There were so many wonderful sights and sounds Monday Night as the Lions beat the Chicago Bears 24-13 to officially enter the room as a legitimate playoff and dare I say championship contender. The Lions and Green Bay Packers are the only two NFL teams with 5-0 records and it made everybody feel good.
The Lions last 5-0 start occurred in 1956. I was not even born yet. So now you see why people partied downtown, filled the bars and coney island shops afterwards. There were wall to wall smiles in Detroit.
But none topped the smile of the thin man outside Comerica Park. He dragged a large plastic bag filled with empty pop and beer cans. I estimate he had about 400 cans inside the bag which meant a hefty $40 pay day for him. You can tell he was hard on his luck. He probably is a drug user and his conversation sometimes made no sense as he screamed for joy.
He’d gone from tailgate to tailgate begging for cans. He pulled some out of the garbage and filled this bag to the brim.
“Oh Jesus. My God. Look what I gots,” he screamed.
He pointed toward his bounty and I nodded.
“Dis is wonderful,” he said. “I have a good day.”
I am sure he was headed to a local grocery store for his pay off and I am not sure what he will do with his money. I am sure only a tiny part of it will go for food. The rest will go for booze and he will probably sleep it off somewhere in a flop house or even on the streets.
For many $40 is not a lot of money. They spend that for dinner or a night at the bar. But this guy felt like he hit Lotto. Of course he is not an instant millionaire. It just felt that way for him.
I clearly saw in this man why the Lions and Tigers are good for the local economy.