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Hello Ohio, Goodbye Michigan

November 15, 2009

Michiganders suffering from the GM-Chrysler-Lions-Wolverine blues desperately need help from anywhere we can get it.


The week that the University of Michigan Wolverines tries to break a five-game losing streak against the Ohio State Buckeyes is not the right week for the Boss to screw up states. It’s bad enough that the Wolverines have lost five Big Ten games in a row, most by big margins in the second half. It’s hurtful enough to Michigan that the Buckeyes won the Big Ten title by beating Penn State and then finding a way to beat Iowa in overtime after losing two games earlier in the year.

Is it not enough that Michigan’s official unemployment statistics are over 15% while the real (whisper) number including those who gave up and part-timers wanting full-time work is closer to 25%? How about this? Over 20% (2.2 million Michigan residents) are now receiving some form of government assistance (welfare, food stamps, Medicaid) according to the Department of Human Services (“A state in free fall grapples with change,” Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press, Nov. 15, 2009, 29A).

            And now this: Bruce Springsteen, the legendary 60-year-old rock star, yells out to an adoring Michigan crowd at the Palace on Friday the 13th: “Hello OHIO!” and then continues to call the Auburn Hills faithful “Ohio” for the first 30 minutes until guitarist Steven Van Zandt whispers in his ear, “Hey boss, we’re not in Ohio anymore.” Ouch!

            How many times has Bruce been here? I saw him three times myself, first in 1975 in the Detroit Palace, then in Ann Arbor in the 80s and then 2007 at the Auburn Hills Palace. Okay, maybe I’m being too sensitive. I know it’s only a simple mistake of mistaken state identities from a tired rock star, maybe in the beginning phase of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. But give me a break!

            I mean, really, give us a break! Give everyone in this suffering state something to cheer about, maybe Ford Motor, maybe the MSU basketball Spartans, maybe the Red Wings with one last gasp for a championship. Michiganders suffering from the GM-Chrysler-Lions-Wolverine blues desperately need help from anywhere we can get it.

            I am looking upward to the Wizard of M and that I mean Bo, yes Bo Schembechler. I still imagine his legendary words, now needed more than ever: “Dammit, we’re Michigan!”

            Yes, one more time, with feeling: “We’re Michigan!”

            Take that, Woody, wherever you are. 


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