Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A travesty, I say

The 100-by-170 foot mural of Steve Yzerman that had been on the wall of the Cadillac Building in downtown Detroit for two years is being covered with white paint. The picture was put there in the first place by Nextel, one of the Wings' sponsors, in 2003 and depicted a uniformed Yzerman bent at the waist with the words "Born: Cranbrook, BC, 1965. Adopted: Detroit, MI 1983" below it in white-on-black lettering. Who will be replacing The Captain on the Cadillac building? It's not known yet but I think a good guess is that it will be Ben Wallace, if anyone at all. Barry Sanders was on the wall for years before Yzerman was and obviously someone decided it was time to move on. As a fan who has already been denied hockey this year, I am not very happy about this at all. It seems to me that Steve Yzerman has been a sports icon in Detroit long enough to deserve to have his image displayed for more than two years on the side of that building. It's sad that his contribution to Detroit sports is being discounted so quickly. Another casualty of this bloody lockout. Ugh. If you never had the chance to get to downtown Detroit and see the mural, click here to get a look at it (PDF). I have that the wall of my room back home and I cannot imagine taking it down. What makes it worse is that there is a very good chance he will retire before being able to play again. It wasn't the decision of the city of Detroit, apparently, rather it was Nextel but that doesn't make it any less insulting to me as a Citizen of Hockeytown. Update (14. Apr 05): A spokeswoman for Nextel had this to say yesterday:
"We've had a wonderful relationship with Steve Yzerman. We evaluate it every year, and we've decided to move forward. The mural was not intended to be permanent, and we decided not to renew it."
I think that is very unfortunate but I guess it is an example of what this lockout is doing to the NHL's sponsors. They're losing interest. Let's hope the League and PA get something hammered out soon before they have no sponsors left. (via. TSN)


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