The Joe has played a major role in my life

Fat Guy Corner



The Farewell to the Joe is the theme for this year’s Detroit Red Wings hockey club. This past Saturday I made my farewell trip to Joe Louis Arena to watch my beloved Red Wings play the Washington Capitals. The Red Wings delivered a thrilling 3-2 shootout victory in my farewell.

I had a barley pop in my hand and numerous memories were flashing through my little peanut brain. I started thinking of all the different friends I had been with coming to the Joe to watch the Wings. I thought of how many times just my father and I went to watch the Red Wings. A big memory: The game where my dad was chosen as the 20th million fan to enter Joe Louis Arena! He is the only one person that can say that. I know he says it’s one of the top five highlights of his life getting in the locker room to meet all the Red Wings. The story of how that happened is an absolute luck of fate and too long in this column space to explain.

I also have the Steve Yzerman Jersey signed and in a beautiful frame. The memories brought me all the way back as a youngster going to the old Olympia before Joe Louis Arena was built. I started thinking of just the playoff games I have witnessed at the Joe, which are quite a few.

I thought about my wife, our third date was watching Wayne Gretzky play his final game at the Joe.

One has to always wonder and ponder, what was the greatest game I saw at the Joe?

The game that sticks out the most is a Detroit Red Wings and Colorado playoff game when Darren McCarty scored a hat trick. Yes, a Darren McCarty hat trick. What would have been the odds of that one?

The great players are too numerous to mention over the years.

As far as my favorite Red Wings? I have three players and I’ll list them in order.

No. 1 is Steve Yzerman.

No. 2 is Brendan Shanahan. Yes, I still have his jersey I wear.

And, No. 3 is the baddest man to ever lace up the skates, Bob Probert!

The final game ended and I walked out the doors a happy Red Wings fan and I kept the ticket stub to go with others I have. During the drive home I realized how much the Detroit Red Wings have been in my life.

Farewell Joe Louis Arena. Thanks for the memories and it’s in with the new Little Caesars Arena next season. I am sure many of you have awesome memories of Joe Louis Arena, just as I have. The Little Caesars Arena will be an awesome hockey arena and I am looking forward to watching some Red Wings hockey in 2017-18.

The Red Wings playoff streak is over at 25 consecutive years barring a winning streak of all winning streaks. I wish it wouldn’t have happened in the Red Wings last season at Joe Louis Arena. I guess a new streak will have to be started next season. I wonder, too, just what will happen to coach Jeff Blashill come the season’s end? I think the Detroit Red Wings will pull the plug and fire him. I also think the move has to be done because coach Blashill isn’t getting the job done.

Start your engines!

The Daytona 500 will run 2 p.m. on Sunday on Fox. The top two pole sitters are Chase Elliot and Dale Earnhardt Jr. This is the one race all NASCAR drivers want to win in the worst way. I know there are tons of Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans out there who would love to see him rebound and win this race. I personally don’t care who wins, I just want to see a good finish. The Super Bowl of racing is always a great Sunday for all race car fans. It’s for sure the one day of racing I enjoy. I hope the driver you’re rooting for gets the job done.

Oh, just a reminder to all my faithful readers: there won’t be a column next week, as I am on vacation. thefatguy@mihomepaper.

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