I was excited to make the trip back to Detroit, but before I could hit the road I stopped by Progressive Field one more time to take a tour of the stadium. I am beginning to enjoy the peacefulness of the empty stadium with every tour I go on. As much as I enjoy the chaos and excitement of a packed house, there is something eerily beautiful and calming about sitting back amongst rows and rows of empty seats.
I have become an expert on what these “behind-the-scenes” tours offer, to the point where I can map out the route inside the stadium before I meet the guide. The luxury boxes are always nice, the press box has its charms and the field access is always appreciated. For my tour of Progressive Field however I was allowed to venture around the warning track and into the bullpens which was a nice added bonus. I had a wonderful time exploring the stadium, but to be completely honest my head was already in Detroit.
What I listened to in the car:
Comedy Bang Bang
WTF with Marc Maron – Gillian Jacobs
WTF with Marc Maron – Michael Ian Black
While I may originally be from Kalamazoo, my heart has and always will be in Detroit. I started my first company in Detroit – a sports magazine dedicated to the state of Michigan – and it remains a dream of mine to one day help save my city. For those of you who may have just scoffed at that notion let me point you in the direction of New York City in the 1980s. Manhattan was one of the most dangerous places on the planet only a couple of decades ago. Now Times Square is essentially Disney World. I am in no way saying that Detroit will become what NYC is, but it can absolutely get better.
After shutting down my magazine I moved to New York and have only been back to Detroit a couple of times for weddings. After walking away from the book I dealt with some obvious depression, guilt and shame over things I could have done better. I wanted very badly to create something great for the residents and local businesses in Detroit. Unfortunately, my timing in launching the endeavor coincided with an epic financial collapse that eventually would bankrupt the city. This is not to say that I am some sort of victim of the recession. I am not. I made some mistakes, I could have done some things differently. We published that book for three years and I was able to do some amazing things. I got to take my dad to the 2006 World Series. I was in the locker room after Super Bowl XL talking to Jerome Bettis and Bill Cowher and Muhammad Ali once said he liked my magazine. I also had a staff of people working for me that I will be thankful for until the day that I die. I write all of this to try and paint a picture of what I was feeling as I drove up I-75 and past my old office and the bars I used to hang out at with my employees.
One of those employees is my old marketing manager Chris Okroy. I am staying with Chris and his amazing wife Michelle while I am in Detroit. I will restrain myself from writing an essay on how without both of these two people in my life I do not think I would have survived the magazine or these past few years. Suffice it to say they are both perfect human beings.
Miles Traveled: 242
Time in Car: 5 hours
Avg. Speed: 48.4 MPH
Sleep Time: 5 Hours 20 minutes
Bottles of Water: 5
Bathroom Stops: 2
Traffic Jams: 20 minutes
Food Eaten: Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, fish tacos from 24 Seconds Bar
Total Money spent today $30.73
Cumulative Miles through today 15,012
Cumulative Time in car through today 271 hours 10 minutes