Ndamukong Suh. His very name brings forth an eruption of cries of poor sportsmanship from around the National Football League, a group itself devoted towards inflicting injury on opponents. Now the Detroit Red Wings have Jordin Tootoo. He has been ranked among the most hated players in the National Hockey League, according to the Bible of American Sports, Sports Illustrated magazine. We are left to ask, what is left of Detroit sports, and of Detroit itself, when we are seen as such disreputable sorts?
Think, now, of Detroit's reputation as the murder capital of the world. We shrink from it, we revile it, we assert that such claims are not fair. Yet we cheer at the actions of Ndamukong Suh and Jordin Tootoo. Are we, as the psychoanalysts call it, schizophrenic?
We do not want to be seen as a heinous people. Still, we cheer when our presumed heroes do heinous things. Do we affirm yet deny ourselves?
It is a simple question. Indeed, it is almost too simple, too straightforward. That is precisely the question which we do not want asked, let alone answered. That is the question which, we will say it, we ask in our souls.
We do not want to ask it. We wish it was not there. Yet it is, and we cannot escape it.
Does Detroit deserve its reputation?