The streets were jam packed between Comerica Park and Ford Field.
The Eminem and Rihanna concert just let out as concert goers mingled with Lions fans who witnessed Detroit’s 13-12 preseason victory over Jacksonville. I was in the crowd when I heard a guy say “Hey that is Terry Foster from 971 The Ticket.”
He appeared happy to see me and I shook hands with him and his buddy. I was trying to decide whether to walk toward Greektown or by Comerica when I heard the faint sounds of “You are the worst radio talk show host in Detroit.”
The guy was in full retreat when he said it. I decided to stroll toward Greektown where the group was walking.
“That was a bitch move on your part,” I told the startled man who was probably in his 20s. “If you are going to say something then say it to my face. Be a man. Don’t run.”
Everybody in our business gets razzed. That is part of being in the public eye. Everybody can do your job better than you. Hell, a few of you probably believe you can do a better job than Matthew Stafford or Victor Martinez. I get it.
I lectured the guy in front of his friends and walked away again. This is only the second time I’ve done this. Usually I just let it slide. I was in one of those moods where you don’t feel like taking any stuff. A few years ago a guy said something while exiting a Royal Oak restaurant. I followed him and his woman and told him off outside.
He did not say a word and I told his woman she’d be better off finding a better guy.
“I just think you hold Mike Valenti down,” the guy outside Ford Field said.
I once again told him to be a man. I know everybody does not like me. They don’t like what I say. They don’t like what I write. They probably don’t like the way I look. I’ve gotten four death treats, had campaigns to get me fired and one dude used to dial my Detroit News voice mail just to call me the N word and call me an affirmative action baby.
My job is to tell you how I feel. I don’t expect you to like me all the time. However, I usually face the athletes that I criticize and we’ve enjoyed some healthy debates. I’ve gotten into it with Isiah Thomas, Vinnie Johnson, Phil Coke, Scottie Bowman, Rod Marinelli, Ndamukong Suh. The list goes on and on.
But at least I face the music and do not run and hide in the crowd.