Lions kicker Jason Hanson is the greatest place kicker in Lions history and after a solid 21 year career he deserves every bit of praise. I am glad the Lions are waiting until next Tuesday to have an official press conference to say so long to Hanson.
Tigers Opening Day is today and Michigan is in the NCAA Final Four. His story would get buried in the newspapers and he deserves his own moment and his own headlines. Hanson is a good guy, a good kicker and a good dad. Now here is where many of us will differ. He is not a Hall of Fame football player. He was very accurate but there needs to be a higher standard for place kickers.
He never made a huge kick in his career. It is not his fault because he played for the Lions. But there needs to be a higher standard for a player who was not part of the grind of the game.
** The Tigers signed Jose Valverde to a minor league contract and Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski stumbled all over himself to say this is not a panic move after the bullpen tried to give away the first three games of the season. It only gave two away as the Tigers dropped two of three to the Minnesota Twins. Now there is a race to see who arrives in Detroit first. Will it be Bruce Rondon who was terrible during spring training? Or will it be Papa Grande who was terrible during the playoffs last year?
The Tigers are the best eight inning team in baseball. It is the ninth inning that bothers me.
** The strangest thing happened to me on Thursday. Former Lion Cliff Avril’s phone number appeared on my desk at the radio station. I called to see what he wanted.
“I did not call you,” he said.
“I swear your phone number was on my desk. I wanted to know what’s up,” I told him.
“Nothing is up,” he said laughing. “I did not call.”
** PS. Happy Opening Day weekend.
(Join me Saturday (1-3 p.m.) at McShane’s on Michigan Ave in Corktown as I sign my book 100 Things Tiger Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die. Books are $15 or two for $25. I will be at Harry’s Detroit Sunday (11 am- 1 pm).