Two blocks south is the Greektown Casino, which filed for bankruptcy protection in May. A bankrupt casino? It’s a testament to the economic disaster in a state with unemployment nearing 10 percent. The casino’s November revenue was down 16.4 percent from the year before according to state filings.
Four blocks south of Greektown, looming over it all, is the world headquarters of General Motors. Chrysler and GM need a $13.4 billion emergency loan from the federal government to avoid its own Chapter 11 filing.
Even with the lifeline of money, no one here is optimistic. GM has 88 days and counting to restructure. Chrysler has already shuttered its plants for a month at least.
A failing industry. A bankrupt casino. A jailed mayor. A winless football team.
It’s winter in Detroit.
The bleak outlook in the city should be motivation enough for Detroit to win against Green Bay next week.
- Well done, San Diego! A most impressive thumping of the Bucs, 41-24 today. More importantly, Buffalo upset Denver 30-23, giving a once-improbable scenario to unfold on Sunday Night: the Chargers and Broncos fighting for the AFC West title and the final spot in the playoffs. A few observations of the game:
* How did Philip Rivers get looked over by Brett Favre and Jay Cutler for the Pro Bowl? Rivers has been putting up career numbers: 32 touchdowns, a QB rating of 104.0 and only 11 turnovers, the second-lowest in his career. His performance today - 21-31 with 4 TD's and 287 yards - only shows his how bady the fans and the coaches dropped the ball with their choices for QB.
* To my Chargers brethren who have been calling for LT's head (and you know who you are) for his lackluster season: regardless of this season, next year, you'll all be wondering why you even doubted him to begin with. Sure, 21 carries for 90 yards and no touchdowns is nothing to get excited about, but it looks like the old LT is slowly showing his presence.
* Is there a more underrated wide out than Vincent Jackson? His 7 carries for 111 yards puts him over the 1000 yard mark for the first time in his career. Look for Jackson to have a breakout season next year.
* It's official: A.J. should have fired Ted Cottrell earlier in the season. Under Ron Rivera, the D has slowly gotten better and their aggressiveness has showed up here and there. They've still have a ways to go, but its a start.
- This has been a wacky season: San Diego and Dallas - two teams predicted by many analysts as the Super Bowl favorites - chocking harder than adult film star Daisy Marie; New England loses Brady and still go 10-5 with a shot at the postseason; Miami (huh?) actually having a winning season; Detroit making NFL infamy as the team that went a whole seventeen weeks of the regular season without a win; and in the AFC East, the Patriots, Dolphins and Jets can go 11-5 and of those three teams, one will not make the postseason.
- Wade Phillips is in deep. The Cowboys are 9-6 after the loss to Baltimore, and their playoff hopes are no longer in their hands. Should Dallas lose next Sunday to Philadelphia or win and not make the playoffs....let's just say that I'd be surprised to see Wade still coaching in Dallas next year.
Part two tomorrow.