scariest fuckin’ thing you’ve ever seen. He is an imposing ball of human muscle and raw animal aggression. He now resides in the fantasy world of WWE but when he was in UFC he could beat you with the submission or the knockout and has left more than a few of his opponents with soiled underwear. If you see him in an alley, run!

 

 


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