to check it out as it’s a fun list that should make you smile a bit.
And yes, there are bad things about being a Tigers fan, too. There’s the annoying opera singing vendor, the little stand down the third base line where they try to charge you $60 for a foul ball that Ramon Santiago hit two years ago, the fact that the Lions also play in Detroit, and of course, Don Kelly’s continued existence. But Ian’s list got me thinking and there’s just so much more that’s great about being a Tigers fan.
So here’s another 20 things that I came up with off the top of my head that are sweet about supporting the Old English D. Feel free to add more, if you like, in the comments section.
1. Dancing Papa Grande: I love when guys show emotion on the field. And no one shows more than Jose Valverde. The fist pumps, the animations after a strikeout, and the goofy faces…they all add into the big ball of fun that is Papa Grande. Of course, if he were on another team, I’d want to strangle him with barbed wire, but forget that. Valverde is eff, yew, enn, FUN in capital letters.
2. Eat ‘Em Up Tigers Guy: Only in Detroit could a homeless (?) guy outside the stadium be as famous as many of the players. With his oversized fake fist holding his jingling change cup, his t-shirt with his picture on it that he proudly wears, to his constant “Eat ‘em up Tigers, eat ‘em up” chorus…I just can’t explain the charm that he adds to the pregame experience. As long as he doesn’t touch me.
3. Alex Avila’s Facial Hair: It’s the craziest thing. Inning One, Alex is clean shaven. Inning Four, he has some stubble going. By the eighth, he has a freaking beard. I don’t know if it’s just his heritage, an illusion, or a gypsy curse, but Avila’s face is the most fascinating stupid thing I can think of when watching a baseball game. Other than Leyland’s lineup choices, I mean.
4. Collin Balester’s Mustache: But now Avila has a new challenger to the crown. Just look at the new Tiger reliever’s glorious stache. It’s hypnotic.
Samara’s terrible cartoons, and he’s available for birthdays and bat mitzvahs for the right price. He also stole my hat once in jest and I chased him down where the poor kid in the suit apologized frantically thinking I was going to kill him. You’re not the only one that can put on a show, my furry friend. Rogo-1, PAWS-0.
6. Little V-Mart: Sure, with his old man’s knee exploding last month, the cutest kid in MLB probably won’t be seeing the CoPa field as much as he did in 2011. But I’m sure he’ll still make the occasional appearance and melt the hearts of over-sensitive baseball fans all over Detroit. I can’t wait until we sign him to a 9 year, $400 million deal twenty years from now.
7. Hockeytown Café: Across the street from the CoPa sits Hockeytown. They continue to be the only bar I can find that has Anchor Steam on tap. Having my favorite beer readily available gets them a spot on the list, despite having so much loathsome Red Wings nonsense everywhere. Go Avs.
8. JV’s Death Stare: Ian included Verlander’s right arm on his list, but the silly rabbit left off the BEST PART of the Justin Verlander package. That’s right, the DEATH STARE. When JV has his game face on, I get goose bumps. The intensity is off the charts and no one since Dave Stewart of the early 90’s A’s can compete with JV Eyes.
9. Mad Max’s Regular Stare: He has two different colored eyes! It never gets old! I wish my kid was deformed like that!
10. Dan Dickerson: Ernie Harwell is what everyone thinks of when listening to a Tiger game on the radio is brought up, and rightfully so. The man was a legend and (along with Vin Scully) is the best of all time. But Dickerson might be the most underrated, as I find the man fascinating to listen to. The man has a passion that can’t be explained unless you hear the emotion in his voice when calling a home run by the Tigers or another big event. I hope everyone else appreciates him as much as Your Party Host does.
11. Where’s/Who’s Pauley: The forgotten man in the Doug Fister trade was little seen reliever David Pauley. It became a running joke that Jim Leyland had no idea the guy was on the team last year and when he actually appears in a game, it’s quite the happening on Twitter. Everyone gets excited for some reason. He’s our Where’s Waldo.
12. Ryno and DY—Tongue Bandits: Watch Ryan Raburn or Delmon Young when they’re up to the plate. The way their tongues hang out of their mouths and dance around, they look like they’re auditioning for lesbian porn.
13. The Rod Allen Drinking Game: Love him or hate him, Rod Allen is a game within the game. Personally, I’ve come to like and appreciate the man. But at the very least, he can get you alcohol poisoning by the 7th inning. Here’s a link to the rules via Detroit4Lyfe.
14. AJax on Defense: Covering more ground than anyone in Comerica’s spacious center field, Austin Jackson’s effortless amazing plays continue to dazzle Tiger fans every game. OH JACKSON is becoming a regular part of Rod’s Rodisms as Austin seems to make a one spectacular play out there after another. He can strike out all he wants as long as he continues his Gold Glove caliber D out there, as far as I’m concerned.
15. Homers to Center: Speaking of CF, when a guy hits a homer to center at Comerica, he EARNS it. Sure, it’s not the 440 feet that Tiger Stadium had, but 420 feet is nothing to sneeze at and is the second deepest part of any park in MLB (after CF in Houston). It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, a blast out there is jaw dropping.
16. United Hatred of Sharp/Henning: It’s hard to get baseball fans, including Tiger fans, to agree on many things. Some like small ball, some like pitching, others like Brandon Inge for some reason. But I’d be willing to guess that 95% of Tiger fans cannot stand the most famous writers at the city’s two big papers, for whatever reason. I get the Sharp hatred, since he’s a dolt. But Henning’s better than most of the rest of the country’s local bigwig writers, even though I do poke fun at him here from time to time.
17. Ryan Field’s Hair: Yes, I’m back to hair, but with Ryan Field…it’s worth it. IT DOESN’T MOVE. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that FSD has an entire 10 person staff in charge of Ryan’s do. I love it. The man could stand in the middle of a hurricane and his spiky locks wouldn’t move an inch.
18. The Phil Coke Finger Point: Coke delivers…fly ball…FINGER POINT. It’s the poor man’s Valverde Dance.
19. Roaming Legends: The statues in left field aren’t the only places you’ll see greats of Detroit’s past. Pay attention when wandering the ballpark. Over the years I’ve personally caught glimpses of Willie Horton, Al Kaline, and others walking around among the fans. For the baseball nerd like myself, that kind of thing is priceless.
20. History: Few franchises are as storied as that of the Detroit Tigers. From Cobb, to Greenberg, to Kaline, to Trammell, to Cabrera…there is just so much tradition and awesomeness that goes into being a Tiger fan. I mean what do Rockies fans have to appreciate about their team? Dante Bichette’s legacy? We’re lucky to be who we are. And don’t forget it. Every other team blows. In Detroit, you’re Always a Tiger.