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Gardenhire should replace Ausmus

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Ron Gardenhire or Brad Ausmus?

Who do you want as manager of the Tigers? The question is almost ridiculous. We are all on the same page. You’d rather have Gardenhire who is sending feelers around Major League Baseball that he is ready to return to baseball as a manager. He hired an agent in the spring to monitor the waters and his contract with the Minnesota Twins, who fired him, has expired.

In other words he is not being paid any more to sit around. The man is ready to return and lead.  The Tigers should go after him when the season ends.

Reports came out Thursday night at the Tigers are planning to fire Ausmus at the end of the season. That hardly comes as any surprised especially after baseball people read the tea leaves that Chris Ilitch no longer supported Ausmus like he has in the past. Besides, owner Mike Ilitch is still calling the shots with the Tigers.

Chris Ilitch runs the day to day operations but he cannot sign a check without Mike’s OK. If Ausmus is indeed fired it tells me that Mike Ilitch is still in charge.

However, the reports show how clumsy the organization is at times. Why leak this now? There is no point unless the plan is to fire Ausmus now and bring in an interim manager. It is time for a replacement. You can defend Ausmus by saying there were plenty of injuries and that a fire sale at the end did not help.

However, he’s made too many bad decisions. He is not ready for the day to day grind of managing.

Gardenhire won AL Manager of the Year in 2010 and was runner up five times. His teams in Minnesota won six division titles and had five losing seasons. In other words give the man talent and he will win, which is something the Tigers are capable of doing.
It is time for change.

September 11, 2015

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Just call me gimpy

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life, sports

I am walking with a pronounced limp these days courtesy of an injury during the annual Labor Day kids against the parents whiffle ball game in our neighbor’s backyard.

I wish I could tell you I injured my left foot with a stellar play or a high kicking slide at the plate. I injured my foot when I jammed three of my toes into the dirt while batting.

How embarrassing.

I am going to call it turf toe. Or in this case turf toes.

I try my best to walk normal. However, I gave up trying to hide the injury. It hurts too bad even when I talk a couple of aspirin to dull the pain. At some point Captain Obvious screams to you “Did you hurt your foot?”

Duh!

I would respect people more if they asked “how did I hurt my foot?” That makes more sense.

The second response is “You must be getting old.”

I always reject that one because I’ve been twisting ankles and moving around on crutches since high school. I always hurt my feet or ankles. When I did it at 20 it was bad luck. When I do it in my 50s it is just because I am getting old. This old butt was trying to help my team rally for victory but we fell short.

Now I walk more like a gimp than a pimp.

“Now was it worth playing in that game,” my wife Abs said.

You damn right it was.

September 10, 2015

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Did Venus Williams want to win this little sister match?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I  watched with interest as sisters Venus Williams and Serena Williams slugged it our in the quarterfinals of the United States Opening in Flushing Meadows Tuesday night.

The match was interesting and entertaining and both Williams sisters put forth a great effort and made terrific shots and served balls I could not even see. It looked like Venus and Serena wanted this match badly.

However, this is a match Venus could not win. Her sister is going for history. She wants to win a calendar grand slam, something that has not been doing in women’s tennis since Steffi Graff did it in 1988. Serena was going for the Hall of Fame. She was going for something few women can reach for.

Did Venus really want to win? I am sure she did but what would the family conversation be if she won and Serena lost her shot at history?

I am sure she wanted to win but there was some doubt in the back of her mind. It just had to be there.

On the other hand don’t we always want to beat little brother? Or in this case little sister? We want to do it in the backyard, the basketball court and even in front of millions as you battle on center court.

Venus sure looked like she wanted to win. But did she really?

 

September 9, 2015

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Opening school day hustle

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Parenthood

A Foster tradition continued as the alarm clock refused to go off on the first day of school.

Maybe we forgot to set it. Maybe we set it to PM rather than AM. I am not sure what explanation my wife gave. I just know we woke up a few minutes late, creating a category 4 storm called Hurricane Abs. My wife swept through the house waking everybody and I believe she created $25,000 in damage to our house and $150,000 to the neighborhood.

The National Guard has been called.

Celine did not care. She took her sweet time because she is trying to look cute for boys. It takes time to paint a face on.

Welcome to the first day of school where parents are scrambling across the nation. Things do not always go right. Breakfast is cold or burnt. People are running out of the house like their pants are on fire. And older kids get that look of disgust as parents want to chronicle the day with a photo before they step out the door.

When they are young it is such a happy day. Parents hold the kids’ hands. They talk real slow and soft. My kids are 13 and nearly 16. It turns into a scream fest as you try to get them out of bed. I am sure it is a shock to the system. It is the first time our kids have been up before noon since school ended in June.

We saw two accidents on the way to school and traffic was heavier as the school busses muscle their way on the roads. Vacation is done and we are back to normal.

Enjoy the first day. The grind begins.

September 8, 2015

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Robber: “I only rob white people.”

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I suppose I should feel safe if Brandon Lamar Williams approached me with guns in both hands.

I should not worry about him taking my car or swiping my watch because he only robs white people. Yep, that is what he said according to an FBI report. Thankfully, the guy is behind bars.

He robbed two guys in Rouge Park on Detroit’s west side. The report does not reveal their race but I am going to assume they were both white. Williams demanded a black bag, two rings and an Apple watch from the first man. He then squeezed the trigger three times at the second guy but the gun jammed. He then proceeded to hit the second guy with the guy, breaking his nose.

Williams then drove off in the Ford Fusion he was hi-jacking. However, this turned into an episode of America’s dumbest criminals when this Bozo forgot to disengage the parking break. Do you know how he found out? A guy walking by told him.

Williams pointed the gun at the good Samaritan who immediately raised his hands in surrender.

“Oh you good, I only rob white people,” Williams told the man.

Don’t worry white people. If you are hanging with me and we run into Williams, I got your back. I will simply say you are with me. I am sure Williams would let us both go.

 

September 5, 2015

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One final deep breath as summer ends

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I am really looking forward to the next five days as we celebrate the final unofficial days of summer

I am taking a couple days off from radio and will take one last deep breath before emerging into fall sports which is usually the most enjoyable but busiest time of the year. In addition to college and pro football and later the beginning of basketball I must deal with two kids playing travel soccer, balance two jobs and somehow keep a wife happy.

It is not easy.

The next five days should be a joy.

** I finally get to see a Jim Harbaugh led team onto the field. The University of Michigan plays at Utah and I cannot wait to see the product on the field. What is all the hype about? And do we immediately see the results of better coaching?

** I am very curious about Michigan State and how the Spartans handle a road game at Western Michigan, a team that is better than most people think. I do not believe the Spartans will blow this team out and it should be a competitive game until superior talent and depth takes over in the second half.

** I plan on grilling and smoking meat. We are having a neighborhood party in the backyard where we will grill brats, chicken breasts and hot dogs and relax and enjoy good friends who happen to be our neighbors. They are sometimes clowns, as am I, but I love them any way.

** I want to go to a festival. I do not care if it is Arts, Eats and Beats or the Jazz festival or the Peach Festival in Romeo. My problem is my family is not a big fan of them. I might have to go by myself or drag one of the kids around who will demand we leave minutes after stepping out the car.

** And I look forward to a relaxing evening by the fire with beer or wine, chopping it up with friends. I do not need much. The songs of crickets in the background and laughter is all I want

Happy end of summer weekend.

 

September 2, 2015

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A growing son tests his dad

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life, Parenthood

Maybe dads can identify with this. And maybe people will not.

But I have to beat up my son. Seriously.

I have to out box him. I have to out wrestle him. I have to pin him and remind him who is boss. Brandon is now 13 years old and he stands 5-foot-10. Soon he will be taller than me, especially considering he grew six inches in a year.

The guy wants to challenge me. He wants to wrestle. He wants to test himself against the old man. So far I am holding up well. The boy is not a fighter. He does not know what to do so I am unbeaten except the times I let him win.

Most dads have been in this position. Your son grows into a man and he wants to try the old man. Sometimes we leave the battle huffing and puffing and need a private moment to get ourselves together. But we are unbeaten.

Dads must beat their sons one on one in basketball. Balls must be thrown longer. They must win that foot race. It is one of those men things between dads and sons.

My wife cannot stand the horse play and we both get yelled at like we are both kids. That is why most of it happens in the basement. There is little to break and momma cannot hear the noise down there.

I want to remain unbeaten. I need to hold off the charge of a growing boy who gets stronger by the day.

But one day I will lose a fight and then I will quit and complain that “I am too old for this horse play.”

 

September 1, 2015

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Police lives matter too

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

A few weeks ago I talked about a war that has broken out in our country.

It is black males against mostly white police officers. And this war will continue until we figure out how to give black males hope in life.

It will continue until we stamp out hate, bigotry, racism and this racial divide that many of you ignore.

It played out over the weekend when a black male Shannon Miles murdered a Houston Police officer Darren Goforth. It is a tragic killing, one that never should happen. He killed him simply because Goforth was a police officer.

There will be more attempts because the root of this war has not been solved. It hasn’t even been discussed. And it probably never will be discussed because people are so afraid to touch the subject of race in this country. Now it is a growing problem.

Here is one of our divides.

Black lives matter. But many whites don’t buy into it. They simply say if the guy did not commit a crime he would not be at risk.

Police lives matter but you have a large number of blacks that don’t buy into it. In fact you are likely to get attacked by black folks when you begin talking about “All lives matter.”

So what do we do?

Screaming at each other does not solve the problem. Ignoring this war does not solve anything either. Problems just don’t go away.

This won’t go away until we begin solving the economic and educational shortfalls in the black community. This does not go away until you sell hope in inner cities. If you have hope in your life, chances are you won’t rob, murder and risk your future. If there is no hope, then you are more likely to do dumb things.

Finally we have this great divide we need to solve.

Blacks are rightly upset by the murders of black males by mostly white police. Whites for the most part do not see the outrage.

Whites are rightly upset by the recent murders of police officers. Many blacks are not outraged.

So how do we solve this?

Ignoring the problem does not help.

 

Black rage killed the two Virginia reporters

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I wish I worked at WDBJ in Virginia.

Maybe I could have reached Vester Flanagan, the man who shot two members of the station live on the air.  He was bitter, angry and felt as if the world were unfair to him.

He harbored black rage, something that seethes inside many black males. However, the world does not want to address this issue. Instead people only want to talk about making the mental health system better. It is a problem but not the main problem with Flanagan and some of the other powder kegs ready to explode. I’ve met men like Flanagan who believe whites are out to get them.

They believe they were passed over for promotions because they were black. They believe people are talking about them because they are black and in this case black and Gay. This aggression builds up and explosions follow. They are not usually this severe but they do happen. Sometimes they happen during a verbal eruption in the office.

Sometimes the rage happens over a drink at the bar. And sometimes they are  tempered by another black colleague who tries to calm them down and get them focused on their job.

I’ve known men like Flanagan and talked them off the ledge. They blame everything on the system created by whites. They want to lash out at somebody but usually don’t.

My Uncle James was one of these men. He’d get drunk on beer and cheap liquor and go into rants about pecker woods, honkies and white MF’s. He struggled keeping a job. It had nothing to do with his lack of an education in his mind. He was convinced that his black skin kept him unemployed.

I was a kid and did not totally understand what he was going through. I was even more confused by the way his rage ended. He got drunk again and pointed a gun at his temple and pulled the trigger.

 

 

Newsrooms need a jovial guy like cameraman Adam Ward

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Every news room has a guy like Adam Ward.

He is the guy who breaks the ice and leaves you in stitches. He is the first guy to lend a helping hand when the newsroom needs it. He acts like a big brother to young journalists and will do anything to make things better and brighter – even if it means wearing a dress or a funny hat.

That is what Adam Ward was, the WDBJ camera man who was murdered on live television earlier this week.

The newsroom needs a man like this. Our jobs are stressful and punctuated with long hours. We are human beings. We snap and say things we do not mean. Things are sometimes as tense and intense as an NFL huddle. Deadlines come and go. Tough decisions on stories are made. I’ve even seen guys rush at each other trying to provide choke holds.

We need a stress relief. That is what a guy like Ward provides.

We needed a guy like “The Duke” who I worked with as a young journalist at the Detroit Free Press. The Duke had a long beard, wore penny loafers and had us in stitches. We needed it because we were mostly a young staff learning our craft. Everything did not always work out but The Duke made sure we enjoyed being journalists.

He organized lunches and outings. We once went water sliding for lunch. It was fun and at the time we needed it.

Ward was 27 years old when he was murdered and there were plenty more jokes and fun times ahead of him and the people he worked with. There won’t be as much laughter in the world because of the actions of one sick and evil man.

The newsroom leaned on Ward. It needed him. We all did.

Messing with Jim Leyland

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

Leyland talking to reporters

Today I am the Tigers beat writer.

The Detroit News allows me to do that every now and then to give regular beat writers Tom Gage and Lynn Henning a day off. I enjoy doing it and the highlight of my visits to Comerica Park is talking with Tigers Manager Jim Leyland before games. Do you watch the beef jerky commercials “Messing with Sasquatch” where people mess with the legendary monster only to get stomped at the end? Well it is sort of like that with Leyland.

A group of writers ask questions and play a game of poke the dragon. Sometimes Leyland is cool. And sometimes he tees off. I think he likes me because he usually smiles when he gets uncomfortable about some questions. The funny thing is before the session is over we usually talk college football.

“Well look whose here,” he screamed last time I hit the dressing room.

Here is a dirty secret about Leyland. He is a Notre Dame fan who also loves to talk University of Michigan football.

Leyland loves to talk. He talks so much and spews out so much information that you never have to go into the dressing room to talk to players if you are a Tigers beat writer. He fills your note pad with issues inside and outside of baseball. And when he erupts all you do is turn your tape recorder on and listen. You never have to ask another question again.

Freedom Tower is soaring into the sky

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

 

NEW YORK — The Liberty City ferry drops us off about four blocks from what was formerly called Ground Zero. I refuse to call it that any more because 70 stories of steel and concrete now raises from the ground where the World Trade Center twin towers once stood.

The 1,776 foot Freedom Tower is under construction and I got a mixed emotions when I saw it on our way to enjoy the play Mary Poppins on Broadway. I am always sad when I go by the sight. I cannot help but remember the hundreds of people that lost their lives during the terrorist attacks during 9-11 and the troops that died in wars in the Middle East. How dare they do this to us.

But I also felt good seeing that tower rise. It shows that you can punch this country in its stomach. We might cry. We might suffer. But we rise. This tower represents greed and waste to many who do not like us. In the end this new tower will cost $3.1 billion, have 2.6 million square feet of office space and have retail and restaurants in all price ranges.  In all there is $22 billion in construction going on in lower Manhattan.

Join me at Tin Fish to help Sabby II

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Sabrina Black aka Sabby II

You might have known her as Sabrina West or Sabrina Black. That is not what I called her. My name for her was Sabby II because I knew she liked Black Sabbath and I played off the band’s name  for her nickname.

She was a co-worker at WDFN back in the day and a friend. I co-hosted a show and she was our update person during mid days and we used to have a blast.  Sabby II died of cancer four years ago and it was one of the most painful deaths many media members went through. People knew her and liked her and if they didn’t know her they knew of her voice and the six year battle with cancer.

Her legacy continues and I am proud to be part of it for one night. I am hoping that you can join me this Thursday at the Partridge Creek Tin Fish on Hall Road in Sterling Heights where I will serve with other locals as a celebrity bartender. My shift runs from 7:30-8:30 p.m. and all tips generated will benefit the Sabrina Black Foundation. It is a wonderful cause that benefits the families of cancer victims.

If you cannot make it during my one hour time slot then come earlier or later to help. I still might be around acting like a clown. They need all the help they can get because the disease is  not only nasty but it is expensive to treat.

Why Mike Valenti must die

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion, Red Wings

I cannot put into words how much I hate this man

So I am hanging out in Southgate, trying to figure out which Downriver beauty to add to my collection when my phone begins to blow up with texts. I ignored it. I had to get my swerve on after all.

Now should I get with butter face number one? Or should I get with butter face number two? You know the chick with the chipped front tooth is kind of turning me on.

Well, the texts would not stop. So I finally launched my twitter account this morning and I read all of your asinine comments about how I changed my mind about Chris Osgood. Then I heard about comments from my radio partner who has way too much time on his hands talking about how I flip flopped on whether Osgood should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

You guys clowned me. Mike Valenti of course clowned me because he is jealous and wants to be me. And who can blame him? I am handsome. He is not. I am a lady’s man. He is not. I am black and he wishes he was.

Ten is a special number for me. Four is a number for his special friend that he calls Bruno.

My bout with road rage

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

Road rage is a leading cause of becoming a jerk

I created road rage and I am happy about it. The guy was a total jerk.

Here is what happened. The family drove my daughter Celine to soccer camp at Sauk Valley near Michigan International Speedway. After 20 seconds of tears from Celine the rest of the family headed west on M-12 for a quick trip to East Lansing to bring food to the in-laws.

M-12 is a two lane highway and I allowed myself about four to five car lengths while following a car going about 65 miles per hour. I was in no rush so I followed and did not try to pass. Then comes jerk boy from behind. He cruises up and wants to pass. I am cool with that. He jets the engines and passes me and makes a circular motion with his arm for me to speed up.

Scorned Indians fan remains hopeful

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports, Tigers

WASHINGTON DC — We stood on the corner of F and 10th streets downtown, not too far from the Verizon Center.  My daughter Celine collects snow globes and wanted to find one from Washington D.C. She has globes  from Baltimore, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit and Orlando.  My job is to find one every time I leave town. Now we were in search of one from D.C.

I knew there was a place called Honest Abe’s nearby. I just didn’t know exactly where and my gang was tired of walking after hitting two Smithsonian Museums that day. I stopped a guy wearing  a striped shirt and tie and asked him for directions. He was friendly and very accommodating. We were near the store and he gave us a gentle nudge in the right direction.

He noticed I was wearing a Baltimore Orioles T-shirt and made a comment. I told him I wore the shirt only because I thought it was cool looking. I was not representing the B, I was from Detroit.

He began laughing and tapped me on the shoulders.

“Well we got a problem,” he said laughing. “And to think I just gave you directions. I am a Cleveland Indians fan and you guys stand in the way of us being in first place.”

The Foster rules

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Travel

WASHINGTON DC — There is a new policy at the Spring Hills Suite hotel outside of Washington. If a member of the house keeping team does not understand a guest they are to immediately find a supervisor that speaks English to resolve disputes.

I am going to call it the Foster Rule. I am happy about that.

The hotel also refunding one night after three stumbles in three nights. I also sent a note to Marriott.com and they adjusted the entire bill which means our stay in Washington was completely free. I like that even better.

On a previous post I wrote about my displeasure when a member of housekeeping came to my door asking if I wanted service. I could not understand her and thought she was asking if I wanted additional towels. I said I did not need towels. She thought I said I did not want service.

After a day of being tourists we came back to a dirty room. Our shower also broke twice delaying our departure for fun and games.  The manager was very nice and apologetic and new rules were sent around the hotel. A number of you understood my frustration and I appreciate your comments.

Men, why is it always our fault?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Let me be the first to admit that men are not perfect. We deserved to get yelled at when we trash the house, stay out too late and leave our underwear in the middle of the floor.

It is not fair when we get yelled at by our wives for something they did. But it happened Tuesday night when my wife Abs fumbled a salad she’d been looking forward to eating all evening.

Here is the skinny. Abs was at a meeting and they catered a meal from Mezza. We are both into Middle Eastern food because it is healthy and delicious. She got a nice salad with grilled chicken on top and a pita roll. She tasted a little at the meeting and it was so good she wanted to savor the rest for home. But on the way home she got some ice cream from McDonalds.

Downriver party bus to Wyandotte

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life, Travel

I can tell that Jason Ptak is proud of Wyandotte. He is helping bring one of my twitter wars to life by sending a party bus to Oakland County to pick up some of my friends for a Downriver party bus tour.
He said Wyandotte is one of Detroit’s hidden gems and he is going to show it off to us this Friday as we tour at least four of the city’s finest places.  The first stop is Lions, Tigers and Beers  (7:30 p.m.)which will be followed by The Oak, Do Hickey’s and a surprise stop. I don’t know where the surprise stop is be but I am hoping it represents Downriver with fun people and a good atmosphere.
It is Fifth Friday in Wyandotte and hopefully there will be a lot of people out and about on Biddle Street.
How did this all happen?
   
It began with a twitter war staged during the Tigers 2-1 loss Wednesday to the Chicago White Sox. I tweeted that I was so upset with the Tigers lethargic performance that I needed a Downriver bar tour to cheer me up. I asked people where I should or should not go and they gave me places to hit and places to avoid.

We must kill the old Detroit mentality to heal this city

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Maybe one of my solutions to fix Detroit is a little extreme. I said we should kill everybody 50 years of age and over during  my radio show “The Valenti and Foster Show”.

I am not actually in favor of killing those folks because I would be one of the casualties. However, it is time to kill the 1960s mentality that has cripped the Detroit area for decades. We must kill the great divide between blacks and whites, city people and suburbanites.

We must kill the thinking of the old white woman who proudly proclaims “I haven’t crossed 8 Mile Road in 25 years and I don’t plan to any time soon.”

Do you want to live here?

We must kill the mentality of the old black guy who lives in poverty but does not want white money to build the city ”because they are trying to take over our city.”

We must kill the mentality of the white person that when a bum shakes a cup begging for money goes home and talks about how they almost got robbed downtown.

We need to eliminate the thinking of the black person who views white people as the blue eyed devil.

We must kill the fears some people have of walking downtown inside the comfort of thousands of Tigers fans before or after a game.

Detroit is one of the most polorizing cities in the nation. We still live behind walls of mistrust and anger. That is why I do not believe the light rail will work. That is why I do not believe the neighborhoods will be revitalized and it is why I do not see Detroit bouncing back.

We’ve fought over the zoo, Cobo Center, Belle Isle, 8 Mile, Tiger Stadium and water.

It is time to stop the fighting and actually get along and rebuild this city.

There are forward thinking people with great game plans that seem like they would work to heal this city. They might actually work in places like Seattle, Houston or San Antonio. They won’t work here because some of us still live in fear and ignorance.

But there is a ray of light. It is young people. You can make Detroit work because you do not carry around the scars of the past. You did not witness the riots. You did not go through the civil rights movement. You did not run from Detroit to the suburbs. You did not see your neighbors killed like dogs by the police. You are our hope.

You might actually have a friend who does not look like you. You might not live in fear having a neighbor that does not look like you. And you might actually move into a neighborhood where everybody does not look and think like you.

Please take the baton from us older folks because we did not do it right. We cut hatred and fear into our hearts and scars remain. You are more clean and pure.

Learn from our mistakes and take Detroit to the next level. You are our only hope.

Beggars are running a game on us

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

I was strolling the main drag in Royal Oak when I noticed a man and a woman sitting by the side of the road facing foot traffic. They claimed to be poor and homeless and held a tiny sign begging for money.

When you looked at their clothes they looked homeless. They both looked like life had given them a raw deal. I just wasn’t buying their story. I walked past and did not give them anything. There were signs of scam. There was the fresh and clean University of Michigan back pack and stacked suit cases. They looked more like a couple waiting for Delta Flight 484 than needing money.

I am a sucker for wanting to help people, but I am convinced that begging for money is a multi-million dollar industry for lazy people who don’t want to look for work. The people who suffer are the ones that really need help. They are folks that are injured, mentally challenged and legitimately have society’s foot pressing on their necks.

But you don’t know who is legit and who is running a scam. I have fallen for scams and give less and less.

Do you believe this guy?

One of the biggest scams is the guy in the parking lot who needs $5.85 for an auto part so he can fix his car. He gives and exact amount because it makes the story sound better and he knows you are going to give him a $10 or $20 bill and tell him to keep the change. This is the high roller beggar. He does not want pennies. He wants to get paid.

The food scam is a good one. The person says they want money for food. I offered to take a guy into a Burger King who was begging for food and get him whatever he wanted. He refused.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Do you think he wanted that money for something else? Maybe drugs or booze?

My trip to Hell

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: driving, Parenthood

On Sunday I went to hell and back. And I took the kids with me.

My daughter Celine read about Hell, Michigan the other day and was dying to go there to see what it was like. The name tickled her and so I surprised the kids with a spur of the moment trip. It is not that far away(we got there in under and hour) and we’d finished our yard work so I thought it would be fun.

There isn’t really much to Hell so our visit was short. There is “Screams Ice Cream” , Hell Country Store and Spirits, The Dam Site Inn and a chapel in case you really want to go to hell by getting married. I am told that the food at the Dam Site Inn is delicious but we’d already eaten lunch by the time we went to Hell. You can also rent canoes.

We bought T-shirts and a snow globe to commemorate our trip. I was recognized by two people which caused my son Little B to quip: “They even know you in hell dad.” Hopefully that won’t be the case in my after life.

Protect freedom of speech no matter how raw

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion

I disagree with MSNBC’s decision to suspend senior political analyst Mark Halperin for calling President Obama a dick earlier this week. I thought Halperin was a fool for saying it but we should be allowed to say what we want in newspapers, radio, television and on stage.  Freedom of speech disappeared a long time ago and we will never get it back.

I also believe comedian Tracy Morgan should stop apologizing for things he says on the stage. He first apologized for anti gay comments during his comedy routine. He then apologized to the handicap for another routine. The stage is not real life. It is an act and what goes on the stage stays on the stage.

I’ve heard anti Gay, anti white, anti black, anti Hispanic, anti American, anti Muslim and anti everything else in the world and nobody thought anything of it. Comedians make you laugh but they also make you think. They make you uncomfortable and mostly they entertain you. I don’t like that Morgan said he would stab his son if he found out he were gay. It was a rough comedy routine.

Give me dive bars over royalty

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Three Nicks Taproom is a comfortable spot to hang

Who wants to meet the Royal Couple?
It will only cost $4,000 to get all dressed up and mingle with Prince William and Duchess Catherine at some swanky club in California. No thanks.
I would not go if it were free. And I’d turn down a meeting with them to hang in a dive bar. I love dive bars with cold beer, good burgers and fun people. I love regular bars where I can sit, talk and observe. I don’t need fancy. I like hanging with down home folks.
I like going places where you don’t have to pretend you are a big deal and I am often not in the mood for phony people. I like sitting next to the factory worker and the retired mechanic. I like getting crushes on the secretary out on the town wearing low tops and tiny shorts.

I’d rather hang with Roy and Ronda than Royalty.
I love my music loud some nights and soft on others.

 

A round about way to drive

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: driving

 

I almost get killed three to four times a day.

That is the number of times I approach a round a bout on my way to and from work. Those are the intersections where a combination of good drivers, bad drivers, blind drivers and old drivers are supposed to navigate and not turn it into a game of demolition derby. They scare the hell out of me.

They are designed to replace traffic lights and promote traffic flow. Some people know how to use them. Other people do not. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve nearly been broadsided by the person who does not look to his left and pulls into the round a bout.  I hate them. They are supposed to be safer so why do I feel as if I am taking my life in my hands when I approach.

I feel safer driving a Smart Car in a NASCAR race. At least death would be swift and relatively painless.

Here is what’s supposed to happen when you drive to a round about and here is what usually happens.

Sweet painted lady

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life, tattoos

She was beautiful. She was a bartender at the Post in Auburn Hills and had a nice body, reddish hair and a smile that fills a room.

She also had a sleeve of tattoos on her arm and more on the rest of her body including two ribbons on the back of her legs. Normally I am not into women with tattoos but for some reason this bartender pulled it off nicely. I would later find out her name is Sarah and she is one of the legends of Oakland County.

She is a great bartender and all the guys love her. I can see why they gather around the bar to order drinks.

She was a sweet painted lady.

I do not normally like ink all over the body. I do love the tramp stamp on the back and small tattoos on the wrist or ankle. Usually the tattoos have some type of meaning. It might be a child’s name or something to pay tribute to mom or grand pa.

There was one I saw the other day in Wal-Mart (surprise, surprise) where a woman had “I love myself” on the back of her leg. Does she really need to remind the world that she loves herself? And the silly thing about it is she cannot easily check out the tat to remind herself of how much she likes herself.

How do you like women with tatoos?

I am guessing she has a difficult time loving herself. That is why she put the tattoo on.

But she puts it on the back of her leg? Have you ever tried reading the back of your leg? It is not easy.

I am also assuming my wife Abs does not like tattoos. I took the kids to a festival a couple years ago and we got those temporary tattoos that lasts for two weeks. I got Celine a chain on her leg and Brandon a B on his arm. I got one too and told her they were permanent.

I don’t know how the kids kept a straight face for the 10 minutes she went off on me about messing up the kid’s bodies.

We finally told her and she laughed about it — two months later.

Dad this car has ghosts

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: driving, Family, Travel

Celine swears our rent a car is haunted or stolen

BALTIMORE — My daughter Celine screamed from the back of the car.

“Dad this car is haunted. I swear it is,” she said. “Or at the very least this is a stolen car.”

The disappearing car rental from Avis was one of the goofy happenings that got the family vacation to Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New York off to a slow start because airports sometimes can be a bear to navigate. It took my wife Abs a half hour to get through security at Metro Airport — and that was after she went through the security gates. And it took us an hour to finally get rolling in our rental car once we landed at Baltimore-Washington Airport simply because stuff happens.

Traveling with kids is tough enough. When you add airport hassles I understand why people simply say forget it and just drive to their destination.

Language barrier produces dirty room

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Travel

WASHINGTON D.C — There is a reason why I stay at Marriott Hotels. I pay for bigger rooms and better service.

That hasn’t been the case on the family vacation and it has been disappointing. We are staying at a Spring Hills,  which is similar to a Residence Inn. We have a nice big room with a living room and tiny kitchen area. We love the room. We don’t love the service.

We were late for our journey to the Mall Sunday because the shower broke and everybody was clean except my wife Abs. Hey, stuff happens. We were disappointed but that’s the way it goes at times.

But the second disappointment came because of language barrier and I plan on a meeting with the general manager of the hotel before we leave. Should I complain or is this my fault? Here is what happened.

We were short towels this morning and I went down stairs to get some fresh ones. The person at the front desk said they would send them up. But when I got to the room house keeping was already there so I asked for two towels and the lady gave them to me.

Two seconds later came a knock on the door.

The lady said something to me in part Spanish and English. I thought she wanted to know if we still needed towels. As it turned out she was the head of house keeping.  When we left the room I saw the woman that was supposed to clean our room. I wanted to make sure our room was cleaned.

Fourth of July reflections

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family

NEW YORK — On my final day here I found a moment of solitude to sit on a park bench to reflect on the annual family vacation to Washington DC and New York City.

In front of me stood the Statue of Liberty and to my left the tall buildings of New York’s financial district, which included the shell of the Freedom Tower which stands 70 stories high now. It was a peaceful setting and I enjoyed my 15 minutes alone.

A giant blimp hovered overhead, a reminder of the Fourth of July celebrations that lie on the horizon. There are festivals, celebrations and remembrances that stretch from Harlem to to Liberty Island. Thousands will line the shores and streets of New Jersey and New York for Monday’s spectacular fireworks display. I wish I could hang around two more days to see it but it is time to return home. Besides, we will enjoy Sunday night fireworks at Greenfield Village.

This weekend is a time for peace, laughter and spending time with friends and family. But there are reminders that evil lurks in the background and wants to ruin this celebration of independence for us. I saw it on the path train, the underground system that takes you from Manhattan to New Jersey.

Do the New York hustle

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Travel

 

An example of the New York hustle

It is great to be home to my own backyard patio; my own bed and my own trees and lawn.

Our family tour took us to Baltimore, Washington DC and New York City. Although I enjoy the time away I always love returning home. The old saying is right. “There is no place like home.”

When I return from trips I always take time to reflect on things when I return. The thing I can’t get out of my mind is the hustle of New York City. Where are these people going and what are they doing? New York is a giant hustle. People are hustling to get somewhere in more than one way.

They are trying to get somewhere professionally and they are trying to get somewhere by foot, taxi or train. It is called the New York hustle and you see people on every street corner and every tiny shop trying to hustle each and every day. I spoke to my taxi driver from Iraq and he said unfortunately people hustle just to make it another day.

“Most people work here just to pay the bills,” he said. “Maybe they get away for a weekend or two each year but they work to pay the bills.”

The indecent proposal

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

Let me tell you about my backwards Tiger Woods moment.

I was in a bar talking to friends when a woman approached. She was in her mid 40s, well dressed and you could tell she had a little cash. She was not pretty but had a sexy look about her.

“Can I talked to you when you are done with your friends,?” she asked.

“Sure. No problem,” I said.

People want to talk to me all the time until they actually discover I am quite boring. But I got the newspaper and radio thing going and I like talking to people. So I get approached by men and women all the time. They mostly want to talk sports or about Celine or Little B. But this time it was different.

About 15 minutes later I was wrapping things up with my friends when she approached again.

“Got a minute,?” she asked.

“Sure,” I said. “What’s up?”

“Do you know what we have in common,” she said. “We both are married and we want to (blank) each other.”

She smiled.

My jaw hit the floor.

July 4, 2011

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The neighbors hanging out around the camp fire

It wasn’t the perfect day for me because I had to work on the Fourth of July. But it ended perfectly sitting by an open fire and listening to the sound of fire works cooking in the night sky.

There is something about an open fire. I love them. Our fire Monday night drew our neighbors the Coldrens and the Hodges for a little catching up chat and s’mores for the children. We got those gigantic marshmallows that need extra heat to melt. They make for some giant desserts.

The children played four square and Ghosts in the Graveyard. The adults swapped tales and talked about summer plans. It is not much. It might be boring to others, but these are some of my favorite moments. I love hanging around the house with nothing to do. A cold beer, an open fire and a couple people to talk to. Sometimes that is all I need.

Often when I get a few days off from radio and newspaper my wife Abs wants to know where I want to go? Do I want to take a quick trip up north? Maybe head to Ohio to Cedar Point? If the kids want to go, I will go. But if it were up to me I’d spend the time at home laying up and looking ugly. I feel like home is my castle and sometimes you just want to sit on your throne and look over your royal subjects.

I spend enough time away from home working, going to

Welcome to my wild kingdom

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

This guy toured my backyard without permission

He sat in our back yard resting. It was a long haul for our visitor and he wanted to chill in the backyard before going about the rest of his day.

He was a turtle. He wasn’t a small turtle. He was pretty good size — about 15  inches across. The guy looked like he could be on display at the zoo. He was dark in color with tiny little eyes. There was a mud patch on his back as if he’d crawled through a swamp. I have no idea where he was going but wild life has played a huge role in our summer.

There is more wild life this summer than I can remember in our West Bloomfield neighborhood. We’ve seen three turtles this summer, hundreds of tiny frogs, a new family of deer along with the usual assortment of moles, raccoons and field mice. And there were the fox.

There were two of them chilln on someone’s lawn. I immediately called the neighbors to make sure their tiny dog chipper was inside. Our place is turning into wild kingdom. The maddening part is the frogs. They are all over the place. I don’t know if it is because of the rain we got in the spring or they think we are in the middle of a swamp.

I’ve never seen so many frogs in all my life. They are very small creatures that creep the kids out. They don’t want to harm any of them but you are likely to step on one whenever you go outside. The crop has
thinned out a bit but I am still supposed to watch every step after accidentally killing one two weeks ago with a basketball.

I was called a murderer and the kids thought I was going to be arrested because my son thought he heard that frogs are an endangered species. They certainly are not in our backyard.

Parental instincts says Casey Anthony did it

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Parenthood

It would be tough to live without my girl Celine

Let’s skip all legal mumbo jumbo. Casey Anthony killed her daughter Caylee and got off Scott free. She will be a free woman to do as she pleases and as a parent it sickens me.

But I understand why the jury found her not guilty. The prosecution did not prove without a reasonable doubt that Anthony killed her daughter. I admit that I base my suspicions of guilt solely on the emotions of being a parent who loves his children more than anything else.

How can you go 31 days without telling authorities that your child is missing? How many of you could do that? How many of you would do that?

Let me tell you the real life story about my daughter Celine. Last year she was reported missing by one of the soccer parents on our team. Celine was supposed to go home to her friend Sami’s and I was going to pick her up at Sami’s house after work.

Practice was normal. But afterwards Celine did not trot off the field with Sami. She disappeared completely. Sami’s mother called me and told me Celine vanished while I was on radio. All of the air in my body was sucked out. I had a panic attack and immediately left and rushed to my car.

My breathing was short and raspy. I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest. I was in tears.

Fifteen minutes later I found out what happened. There was a last-minute arrangement between my mother and wife for grandma to pick up Celine. That message was not relayed to me or the other parent. I could finally breathe. It was the worst 15 minutes of my life.

There is no way I could go back to normal life until my daughter was found safe and sound. You would not see me in a bar other than to pass out fliers of Celine’s picture. You would not see me acting normal because I would fear the worst.

Our children sometimes drive us crazy. We sometimes wonder if we are doing the right thing in raising them. But they are our flesh, blood and tears. They are our hearts. It is impossible for a normal loving parent to see their child missing and life goes on.

I know I couldn’t do it.

Bringing joy to our troops

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

How do we honor our troops?

The phone call came out of the blue. It was from one of men in the United States Army who is serving our country in Afghanistan. He is a frequent listener to the Valenti and Foster show when he is back home. But he also said that he and a group of guys from Michigan listen from Afghanistan.

“You get us through tough times,” he said. “We listen to you guys all the time.”

I was flattered and thrilled at the same time. If we can bring even five minutes of comfort to soldiers at war that means a lot to me. Being at war is something I have no desire to do and it is something I know I cannot do. I am an old guy doing radio, trying to inform and entertain. I never think about making life easier for others. I just work and try to do a good daily show with Mike.

But that call made me feel good. It made me feel proud. I respect the men and women who are in the Middle East. I pray for their survival. I know this is impossible but I want all of them to return home and reach the warm embrace of loved ones. The guy I talked to will be home for three weeks then he is going back to the battle ground.

What happens beyond that is in God’s hands.

Please say you would not have a child with Tot Mom

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion, Parenthood

Should this woman have another child?

Ladies, I want to let you in on a little secret. We men are sexual predators. We think about sex. We act out sex sometimes inside our minds when we see you. And we measure you up wondering “could I get with that?”

OK. That is not that much of a secret. But I needed a way to transition into the discussion about Casey Anthony — the Tot mom who was found not guilty of first degree murder of her daughter Caylee. Some of my boys and I have had inappropriate comments about her and we should be ashamed.

But it is what men do.

Would you have sex with her?

The answer for most men was yes.

But would you fulfill her dream and help her have another baby? Even the worst of men are saying no. She should never have a child again. Even if she didn’t kill Caylee, she showed signs of child neglect, child abuse and child endangerment. However, she will become a mom again and one of my co-workers issued a bet with me saying she will have a child within five years. 

Is public romance creepy?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life, Opinion

I sat near Romantic Guy the other day while having dinner near my home.

He sat at the bar looking deeply into his woman’s eyes and caressed her face. Now and then he would stop talking to give her a kiss and then look deeply into her eyes again. It was cute and it was good to see but romance is so dead these days I thought it was fake.

Was I wrong to think that my man was running a game on this woman?

Romantic guy acted as if he and his woman were the only people in the room. I don’t know if they were married or a new couple. I just don’t see Romantic Guy much in public unless he is drunk and is trying to get some.

Most men don’t think this way. We do nice things for our women. We buy flowers, take them to dinner and us husbands give the wives and evening off now and then by taking care of the kids and telling them to hang with the girls. But public displays of affection are dead.

Is Romantic Guy dead?

I don’t feel comfortable with it. I will hold my woman’s hand, escort her to her seat. However, we are like a pair of old shoes. We are comfortable with each other and we fit. I feel as if I don’t have to chase any more. We can act like normal human beings. Abs and I have been together 14 years and we have two children.

I am not saying I treat her like a long lost stranger when we go out. I am just not going to be Romantic Guy. We talk. We joke. We laugh. but I don’t look into her eyes as if she were the queen of the universe. I treat her more like a good friend.

Here is a Yogi-ism for you. My public displays of affection are usually done in private.

I dreamed of losing my dream jobs

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

There are too many people like this

I just woke up in a cold sweat and with dry mouth. It is the first time a dream scared me in a long time.

I lost my job. No radio. No newspaper. Nothing.

I was left high and dry because of a tough economy and now I had to go home to tell the wife and kids that daddy will be spending more time at home and won’t be able to provide for them. We cut soccer. We cut out cable and we cut out eating out.

Thank goodness it was just a dream.

I am fortunate. I have not lost my job because of the economy. I’ve taken a hit on the salary at the newspaper but everybody has made some type of sacrifice during these tough times. At least I have steady income and life is good for me and the family.

I love writing for The Detroit News. I love fighting with Mike Valenti on the Valenti and Foster Show on 971 The Ticket. Who wouldn’t?

No harm for Casey Anthony

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I believed Casey Anthony killed her darling daughter Caylee. According to most polls about two third of you believe the same.

With that said we must make sure that Casey Anthony remain safe when she is released from prison Sunday. We might not like her. We might not believe her story but we must remain true to the United States Justice system and protect it. It is the system that our troops fight for and it is the system that we say we believe in.

It does not always work. It is not meant to. It is in place to try to ensure that not one guilty person goes to jail. I am not naive enough to believe that happens. But this is our baby and we must protect it.

There is a fear of vigilanties who are scheming to kill Casey Anthony. They believe justice was not serve and they want to administer their own justice. They must be stopped. They must not succeed. Hell they let OJ keep playing golf. She has the right now to go to the night clubs and do whatever she wants to do.

Chances are she will move from Florida. Her life will never be the same. She won’t have a full family to love her. That is her punishment. It is not the punishment I wanted but this is our system. We must protect it and respect it.

A Zouper rude dude

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The menu at the Southfield Zoup’s featured nine different soups and seven salads on Monday evening. I swear the guy in front of me sampled every one of them.

He was “Let me hold the entire world up for me” guy. The annoying thing is the employees allowed him to do it. He was the first in line as he eyed every soup choice and asked for a sample. He not only tasted the soup in the tiny cups, but he savored and swished it around in his mouth as he flicked a $50 bill in his right hand.

“That was great,” he said. “Let me try the white bean chili.”

Meanwhile, the line grew. It went from two people behind him to eight.

This clown had the audacity to say: “I hope I am not holding people up” as he asked for another soup. Later he started talking about the movie “Ghost Busters.” 

I told him he was the only ghost in the restaurant.

He chuckled. I fumed. The lady besides me rolled her eyes.

There were two people behind the counter. I asked if I could order my soup. I knew what I wanted. The guy had not been rung up yet. But I was told by the guy behind the counter that he could not give me my soup. We had to wait for rude dude to finish his order.

It’s hotter than hell

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Throw this one in a pool

BROOKLYN, Mi — My daughter Celine played in the World Cup semifinals during the Sauk Valley soccer camp early Wednesday morning. Her team wasn’t the best in the land and I could see her legs churning and her mind running trying to help Team Japan beat Team Mexico.

And in a matter of seconds you could see those legs turn to rubber. She hit the wall after playing four days in the most intense heat of summer. No amount of water or rest could save her. She was spent and you could see it on her face. Celine later was voted best player for her age group, but confessed it was tough playing in 90 plus degree weather with the heat index above 100.

This has been one of the more miserable weeks in memory and today is supposed to be the worst. You know 90 degree days are coming. But it seems like we are living in a giant oven because of the humidity. I feel like a giant freshly baked roll every time I leave the air conditioned house to go outside.

I brought a cooler filled with ice for her roommates and the girls attacked it like sharks to chum. They’d gone four days without ice and were appreciative of the gift.

Where is my girl with no name?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I wonder what happened to the girl with no name. She was in my life for eight hours and then she disappeared.

I had returned to Saxe Hall on the campus of Central Michigan University on a late Saturday evening when I saw a young woman with brown hair and back pack sitting in front of the building. She was hitchhiking across the country and she wanted to see every state. I do not remember how she ended up in Mt. Pleasant. I am just glad she did.

And she needed a place to stay.

All of my roommates were gone that weekend. Jim was in Clarkston. Leonard was back in Beaverton and Warren was back home in Okemos. I told the girl with no name that she could stay with me.

We were both drunk and I could smell the beer on her breath as she drew close.

“Thank you,” she said. “I appreciate it.”

We went up to my room. She asked if she could take a shower and I said yes.

Its not about sex when you grow old

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I sat next to a delightful and talkative woman on Thursday while waiting to give blood at the doctor’s office. She was 85 years old and was nervous about doing blood work following her exam.

We talked about family, our past and future and she leaned in and said: “And I have a gentleman friend. He is 93.”

She was married twice, had three children from the first marriage and five years ago her second husband died. She was alone and wanted company. So a friend of a friend introduced her to a man who also lost his wife. They are constant companions. As soon as she told me her story another man came limping in with his wife saying they have been married 71 years. That is amazing.

It got me to thinking. What will my relationship with my wife be like when we are older and walking kind of funny. Will we have sex? Can we have sex? Do we even want to even have sex?

Yes, that was the first thing on my mind. The lady told me it is about companionship. It was about having someone to talk to and share things with.

“I like having a man around. I love talking to them as opposed to women,” she said with a chuckle.

I’ve heard that some of the biggest players in the world are the dudes in the seniors home. The women love them and bake cookies, cook dinner for them and iron their clothes. The man is like a lion in a den and women do so much to garner their attention.  The dudes sit back and enjoy the attention.

Now I see what’s in it for us guys when we get older.

Blowing taps for Tommy turtle

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

 

I feel guilty. A few days ago I wrote about a turtle that made an unplanned pit stop in my backyard. He was a big turtle and I wondered why we are seeing so much wild life in my backyard these days.

I am sad to report that my friend did not make it to the pond or lake that he was looking for. Rest in peace Tommy Turtle for you are now road kill. He got hit by a car about 30 yards from the house. Despite his blinding speed a car ran right over my friend and he did not make it.

My neighbors discovered Tommy on their way to play tennis. I saw his remains while driving to the store. I never thought it would end this way. I should have put him in a box and taken him to the nearst lake or pond. I should have given him food to slow his migration.

This is terrible.  Everybody say a prayer to my friend Tommy.

Rest in peace my friend.

Five reasons to watch the Lions

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports, Tigers

My Friday lists of fives

FIVE THINGS TIGERS CATCHER VICTOR MARTINEZ SHOULD HAVE TOLD PITCHER BRAD PENNY

1. Hit the road jack and don’t come back no mo, no mo, no mo.

2. This is baseball, not softball.

3.  Obviously it wasn’t your pitching skills that landed such a fine woman.

4.  You do know the Angels can’t hit? Don’t you?

5.  You are no Justin Verlander. Heck, you are no Jeremy Bonderman.

MY FIVE FAVORITE CANDY BARS

1. Almond Joy

2.  Kit Kat

3. Snickers

4. Mounds

5. Giridelli dark chocolate and raspberry

FIVE REASONS TO WATCH THE LIONS THIS SEASON

1.  Matthew Stafford: Will he be closer to a Pro Bowl quarterback or closer to a  bust?

2. Ndamukong Suh: Now that he has the league’s attention, does the sophomore slump hit?

3.  The running game: Do they get thunder and lightening with Mikel LeShoure and Jahvid Best?

4. December: Are they playing meaningful games while we go Christmas shopping?

5. Calvin Johnson: Does the team finally learn how to use him?

FIVE REASONS WHY THE TIGERS CAN WIN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL TITLE

1. Miguel Cabrera can carry a team with his bat.

2. The Chicago White Sox appear to be throwing in the towel.

3. Justin Verlander assures there are no long losing streaks.

4. The rest of the division is terrible.

5. No more games against the top teams in the league

FIVE PLACES I LOVE DOWNTOWN

1. Eastern Market: I love Saturday’s there but I even pop in during the week for fresh meat.

2. Harry’s Detroit: Harry is a cool dude and the place has a cozy feel.

3. Avalon Bakery: The kids love the brownies and I enjoy the blueberry coffee cake.

4. Hygrade Deli: Take a trip on Michigan Avenue past the freeway for a great treat.

5.  Hart Plaza: This gives you a great view of Detroit and Canada.

Whatever happened to romance?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion, Uncategorized

When I was growing up we made love to women. We did it in our songs and we did it in real life.

Now I am listening to the radio and I hear somebody singing: “Tonight I’m F ing you!! Wooooo! Ohhh! Ohh! Tonight I’m F ing you! yeeeeeeee!! Heeeeee!”

Now that is as raw as it gets. But I want to know whatever happened to love? Do we no longer make love as a society?

I am used to love songs like “When a man loves a woman.”

“Killing me softly with his love.” “I will always love you” and “Fly me to the moon.”

Now songs are asking us to pull out the chain saw, wrenches and a blender and F somebody tonight. Get that bitch and handle her. That is too raw for me.

 There were no males in my house while growing up. I was always taught to treat women with respect and to handle them with care. That carried over to my dating where I loved to do things with slow passion. I wanted to savor every moment and I wanted the woman to enjoy herself.

Magical keys

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Sometimes it is good to be lucky.

Friday night I met Detroit News sports writers Chris McCoskey and Bob Wojnowski for a few drinks and Tigers baseball at Doc’s Sports Retreat in Livonia. I was slightly late because I could not find my set of keys which includes keys to the house, my wife’s car and the office at 971 The Ticket.

I gave up my search and left the door unlocked and went to meet the men. We talked shop and watched the Tigers beat up on the Minnesota Twins. Drunk people came up to say hello and we said hello right back to them. We were there for about three hours when we decided to call it an evening.

We walked to the car and were finishing up our conversation when I shook hands with the men by my car. I turned and saw something strange on the top of my car.

It was my set of keys. They survived a 2o minute ride from my house to Doc’s, which included a 70 miles per hour ride on I-275. I had placed them on top of the car in the garage before Sometimes you cannot explain things.

I was very lucky.

The missing bag

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: driving, Family

My boy did not deserve this

Here is the story of how five adults can be in one house but a nine year old gets thrown under the bus for forgetting to put a suit case in the car.

My saga begins Friday in East Lansing when the wife and two kids arrived to pick up my mother-in-law and bring her back to our house so we could attend a fundraiser at the Cranbrook science center Saturday night.  My wife wanted to do a stop and go. She was supposed to pick up her mother at 4:30 and drive back home. But when she arrived the mother was not there. She was having her nails done, something she could have done any time all week.

My wife lit the house on fire and when she does that people get scrambling. My father-in-law and brother-in-law were there. Two hours later the mother-in-law arrives and my wife is not happy. And I do not blame her.  My wife wants to leave immediately.

Now here is the jacked up thing. The bags were not even at the front door ready to go. They were in the bedroom. Also my mother in law took three bags for a two day trip. During the chaos the adults tell nine year old Brandon to go in the bedroom and get the bags. He saw two bags in the bed, got them and put them in the car.

He did not see the main suitcase which has been walked over and fell behind the bed.

Why not Wyandotte?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Mayor Joseph Peterson and Natalie Rankine, Downriver Development Authority Director

WYANDOTTE — Do you want to know how cool the mayor of this river side community is?

I’d vote for him even if he were running against Janet Jackson in her prime. He’s got this city on lock down and it was fun meeting him during my bar tour here. I met the Mayor in Lions & Tigers & Beers as the city rolled out the red carpet for me and my friends during a lovely evening. I posted photos on twitter and face book to let you see what a swell time we had.

We also hit Do Hickeys, The Oak Cafe and I enjoyed a cigar at Sticks where I met a dude who picked out my cigar and a smooth tasting scotch to enjoy along with it.

And the Downriver honeys were out in force. The Mayor and I have something in common. We both love tall girl. I don’t know who she is but I had to take a photo of her and chat before our evening came to an end. If she said take me to Paris I would have been on delta.com in a heart beat. I like those tall girls. It is my weakness.

And the short ones were not bad either.

This was all set up by Jason Ptak who is from the area and knows everything there is about Wyandotte. He sent a party bus to Oakland County where we piled in for our tour. The party included Pistons beat writer Vinnie Goodwill and Johnny Walker Black whose daughter plays soccer with Celine.  My pal Cori brought a friend but the bummer is my Sports Illustrated swim suit model pal Ellen Coleman contacted me too late and missed out.

She wants her own Downriver tour.

We enjoyed our mini version of the movie “Hangover. We made it to a cigar bar, the Wyandotte Fire Department, talked to the police and just had a hell of a time.

Out of the closet, into the garbage bag

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

Today I am donating two giant garbage bags filled with men’s clothes. And the question I have is why did I have so much unwanted clothing in the first place?

We buy and buy and buy some more. At the time the T-shirt with a penguin on the front smoking a joint  seemed like a good idea, but some of this stuff I wore once and never wore again. When I was tossing all these shirts and pants out I sort of felt like a woman. Aren’t they the ones that horde clothes?

I invoked the two-year rule. If I didn’t wear it the past two years it was gone. That included 50 items at least. I probably could have thrown out 25 more items but I want to give plaid shirt one more chance.

I have a medium sized walk in closet with double rows of hanging space and more room to hang ties, shoes and belts. It should be plenty of room for my clothes. But clothes were lying on the floor and the place began to look like a pig pen. I was walking over underwear and tossing them from pile to pile.

The battle cry over booty shorts

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life, Parenthood

If you followed me on twitter Tuesday you know I spent much of the day at the mall shopping for an outfit for a Saturday fundraiser.

I also like to people watch. And one of the galling sights was that of very young teenagers wearing what my kids call booty shorts. They are these teeny tiny pants that hug the booty and not much else. The young girls love to wear them I assume to attract boys. When I saw them I immediately turned into old man and dad.

My daughter Celine turns 12 in a month which means I am not that far away from fighting her with a possible  issue. It might not be the booty shorts in two or three years but it will be something else that will want me to toss rat poison down my throat. and die. My son Brandon claims kids in the sixth grade are wearing them.  My little policeman also said some boys wear them. I laughed. I then googled it and he was right.

What is this world coming to?

Brady Hoke mends great blue divide

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke

My gut feeling says that University of Michigan football coach Brady Hoke is going to be dangerous to the rest of the Big Ten. We might not see it this season because a number of holes remain on the Wolverines’ roster.

But Hoke has mended the great blue divide as Michigan fans, players and administrators march to the same beat. The great blue divide was the very reason why I kept telling you that former coach Rich Rodriguez would never work at Michigan. He didn’t understand Big Ten football and Michigan tradition and a number of secret worker bees burned the midnight oil to make sure he would fail here.

Some wanted Les Miles. Some wanted Jim Harbaugh. But there were few who wanted West Virginia’s version of Al Bundy to come here. That created the great blue divide.

Hoke has not won a game yet in Ann Arbor so this nice warm feeling could disappear this fall. Right here and right now he was the right choice for Michigan. Boosters are so excited that Michigan’s donations are up 22 percent over a year ago, which means the school is pocketing more than $5 million extra.

Some of this money was to make lacrosse a varsity sport.  However, the big key is will Michigan sell a number of unsold suites at Michigan Stadium that stood dark last season? My guess is yes which means  Hoke is already paying off.

Lions training camp means the beginning of football

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The Valenti and Foster show talks to Lions WR Calvin Johnson

ALLEN PARK — It was hot and sticky, but that is OK. Sweat poured down my face and into my eyes, temporarily blinding me. But I did not mind.

Lions training camp is back and all seems right with the world. The official, official end of the lock out occurred Thursday afternoon when all of the free agents and previously unsigned players trotted out in unison for Lions practice. The team is now 90 strong and working toward bringing respectable football back to Detroit.

I love football. I love the drama. I love the anticipation and I love the every week grind and story lines that play out during the season. That is why it was a joy to do the Valenti and Foster Show Thursday afternoon from Lions training camp with the fans. I would love if we visited more times this preseason.

The fans were excited and the players were excited. It’s time to get going.

Lions joy spreads across the state

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

-- The Detroit News

How much for Lions butter?

MACKINAW CITY — Fudge wasn’t the only thing selling briskly up here in this northern play land. Lions butter was selling briskly four and a half hours north of Detroit.

I can understand all the smiles outside Ford Field after the Lions 34-3 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The few fans that attended the game and jammed the casinos afterwards were at ground zero. They enjoyed a big weekend of Lions, Kid Rock and black jack. But the spread of joy was all over the state.

People wore their Lions gear here even in the rain and you heard talk of the Lions and Matthew Stafford and the gang all weekend. And it was just a preseason game. Folks are excited. They want to see this team win obviously, but I always hate to bring you the bad news. I will believe this until the day I die. Preseason games mean nothing.

August 15, 2011

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Dumb drivers and the flashing yellow light

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but the flashing yellow light near my house is driving me nuts. Maybe it is not the light that causes my frustration as much as the dumb drives it creates.

There is a green flashing light that clears the way for drivers to make a left hand turn. Then it turns yellow and red for about two seconds. Then it turns into a flashing yellow which means you have the right to make the left hand turn when traffic clears. Do you know how many cars inch up when they see the flashing yellow and then they just stop?

They don’t know what to do. So these people  sit there even when traffic clears and wait for the light to go through the cycle again. I thought we were all supposed to take driver’s training before we got our license. Or at the very least do drivers not use common sense while driving?

This light confuses people so much that I’ve only seen a handful of people make the turn on yellow. The rest sit there and pick their noses.  You expect this from old people but I’ve seen drivers of all ages stall and get confused.

I tried blowing my horn a couple of times but nothing works. Now I don’t even want to waste my energy.

Sad about Ernie Harwell and plastic plates?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Tigers

Ernie Harwell in the broadcast booth

My wife got a lump in her throat in the morning. I got mine later that night.

I thought mine was of more interest. I thought her special moment was kind of dumb. But I do understand it as I think back on it. She became sad while throwing away the kids old dishes. I got sad while notifying people of my new email address and former Tiger broadcaster Ernie Harwell’s old email address popped up.

I miss the guy. I miss his voice. I miss his friendship and I miss the way he made fans feel special. There will never be another Ernie Harwell, at least not in my life time. Aside from the wonderful way he painted Tiger games, he made time for everybody.

People can still hang onto memories of him through recordings and by snapping photos of his statue at Comerica Park.  It is not the same but it is all we’ve got.

Just say no even when you are sober

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: driving, Family, Life, Uncategorized

I might have saved my life this morning. Who knows?

My twice a week routine is to make the 40 minute drive from my home to visit trainer Melissa for our 5 am. workout in her Dearborn studio. I am usually semi-wake during the drive and I make sure I am alert by blasting satellite radio in my car. The music and talk is a nice companion.

It was different this morning. At 2 am this morning I was half sleep on my son Little B’s floor trying to keep the peace in the house. My daughter Celine was entertaining her friend Lauren during a sleep over and as often happens the small fry did not want to go to sleep. They were sneaking around at all hours of the night and I finally put a stop to it — or so I thought.

Brandon was sneaking out of his room into the girls’ room. So I acted as police officer and stood guard in his room.

When I woke up for my morning drive my body was shot. I am alert enough to peck out this blog but I know if I drive 40 minutes there and work out for an hour the drive back is going to be brutal. My body will shut down and I will be swerving in rush hour traffic.

So I am just saying no and shutting it down.

The morning I became garbage collection guy

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life, Opinion

Just call me garbage guy

This isn’t something I am proud of, but the other day I became garbage guy.

You know who that is. That is the guy that scouts trash day to see what items they want to scoop up for their own home.  Our trash collection day is Thursday and Wednesday night cars and trucks cruise my neighborhood looking for things to take home. Over the years they’ve taken old computers, children’s clothes and bikes and other things we don’t want.

They pick them up to use, fix up or sell. It is a weekly tradition. If you put something of value out on a Wednesday chances are it is gone before the trash collection the following morning.

I became that guy and was not proud of it. But I was not looking for old clothes or toys. I saw a perfectly sawed and neatly stacked pile of wood in front of two houses. I have a fire pit and love building fire with the children and neighbors. We often go back there at night and shoot the breeze before turning in.

That morning chill means football is near

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports, Tigers

This morning I left the house for my 5 o’clock workout with trainer Melissa and I felt a companion I have not experienced in a while. It was that morning chill and it sure felt good on the face. I stopped outside my house for a moment before getting in the car just to experience a little more of that chill.

It was the first sign that fall is not far behind. It also reminded me of football games in Ann Arbor and East Lansing. The calendar still says summer but for me fall has already begun. I am in football mode and my daughter Celine is in full soccer mode as she plays in her second tournament this weekend in Grand Rapids at the Grand Rapids Crew tournament.

Editors are breathing down my throat for football stories. My vacation has run out at the Detroit News and 971 The Ticket and I’ve been assigned to cover my first football game next week when Michigan State plays host to Youngstown State in a Friday night football opener for both teams.

This is my favorite time of year. It is also a busy time of year for most sports writers. We are fully engaged.

What will make the fall more fun this year is that hopefully the Tigers will make the playoffs and make the Detroit fan base even more electric. It looks like that is going to happen but I remain cautious simply because of the history of this team stalling down the stretch.

But even without the Tigers it is time to get busy. Football is in the air as is that delightful morning chill.

It sure did feel great.

August 24, 2011

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Should we drink around the kids?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

On Wednesday I plan on making a fire in the backyard and enjoy a couple glasses of wine with the neighbors.

I bring this up because the children will be there. My kids will be there along with the neighbor’s three children. It is an end of the summer celebration because we won’t be home the next three weekends because of soccer tournaments for my daughter Celine. We just want to make sure we enjoy the backyard with our friends one more time.

But I am going to do something I normally do not do. That is drink in front of the kids. I don’t know why I am hesitant to do it because parents do it all the time. And I think nothing of it. I do not believe it is strange to see a dad enjoy a beer over dinner with his family at a restaurant. I do not consider him a bad dad for doing it.

I’ve done it but I feel bad so I do not do it very often.

I have a wide range of drinkers in my family. I’ve got alcoholics and social drinkers. My father-in-law does not drink at all. In the past 20 years he’s had two sips of wine. One was at my wife Adrienne’s wedding. And he took another sip when his daughter Denise was married.

I never drink alone at home.  If I am alone by the fire pit I usually drink water. I am no saint because I love going out and shooting the breeze and knocking down a few brews. It is fun. But the kids are usually not around and it is a time and setting for adults.

What is your policy on drinking around the children?

Just curious to see if I am an odd ball or is this the norm?

Michigan is a great sports state

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports, Tigers

This is what makes the Michigan sports scene great.

We have Major League Baseball’s only 20-game winner Justin Verlander on the mound for the Tigers against the Chicago White Sox who will do everything they can to get back into the American League Central Division race.

To the west Michigan State opens its football season with a night game at Spartan Stadium against Youngstown State. Can the Spartans repeat as Big Ten champions and validate what they did last season?

On Saturday Michigan opens the Brady Hoke era with a game against Western Michigan. Will Hoke-a-mania run wild at Michigan Stadium? 

And Lion fans are so giddy heading into next week’s season opener at Tampa Bay, they can taste the Lions butter.

Where else in the country is sport hoping and hopping like this? It is a great feeling and makes this one of the best spots for sports in the United States.  We have every major sport in every major sports league both college and professional. We have sports shows to talk about the teams and great sports bars with big screen televisions to enjoy.

I have a friend who writes sports in the Bay area and he said he is jealous of me and my sports writing collegues in Detroit.

“People there really care,” he told me a while back. “Here you could write the building is on fire and every coach should be fired and nobody cares. It is just different in Detroit.”

In Detroit all you need to do is say good morning on twitter and you start a fire storm. And I like that.

This is a great sports area. Yes, we complain about our teams and Jim Leyland’s line up. The Lions have been frustrating for years and it looks like the Pistons won’t even have the chance to be frustrating this year because of the NBA lockout.

Still, it is fun. Do not take what we have for granted.

September 2, 2011

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Why not say yes to Michigan?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Travel

There is an annual event that is becoming annoying. I love taking my family somewhere in the state of Michigan each summer. We do our big vacation and then we spend three day some place in the state.

We’ve gone to Grand Rapids, Traverse City a couple of times and most recently Mackinaw and Tahquamenon Falls. I love visiting places in my home state and next summer I hope to go to picture rocks in the UP. But here is the annoying thing. I always run into people who want to know how my summer is going.

I tell them and every time I mention visiting Michigan they say “What too cheap to go someplace else?”

It happened again the other day when I told this clown I took the kids to Tahquamenon Falls. The first thing out of his mouth was criticizing me for not taking the kids to Niagera Falls. And he jokingly asked if I were cheap.

What the hell is wrong with saying “Yes to Michigan.” And it is not like Tahquamenon Falls is a two foot drop. It is pretty impressive.

And I told this guy that I’ve been to Niagera Falls several times and I’ve seen water falls in Hawaii, Washington and California. Does this mean that every time I want to see a water spill into a river I have to be a real dad and pack the kids in the car and go out of state or hop in an airplane?

It makes no sense.

I like my state. I know it is struggling. And if I can help it a little bit by dropping my tourist dollars here then I am going to do it. We are taking Celine to Indiana for a soccer tournament this weekend and my wife wanted to go on the trip so she can school shop at an outlet mall in Indiana. I told her to stay home, that if she wants to hit outlet malls we got some nice ones in Birch Run and on the way to Lansing.

I’d rather keep the money in my home state. If that makes me cheap, then so be it.

Child shooting leaves me in bad mood

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life, Parenthood

My weekend was good. I got to see my daugher play soccer in a tournament in Ft. Wayne. Her team won and that made her happy. I got to sneak away with my son for a daddy-son lunch. There were no ladies. No parents. No mommy. Nobody. It was just me and him.

He likes that and so do I.

I write this because I love being with my children and I love that for the most part my children are out of harm’s way. The chances of them being shot by a drive by shooter are slim. I have no baby momma issues and my gang activity never started.

The same cannot be said about that poor Roseville kid who was shot in the head while sleeping next to his mother on a couch. It was a drive by shooting and the bullet was meant for his mother. Instead the innocent kid gets it. Police want to talk to the father of the child to see what he knows.

Stories like this really anger me. The kid harmed no one and although he is expected to survive, his life is scared for life. Our children are shot nationwide. Innocent little things with their dreams and futures shattered by adults who do not care about life or themselves. They shoot random bullets not knowing where they are headed or even why.

The people who listen to the Valenti and Foster Show want to talk about Tigers and division titles and Lions and running backs. I do too. But this story left a scar with me and put me in a bad mood.

Hopefully the child recovers.

Some Lion fans are just plain goofy

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I am a sports writer. My job is to write sports, talk sports and cover Detroit sports.

I sometimes wonder what goes through the minds of people who read me and listen to me on the radio. It is that time of year where some Lion fans make outlandish predictions and I have to do everything within my power not to laugh in their faces. Do they really believe what they say? They sure sound like it.

On Friday I was doing the Valenti and Foster Show by myself when a guy called and said if the Lions win their first six games, which he said was very possible, then they would go 16-0. Today a guy was a little more reasonable. He said the Lions would only go 7-1 through the first half of the season.

What do they base this on? Do you mean to tell me that some people are so gullible that they truly believe a team that went 6-10 last season and returns with no running game, a weak set of linebackers and suspect secondary is the best team in the NFL? You mean to tell me that they leapfrogged Green Bay, New England, Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans in a single bound?

I love sports fans, but where is their prospective? Is being a sports fan simply believing all the time and blindly following a sports team no matter what? It seems like love for a team turns people goofy. Look, I love my daughter and believe she is a good soccer player, but I look at her schedule and see the teams she must play and I am hoping for .500.

I want her to win every game she plays but I know that won’t happen. I people love their Lions. But does sports love turn your brain to mush? Or do people really believe what they say?

September 7, 2011

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Being a soccer parent is tough

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, sports

The family is a little drained now. The kids are sleeping later and going to bed earlier.

We are suffering from soccer fatigue and it won’t be letting up any time soon now. My daughter Celine plays for the Bloomfield Hills Force U-13 team and we got home Sunday night around 10 p.m. from her second straight weekend of soccer. Last weekend her team won a soccer tournament in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Last weekend they tied for second at the Grand Rapids Crew tournament with a 2-1-1 record and this weekend we finally get a break.

Celine is still playing in a soccer tournament but at least it will be home during the Force Invitational in Oakland County.

Kids sports is draining and becoming more grueling and sophisticated. The teams use these tournaments to make teams better and give players experience. And the clubs and towns use them to make money. I know we were good for the Grand Rapids economy because we ate out several times and spent our money in food, hotel and snacks.

The killer was a giant in our business

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

I do not have a heart warming story to share with you about Lions beat writer Tom “Killer” Kowalski. Our relationship was not like that.  It was filled with jabs and one liners.

He made fun of Barack Obama. I made fun of Sarah Palin. He made fun of my radio show. I said his stunk. He made fun of my columns. I told him to stop making things up. Then we’d go out and have a beer.

We never hugged. We never said “you are my best pal.” We were like guys in the dressing room. It was rough. It was frank and our talks were always entertaining. But in time of crisis he’d make sure to say he was sorry and hoped I was doing well. I did the same to him.

The Killer is gone now and it doesn’t make much sense. He was just 51 and I always viewed him as a big and strong guy who’d be with us forever.

The Killer was a giant St. Bernard. He was playful and always had that flask of brandy tied around his neck.  He was also a giant in our business. Mike O’Hara of the Detroit News and Curt Sylvester of the Free Press were the authorities on the Lions for many years while Killer learned from them. Then he became the guy everybody read to find out what was going on.

Pay final tribute to Killer at Cheli’s

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

What a brilliant move. I was wondering where our friend Tom “Killer” Kowalski’s life would be celebrated.

It will take place noon Friday at Cheli’s downtown. It is the perfect spot because if you are in this business chances are you will hit a sports bar at some time. That is where we meet to talk, drink and exchange tales in the dressing room along with bad jokes.

The Killer loved sports bars. He loved dive bars and that is something we held in common. We have a common spot we stop at near our homes called Willsons. It is a place with good food and it has two L’s in everything it does. I went in there to watch a Tigers game and grab a draft and all of a sudden I hear a loud voice say: “This is my bar. This place is not big enough for the both of us.”

It was the Killer holding court at the end of the bar with a big smile and his mustache covered in foam.

“This is my spot pal,” I screamed back. “Could you kindly remove yourself from my bar.”

We laughed and chatted and went about our business.

People in our business use sports bars as a place to unload. I sometimes share a pint with Bob Wojnowski, Chris McCoskey and John Niyo. We don’t do much. We just talk sports and bitch about our jobs — like anybody else.

When it is my time to go please go to your favorite watering hole and have a pint on me. And know this. I wish I were next two you enjoying a cold one with you.

August 31, 2011

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Is it my place to step in?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

How do you tell somebody they’ve got a drinking problem? If indeed they do have a drinking problem.

How do you tell a good guy that his daughter cries because she fears he is hurting himself because of alcohol?

One of my daughter’s best friends has cried to her at least twice over the last three months while talking about her dad and his drinking. He is not a mean spirited drunk. Usually he is in a great mood and makes sure everybody is having a great time. People laugh at his jokes and his singing. He is funny as hell and a great guy.

To be honest I would never think of saying anything to him because I know a few folks who like to tie one on and enjoy themselves. But does this make it different because his daughter is scared for her dad? Does that change things?

Is this a case of a daughter being too sensitive or is there a problem?

I am not his best friend. I am a fringe friend. Is it my place to say something?

My fear is if I do then that friendship will end. The daughters will no longer play with each other and there will be an unspoken tension every time we see each other. I am sure he does not believe he has a problem. And he might view me as some good two shoes getting inside of family business.

How would you handle something like this? You can post here, on my  face book or  twitter account at TerryFoster971.

September 1, 2011

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Black history lessons

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I always enjoy getting black history lessons from white people.

It is often comical and some folks try to tell you that you are out of touch with your own people and I’ve been living in the suburbs too long. It happened two weeks ago when I said there is an unfortunate tone in the inner city where black kids who want to play baseball are sometimes teased because baseball is a “white sport.” In black culture any signs of trying to get out of the hood is frowned upon by some.

I got emails from whites who said that is not true. They said look at Major League Baseball. There are a lot of Hispanic players in the league. Blacks do not look at baseball as a white sport. Never mind that I got my information from kids who are actually teased about playing baseball and said they are going to play any way. And this was not an issue about the reality of the sport. It was about the perception by some people who really don’t know.

I remember a few years ago I said that black kids like to wear NASCAR gear and hockey jerseys.  You should have seen my email. My white friends attacked me because they said you never see blacks at hockey games and at NASCAR events so why would they wear the gear?

I don’t know. Maybe they think it looks cool. I’ve never been to Brazil but I used to wear a Brazilian soccer jersey because I thought it looked cool.

September 15, 2011

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Why I will never forget 911

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion

I blew up on the radio today regarding 9-11. A caller suggested that we mourn too much about the darkest day in my life time. He did not want us to celebrate the date. He wants us to let go.

Sorry, but I cannot do that.

I will never let go of that day. I will never stop thinking about the thousands that lost their lives or the families that were left without fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. It haunted me then and it haunts me today. It is an act of terrorism you cannot simply put into the attic and forget about.

I am still ticked off about that day. It angers me to think someone could be so evil to do something like this. I’ve met men who never let go of Pearl Harbor because they were part of it — and I do not blame them. And I know men who never let go of D-Day. And I do not blame them.

September 8, 2011

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Sportsmanship is still alive

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

My daughter Celine was still groggy after her team, the Bloomfield Hills Force beat the Michigan Gators 1-0 in their soccer game Friday afternoon.

She was going for a header between two players and the two girls missed the ball but both bopped Celine in the head and gave her a big time headache. One of the reasons I am up this morning is I’ve been checking on her to make sure she is OK during her sleep. It was a scary moment because Celine never leaves games, but this time she had to.

She said her head and chest hurt and she immediately wanted to go to sleep in the car. I did not allow her to. But after a couple hours we finally sent her to bed.

The reason for this post is to commemorate one of the girls on the opposing team. I was helping Celine across the street to the car afterwards when the girl popped out of her car and went over to shake Celine’s hand.

“Sorry number 9 about head butting you. Good game.” the girl said.

Celine told her it was OK and she was sorry that the girl got a black eye in the incident.

September 10, 2011

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Puppy love gone wrong

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Today there will be ceremonies all over the country comemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on our country. Locally Wolverine fans are celebrating that amazing victory Saturday night against Notre Dame at Michigan Stadium.

And Lion fans are giddy about the season opener against Tampa Bay. Those are all big stories but I have a bigger crisis in the house.

The boy my 11 year-old daughter Celine liked does not like her any more and would not dance with her at a party Saturday night. The story has taken over the house and tears were shed by mother and daughter.  I saw it, shook my head and left the bedroom where the ladies were having their moment.

I know it is not the end of the world. But a young girl does not know it is the end of the world so I suppose we need to take this seriously. Celine knew something was up when the boy refused to dance with her. She got the news from another girl who I believe the boy likes now.

I remember puppy love. I was in love with Suzanne Parks when I was 10. I did not know how to tell her that. And by the time I worked up the nerve to say something, her family moved away. I was devastated. Why did I like her?

She had wavy hair and it smelled good.

I remember falling in love with Gayle Jones. I liked her all the way until she started liking me then I thought she started smelling like copper pennies for some reason.

Ahh young love.

I do not know how to treat this crisis. I simply won’t make fun or her and maybe I will try the old let’s get some ice cream tactic. I know there will be plenty of boys in her life. This was the first one. I suppose rejection gets easier at some point.

I just don’t know when.

September 11, 2011

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My baby is no longer a baby

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

My daughter Celine turns 12 years old today.

Happy birthday baby. Where did the time go? This was a child I never thought would be born. Now she is one year from being a teenager. I still remember the little outfit I bought for her before her birth. I did not know if my first child was a boy or a girl but as soon as I got the news I dashed to Baby’s R us and bought a yellow outfit that would be appropriate for either sex. I was that thrilled.

I remember the day she was born. We read books that said you should play music and talk to your baby when she is in mother’s stomach. I spoke to her every night. I was in the delivery room the day she was born. She came out crying and I was allowed to wheel her back to the room. I told Celine welcome to the world and that daddy was here. She stopped crying and looked at me as if to say: “So that is the guy who has been talking to me all these weeks.”

Now she is a very bright A student who is a very good soccer player with a big mouth and bright ideas who speaks . I know I am already losing her because she does not like hanging out with daddy as much. It is something people warned me about but I still cherish every day with her.

September 14, 2011

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Bad boy in a wheel chair

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

I don’t know what happened, but the Bad Boy came out in me Thursday night. That’s when I flattened a wheelchair basketball player during the DMC charity wheelchair game hosted by Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Did I apologize and feel badly about it? Nope. I smiled.

It wasn’t the most professional thing to do but I was in a mischievous mood. This young kid with lightening quick wheel skills was trying to drive the paint and I remembered the words of former Bad Boy Piston Rick Mahorn.

“Nobody drives the lane unpunished.”

So I nudged my wheelchair to the side, caught the tail end of his wheel to stop him and my man went sprawling.

Opps. My bad.

September 23, 2011

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The lost keys

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

My life is haunted. I am convinced it is.

For example, I lost my house keys the other day. I have no idea where they are. I thought I placed them in my car because I need them to get into my office at the radio station. But they are not in my car. They are not on the hook I put them on every time I come into the house.

They are gone. Vanished. They have been removed from the face of the Earth. And I’ve looked everywhere they could possibly be. But I am not worried. I know they will show up. They will be in some obvious place — like the end of my finger. They’ve been there all along but I just can’t see them now. I can actually hear my keys laughing at me.

Things disappear in my life. My license. My wallet. My keys. My photo identification. They grow legs and disappear. And guess what? They return to my life like the angry kid that runs away from home but changes his mind.

September 16, 2011

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My lonely stalker

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Once upon a time I had a stalker. She was a woman who lived on the west side of Detroit and for whatever odd reasons she believed that I was sending her messages of love to her in my sports stories in The Detroit News.

She’d write long rambling letters pulling quotes from my stories thanking me for thinking of her. It was innocent at first but then she began calling the sports department trying to get my home address and phone number. She used a variety of tricks but thankfully nobody gave her the information.

She began looking at date lines. If my story said I was East Lansing she’d travel up there looking for me. She made a trip to Ann Arbor after reading a column of mine about the University of Michigan. I knew she was there because she sent voice mails on my Detroit News phone saying she was looking for me.

This continued for months. It was suggested that I call the police but I did not want this woman arrested or threatened. I just figured she was some lonely woman who didn’t have much going on in life. I never met her or talked to her but I felt sorry for her. I mean who writes 10 handwritten letters on the front and back?

Finally, I talked to former Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas whose had the same problem. He gave me the name of a private detective who ended things. He went to her house and gave her a note that said if she did not stop legal actions would be taken against her.

The letters and phone calls stopped.

I wonder what happened to this woman. Is she still alone? Is she still even alive? And I wonder what messages of love she was finding in a Michigan-Wisconsin game story.

September 17, 2011

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Hoping for good times with our big cats

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports, Tigers

We survived Matt Millen and Randy Smith.

The Lions made its fans go through an 0-16 season and the Tigers threatened to match the worst record in Major League Baseball history. This town’s big cats have given their fans big time headaches and this town did not deserve it. Our economy is in the tank and too many of our people are looking for jobs.

Now it is time for this town to lose itself in the Lions and Tigers. Hopefully the big cats can come through and deliver. The Tigers already are. They clinched their first division title since 1987 and it looks like they will play either the Boston Red Sox or Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series. It is a team we doubted right up until three critical moves landed it Wilson Betemit, Doug Fister and Delmon Young.  Now the Tigers are title contenders rather than a middle of the road team.

Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski made nice moves that could help the Tigers for years to come.

The Lions are showing so much hope. They are professional in the front office and talented on the field. It is still too early to annoint them anything but a team filled with potential. However, they made a nice step with a road win at Tampa and it has created a lot of excitement headed into today’s home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

General Manager Martin Mayhew has been a godsend compared to Millen.

The big cats cannot erase all of our problems. But they can make life a tad bit happier. They can make us laugh and cheer and share special moments with each other.

Let’s hope for much success for the Lions and Tigers. This fan base deserves it.

September 18, 2011

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Here’s to lobster tails and fun tailgates

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

My friends Sir Richard and JB moved their tailgate from close the Eastern Market to a parking lot near Comerica Park. They invited me to stop by for a bite to eat before covering the Lions 48-3 demolition of the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at Ford Field.

It was the best decision of the week for me. It is always good to see the couple and I got to meet some local auto execs and their usual band of brothers from the Eastern suburbs. But the menu was unexpected. My choice of main entree was lobster tails or juicy steaks. Now that is a heck of a choice.

I could not decide, but eventually went with the lobster tail because I had not enjoyed one in so long. It was delicious.

I do not get to tailgate much. I am usually rushing into games just trying to make kickoff. I sometimes walk by tailgates and people offer food but I feel guilty accepting food from strangers. They work hard for their tailgate and I do not want to impose. I would love to host a tailgate someday but I am usually covering games for the newspaper and do not have time.

September 19, 2011

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The fall does not chase me indoors

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Tuesday was a perfect day.

Clear blue skies. Nice temperature and no wind. That is why I ignored my craving for Asian food and ate outdoors for lunch at Bravo’s in Livonia. And here is what I don’t understand. Why was I the only person to do so? Everybody else ate indoors.

I love eating outdoors but everything has to be perfect. It cannot be too hot. It cannot be too cold. It cannot be too wet and the bugs must leave me in peace. All of those factors fell into play and I really enjoyed my grill salmon. I know I won’t be outdoors today because thunder storms are headed our way.

I spoke to my waiter several times and he said he was stunned that more people were not outside. But I have a theory. Some people refuse to come outside after Labor Day. It does not matter how nice the day is. My wife Abs is one of those people. It could be 80 degrees in October but she claims there is a chill in the air and she won’t eat or hang out outside unless she is watching our kids play weekend soccer.

September 21, 2011

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Who stole Ernie’s glasses?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports, Tigers

What kind of sicko steals the glasses off of Ernie Harwell’s statue at Comerica Park?

And why did it take so long for this to hit the public? I heard about it the other day in Neal Rubin’s Detroit News column. I spoke to a guy who said he took a photo of the statue way back on June 25 and the glasses were missing. There was Internet banter but it did not hit the mainstream media until recently.

Now the glasses are back on Harwell’s face after a public outcry. This isn’t right and it better not happen again. What do we have to do? Must we stand vigilante over the statue 24 hours a day like Michigan State students do with Sparty during Michigan-Michigan State week?

Harwell is Tiger fans Rosa Parks and he is not to be messed with. He was a broadcasting pioneer and we can still hear his voice while sitting in the backyard swatting mosquitoes while listening to Tiger games from the west coast.

September 22, 2011

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My favorite downtown hangouts for sporting events

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Lions and Tiger fans will have a great time the next week. There are Tiger games at Comerica Park and the big Monday Night Football game with the Lions next Monday at Ford Field. Many will come downtown to attend the games. Thousands more will come downtown and not go to the game. Instead they will opt to watch games at establishments downtown.

Here are my favorite spots to watch Lions and Tiger games. Who knows. You might bump into me.

HARRY’S DETROIT: I love this place. The food is a step above bar quality. There is an outdoor deck on the second level and the downstairs gets jammed. For big events Harry opens the parking lot. Try the burgers and there is also a nice salmon for those trying to watch their figures.

BOOKIES:  Sometimes Bookies is out of my league. That is when the young kids show up and want to dance their butts off. Usually they are upstairs on the deck so I stay down below for a nice beer selection and their chicken salad sandwich.

THE WELL:  Nice looking women, which is important. And it has a strange but inviting deck sort of in front. It is heated so you can hang out there most of the year. It is just a friendly place with down home people.

NEMOS: Some of the best burgers around. But remember to go to the back to get them. This is a very simple, old school bar that lacks frills. But it remains one of the best places to go. It is near Tiger Stadium so you can play a quick game on the old field before enjoying a brew.

CHELIS CHILI BAR: The place is huge. Some folks struggle to get to the third level outdoor deck but it is worth the climb especially during fire works. Try the chili loaded. And don’t be surprised if the guy drinking next to you is Chris Chelios, Kid Rock or some old time Red Wing.

Cheese whiz on nachos could ax Louie’s

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion

If I get bad service or bad food I place a restaurant on my banned list. I never go there again.

Hogans in Birmingham is on my banned list because they served me chicken with gravy and said it was chicken marsala and would only give me a second entree if I paid for it. Jim Brady’s on Southfield is on my banned list because I ordered a steak medium well and it came medium rare. I asked for it to be cooked more and they stuck it in the microwave.

Banned.

Now Bar Louie’s might be next after the cheese whiz incident. But I might give it a second chance because I made a critical mistake. Here is the story. You let me know if I should ban the place.

I was in a bad mood Saturday after Central Michigan laid an egg to Michigan State in a lopsided game in East Lansing. I went to Louie’s for a beer and to watch the Tigers and college football. I ordered chicken nachos. Here is my mistake. I alway ask if nachos are made with cheese whiz or melted cheese. I did not this time because my mind was elsewhere.

And I didn’t notice the cheese whiz until after taking a few bites. When I got that cheese whiz taste I was immediately turned off. The whiz wasn’t even warm.

Gross. Who the heck puts cheese whiz on nachos and charges $11 for it?

I told the bartender the story and said the food was not good. His response was the queso cheese was home made and they do a great job of making it every day. First of all how is something home made when it is made in a restaurant? And I just did not buy that story. I am convinced it was from a can because it tasted bad.

So I am thinking I did not like his explanation. I did not like the food. Should I ban this place?

I love natchos but do not eat them often because of my lifestyle change. So when I get something I don’t eat often I am upset when I waste calories. It is a wasted meal that I need to work off in the gym.

So what do you think? Do I ban Louie’s or give it a second chance?

Please post here or on my face book page of my twitter page at TerryFoster971.

September 25, 2011

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The nervous Tigers fan

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports, Tigers

Sometimes I enjoy studying people. I was watching the final inning of the Tigers 14-0 victory Monday night over the Cleveland Indians and there was a lone woman who studied the game as if she were manager Jim Leyland.

It was obvious that the Tigers were going to win the game after breaking loose for eight runs in the eighth inning. But this woman seemed nervous. You’d have thought it was a 2-1 game with two outs and the bases loaded.

What was going through her mind? And why was she so nervous? She was not an attractive woman and my guess is Tigers baseball is all she had. She dressed in a large Miguel Cabrera T-shirt, had on sweat pants and some funky looking shoes. And I think she had a mustache. 

The Tigers seemed to be her life and she was a fan that lived and died on every pitch, even if the pitches didn’t mean much. When the final out was recorded she breathed a sigh of relief and clapped for the American League Central Division champions.

Most people were downing their final beers before the final out and were already talking about victory. She was nervous to the last pitch.

Are you like this as a fan? Is it never over til its over?

September 27, 2011

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Ready to put on my dancing shoes

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I am so ready for this.

I am ready to tear up the dance floor Friday during The Dancing with the Local Stars event at the San Marino Club. I did my first public dance Wednesday night at the Amber House in Warren and it went well. It was great to play off the crowd and feel the vibe of the crowd. My dance partner Melissa Rollins has done a great job. There were no flaws which was amazing.

I cannot wait to get on the big stage Friday before 900 people who hopefully will cheer and not jeer. I plan on a great performance. Mentally that is what I am thinking and Wednesday night really helped. I knew I’d become lethargic in practices. I knew the routine too well and I did not give as much energy. I needed a crowd.

We have a couple of complicated parts of the dance and it was good to hear the crowd response when we got to do. The people there were also very nice and gave solid advice afterwards. They are all dancers. Some are learning to dance. Others are competing in dance competitions.

One guy said to play to the crowd and smile. I did.

One woman said to “shake that booty.” I told her I will dedicate the first booty shake to her.

I want to prove to my kids that I can do this. Celine and Brandon shake their heads every time I mention the dance. They won’t even read the column that is in today’s Detroit News. They do not believe and they think I will be the second coming of Master P. I won’t be that.

I am energized and excited and I cannot wait to hit the stage Friday. If nothing else maybe I can prove to my kids that I am not a total goof.

September 29, 2011

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Racism comes in all colors

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion

Ugly comes in all colors. It comes in black and white, red and green, pink and purple.

I got called a nigger, coon and shuffling black bastard all in the same day. It happened in the same hour as a matter of fact. It would have bothered me a few years ago. Now I am used to it.

So what mean and nasty thing did I do? I train with a white woman. And I dance with a white woman and obviously some people have a problem with it.

The first message came from a black trainer in Detroit who claims he works at Power House gym. He is angry that I train with Melissa Borden who has a gym in Dearborn. You should have heard his voice. He was so angry he could barely speak. But he called me a sell out. He said women don’t know how to train a man and that I was “better off fat than thinner.” He said at least when I was fat and out of shape I had some integrity.

This is not the first time I’ve heard this. I’ve now been contacted by five black trainers who are angry with my choice of trainers. The funny thing is nobody came to my aid when I really needed them. I had back problems and posted it on facebook. I even missed a radio show because the pain was so severe. Melissa volunteered to help. She has some technique to ease the pain. It worked. She helped. She became my girl after that.

October 10, 2011

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Why the Tigers will beat the New York Yankees

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports, Tigers

Here is why the Tigers will beat the New York Yankees in the first round of the American League playoffs.

** Justin Verlander can pitch two times in five games. That means 40 percent of the series will be pitched by the best pitcher in baseball.

** Doug Fister will pitch Game 2. That means 60 percent of Tiger games will be started by the best one-two punch in the American League.

** Manager Jim Leyland won’t be resting players.

** Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is no longer on the juice. You don’t hear anybody talking about him breaking Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record any more.

** Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta is a modern murders row that can dominate and intimidate.

** You don’t have to start Phil Coke  or Brad Penny every fifth day.

** Alex Avila stud. Russell Martin is not.

** Even Peralta has better range than Derek Jeter.

September 30, 2011

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This dancer was no star in the judges’ eyes

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I know this isn’t the way to feel. But I was stunned, embarrassed and a little bit pissed off that I did not at least place in the top three during Dancing with the Local Stars Friday night. I really believed Melissa and I had a top three performance. To be honest I thought the competition came down to me and Amy Lange of Fox 2 and Mrs. Michigan Annette Kelly. They placed in the top two but I was beat out by Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.

The judges saw it differently than I did and you must respect the views of the judges because they know more about dancing than I do. But there was a small consolation. I was the people’s choice and that makes you feel good. That is better than getting a trophy and doing a victory lap.

I know I will be made fun of by people who were not there and they will say I cannot dance and I was a total embarrassment. But I really felt good about what we did.

After our performance we got a very loud cheer and a number of the competitors said: “congratulations. You won this.” One woman who has danced for years told me: “I’d be stunned if you didn’t win this. You guys were great. You were a crowd favorite.”

October 1, 2011

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I lost my best friend — my cell phone

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

What is the most important thing in life after religion, family and health?

It’s your cell phone of course. I know that because I lost mine either Tuesday night after Game 3 of the Tigers game or Wednesday morning. I think it is in the house. But it could also be in a downtown parking lot. I really don’t know. But what I do know is the cell phone cripples your life.

I have 400 contacts and I only know five numbers by heart. Friends both near and dear and on the fringe are gone. I do not know any body’s phone number because you program them into this computer/text machine/phone and slash life support system.

Now I see why people clutch cell phones as if life depends on it. In a way it does. In a cell phone we carry around our inner circle, work, schedules and everything else. These things contain our lives in them. And when we lose them there is a big hole.

October 13, 2011

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Homeless benefit by Lions MNF Game

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

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.

October 11, 2011

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A peaceful outdoor meal in the middle of Tiger mania

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

I got to take a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of my life by enjoying a chicken shawarma at Al’s Paradise Cafe near Harmony Park in downtown Detroit.

The best thing is I got to eat out doors and not even the street bums bothered me for money. I needed a good meal and a place filled with peace and quiet. As I drove downtown to cover the Tigers-Texas Rangers game I did not know where to go. I stopped at Bookie’s but the bar was on jam so I left. The same with Harry’s Detroit. There were too many people and I didn’t know when I’d get my meal because I knew the kitchen was on jam.

I needed to cover the game for The Detroit News.

Then the light bulb hit me. Al’s is the spot.  I walked past thousands of Tiger fans, order the shawarma and sat at one of only two out door tables. I was the only person there. The weather was great and it felt great. Now and then a group of fans headed to the game would walk by. Some looked at this dive of a place, then looked at me and wondered why I would stop and eat someplace like this?

Some recognized me and said hi and boombaye.

October 12, 2011

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How I put up with Mike Valenti. Take a puff my friends

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

After the Lions 25-19 loss a group of guys stopped me while I walked to my car and started a conversation. One guy was a Michigan fan and he went into a drunken tirade about my radio partner Mike Valenti.

“You tell that (bleep) that Jack is sick and tired of his Sparty act. I hate that guy, but I gotta listen. How in the hell do you put up with doing a radio show with him? That bleep pisses me off every day.”

It is the question I get all the time. How do I put up with doing a show with Mike Valenti? I am getting it all the time in the aftermath of Michigan State beating Michigan a fourth straight time and with the William Gholston punching incident where Mike has defended his school and gone right after the Wolverines.

So how do I put up doing a show with Mike? Here is my standard answer.

Medical marijuana.

October 21, 2011

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I was wrong about Delmon Young.

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

When you are on the front lines of opinion you are going to be wrong at times.

That would be me today. I called for the Tigers to bench left fielder Delmon Young after he went 0-for-4 again during Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. He is injured, looked slow and appeared to be on his last leg.

I also did not like his poor at bat when runners were at first and third, a play that resulted in Miguel Cabrera being thrown out at the plate. Thankfully Tigers manager Jim Leyland ignored my advice and played Young anyway. Not that he listens any way.

Young responded with two home runs in leading the Tigers to a 7-5 victory over the Texas Ranger forcing a Game 6 in Arlington. I’ve gotten a bunch of emails from Tiger fans making fun of me and I deserve it. But I am glad I wrote what I did.

Sometimes the written word inspires. I am not saying this is the case here but sometimes when you get called out you respond better. Or maybe the team did more to prepare Young for the game. Who knows?

The bottom line is the Tigers won and the season continues. They are two wins from the World Series. And of course they are one loss from packing it in. I suspect that Young will play Saturday and Leyland has my full endorsement — not that he needs it or will listen to it.

October 14, 2011

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Tigers, Wolverines, Spartans and the final dance

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

I am not sure how much Tigers talk we will generate on Monday’s Valenti and Foster Show. I don’t know how angry, sad or glad people will be. I promise not to fall for the trap of trashing the team following Saturday’s 15-5 Game 6 loss that sent the Texas Rangers to the World Series and the Tigers home.

The Tigers gave us a very nice season and at the end were running on fumes, heart and duct tape. The Rangers were the better team and deserved all they got. The Tigers on the other hand gave it all they got. The Rangers every day line up and their bull pen was head and shoulders ahead of the Tigers.

They are also used to winning in the post season after clinching their second consecutive World Series berth.

Human nature causes people to bitch and complain when their favorite team loses. I won’t. I promise

** I was prouder of the Tigers in defeat than Michigan State in victory. Michigan State was the better team during its 28-14 victory over Michigan. The Spartans are bigger, faster, more talented and are no body’s little brother after a fourth straight victory.

But they sure play dumb and dirty at times. I understand it is a rivalry game and you want to stomp the Wolverines into the turf. I have no problem with that. But there were too many punches, neck twists, taunts, and illegal body smashes. I wasn’t sure if I were watching Big Ten football or Big Time wrestling.

** Yes, Denard Robinson was terrible against the Spartans. But coach Brady Hoke and his coaching staff did not do their players any favors with some of their bone-headed decisions. You do play action on fourth and inches? You get the ball in the final minutes with a chance to tie and you pass into the teeth of a blitz with a quarterback that could not pass to save his life?

It is not fashionable to criticize Hoke because he is Michigan’s new hotness.  I will simply say Hoke-a-mania has had better days.

** This time I did not get robbed. I did not win Dancing with our Local Stars Saturday night at the Townsend Hotel and I did not deserve to win. My opponents were better and I was off my game. I felt fine until the end where I made a mistake that proved costly. I wanted to kick myself.

The funny thing is I did not want to win for myself on Saturday. I wanted to win for my dance instructor Melissa Rollins who is trying to climb up the ladder with more established dance instructors. She is an amazing teacher and I feel that I failed her.

In my heart of hearts I deserved second or third in the first event.  I got robbed in that event. In this one I got what I deserved.

I am now officially retired.

October 16, 2011

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Let’s get Slammin Schwartz and Hammering Harbaugh in steel cage match

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I do not blame Lions coach Jim Schwartz for going after Jim Harbaugh.

You don’t bounce up on a coach after a tough loss, smack his hand and then bang him in the back like that. It was a rookie mistake by Harbaugh who was so happy to see the San Francisco 49ers pound out a 25-19 victory over the Lions Sunday at Ford Field.

Harbaugh looked like a school boy afterwards. He reminded me of Dick Vitale after a rare Pistons victory when he coached here. You don’t do that to an opposing coach. This game is so emotional that I know for a face The Schwartz was not in the best of moods when walking off the field. He was probably angry and a bunch of plays and situations ran through his head as he ran off the field.

The dude is a competitor and you don’t accept losing well even when you are 5-1 and coaching a good football team.

Some people question the Schwartz fist pump. How is that different? That is easy. Schwartz does the fist pump off his sideines away from the opposing coach. He’s been respectful during the handshake process. This time The Schwartz was not very respectful after Harbaugh’s antics.

I don’t blame him. You don’t act a fool and expect to get away with it. I like that Schwartz went after him. And you know what? I’d go to a pay per view cage match between Harbaugh and Schwartz.

Who you got your money on?

October 17, 2011

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A quiet 13th wedding anniversary

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

We met for the first time at Caribou Coffee in Royal Oak.

I noticed she had long legs, a nice smile and a pony tail when she walked in. She sat near me and I struck up a conversation with a woman I’d later call Abs. She’d become my wife. On Monday Abs and I celebrated 13 years of marriage with a quiet dinner and bottle of wine in the family dining room.

Our kids Celine, 12, and Brandon, 9, were told to stay upstairs and read while we enjoyed a quiet moment and conversation. They didn’t even sneak down once.

October 18, 2011

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Lions bring tidal wave of fear and joy

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion, sports

From the Denver Post

Must we go through this every week with the Lions?

Must we hear panic after every loss and Super Bowl talk after every win? It is amazing how the tidal wave of fear turns into a sea of confidence after every win. A few days ago I heard how the Lions might not win another game following a two-game losing streak. Now after Sunday’s 45-10 victory at Denver against the Broncos, all is well with the world as the Lions motor into the bye week 6-2.

 The one thing we get this week is peace and quiet. The Lions are on the bye week which means next Sunday is going to be pretty boring around here. Does the NFL even continue when the Lions don’t play? I guess we find out Sunday.

However, I love the passion of fans around here. We even saw it during the Matt Millen era. It was very bleak when the Lions lost game after game after game. But after every win people saw signs of rebirth. Of course it never happened. And it wasn’t going to happen as long as Millen was around.

I remember during the Millen era I was having dinner at the Champps in Sterling Heights. This woman was staring at me and I’m thinking “the old man still has it. This woman is giving me the goofy eye.” Well she wasn’t giving me the goofy eye. It was the hate eye. Her boy friend came over and said “that is my girlfriend and she hates you because she thinks you are too rough on the Lions.”

October 31, 2011

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Big Blue is back

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Sound the trumpets.  Blow the horns.

Big Blue is back.

I am declaring the Michigan football program back on solid footing again thanks to the headless headset man Brady Hoke. You cannot ignore that Michigan is 9-2 after a 45-17 demolition of Nebraska. You cannot keep saying they did not play anybody.  They’ve played everybody placed before them and the only blemishes came to Michigan State and Iowa. That’s not bad.

And that is a pretty quick turn around from the Rich Rodriguez era. You can credit Hoke who removed the mental blur that placed this program into a funk. The Wolverines are still not very talented. I still hear Michigan fans complain about quarterback Denard Robinson and say the offense is no good. They still question the defense’s individual talent but you cannot deny what it has done as a whole.

Michigan is back to threatening for Big Ten titles. Michigan is back to winning nine games or more. Michigan is back to being an intimidating force. Now Michigan can validate that with a victory over Ohio State, a team that is struggling still from the tattoo fall out that side tracked the program.

Michigan should beat Ohio State. Michigan will beat Ohio State.

And when that happens who is going to stand up and say the program is not back? You have no choice but to admit it even if you are a Spartan.

November 20, 2011

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Dirty birds suffer from foot in mouth disease

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Will somebody please place a muzzle on the Atlanta Falcons. I am tired of their talk. Two weeks after the fact, the dirty birds are still talking about Ndamukong Suh and the Detroit Lions.

Enough already.

Now Falcons full back Ovie Mughelli is running his trap, speaking half truths, and spouting second hand conversations as if he were on the field. And the man flat out lied about Suh.

“Don’t get me wrong we were talking right back at the Lions, but to question a guys injury after you’ve nearly ripped his head off is ridiculous,” Mughelli said.

Suh nearly ripped Ryan’s head off?

November 2, 2011

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I am a proud hero

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Uncategorized

My son Little B is the student of the week in his fourth grade class room and one of the things he had to do was create a newspaper page on his summer and his life.

I helped him write a story about our summer trip to the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island and cut out a photo of him for the main piece of art. He’d already worked on the other part of the page and one section was title “My hero.”

He chose me and to be honest I got a little tear in my eyes when he read it. He bypassed all the Hollywood actors and singers he likes. He didn’t chose a Detroit Lion or Tiger. He went with dad.

“My dad is my hero because he taught me how to play soccer and he works with me in the backyard,” B wrote. “He also taught me basketball, football and baseball. He goes to all my games and I like being with him. He also writes good stories for the newspaper.”

November 3, 2011

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Sorry blue. Michigan did not get screwed

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Michigan never loses football games. The Wolverines either run out of time or get screwed by the officials.

It happened again following the Wolverines 24-16 loss to Iowa Saturday afternoon.  Wolverine fans are complaining about the incomplete pass to Junior Hemingway near the end of the game that hurt is chances to pull off a miracle comeback.

So the question is did Michigan get screwed as many fans say? The answer is no. And I actually disagree with the reason why. Hemmingway’s knee hit the ground inbounds but the ball hit the ground also. So even though Hemingway had the ball, the fact is the nose of the ball touched the ground.

When it happened I was standing next to a Michigan fan who was screaming “touchdown” during the replay review. I told him officials were not going to call it a touchdown because the ball was exposed in his hands and that it touched the ground although he held onto the ball.  This play has been called over and over in the NFL and college football. It even happened in the New York  Jets- Buffalo Bills game on Sunday.

November 7, 2011

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Lions loss brings out the doom and gloom

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Detroit News photo

Why is it that every time the lions lose that my voice mail and twitter is filled with extreme bouts of the blues? After every loss people predict that they will revert to the old Lions, finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs. It happened again Sunday when the Lions were throttled 37-13 by the Chicago Bears.

It was a nasty game that turned shortly after the first play. But you knew it was not going to be the Lions day when Julius Peppers cloths lined Calvin Johnson and caused a fumble. I was listening to the NFL Network this morning and they said that will definitely be a fine. If that is the case why was it not a penalty and Lions ball?

The Lions were dreadful but that play seemed to define the game. They never recovered from that and six turnovers and a pretty good brawl later the Lions found themselves tied with the Bears at 6-3. The only good news is the team remains in the playoffs but must hold off Atlanta, one game back, and a host of other teams.

I never expected the Lions to be this bad. In fact I thought they would win. I am serious. They were coming off the bye week. The Bears were coming off a Monday Night Football game at Philadelphia. The Lions should have been refreshed. Instead it looked like a team still on vacation.

However, the Carolina game is a new day and I do not believe momentum carries over from game to game. They are 16 separate chapters. It is a game the Lions should win. If they don’t then those 8-8 doomsayers might be on to something.

November 14, 2011

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We all love our winning football teams no matter what

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

I’ve heard from a bunch of people who say that if they were Penn State fans they would refuse to show up for Saturday’s Big Ten show down against Nebraska.

Of course these are mostly Michigan and Michigan State fans. I simply don’t buy that. There will be more than 100,000 people in Happy Valley for the game. The bottom line is this is college football and people root for their school no matter what. If a coach were involved in a sex scandal at Michigan the Big House would be packed with 110,000 people and there would be 76,000 at Spartan Stadium if the same happened in East lansing.

We always ask for others to act above board when we are not willing to do the same.

Look what happened Tuesday night. Penn State students showed up at head coach Joe Paterno’s door step and gave him a rousing display of support. They still believe in him. College head coaches are kings. They rule the schools they coach. They make more money than the college president and they often are the faces of the universities.

It is time for Joe Pa to move on for more reasons than this sex scandal involving his old defensive coordinator. But until that happens he is the king of Happy Valley.

Many people defend their programs. If the Detroit News or Free Press ran a story about sexual scandal at Michigan most Michigan fans would initially want to shoot the messenger than look into the accusations. They see big blue rebounding and they don’t want to see that derailed.

November 9, 2011

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Why do they protect the guilty in Detroit?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

Here is another maddening reason why living in Detroit stinks sometimes.

My cousin Miss Boots was robbed this week. She left to go to the store after work and when she came back her television was gone along with some jewelry.  The person knew exactly when she was leaving and timed it perfectly to pull off the heist.

It isn’t just the robbery that is maddening. The sick part is everybody knows who did it. There is a 14 year old boy who my cousin hired a few days ago to do some work for her. he cased the place and knew the back door was vulnerable. She knows he did it. The neighbors know he did it and even the grand parents of the boy know he did it.

My cousin filed a police report and accused the boy of  being the burglar. But nobody is going to step forward and finger the little punk. people in Detroit continue to protect the guilty.

November 13, 2011

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Great customer service trumps bad burger

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

A few weeks ago I told the story of the cheese whiz nachos at Bar Louie’s in Novi. I was told by a bartender that the nachos were delicious. I ordered them and was disappointed to see them splattered with cheese whiz. I told him the cheese whiz nachos did not taste good and he kind of shrugged like ”too bad”" and explained that everybody else liked them and that this was a home made recipe. I did not like the way the bartender handled it so I have not been back since.

And it is a place I visited quite frequently because it is a fun spot to watch games.

Last weekend a bartender handled things the right way. I went to O’Toole in Waterford for a burger. Their burgers have always been delicious so I decided to enjoy one while watching the Red Wings play.  The burger tasted funny. I don’t know if it was the seasoning or if it were the burger itself. But it didn’t taste like the O’ Toole’s burger I’d had before.

“I can tell you are not enjoying your burger,” she said. ‘What’s wrong?”

I explained that the burger did not taste right and that it was a little dry. She offered to bring me another dish. She asked questions about the burger, apologized and took the burger off my bill. I felt like she really cared and her customer service was superb.  I will return. I won’t order the burger but I promise to return and try one of the new dishes she said the restaurant will parade out in a few days. 

November 15, 2011

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Two games for Suh sounds about right

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Here is why Ndamukong Suh did not get the book thrown at him from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell does not believe Suh is part of thug nation. Suh has had five violations in two years and if this were Pacman Jones or James Harrison he would have gotten the book thrown at him. Instead Goodell suspended Suh two games for his stomp of Green Bay Packers offensive guard Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Suh got his sentence reduced even before he turned into The Stomper. He met with Goodell in New York earlier this season and I am always convinced that it is more difficult to levy huge penalties to someone you meet than someone you do not know. Goodell and Suh did not become friends that day but they became names and faces, flesh and blood.

Goodell got to see the softer side of Suh. He saw that he is intelligent and thoughtful and really wanted to know what he did wrong. He knew Suh. And Suh called Goodell Sunday night to express his regrets.

Was it public relations?

Probably.

But I am convinced he conveyed his remorse and Goodell bought it. I also believe Goodell knows Suh can be helped and can become an asset to the league. Some of these other guys he’s probably privately given up on. If you suspend Suh for four games you could lose him.

Suh is as smart off the field as he dumb on the field. The result was a reduced sentence and another chance. Let’s hope this is the last of it. The only regret is that the NFL did not imose anger management classes. I’ve spoken to some NFL players who believe that is exactly what he needs.

There is something not right about Suh. The two game suspension might shock him into acting right, but I am not certain it will cut to the heart of the problem.

November 29, 2011

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Big John is no longer with us

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

I was at a funeral home last night.

Big John died and it was sad.

Big John was obviously big and he was nice and caring and his death came all too soon. Big John was 54 years old, just two years older than me, and he died of a heart attack. He is the fifth man in the past two years that I know who died in their 50s from a heart attack. This is getting too close to home and the numbers are just too high for me to comprehend.

Big John had two daughters. One is a sophomore in high school. The other is a sophomore in college and they were not ready to say good bye. I have two children ages 12 and nine and I want to see their wedding day. That of course is not guaranteed but I am doing everything I can to make sure it happens.

November 22, 2011

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It is time to enjoy the biggest bar night

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I am debating whether to enjoy the biggest bar night of the year. I might have to work the Red Wings tonight and may peak my head in some place afterwards just to experience it.

I never go out on the biggest bar night because there are usually too many people stuffed into places. It sounds like fun. It sounds like an opportunity to meet new people and laugh and sing and all that good stuff. But where do you go?

I am not into those high roller bars with the big prices and the fake talk. I like more cozy spots with music and down to Earth people. I like a burger and a beer, not sushi and saki. I’d rather cozy up and talk to somebody with a real life rather than somebody living a fairy tale experience.

In other words I am more into dive than jive.

I never liked dance clubs. You cannot talk and I have always been shy about asking somebody to dance. And quite often I did not want to dance any way even when I was a so called dancer.

My favorite times in a bar is sitting at the corner of a bar, surrounded with people and talking every day life. There would be pretty women around to marvel at and sometimes flirt with. There would be guys around who love sports and love to talk. We’d have nachos (no cheese whiz), appetizers, beers and an occasional shot to something that does not make sense.

“Hey man how about a toast for people with big noses?”

“Salute!”

November 23, 2011

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Suh should be suspended

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Detroit News photo

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has done as much as anybody to polish his image and be a positive role model off the field.

He’s worked just as hard on the field to ruin it.

The only good thing about his stomping incident of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith is that he apologized 24 hours later after one of the most lame excuses in sports. Suh said he was trying to disengage from Dietrich-Smith. Nobody bought that excuse.

I mean nobody. I ran into so many disapppointed Suh fans at the state football finals. People hated the incident. And they hated that Suh lied about it.

He stomped on the arm of Dietrich-Smith. It was plain and simple. Suh cannot lie to his fans. He cannot lie to the media. People are not stupid.

He should be suspended a game by the NFL.  It is hard to argue if the league wants to add on more games.

November 26, 2011

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Spartans more deserving of BCS game than Michigan

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Detroit News photo

Tonight is the BCS Bowl selection show and Michigan is expected to get a berth in a BCS bowl, perhaps the Sugar Bowl. And Michigan State won’t.

If that happens it would be a terrible mistake because Michigan State (10-3) is more deserving of a BCS game than Michigan (10-2).  Both teams played terrific football but if this is about honoring the better team then the Spartans are the obvious choice.

Here is why.

** Michigan State beat Michigan head to head 28-14 for its fourth straight victory over blue. It was the first time Michigan belonged on the same field with the Spartans in a while, but it was evident who the better team was. Michigan hung with the Spartans until the end mostly because the Spartans decided to play thug ball and nearly penalized itself out of victory.

** Michigan State earned the right to play in the Big Ten title game. Michigan did not. Before the Spartans lost a nailbiter Saturday night you’d find few people who’d say Michigan was more deserving than the Spartans. So you punish MSU for accomplishing something every team in the conference began the season fighting for?

** At the end of the season Michigan fought tooth and nail and won a terrific home game against 6-6 Ohio State. Michigan State lost a tooth and nail neutral site game against 11-2 Wisconsin, which is headed to the Rose Bowl.

** Michigan State beat Wisconsin on a Hail Mary and you can make an arguement Wisconsin did the same in the Big Ten title game.

** Michigan fans will say that their team beat Notre Dame and Nebraska, two teams that beat the Spartans. That is true. However that is trumped by the Spartans who beat Michigan and Iowa, a team that beat Michigan. And Michigan did not play Wisconsin, the best team in the Big Ten.

The one thing that Michigan State cannot overcome is that Michigan is a more attractive team for bowl committees. The program has not been relevant the past four years and now Michigan appears to be back. Any bowl worth its salt wants this team and its fans and its huge television ratings. I do not blame them. I’d want Michigan over Michigan State too. Brady Hoke will drive the media frenzy and Denard Robinson will charm with his smile.

But if it is just about football then MSU deserves a bid over blue.

December 4, 2011

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Michigan football is back to annoying the Spartans

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Michigan football is not only back. But Michigan football is back to annoying Michigan State.

Michigan State better beat Wisconsin in next week’s Big Ten title game or the Spartans (10-2) will watch Big Brother go to a BCS game while it settles for the Capital One Bowl. Not only will the Spartans be in a lesser bowl but they are likely to face a tougher team.

The word is Michigan (10-2) is headed for the Sugar Bowl to play Houston, which is a paper unbeaten team. And that game is going to get all kinds of publicity. Michigan will be back as a national power and the media will be all over the Houston team. Here is my prediction. Illinois fires coach Ron Zook and Houston coach Kevin Sumlin becomes a hot candidate to replace him.

So you combine the Sugar Bowl and Michigan and hot coaching candidate for a juicy must watch national game. Nobody wants to watch Houston play a no name team. But many folks want to see Michigan return to BCS status.

Meanwhile, the Spartans will be in the shadows while playing a team like Arkansas. Few people will notice.

Michigan is like the pretty prom queen. Even though she has a tattered dress she still gets all of the attention. Michigan State wins all the awards at the beauty pageant but the Wolverines are still the darling of every body’s eye. It is unfair but that is the reality of things.

November 27, 2011

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The media: We are family

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family

We recently shocked Detroit News colleague Bob Wojnowski with a surprise 50th birthday party in Ferndale. Trust me when I say that Wojo was taken by surprise and very pleased. Fox 2′s Jennifer “The Hammer” Hammond and The Angel of the Big House Angelique Chengelis pulled it off.

There was a theme to the evening that seemed to hit home. The people in radio, television and print were not simply co-workers to Wojo. They were his family. Sometimes we fight and bicker. We spread gossip and become angry. But people in this profession are family.

Sometimes we are all we’ve got.

We’ve all been hated by the public at some point. It usually happens after we report a controversial story or give an opinion that brings a negative light to one of the sports teams or schools. It does not matter if the report is true, the public often wants to shoot the messenger and defend their team.

I’ve often said if I get into a debate with a member of the Detroit Lions or University of Michigan football I will lose it every time in the court of public opinion. The public wants to believe its sports heroes before it believes us.

We in the media understand that and often I’ve received phone calls from media members supporting me for a story or a tough opinion. They simply say to hang in there. We are family.

The stakes are bigger now because many of us have grown from ink stained scribes to mini celebrities. Most of that is good because I enjoy talking to people and getting to know them. Ninety five percent of people are decent when they meet you.

Then there are others who are not so nice. I’ve gotten emails over the years from a few people who say their main goal is to see me get fired at The Detroit News and on radio at 971 The Ticket. They hate me because I suck as a columnist and I stink on radio.

One guy wrote: “I can’t wait to see your (bleep) children and (bleep) wife homeless in the streets with their dead beat dad.”

I don’t know why this person was so angry. Maybe I wrote that the Lions would not make the playoffs.

Many in the public do not believe me when I tell these stories. People in the business do. They get the same threats and angry emails. They understand because we are in a business that most people do not understand. But mostly they understand because they are family.

And family understands you even during times when it does not get along.

November 28, 2011

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This is not an old fashion love song

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion

Men are always accused of trying to sleep around with every woman that gives them a chance, but it is not true.

There was a woman in college who liked me and one of my boys Darryl said “dude you are next. She wants to sleep with you.” Let’s call her Lilly so I do not get sued.

I told my boy it was not happening. I did not find Lilly appealing and I was not going to do it.

“Dude you are crazy. She is fine.”

Well she made her move a week later. We were at the dance club on a Saturday night my senior year at Central Michigan University when she came over to slow dance the final dance of the evening. It was some sappy song called “Sailing” or something like that. Afterwards she offered to drive me home. I initially declined.

But when we got outside it was so damn cold that I accepted her ride. I planned on thanking Lilly and go to my apartment.

November 29, 2011

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I need a date night with momma

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Parenthood

Every other week I sit down with the wife to fill out our planner for the next 14 days.

We fill our dates with soccer practices and games for the kids. Then there are the concerts, plays and movie nights at school. She is the PTA President and is active in two charity groups and my days are filled with two jobs, games, bar appearances and speeches.

What we haven’t done is fill in a spot for dates for mom and dad. We’ve gone out to dinner about six times the past month — all the time with the kids. We rarely have alone time in the fall. There is just too much going on.

Two weeks ago I was excited because it was a Friday and I remember the date book was empty that day. I called her for a last minute date.

“Oh I forgot to tell you. The kids are having a movie night.” she said. “You don’t have to come.”

December 7, 2011

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The Cass Tech letter is another sad commentary

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion

I read the letter to Cass Tech football coach Tom Wilcher that is filled with venom and racism.

I however, refuse to believe it is from somebody associated with Catholic Central High School — unless it is some fringe fan — and I refuse to believe it is the sentiment of that school or anybody associated with the football program. The letter is a sad commentary of we have not totally overcome.

If you have not read it, it is making the rounds on twitter and face book. It demeans Cass Tech’s Division I victory over CC and predicts that the mostly black players will end up in jail. It calls CT a DPS holding tank and refers to the low graduation rates of Detroit Public School children.

The letter concludes by saying: “The ghetto warriors had their Saturday, but in life they are losers.”

It was signed by someone who I am certain did not use their real name.

Most people in this community do not think this way, but there are enough who do that prevent us from mending. The guy is obviously ignorant and upset about Cass winning the state title.  However, he makes an assumption that all kids from Detroit are losers and don’t care about education and are thugs and thieves.

Dumb bell picked on the wrong school. Cass Tech is not what it used to be but it remains one of the top academic schools in the state. Kids there care about education. They care about going to college and making names for themselves. The list of successful CT alumnus stretches across the country and the list will get longer.

I attended Cass Tech and it was no walk in the park during my three years there. The teachers challenged you. And students challenged each other.

I do not have to defend my school. I just wonder why someone took the time to spew this hatred in a letter? What was the point? Did it make them feel better about CC losing to the Technicians?

My guess is it is some frustrated loser who hates Detroit. They hate black people and they hate seeing a mostly black city school stand on top of the prep football world.

Very sad.

November 30, 2011

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Standing by the side of the road without rage

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

He was a young kid. I could tell he was remorseful. I could tell he was nervous and I could tell he wanted to be anywhere but standing in front of me on the side of the road.

I was on my way to work headed toward one of those annoying round abouts when the car in the left lane began to veer into my lane. I slammed the breaks and tried to move over. But there was no room. The cars scrapped and suddenly we were in an official accident.

There was no real damage. I lost a little paint and will try to find a place to make the side of my car look brand new. I had the right to be mad but I wasn’t. I guess I understand he did not do it on purpose. He did not try to harm me, so why get mad?

Should I have cursed this kid out to scare him into paying better attention on the road? Should I have demanded to speak to his parents?

“I am so sorry,” he said. “I didn’t see you there.”

December 1, 2011

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Roses are red and divorce is blue

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life, Opinion

Our receptionist Cheryl signed her divorce papers on Wednesday and I know what a depressing day that can be. She told me the day before about her plans and you could see the pain in her eyes. Her eyes got watery.  The divorce was for the best and she could not wait for her freedom but it is still a depressing day.

I wanted to do something nice for her but I did not know it would result in me being called a creeper. I bought Cheryl flowers and sat them on her desk. The three red roses cost me all of $9 but it became a topic on The Valenti and Foster radio show. Was I being a nice guy? Or was I being a creeper?

It stunned me that creeper won out when all I was trying to do was be a nice guy.

I’ve gone through divorce and although you are convinced it is the right thing to do, it is still very difficult to sign those papers. I cried. My ex wife cried.

December 2, 2011

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This over that

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I prefer:

* Waffles over pancakes. Pineapple juice over orange juice and scrambled instead of over easy.

* Football over baseball. Baseball weather over football weather and bases loaded over the red zone.

* The power play over five on five, the Winged wheel over any other hockey logo and Olympia over Joe Louis.

* Calihan in the 70s over Breslin in the 90s, Comerica over Tiger Stadium and Ford Field over the Silverdome.

* Five Guys over Smash burger, Telway and Hunter House over White Castle, The Oak Cafe over Millers.

* Three Nicks Tap Room over Club Snooty, Irish Pub over Swank bar and shots and beer over white wine.

* Vernors over Coke, Better Made over Lays and coney island over Chicago dog.

* Eastern Market over super market, Hillers over Krogers and Whole Foods overall.

* Grand Rapids over Kalamazoo, Grand Haven over Grandville and Holland over Holly

* Fashion boots on the ladies over high heals, tight jeans over Yoga pants and long hair over short.

* A smile over a frown, hug over a hand shake and slapping skin over a high five.

What about you?

December 3, 2011

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It is time for Lions to address team double standards

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The Lions did not lose to New Orleans because Ndamukong Suh was not with the team. The Lions lost to the Saints because they failed to address the reasons why Suh was not with the team.

The lack of discipline trickles beyond The Stomper. We discovered additional melt downs dogs on the team and it cost the Lions on a night that the Saints were ready to be beat. The Lions played undiciplined and selfish football while losing 31-17 to the Saints on the team’s first Sunday Night Game in history.

Guess what?

The Lions hung with the powerful Saints and blew opportunities to win this game. The Lions nearly pulled off another miracle come back after trailing 24-7 at half time but they kept getting in their own way with 11 penalties for 109 yards. Now here is my prediction. The Lions will jump up big and bad and talk about cleaning up undisiplined play.

They will do it because the culprets were Brandon Pettigrew, Stefan Logan and Titus Young. They came down hard on these guys much harder than they did Suh because Suh is a super star and the rest of these guys are not. Yes, they must clean up the mistakes but they must also clean up the double standards.

The Lions should have gotten in Suh’s face with the same vengence as they did lesser players. They didn’t and they sent the message that it is OK to act a fool in the heat of battle. Remember, Suh got booted when the Lions still had a punchers chance to beat Green Bay. Then the undisciplined play continued when they had a punchers chance to beat the Saints.

This is no longer a Suh issue or a Titus Young issue. This is a coach Jim Schwartz issue and anybody else who is a team captain in that dressing room. They failed as leaders and it cost the Lions a possible victory and slot in the playoffs. My advice is for the team to get in the face of teammates who failed them and tell them this won’t be tolerated again. And they must do it again when Suh returns from his two game suspension.

December 5, 2011

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Coming out of retirement

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The other day I sat with a group of guys who’d just finished playing basketball. They play once a week at a local elementary school and described themselves as marginal players with one guy who has a little game.

They invited me to join them the next week. I declined their offer because I am retired from playing pickup basketball. I now change my mind. I hope the offer is still open. I’ve decided to unretire from playing basketball at age 52. I am now in the hunt for new basketball sneakers and for a few games where the players are not the second coming of Michael Jordan.

I want back in the game.

The reason I retired is because I got two black eyes and a number of my buddies tore their Achilles. I was afraid I was next. My wife wanted me to retire from hoops. She did not want to nurse me for three or four months. But my trainer Melissa said I should not be fearful of a major injury playing pickup hoops.

Most of the guys who were injured were out of shape. They were running. Nobody hit them and they pulled up lame. She said my legs are strong and my wind is strong. I should not fear injury. Anybody can get hurt. I do not fear it because I am in shape and I am ready for this.

So if you know of any pickup games where guys are of average to below average ability, I am in. My jumper won’t be true yet. I will probably dribble the ball off my knees a couple of times but I am ready to get up and down the court and have fun.

First I need to find some sweet shoes.

December 6, 2011

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Suh is a closed book

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Our interview with Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is being played all over the country. That was never our intent when we interviewed Suh for our weekly chat Wednesday afternoon on the Valenti and Foster Show on 97.1 FM.

Mike Valenti and I were looking for the same answers from Suh that many fans wanted to know during his first day of media availability since being suspended two games for stomping a Green Bay player on Thanksgiving Day. As usual Suh was guarded and did not let us into his world. He simply wanted to move on and focus on football, which is his right.

He never said whether he apologized to teammates. He never said he regretted being suspended while his teammates went on without him. That is his right but it is the wrong move for a guy who cares about his image. It is the wrong move for a guy who wants to do good and be more than a football player.

Suh is quiet and private.  He only lets on to those in his inner circle and once again that is his right. But if you are going to do Subway and Omaha Steak commercials and if you want people to follow you and believe in you, you must give in a little.

Suh has been talked about like a dog nationwide. It would have been nice to see him defend himself or even say he messed up. We all make mistakes. I know I have made my fair share and will continue to. But I am not certain Suh has learned from his mistakes. He could still be a suspension waiting to happen.

I know opponents are coming after him. They will be like sharks who see blood in the water. Suh is bleeding from not being able to control his emotions and people are going to poke, prod and do anything they can to get under his skin.

“That won’t be the first time,” he said.

We will know pretty quickly if Suh has learned from his mistakes. The Oakland Raiders are the craziset team in the NFL and I am certain their goal is to get him to erupt again. Can he hold his emotions? I do not know the answer because Suh would not answer the question.

December 15, 2011

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The hair weave emergency is no joking matter

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

Last weekend we had a hair weave emergency at our house, something we haven’t had in a long time.

Hair weave emergencies are nothing to joke about. When they happen you must take swift action.  I sent out the hair weave emergency to every black woman I know and they knew to call back immediately.

Here is what happened. We hosted my sister-in-law Big Pretty and her husband to be for their wedding luncheon at Bravo in Livonia. Big Pretty flew in from Texas and every trip she makes turns into an adventure. She was supposed to get her hair tightened at Miss Cybills the day before the shower after picking her man up at the airport.

But she forgot Miss Cybill’s address and phone number. My wife Abs was at a function and was not answering her phone Saturday afternoon. Big Pretty’s hair looked like a bird’s nest and she needed her wig busted. She called in a panic, wanting to know if I knew somebody. I told her I do not have hair stylists on speed dial but I would do what I could.

I texted and called my girls Kelly, Sandra, Jemele and Tatiana.

“I got a hair weave emergency. I need you to call back as soon as you can.”

“Oh my God,” Kelly said.

“I got back as soon as I could. I knew this was serious,” Tatiana said.

“I got you covered T Foss. Here are some names,” Sandra said.

December 8, 2011

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Pistons to make playoff push with Prince

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

 Prince is back with the Pistons because President Joe Dumars believed he had a playoff team last season. He simply did not have a playoff coach. Now with the addition of Brandon Knight and Jonas Jerebko the Pistons will be stronger.

That will be the spin this season as the Pistons return with the same old gang. Last season we witnessed one of the most unprofessional teams in NBA history. The Pistons do not want you to judge Rodney Stuckey, Rip Hamilton and Prince as unprofessional. They want you to believe that head coach John Kuester was the problem.  Kuester is out of the way after being hung on a string before being fired.

He definitely was in over his head trying to coach a head strong team. He did not stand up to them but more importantly he did not have the support of management.  When Kuester made tough decisions, like sitting Hamilton, he was on an island by himself. Dumars did not come out and support him in anything and hung him out to dry when he and Hamilton did not speak for weeks.

Let’s be honest. If a guy cannot talk to his starting shooting guard is he really much of a communicator?  Q is a great guy and made some good decisions on the court, but he is not the leader of men. Now the spotlight is on the players. Their new coach Lawrence Frank has the support of new ownership and you can bet if Frank has problems with this group Dumars or owner Tom Gores will step up and give him support.

December 9, 2011

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Fixing Detroit with my magic wand

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

If I had a magic wand here are 10 thingsI’d do for Detroit.

1. My magic wand would get rid of racism, crime, ignorance and mistrust. We all need each other. Black, white, Hispanic and Asian. Detroit and suburbs. One reason we do not grow is because we do not work together and we are afraid of one another.

2. My magic wand would extend Detroit from the Detroit River to the farthest edges of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties. We’d be one because we’d be fighting for the same goals.

3. My magic want would build one more Ford, Chrysler and GM plant in the area of our choice. They’d have three shifts going and each would be surrounded by bars, restaurants and neighborhoods.

4. My magic wand would tear down every abandoned house in Detroit and replace it with affordable housing that people would be proud to move to.

5. My magic wand would eliminate dead beat dads and mothers who do not care. If you have a child out of wedlock you’d take care of those children and be in their lives. How about actually getting married? A major reason why Detroit is on its knees is because the family structure is weak. There are too many single parent households.

6. My magic wand would turn downtown into a walkable downtown. Today, there are pockets of nice spots to go to. I’d bridge Bricktown to Greektown, to the stadium district to Fort Street.

December 10, 2011

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Lions must play smarter football

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The Lions are beaten up. They need help in the secondary and they need help at running back. I hope defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh soaked in the Lions 34-28 victory over Minnesota on television and see how badly he is needed and how important it is to remain in games and not act a fool.

The Lions got away with one Sunday. They jumped to a 21-0 lead and needed every play of the game to win it. They are a good, hard-nosed and physical football team. The problem is they are not sharp mentally and that is one reason why the quality of football has suffered down the stretch.

They played New Orleans toe to toe but allowed officials to get inside their heads and lost a game they had a shot to win. They were lucky two critical mistakes did not crush them against the Vikings. The Lions still don’t get it.

Let’s focus on two plays. I did not like that wide receiver Titus Young slowed down on a long touchdown pass and casually held the ball, begging for someone to strip him. A Vikings defender did just after Young crossed the goal line. He forced a fumble a half a step over the goal line and the play was close enough for officials to review it.

Young got lucky. If that Vikings defender was a split second faster Young would be on Sports Center as another example of what not to do on a football field. That one play could have been the difference between victory and defeat.

On the final play of the game you must applaud linebacker DeAndre Levy for stripping Minnesota quarterback Joe Webb of the ball to win the game. But Levy grabbed his face mask and if officials were in position to see it the Vikings would have gotten the chance to run one more play and possibly win.

December 12, 2011

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The missing sports section

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion

The Detroit News changed its look at Detnews.com and it struck me how much smarter we are on the web than the actual newspaper.

Amongst the “regular” news of the day on the main page were sports stories about Michigan State losing a key recruit to Ohio State. There was a Lions story and a column about Rip Hamilton and his worth to the Pistons. Sports is a driving force for news organizations. People love sports. They hate sports. But they pay attention to sports.

Sports stories make the front page of the newspaper more often but back in the dark ages of newspapers sports was considered toys and games and editors believed it did not belong with real news. They were wrong.

Here is an exercise for you the next time you go to the airport. If you see a newspaper laying around a gate there is a 90 percent chance the sports section is missing. We read the newspaper. We read the sports section cover to cover.

We carry a newspaper around. We crumple up the sports section in our bag to savor for later.

It is especially true in this town where three of the four professional sports teams are very competitive in their leagues and the fourth — the Detroit Pistons — have won three NBA titles and been to nine Eastern Conference Finals. Michigan and Michigan State are both 10-win football teams. Their basketball teams will have a say in who wins the Big Ten title and Wayne State’s football team is playing for a national title this weekend.

This is one of the best sports towns in America. The Sporting News dubbed it the best sports town twice during its annaual rankings. Detroit will probably make top five again this year when the rankings are released.

Go to the News or Free Press sights and most days three to four stories make top 10 most read. You can write about a Lions’ right pinky and it will make the list.

ESPN is one of the most powerful networks in the nation. My radio show The Valenti and Foster Show has been the number one show in afternoon drive for three years running. It is a testiment that people love sports mixed with the news of the day. Sports pushes every emotion in the book. It relaxes, invigorates, stimulates, infuriates and allows us to celebrate all at the same time.

December 13, 2011

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Children are starving in Africa

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Parenthood

I played “The children are starving in Africa card” with my daughter Celine. It is something my grandmother used to scream at me when I threw food into the garbage as a child and I promised never to do it as an adult.

But I was really angry when Celine tossed perfectly untouched chicken tenders into the garbage disposal because she was not in the mood for chicken the other evening. I was furious and gave her one of her toughest lectures to date. Her forensics team finished fifth in state competition and I rewarded the family with pizza, chicken tenders, salad and macaroni and cheese from Buddy’s carry out. The food was great. She didn’t even want to try the chicken. 

“Are you kidding me,” I screamed. “You just throw food out like it is garbage? That was a very selfish move on your part.”

She began to cry but I was not finished. It came out of nowhere and it was loud and it was with great force.

“Don’t you know children are starving in Africa and you just throw food out like that?”

December 14, 2011

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Following the Wayne State road Warriors

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

FLORENCE, Ala. — Joe Long is a big guy with a big smile who doesn’t like to make a big deal in public unless he is on a football field.

His brother Jake Long is the same way, but he always makes a big splash when he is on or off a football field. The difference is Jake Long was bigger and stronger when he left high school and got a scholarship to the University of Michigan which led to a career with the Miami Dolphins. Joe Long plays left tackle for the Wayne State road Warriors.

You’ve heard Jake Long’s story. You might not have heard Joe’s because of where he’s played. It has been my pleasure to present the story of the small guy all this week in The Detroit News as Wayne State tried to win its first Division II football title in history.  I’ve been behind the scenes with the Warriors (11-3) as they prepare for their game against Pittsburg State, a once beaten team south of Kansas City, Kansas.

Wayne State is an underdog again, but that is not at the heart of this story. It is about a bunch of guys who are a little smaller and slower than their Division I counterparts. They play in smaller stadiums against Ferris State and Northwood University, not Florida State and Northwestern University.

Therefore we do not present their story in newspaper, radio or television unless they do something spectacular like play for a national title.  I’ve written about coach Paul Winters periodically the past eight seasons as he built this program from nothing into a national threat.

It was great getting to know people like Jeremy Jones, Josh Renel and Long. They have great stories behind their games. I invite you to follow them today on ESPN and at detnews.com as they play Pittsburg State. I will write about them after every quarter and will follow up with a game story and column at detnews.com.

It would be great if you can pass the word and have people read. High readership might prompt editors to give them more ink down the road. The road Warriors deserve it whether they are home or away, in a national championship game in Alabama or in a GLIAC game against Grand Valley.

Joe Long is not as talented as Jake Long. But he works just as hard.

December 17, 2011

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Lion fans deserve this Christmas moment

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The bars and restaurants were thinning out by the time I finished writing following the Lions playoff clinching victory over the San Diego Chargers Saturday night.

A couple wearing Calvin Johnson jerseys and Santa hats walked by. Three buddies walked briskly to their car near Comerica Park. They didn’t need to say a word. You could see it in their eyes. They were thrilled to be Lion fans. I was happy for them.

But then I saw it. It was the sight I really wanted to see. A kid leaped across the street on Monroe near Fishbones. He waved his hands in the air and threw his head back as he did a funky victory dance through Greektown. That kid was me a million years ago when the 1968 Tigers clinched the pennant at Tiger Stadium against the New York Yankees.

I did a similar dance and a similar shout as I walked with my Aunt Margo on Michigan Avenue after watching the Tigers clinch their first pennant in my life time. It was an exelerating moment for a kid who loved his hometown cats. I am certain this little boy, who must have been nine years old, felt the same glee. His hometown cats were headed to the playoffs and nobody can stop that — not Green Bay, not New Orleans, not Dallas.

“I am so happy for these fans,” Hall of Fame tight end Charlie Sanders told me as we watched part of the fourth quarter together. “Oh my Lord. They deserve this.”

Lion fans did not deserve the decade known as Matt Millen. They do deserve this. They are long suffering, but they are also long loyal.

They always believe even when there was nothing to believe in. They will fight you tooth and nail about their team even when their team is toothless and worthless.  They get angry (who can blame them?) but they are some of the most loyal fans in the world. That is why it was great to see players acknowledge that by slapping high fives with fans after the game. It meant a lot for these people to share this moment with the players they love.

Merry Christmas Lion fans. You deserved this. And many happy returns.

 

December 25, 2011

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Trade Ndamukong Suh — not

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Here is a game I love to play after all the emotions of a volative situation have subsided.

Let’s trade Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as soon as possible. He is a bad guy. He is a bad player and we want nothing to do with him. Right?

Of course people will think I am crazy. But prior to the Lions 28-27 victory over the Oakland Raiders that is what I heard from a lot of Lion fans. They were upset that Suh missed two games due to suspension. They were upset that he showed no remorse and they lacked faith that he could stay in games.

So the solution was to trade him. I told these folks they were crazy. They are probably the same folks that wanted to trade Miguel Cabrera after his off season drinking incident then cheered him through the Tiger playoffs. Suh made a mistake. He is a young guy learning the game and is still learning about public relations.

That does not mean you give up on him.

So what should Lion fans do now? You cheer him. You both have the same goals. You want the Lions in the playoffs, so does Suh. You want to see the Lions win a Super Bowl. So does Suh. You want him to play aggressively between the whistles and so does Suh.

So where is the conflict? You have the same goals.

Sports is a very emotional profession. It is emotinal for players, fans and even the media. Sometimes those world collide. We say and do things we regret.  Did some of you really want to trade Suh? Or were you caught up in the anger of the moment?

So let’s trade Ndamukong Suh. Whose with me?

After that block of the field goal which preserved the victory over the Raiders I don’t think many people remain on that bandwagon today.

December 19, 2011

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This bus driver is working like a yard dog

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I usually park at Park and Go when I leave out of Metro Airport. That was the case last week when I flew to Alabama to spend a few days with Wayne State’s football team.

My bus driver was very friendly and our trip got extended when someone called to say my lights did not go out on my car.

“I’ve worked 147 consecutive days,” he said.

By my calculations his last off day was sometimes in July. He told me he’s been on a seven-day shift since summer. He works nights two days a week and the afternoon shift the rest of the time. That is maddening. We all need a couple days to recharge our batteries.

But my guy was telling me he needs the hours to make ends meet. He charged up a credit card. He needs to make house and car payments and he is trying to get out of debt. The only way to do it, he said, was to work and work and work. Besides, if he is working he can’t go out and spend money.

December 20, 2011

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No Suh on the show today

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I am perfectly fine that Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh decided not to join us today for our weekly chat on the Valenti and Foster Show.

I’ve never been one of those who demand that an athlete talk to me. I like it when they do, but they don’t have to. Our interview with Suh last week was heated because we asked a lot of pointed questions about his suspension, whether he apologized to teammates and about the one car accident in Portland. We wanted answers to the same questions the media asked earlier and that fans want to know.

I spoke to someone who was at the media scrum and they said Suh’s sitdown with the media was rougher than the interview on my radio show.  But I totally understand why Suh decided not to come on. It made national headlines and it was uncomfortable for him and he did not come off well.

December 21, 2011

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The Foster awards for 2011

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Justin Verlander (Tigers): The Tigers gave us great excitement this season but they never would have made the playoffs without Verlander. He not only won the Cy Young but was the American League MVP.

TEAM OF THE YEAR: Detroit Lions: When this team wins it takes the community by storm. The Lions started 5-0 and made the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. They were led by two of the most exciting players in the league in Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford.

 

COACH OF THE YEAR: Brady Hoke (Michigan football): He does not wear head phones. He has great coordinators, but Hoke is the coach of the year by changing the culture and mind set of Michigan football. The program was sick and feeble and divided. Hoke made Wolverines proud again with a 10-2 season.

STORY OF THE YEAR:  The return of Michigan football. The program disappeared for three years under Rich Rodriguez and Wolverine nation was as divided as it ever was. The Wolverines won 10 games and are a threat in the Big Ten again.

BIGGEST WIN: Tigers beat the New York Yankees in the baseball playoffs. It was a nail biter that went five games. But any time you beat the Yankees it is huge.

BEST GAMES: The games between Michigan State and Wisconsin were thrilling and you can make an argument that both were decided on Hail Mary plays. Unfortunately for the Spartans Wisconsin won the biggest contest in the Big Ten championship game, sending the Badgers to the Rose Bowl.

RIVALRY OF THE YEAR: Michigan and Michigan State are blood rivals. They seem to bicker year round now.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Tom Gores is the new owner of the Pistons. Let’s see what he does with it now.

 

 

December 31, 2011

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Shop til you drop

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Today I will do some last minute shopping for the ladies of my life — mom, cousin and my wife. When I was younger this was the only day I shopped. And it was a lot of fun. Here was the drill.

My tradition in my 20s was to get up early on Dec. 23 with my shopping list and shop all day. I’d go to the mall and shop, then eat lunch. I’d load the car up with gifts and go someplace else to shop. Then I would eat dinner and return home and wrap my gifts. If I forgot a  gift I’d get up early Christmas Eve and get last minute items.

It was an all day splurge and it was a blast. This way I didn’t worry about running around and fighting the shoppers except for one day. People are rough in the malls. I’ve had items literally snatched out of my hands as people aggressively power shop. It was crazy and I’d rather deal with it for one day than deal with it for several days.

Today I shop more online. I lead a very busy life and there isn’t much time to go to the mall and horse around. I’d rather get some key items from the comfort of my home. I wish there were online shopping when I were younger, but it is something I am discovering now. I also did a little shopping before Thanksgiving, which I refused to do before because I wasn’t in the holiday spirit yet.

Now its who cares?

Most men don’t like to shop. I actually do. I just think it gets crazy around the holidays and home is the best place to be.

So I am ready to battle the crowds today one last time.  I got credit card, cash and a helmet. I am ready to go.

December 23, 2011

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Stay off the field Lion fans

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Let me borrow a line from Nike.

Don’t do it.

It might sound like a great idea. It might sound like fun, but it does not make sense to storm Ford Field if the Lions beat San Diego today to slide into the playoffs for the first time in a decade. You are inviting disaster if you do.

Things like this never work out in Detroit. We couldn’t even celebrate the 1984 World Series title in the streets without making national news. How do you think its going to work out having hundreds of delirious and drunken fans try to scale a gate and leap eight feet to the ground? You are asking for trouble.

I was in Madison in 1993+ when fans stormed the field after Wisconsin beat Michigan 13-10 in a Big Ten game. They took 70 people to the hospital and I saw the devastation up close. There were bloodied and dazed students and I even saw Bucky Badger walking through the hallway holding his head while carrying his head. Think about that one for a moment.

A number of Wisconsin players helped out by lifting students out of the stands.

December 24, 2011

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Just Dance is shaking my foundations and patience

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family

There is already one game I regret getting the kids for Christmas. It sounds like a heard of elephant is storming through our house when the kids play Just Dance III in the XBox 360.

Of course it is their favorite game so far and it is already driving me nuts.

The idea of the game is to turn on loud music and follow a character as closesly as you can to earn points and stars. Surprisingly it isn’t the loud music that is driving me nuts. It is the jumping and stomping and twirling. I’ve been in the basement the past day playing with my own toys and it sounds like the house is about to collapse.

I swear there is a hole in the floor and the house shakes like an earth quake is rattling over head.I can already imagine footage of a collapsed house being show on the six O’clock news.

Tornado?

Nope. This family is homeless because of Just Dance III. Parents beware.

I remember the good old days when I annoyed my family with a new drum set. I did not know how to play the drums. I still don’t. But I thought I was the second coming of famed drummer Rufus “Speedy” Jones. You don’t know who he is? Neither did I until I googled him. The bottom line is I drove my grandmother nuts and there were certain times I was not allowed to bang the drums slowly.

I am close to being a mean parent and setting certain times they can play Just Dance. How about 2-6 p.m Monday through Friday when I am doing real radio six miles away? Let them drive their mother crazy.

December 26, 2011

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T-shirt does not mock black people

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Today I am coming to the defense of the people with “Down with Detroit.” They are under attack because some believe a simple T-shirt that simply says “Kool-aide and cornbread” is racist against black people.

That is ridiculous. The shirt is obviously a play on Lion fans who often drink the Lions Kool-aide and eat the Lions cornbread. They believe in the Lions no matter what.  This is a running joke on sports talk radio and in the sporting community. The down with Detroit people made up a blue T-shirt and shortly after posting it on their sight were accused of being racist.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I see the world through rose colored glasses at times. But the people who run this website did not have evil intentions when they made the shirt. They simply played off something we talk about all the time. Sometimes we are too sensitive and search for something that is not there.

I know people joke that black people used to love grape Kool-Aide and eat cornbread way back in the day but most young people aren’t even aware of this. And if you think people think Kool-Aide and corn bread when they see a black person, you are nuts.  I remember a columnist wrote about a black athlete who ate fried chicken during an interview. He casually put the reference in the column because he was setting a scene. The fried chicken reference was taken out.

How silly.

My basketball come back sure did hurt

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

I could sure use a long, hot and relaxing soak in the tub right now. I am sore all over the place, but it is a good kind of sore.

I came out of pick up basketball retirement Monday and was fortunate to play in three straight games before shutting it down for younger and faster guys. Our team kept winning even though the team was stuck with me as the fifth wheel. It was worth getting yelled at by my wife who made me retire five years ago. It was worth getting lectured from the trainer who actually told me not to worry about getting injured until I actaully started playing. Now she is worried about me getting injured.

Women. You can never figure them out.

My come back took place Monday morning at the Commerce Township Life Time Fitness. I finished my morning workout, saw guys getting ready to play and slipped into my gym shoes. It was rough. I was winded and tired but my stamina began to build up. I do work out but there is something about running up and down a basketball court that wears on you.

But my workouts came in handy because I began to pick up energy the longer I played.

The one thing that was tough to get back was your basketball instincts. All of the bad things I rip the Pistons for doing, I did. I did not follow my shot. I got broken down on a cross over and I sometimes did not block out. But those things started to slowly come. My jumper actually fell a couple of times and I crashed the boards for two tip in buckets.

I already know the type players I hate most. I hate those guys who are speedy and want to run through picks all day. I had to guard a guy like that and I was so tempted to smack him in the face to slow him down. I like the big fat guy who wants to post up all day. He is sweaty and gross smelling but at least you get a rest while guarding him.

What is it about pick up basketball and men? We love to compete. We love the action and we love to show other guys we’ve got a little game. Mostly for me it is a great time to bond and talk and be part of a team. We won and I made some small contributions.

I would love to find a weekly game somewhere. Life Time gets too crowded and when the young boys come to play that is when the arguments take over. If I want to argue I can just stay home and pick with the wife.

I will try to find a game once a week. I am not going to make this an every day thing. OK. I have to go and find some Ben Gay. This hurts.

 

December 27, 2011

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Stafford has wrong last name for Pro Bowl

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford did not make the Pro Bowl because he has the wrong name and plays for the wrong team. He did not make the Pro Bowl because he is viewed by some around the league as a one-trick pony, a guy who targets wide receiver Calvin Johnson too much.

Stafford is not on the Pro Bowl team because he has not earned his stripes. He has not made playoff runs, has not been talked about on ESPN enough and is not in the in crowd amongst talking heads. He is not on the Pro Bowl because some people cast their votes early before New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning turned from good quarterback to disaster.

If Stafford put up the same numbers in New York and produced the same amount of victories and his name was Matthew Manning we would not be complaining in Detroit. We’d be slapping him on the back and congratulatiing him for a job well done. Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are the no doubt, no question elite quarterbacks in the NFC.

Stafford is the clear third choice. If you want to say Manning is a better quarterback because he has accomplished more by winning a Super Bowl then so be it. You cannot say he was a better quarterback in 2011.

December 28, 2011

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Suh remains fan favorite in Detroit

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I never believe fans when they say they’ve had it with an athlete, especially one that remains productive.

I got an earful of that after Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh stomped that Green Bay player and waited days to issue an apology for it. Fans wrote they were fed up with Suh. I told them they were nuts. And I was right.

During the Pistons home opener the Pistons put Suh in a Detroit uniform and put him on the giant screen. The place went nuts as he smiled and pointed to his new jersey. You heard loud chants of “Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh.”

And that is the way it should be. Suh might be the best defensive tackle in the NFL. He can help give you something you sorely want as Detroit fans — a championship. He wins football games and he puts people on their backs. There were a lot of harsh words thrown out when Suh was suspended two games. Some of you were angry and said he did not represent Detroit. Some screamed that the Lions should trade him.

Forgive me for laughing in your face. That was goofy talk. It was just as silly as when a number of you demanded that the Tigers trade Miguel Cabrera after his fling on the wild side in a Florida restaurant and highway. You do not trade superstars until they are broken down because it is difficult to get equal value.

So what should you do if you see Suh on a giant screen?

You know the drill.

Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhh

December 29, 2011

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Lions are must watch TV even if it means lying

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Pistons, sports

Sometimes the best option is to lie.

A guy loves his girlfriend. A woman loves her boyfriend and many weeks ago before we knew the Lions would be in the playoffs playing a Saturday night game of the decade game in New Orleans she bought him tickets to Saurday night’s Pistons game against the New York Knicks at the Palace. She is not a basketball game and won’t attend.

Here is the problem. The Pistons play a who cares game Saturday night when the Lions will be playing a game all of Michigan will be glued to. He wants to see the Lions because the game means so much but at the same time he does not want to hurt his woman’s feelings. So what should he do?

Sorry but this is a time when lying is fine. He should skip the Pistons game, watch the Lions with his buddies and when she asks how the Pistons did simply say “It was a pretty good game but the Pistons dropped a disappointing game to the Knicks. Thank you baby. I love you.”

Then he kisses her and moves on.

January 7, 2012

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Happy New Year gang!!

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

CHICAGO – We were like most Americans. We watched the ball drop in New York City and wondered why Dick Clark is still doing the countdown. But we are happy he is alive to do it.

We spent a quiet New Years Eve at Big Ralph’s who made the best beef brisket and grilled vegetables I’ve ever had.  He knew it was good and kept asking everyone: ”Is this beef brisket tender? Does this beef brisket taste like it has been smoking all day outside?”

He knew the answer. He just wanted to hear it from everybody.

It was just fun being with family. I brought in the New Year with Little B in my lap. And my daughter Celine sat in mom’s lap. The adults toasted with champagne. The kids sang the new year in. There were a lot of people who went out and enjoyed themselves. Unfortunately some did not return home to loved ones. That is something we still must work on.

However, I love being with family for New Years Eve. It is safer and more enjoyable.

I spent the day with my bride Adrienne.  We got rid of the kids and enjoyed breakfast at a place called Blueberry Pancakes. Later we went shopping for the kids although I ended the year with one of the great purchases of the year. I purchased a $200 overcoat for $48. It is a great looking coat. The lady says the problem is the zipper gets stuck sometimes although it zipped perfectly for me 10 straight times.

Still I will take it.

We also bought some Garrett popcorn and will be bringing a nice stash of Chicago mix home.

My goal this year is to slow it down a bit. I am too busy. I have too much to do and sometimes get distracted.

I am probably the exact opposite of most of you. You want to kick it up a notch. You probably want more work and more money and trust me I am rooting for you to do that. But I want to kick back a little bit more in 2012. Of course I say this every year and it is hard to do.

I love the action. I love the games and the writing and the talking and doing stuff in public. My life is fun. It is hectic but it is fun and it never seems to stop.

Any way. Happy New Year. I hope your life revs up or slows down or whatever you want. Thanks for being part of my life. I hope we can keep on rolling.

 

January 1, 2012

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Lions are not quite ready for prime time

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

There is so much digest following the Lions 105-101 loss Sunday to the Green Bay Packers, a game where teams seemed to score on every drive and there was pass interference on every play.

First off you do have the right to be angry if you are a Lions fan. There were phantom calls and blown touchdown calls. There were phantom overturns and phantom no over turns. We saw a perfectly natural Titus Young touchdown taken away and thrown into Lake Michigan. It appeared as if the NFL was bent on making sure the Lions did not win even on a day Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson played to near perfection.

But the game also showed that the Lions are not quite ready for prime time. The Packers put out a shell of a team. There were starters out there but there was no Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson. Of course I wonder how much better Rodgers could have been than Matt Flynn who carved the Lions up every which way but loose.

Even with the blown calls I believe the Packers find a way to win. That is what they were there to do and they were going to do it no matter what.

Lions need big defensive plays to beat Saints

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

A growing number of Lion fans believe their heroes in Honolulu blue and silver will shock the world and beat the New Orleans Saints in Saturday night’s wild card match up at the Superdome. I do not share that sentiment but it is good to see that people finally have something to believe in with their football team.

This gap between playoff stops was too long. It has been ridiculously too long between playoff victories. Does anybody remember 1991?

The Lions (10-6) know how to win football games. I am not certain they can win playoff football games against elite teams. Put them up against the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons, then they have a shot. New Orleans and the Green Bay Packers are out of reach. These teams know what it takes to win. And even when they stumble, as the Saints did last year in Seattle, they know how to turn horrific losses into motivation seminars.

For argument sakes how can the Lions win this game? Obviously Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson Brandon Pettigrew and the rest of the offense must wreck havoc on the scoreboard. We know the Saints will score. However, the key to a Lions victory will come with the defense. Louis Delmas returns and Ndamukong Suh did not play in the last Saints game. That helps but is not enough unless the Lions create at least six big negative plays.

If you can guarantee three turnovers and three sacks by the Lions defense then they got a shot. If you are telling me the Lions will simply go toe to toe with the Saints then they do not have a shot. The Lions defense will not stop New Orleans much, but if they can get turnovers that could change the game.

I am going Saints 38, Lions 28.

How do you see it?

 

 

Freaky Las Vegas

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

LAS VEGAS — Here is the great thing about being in a casino on The Strip. The hookers dress more conservatively than regular patrons. The wife and I got an eyeful when we were checking into the Luxor Hotel.

“Oh my God,” Abs said. “There are some interesting looking outfits walking around here.”

She got her words mixed up. They were not interesting. They were exotic. A lot of cows, snakes and gators died for some of the outfits we saw. They were skimpy and the only things covered were what the law required. And do you want to hear a secret?

Shhhhhhhh!!!

I loved it. The freak show was great for the most part. Now and then you’d get 200 pound home girl trying to pull it off. It didn’t quite work out. And there were freak show sights for the ladies too. The new thing is work out guy with no sleeves. He wants to show you how many hours he’s been in the gym. I’d never seen a sleeveless leather T-shirt until last night. Where do I get one of those?

I bet it was even crazier at Caesars, MGM Grand and some of the more famous casinos.

I am here for my sister-in-laws wedding and I already look forward to tonight so I can hit the casinos and dining halls for the next exotic freak show. Or maybe I will go out and buy a new suit for me and Abs.

How about leopard for the lady and zebra for me?

January 15, 2012

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Bourbon Street Blues

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Following the Lions 45-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints broadcaster Jim Brandstatter asked Lions coach Jim Schwartz to talk about the great accomplishments his team made this year.

The Schwartz quickly ended the interview by sayuing “no.” It sounded mean. It soiunded bitter and it was a bit surprising. However, Schwartz is a competitor and he really wanted that game. The entire community wanted it. You are probably not in the best mood today. You saw your team compete but lacked enough savvy and experience to pull off victory in the Lions first playoff game in 12 years.

Once you wipe away the cheers and chip away the bitterness you will realize today is a good day. The Lions not only have a future but now they’ve got that chip on their shoulder that most teams need to compete for championships. You don’t just roll up on experienced teams and beat them in professional sports. You need anger, hurt, disappointment and a big pile of ashes to build greatness.

The Lions built that against the Saints. You can call it the Bourbon Street Blues. But this team needed this game as a building block for the future. I talked to Lions center Dominic Raiola before the game and he admitted.

“We don’t know what to expect.”

Lions Aaron Berry makes another bad play

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Shame on Aaron Berry. The Lions cornerback  gets a few tweets pointing out he did not play well against the New Orleans Saints and he pulls a switch blade out on the city he plays for and cuts deep. He told people to go back to their broke and miserable lives after taking some heat for his play during a 45-28 loss to the Saints in the NFC wild card game Saturday night.

Here is what Berry wrote before taking the post down on his twitter account lockdown717.

“Y’all can go back to being Broke & Miserable…now back to regular scheduled programming…”

Classy, huh?

Then he tried to clean it up.

“I apologize to my loyal fans for my tweet…jus disgusting how ppl can get when they don’t know nothin at all…”

Then came.

“Now y’all making it seem like I was talking to all the fans in Detroit…boy y’all funny…Have a blessed night!!!”

It seems like pro athletes should have a license before opening a twitter account.

It was a night where he could not tackle. It was a night where he could not cover and it was a night where he allowed some interceptions to slip away. He was hardly the second coming of Deion “Prime Time” Sanders. He played more like Colonial Sanders. When you are in the public eye the public is going to call you out.

It is easy to engage and enrage Wolverines and Spartans

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Please forgive me. I was bad last night and there was no excuse for my behavior.

Alabama and LSU bored me during the national championship broadcast from New Orleans. I was tired of watching field goals. I was tired of watching LSU’s offense move like an elephant in quick sand. Congrats to Bama and its 21-0 victory. Congrats to Nick Saban and his third national championship.  But I was bored.

So I started a Michigan-Michigan State war on purpose with one simple tweet. Which football team enjoyed a better football season? Was it the 11-2 Michigan Wolverines that revived their program under new football coach Brady Hoke? Or was it the Michigan State Spartans (11-3) who played for a Big Ten championship after winning its division in the Big Ten?

I sat back and let the sparks fly. Michigan fans claimed their season was better because their team had one more loss. “Do the math,” someone wrote. They also said their team beat Notre Dame and Nebraska — teams the Spartans lost to.  Their team played in a BCS game in the Sugar Bowl. State played in the Outback Bowl.

Spartan fans chimed in that their team beat Michigan for a fourth straight season and beat Iowa, a team the Wolverines lost to. They admit losing one more game but that came in the Big Ten title game in a heart breaker to Wisconsin and a game Michigan failed to qualify for. And they said their bowl opponent Georgia was a tougher match up than Michigan’s bowl opponent Virginia Tech.

Then I sat back and let the fur fly as they fought, cursed and denegrated each other’s school.

It is a rivalry. It is a huge rivalry and it is no longer one sided. Wolverines used to ignore Spartans because their teams used to smack them around under Bo Schembechler and Lloyd Carr. Spartans were petty and jealous and their days were made when Michigan lost even though the Spartans often lost on the same day.
It was the arrogant asses against the paranoid Spartans. Big brother against little brother.

Now the roles have reversed in many ways. The Wolverines are chasing the Spartans. Michigan fans now root against the Spartans more than they ever have and it is easy to get them to fight. I simply sit back and enjoy the fire works. And the funny thing is many Wolverines try to deny there is a rivalry. There is.

Here is the fun part. The Spartans are not going away as most Wolverines believe. And the Wolverines are going to return to being a good program under Hoke. That means more fireworks and more fights. It means our state will become even more divided and more bitter. And do you know what I have to say to that?

Pass the popcorn. I am going to enjoy the show.

 

January 10, 2012

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Silent nights at the Palace

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I went to the Pistons game Tuesday night and watched the never quit Pistons fight and scratch and claw their way to only lose 100-86 to the Dallas Mavericks at The Palace.

OK. I am being sarcastic. I watched another dismal performance from a team that lacks energy, toughness, talent and an identity. The Pistons are not only getting beat on a nightly basis but they are getting smashed in the face. Most of their losses are by double digits. Last week they paid tribute to Michael Jordan by losing two games by 23 points each.

I am waiting for them to honor Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh who wears 90.

That is not the entire story. Nobody is coming to watch this team play and who can blame them? What you are left with is a sterile atmosphere that reminds me of the days when the Detroit Shock played there. Actually the Shock out drew the Pistons some nights, just as the Michigan State women’s basketball team did one night last week.

I remembered how  the Palace rocked during the Bad Boys days of Isiah Thomas and the New Boys days of Ben Wallace. Now the place reminds me of that old Christmas song “Silent Night.”

You can see growing frustration on the bench as players try to figure things out. And you can see frustration on the face of coach Lawrence Frank who often jumps from the bench as if somebody lit his pants on fire when games turn into dunk fests. Frank hates when his team gets dunked on but at some point of the game opponents turn into human highlight reels.

“This is going to be painful,” Frank said.

It is painful. The last time the Pistons were this bad they were tanking the season to get the number one pick in the draft. The last time the Palace was this quiet was during the NBA lockout. The only reason to go is to see if young pups Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight can turn into something. Monroe is showing signs of building a bright future. Knight remains a work in progress.

Typically in the NBA there is a four to five-year cycle to turn a good team turned bad into a good team again. The Pistons are in year three. No big name free agent will come here and I am not convinced the Pistons would go after one any way. Their future is in the draft lottery where they hope to land a future great. The problem is I do not see one coming down the pipe line.

So if you ever want a night of peace and quiet don’t go to the library. The Palace might be the place for you.

January 11, 2012

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Got to be there

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Parenthood

My day was going smoothly. I’d gotten my work out of the way which meant there was plenty of time to see my son Brandon’s poetry reading in his class room. All the kids wore all black and berets and read poems they’d written. I told Brandon I would show up to listen.

But something came up. The newspaper called and a story I’d be working on for next week got pushed up. They wanted to run it the next day. I still had notes to go through, people to call and tapes to transcribe. It looks like there would be no poetry listening for me. There wasn’t enough time to pull this off and do my radio show later in the day.

But I made a promise and I did not want to break it. However, I never got an indication if it meant anything to Brandon for me to be there. I debated and decided to go hear my son read his poems. I snuck into the back of the classroom and waited for Brandon’s name to be called. When it was his turn he read a poem about math. He loves figures and numbers.

It was cute and we all snapped our fingers in applause so we did not disturb the rest of the classes.

January 12, 2012

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Friday the 13th is just another day now

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Today is Friday the 13th and I am not worried.

I am doing about my day normally. I won’t look out for black cats. I won’t go searching for four leaf cloavers and I do not believe the world will come to an end today. It is amazing I felt that way because Friday the 13th used to mean a day of doom, gloom and visits from the heavens. It was a day of bad luck.

My aunt used to do all of her errands the day before or on Saturday. She did not want to take a chance of something bad happening on Friday the 13th. She went to work and did all the essentals but she did not go out of her way. One of our neighbors stayed in the house the entire day. She was convinced she was going to get hit by a bus or some moon fragment.

We do believe she’d already been hit in the head by something.

In my neighborhood Friday the 13th was circled in red in the same manner Brady Hoke does when Michigan plays Ohio. It was a bad holiday. Most of the people in my old neifhborhood believed in ghost, goblins and spirits. People always talked about Uncle Ed who’d died 10 years earlier coming to visit. It was as if he had moved to Florida and decided to come up and visit the family.

I am surprised we didn’t have a welcoming party for our dead relatives. And Friday the 13th was like a family reuniion. Everybody came to visit. I used to buy into that until I got older although I still believe in ghosts. But Friday the 13th is just another day for me.

Now I wonder how this lucky rabbit’s foot got in my jean pockets?

 

January 13, 2012

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10 simple smiles

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

10 things that made me happy this month

1. Splitting a sandwich with my son B atDiBella’s near the Oakland University campus. Great sandwiches.

2. Leaving for Las Vegas with the wife to celebrate her sisters wedding. I hope it last.

3. Ringing in the New Years at Big Ralph’s outside Chicago, drinking wine and eating his beef brisket.

4. Drinking beers with a friend who has a big announcement on Tuesday that you all will hear about.

5. YaYa’s chicken salad for dinner. It is tasty and healthy.

6. Playing pick up basketball again although my game stinks now and it leaves me sore.

7. Eating Garrett’s Chicago mix popcorn. Next time I just want the cheese.

8. Watching the Lon’s in the playoffs again even though the result is not what people wanted here.

9. Talking to the people at Maxie’s Deli on Michigan Avenue near downtown Detroit

10. Watching my father in law, The Legend, get stronger after his heart attack in 2010.

January 14, 2012

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Spartys say I love Patriots because I love Michigan

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

OK. It is time to make fun of Spartans today.

On Sunday the Super Bowl was set when the New England Patriots defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game and the San Francisco 49ers got bounced by the New York Giants. This sets up a rematch between the Patriots and Giants when the G-men spoiled an unbeaten season by beating the Patriots in 2008.

A few people asked for a prediction in the Super Bowl and I said I think the Patriots will get revenge and beat the Giants. So what does this have to do with Spartan fans? Hang on.

Two people actually had smart ass remarks. Let me paraphrase.

“Is that because of your U-M love and bias?”

It took me a moment to figure out what they were getting at but it quickly hit me that former University of Michigan quarterback Tom Brady quarterbacks the Patriots and is the face of the franchise. So these people are dumb enough to think I would pick the Patriots to win a Super Bowl because I am in love with Michigan?

January 23, 2012

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My Dr. King message

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Many years ago I gave a speech at a high school to commemorate Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Afterwards a mother told me about her son who was a good football player that was overlooked by colleges. He was a running back and defensive back with pretty good speed. She knew he was not a Division I player but believed he could play D-2 football. I met the kid also and he seemed nice and got good grades in school.

They wanted to know if I could help him get a crack at playing college football. I took their number and made a few phone calls. A few weeks later I heard from the woman and she said he’d gotten an opportunity to play at Ferris State University. I told the family I was happy for them and hoped the best for the boy and his future.

I wrote a column about it for the newspaper and the message was to remember the spirit and the words of Dr. King. We should help each other in his spirit. Most people enjoyed the message. However, I got more than a handful of angry phone calls from people who accused me of being racist.

January 16, 2012

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It ain’t UNC-Duke but state hoops is special

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

A couple years ago a 30 minute interview with Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo turned into a three-hour marathon. We talked basketball and the economy. We talked about family and the economy. We even talked about health and fitness as Izzo promised to use a treadmill in his office more.

But one of the more interesting things we talked about was Michigan and Michigan State hoops. Izzo didn’t talk about his desire or need to stomp the Wolverines every time he faced him, although that is what he wants to do. Instead he talked about his desire to see both programs strong and to make college basketball a top of mind sport in the state of Michigan.

“Why can’t we have a North Carolina-Duke situation here,” Izzo said. “Why can’t both programs be strong and amongst the top in the nation. Trust me I want to beat their ass every year. But having both programs strong is good for all of us.”

College basketball is not top of mind in our state and this is a long way from being Tobacco Road North. However, Michigan and Michigan State play tonight for more than bragging rights. The two teams are fighting for a Big Ten title and the game is important. The Spartans are tied for first. The Wolverines are a game behind and this is the first time the two teams have faced each other while ranked since 1998.

January 17, 2012

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Michigan State trumps Michigan even in defeat

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Michigan beat Michigan State 60-59 in another exciting basketball game between the two programs. The Wolverines have beaten the Spartans three straight times and pulled even with them in the loss column in Big Ten play.

It is not North Carolina-Duke yet, nor will it ever be, but it is exciting.  So has Michigan closed the gap? Yep.

Is Michigan the better basketball program? Nope.

If you apply the same standards in basketball that you do in football then there is no other answer. Michigan State has beaten Michigan four straight times in football and in all four cases the Spartans were clearly the better team on the field. However, Michigan fans hold steady in their belief that Michigan is the better program because of tradition. If those rules apply in football then you must apply them in basketball.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has a national title, six Final Fours and several Big Ten titles. Michigan coach John Beilein has none. In fact Michigan has not won a Big Ten regular season title since 1986. MSU won titles in 2009 and 2o1o.  There cannot be a double standard here.

If Michigan is better in football because of tradition then State is the better program in basketball because of tradition.

Of course you are allowed to disagree. What do you think?

January 18, 2012

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Poking the flames of Spartans Wolverines rivalry

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion, sports

I did it for a reason. I stoked the flames of the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry because I love it when fans back peddle. I love it when they set a standard for their program and won’t do it for the other.

The Michigan-Michigan State rivalry is alive and well although some folks still try to deny it. My job is to poke the flames now and then just to keep things rolling. I don’t have a horse in this race. I am a state of Michigan man and only ask that you entertain me three times a year with two good basketball games and a good football game in the fall.

Shortly after Michigan beat Michigan State 60-59 Tuesday night I threw a test bomb out there by writing on this blog that MSU remains the better program. You can go back to the archives to read it.

That riled up blue bloods from around the country who said I was unfair and it was untrue and that the timing was all wrong. And then some of you rocket scientist came up with the same old tired retort that I am sniffing Mike Valenti’s jock strap. When you don’t have a good argument that is the card you play.

But let’s go through a time line and go through your reaction.

When Rich Rodriguez fire bombed Michigan’s football program I did say that the Spartans were not only a better team but a better program. The reason is that this was no longer the Michigan program I recognized. It was something else. Blue bloods got mad because they said you have to look at Michigan tradition and it trumped the Spartans. I would have normally agreed but that thing they paraded out there was not Michigan football.

This was the dazed and blue.

When Brady Hoke took over I acknowledged that Michigan was back and that if you want to use tradition as a reason why Michigan’s program is stronger then go for it. Michigan State however was the better team. Of course the Spartans got mad because they’d beaten Michigan four straight times.  The Michigan fans were happy with that statement and I got emails praising me for standing up to the mean devil known as Mike Valenti.

Last season I said that Michigan was a better basketball team than MSU even before the Wolverines beat the Spartans for the second time in a row. Again Spartans were mad and talked about the Detroit bias against their team.

And finally I threw out Tuesday’s test bomb. I said the exact same thing about Michigan State’s basketball program that I said about Michigan’s football program under Hoke. You thought I wrote setting children on fire is a good thing. The blue bellies got so fired up that I thought they were going to explode.

I guess my question is simple. If Michigan is a better football program because of tradition and recent accomplishments prior to Rich Rod then why isn’t Michigan State’s basketball program better because of tradition and recent accomplishments?

I will be listening and reading.

 

January 18, 2012

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Don’t walk out on your tab no matter how big you are

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life, Opinion

There is a pretty high profile Detroit professional athlete who is enjoying himself at bars and restaurants and often does not play his tab. And one of his bills was as high as $400.

He did not pay the tab. He did not leave a tip. He just walked out.

His reason? He is a high profile Detroit professional athlete and the establishments should just be happy he came in and created a stir. I’ve heard this from a couple of bar owners and do not want to give out his name just in case. But it is not right. I do not care how much stir you create, you should pay your tab unless the bar manager or owner says the bill is on the house.

People put a lot of money into establishments and times are tough for even some of the bigger places. Chances are the athlete is in better shape than the bar owners.

January 19, 2012

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I am OK with Brandon Inge comments

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

A feeding frenzy hit Detroit when Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said he is preparing to become the Tigers starting third baseman just moments after manager Jim Leyland announced Inge would platoon there with Don Kelly.

How dare he.

The fans went nuts and complained about Inge being entitled, spoiled and ungrateful. The man is a lightening rod. Every time he speaks it sparks a debate. But Inge didn’t say anything differently than any other pro athlete. He simply said he is preparing to be a starter. He has confidence in himself that he can rebound from a disaster season during which he hit below .200.

“I love Don Kelly but I am not looking to platoon,” Inge said.

He wants to be a starter. So what is wrong with that? Now if you want to say he does not deserve to start I am fine with that. If you want to give the job to Kelly, that is cool also. But what did Inge do that was wrong except play bad baseball?

He did not make demands. He did not call Leyland out and he did not say if he is not a starter he is checking out. He did none of that. Inge said he prepared to be the starting third baseman. I’ve never heard an athlete say he is working hard to be a back up unless of course you played first base the past few years for the St. Louis Cardinals or quarterback for the New England Patriots.

Leyland put the heat on Inge saying he needs more from third base. He is right. Inge must hit better especially with Victor Martinez out this season with a knee injury. Everybody must pull their weight.

For years Inge was guaranteed his perch atop third base. That is no longer the case and let’s see how he responds where nothing is given to him. Leyland said he hopes Inge plays well enough to be the Tigers starting third baseman. All Tiger fans should wish that because this is a team gunning for titles, not just playing to have fun.

I do not blame Leyland for making Inge earn his spot. He must do better. The old days of batting .236 or 200 is not good enough.

January 20, 2012

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Another dressing room brawl makes the news

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I told you the other day that fights between teams in pro sports are common place. We just don’t hear about most of them.

That comment came on the heals of the Tigers battle between catcher James McCann and an angry Jose Iglesias. Many of you wanted to use it as another reason why manager Brad Ausmus has lost control of this team.

Then a couple days later New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith gets sucker punched by former teammate IK Enemkpali for a $600 debt according to the New York Post. Enemkpali is a former teammate because the Jets immediately released him because he is quite frankly not good enough to keep around.

The Jets said Smith will be out 6-10 weeks. The Sports Pickle said it better writing that Smith will be out 18-30 interceptions.

According to the Post Enemkpali was angry at Smith for refusing to reimburse $600 to him after he paid for an airline ticket and limousine service to a football camp that Enemkpali puts in in Texas. Smith did not go to the camp following the death of his brother’s best friend in a motorcycle accident.

Smith and Enemkpali got into a heated argument and Enemkpali ended it with a sucker punch.

Smith is set to make $1.7 million this season plus bonuses. Enemkpali was supposed to make $510,000 but that ended after a measly $600 dispute.

How childish.

The Jets knew Enemkpali was a character risk. While at Louisiana Tech he punched a police officer during a barroom brawl and was pepper sprayed. He was placed on 13 months probation.

He also took an anger management course, which of course did not work.

We cannot take our eyes off Brandon Inge

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

What is it about Brandon Inge?

We love him. We hate him but we cannot ignore him. I wrote a column on Inge for today’s Detroit News and I immediately knew it would create a fire storm. It was the most read story the past 24 hours on Detnews.com and people are chirping all over the city.

Former Tigers pitcher Denny McLain blasted Inge saying he should be grateful to be on a more competitive team rather than complain about losing his third base job to Miguel Cabrera. McLain is right. Inge does not deserve to complain about this. I understand he is a competitor and wants to right for his job. But he comes up way short in the argument.

Inge batted .193 last season while Cabrera batted .344 with 30 home runs and 105 runs batted in. There is no comparison between the two. Inge’s defense does not make up for 150 points in batting.

Every time Inge speaks people react. And every time we react the aura of Inge grows. He is the most publicized guy with a below .250 batting average in the history of baseball. Sorry pitchers do not count. So what is it?

I would love to hear from you about why people react so much to Inge. Many people are saying they want to see him go away but I was listening to the radio over the weekend and there are still people defending him and looking for ways to get him more playing time.

There is just something about Brandon Inge. What is it?

Help me please.

January 30, 2012

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Shutting down my favorite athlete is no fun

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Parenthood, sports

My favorite athlete in the whole world buried her head in my stomach and began to cry. She knew what was coming but deep down she knew I was doing the right thing as a parent.

Celine Foster the young soccer player is being shut down for a minimum of two weeks, perhaps longer. She was diagnosed Monday with Plantar Fasciitis, also know as the Grant Hill foot disorder. The problem began three weeks ago during a soccer tournament and it kept on as she prepared for indoor season. Celine missed the first game of the season, gave it the old college try on Saturday, but knew she could not continue.

Be careful out there parents. We suspect it was caused by new soccer shoes that were too loose.

This means she won’t be on her seventh grade volleyball team because she will miss tryouts and my fear is she will be out a month for soccer. She came up with every idea and contraption to ensure she kept playing. Sometimes you must tell them no for their own good. The only way this thing will fully heal is with rest.

She does not like it and I offered to take her to games so she could be with her team. Celine reminds me of many other amatuer players. They do anything they can to get on the field.  I bet you did it during your playing days in Little League, high school and in pickup games as a kid. I would love to hear your stories.

Here is mine. I worked at the Lindell A.C. as an eighth grader, setting up the cook area on Saturday morning. I was showing off with a twisting layup while goofing around and my leg hit a table and exploded in a pool of blood. It hurt like hell. There were two things I needed to get through.

Work because I wanted the money.

And there was a game that night for Nativity Lutheran. I had to do both so we ran to the drug store and got gauze and tape so I could play. I hid the injury.

I got through the day at the Lindell although I could feel blood dripping and needed to run to the upstairs offices to change the dressing. And that night I started the game with this gauze on my leg. I told my coach it was a small scrap and that I was fine. Three minutes into the game this temporary contraption fell apart and my leg bled on the floor. I was shut down for the night and the next week.

Celine is bull headed enough to limp through a soccer game. She wants to play. We all want to play. What measures are you willing to go through not to shut it down on the basketball floor or ball field?

I would love to hear your stories.

January 24, 2012

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This Prince of a deal is exciting

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Late Tuesday night I appeared on a Chicago radio station asking me for the inside scoop on the Tigers signing slugger Prince Fielder. And here was my insight.

“I will be honest with you. I don’t know what the heck happened. I am still walking around in shock.”

“You had to have an inkling something was up,” the announcer said.
“Nope. Not a clue,” I admitted.’

It was the kind of shock that made your jaw drop when you heard the Tigers signed Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract. From the people I talked to, Fielder did not want to come to Detroit and play for the Tigers. It actually didn’t have as much to do with his estranged father Cecil Fielder, who played here, as I originally thought.

He thought he was a better fit elsewhere — perhaps Texas or Washington. But Tigers owner Mike Ilitch gave Fielder an offer he couldn’t refuse by offering him the fourth highest contract in baseball history. Ilitch took all his poker chips and shoved them to the middle of the table. He is all in and nobody expected this.

The Ilitch family, outside of Mike Ilitch is stunned. Tigers manager Jim Leyland scolded reporters for asking about Fielder basically calling them stupid for even bringing it up. And I still don’t think Ilitch has told Tigers President Dave Dombrowski yet. He probably found out on twitter.

I keep hearing this will be a good deal on the front end and a bad one on the back end. Fielder is 27 years old. My guess is he has six good years. Beyond that I do not care. And if he discovers better eating and training habits he could last longer. I hope he finds it because this dude could mash for a long time.

I will write more about this in the coming days. I am just stunned right now and want to make sure this is actually happening. Could somebody pinch me?

You mean to tell me Tayshaun Prince is no longer the Prince of Detroit? Stunning.

January 25, 2012

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Are you all in with the Prince

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Now that Prince Fielder is a Tiger (I think) are you all in? Tigers owner Mike Ilitch showed us that he is all in by signing Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract. Now will you be all in by attending more Tigers games this summer and drinking more beer and eating more Italian sausages? In addition to winning a World Series this move was made to stimulate the fan base into attending more games and buying more Tigers gear.

I’ve already heard from people who said they are purchasing mini-ticket plans and can’t wait for the Fielder jersey to come out. There should be a lot of excitement at Comerica Park this season. Of course the Detroit Police will have to call out the riot squad if the Tigers don’t make the playoffs in the weak American League Central. It would be 2008 all over again.

We can’t have that and it won’t happen.

** I’m convinced the only people who do not know Fielder is coming to the Tigers is President Dave Dombrowski and ESPN. The four-letter network would be having a field day (pardon the pun) if Fielder signed with the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. He signs with Detroit and it is no big deal. I would say boycott ESPN but too many of you are addicted.

** Congratulations to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for his 400th victory against the University of Minnesota. I cannot think of 400 things I’ve done in my life that does not involve loud snoring.

** Did you notice who woke up when Tayshaun Prince couldn’t make it to the Palace because of family matters? I understand the Pistons want a veteran leader around a young team. But it seems as if Prince is stunting the growth of young forward Austin Daye who was expecting to start this season. Daye has a mental block and that block is Prince.

January 26, 2012

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I root for Cecil and Prince to mend relationship

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Every Saturday is daddy-son time. That is when me and my son B run errands, enjoy lunch and talk about the week past and the week ahead. Maybe we go to his soccer game. Maybe we play games at Dave and Busters. During that time our bond grows.

Night time is daddy-daughter time. My job is to quiz Celine on upcoming tests. On Thursday nights I drive her to and from practice. Recently she admitted there is a boy she likes but she is not sure he likes her. Sometimes we grab ice cream and chat more. During that time our bond grows.

My mother and sister do not talk. They have not spoken for years because they are both bull headed and too much like each other. There is a hole in the entire family because of it. I am sure the same void is in the Fielder family. Cecil the dad and Prince the son used to be best buddies. We saw son and dad at Tiger Stadium, hitting home runs together during batting practice and doing McDonald’s commercials together. It was a special relationship that made everybody feel good.

Now that relationship is estranged and strange. Prince does not talk about the dad and the dad only talks about the son in hoping their relationship heals.

January 27, 2012

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Denny McLain threw the high hard one

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Tonight I am giving the keynote speech to the Madonna University baseball team in Livonia and there is a rumor former Tiger Denny McLain is going to show up. It will be interesting to see one of Detroit’s most controversial figures. He also enjoyed a season that nobody in this town will touch. And that includes current Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

McLain won 31 games in 1968 in leading the Tigers to the World Series. He only won once in the World Series where lefty Mickey Lolich (three wins) took over and became the Tigers ace during a thrilling seven-game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. McLain went through a number of legal problems that landed him in jail.

He is also one of Detroit’s great story tellers because he has a lot of stories to tell.

Today, in baseball they tell pitchers to keep the ball low. McLain used to get people out with the high, hard one. He threw the fastball at your chest and dared you to catch up with it. Often that happened because McLain gave up a bunch of home runs. But he also pieced together nights where nobody could touch him.

He was my Justin Verlander as a child.

January 28, 2012

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Eli Manning winning a second SB trophy is bad news

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

There is bad news on the sports front. The New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI Sunday night 21-17 over the New England Patriots.

So why is that bad? It is bad because the new world order has been disrupted. Now Giants quarterback Eli Manning has officially been entered into the discussion as elite quarterback and championship quarterback. It does a couple of things. For one it screws Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Seeing Stafford play in the Pro Bowl means a lot to Lions fans. Well you can forget that now. The top three spots in the NFC are reserved for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans QB Drew Brees and Manning. You figure one of those three will play in multiple Super Bowls the next few years so it is possible Stafford makes it as an alternate. The problem is he still must leap frog Cam Newton and Tony Romo.

Here is the other bad part. Manning is entering his name as best quarterback of our era even though the eyeball tests says he is not. He is not as good as older brother Peyton Manning but he has two rings and Peyton has one. He is not as good as Rodgers and Brees but he has as many rings as them combined.

Well he is not as good as Brady who has three rings. But Eli has the same number of Super Bowl MVP trophies and he is 2-0 against Tom Terrific in Super Bowls.

“This isn’t about one person,” Manning said. “It is about a team coming together.”

He is right but people like to slot quarterbacks based on regular season wins, MVP trophies and most importantly playoff success. The Giants are as successful as anybody and Manning plays a big role in that. Manning isn’t as good as most of the other quarterbacks I mentioned. But he is now out performing them and many people will say I am wrong.

And they might be right.

February 6, 2012

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How can a man kill his entire family?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion

Every night I check on my children while they sleep. I could never imagine taking a hatchet and half chop their heads off and then set the house on fire and kill them. But that is what a Washington man did to his two boys.

It appears as if Josh Powell took a hatchet, chopped his two sons head and then died alongside with them after he set the house ablaze. I don’t care how angry you are. I don’t care what is going through your head, how can you do that to your own flesh and blood? This story angers me. We bring children into the world. They did not choose to come. And our jobs is to help them as much as we can to become good people.

Charles was 7 years old and Braden just 5.

You do not selfishly take away their lives.

“What happened here was an act of evil. Do not call it a tragedy because that sanitizes it,” Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor told the Seattle Times. “This was a terrible act of murder involving two young children.”

February 7, 2012

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Prince Fielder excitement continues in Detroit

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

This weekend excited Tiger front office workers were giving a going away party at Bookies. They were excited because business was good.

People are so excited about the Prince Fielder signing that folks are buying season ticket and mini-ticket packages by the ton. One person told me people were working all weekend and that computer screen were filled with calls all last week. Their biggest problem was getting back to customers on time because the lines were so stacked.

That is a great problem to have and that is why the workers are smiling from ear to ear.

The Tigers are legitimate contenders to win the World Series and people should be happy that Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is willing to do anything to win. Ilitch has been a major player in the NHL and now he is a major player in Major League Baseball. Detroit deserves that. We deserve the following summers coming up.

January 31, 2012

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I almost killed somebody

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

It was almost five in the morning. It was pitch black as I drove on Michigan avenue for my workout with trainer Melissa.

It was quiet, peaceful and no traffic was around. I was relaxed and ready for this hour of hell this woman puts me through. Then all of a sudden there was a person in front of my car and all my nerves stood on edge. I quickly changed lanes and saw this person scramble to get out of the street back onto the curve.

My heart stopped for a split second. I could have killed the pedestrian.

You never expect anybody to be walking in the street when it was pitch black. The other thing is they were wearing dark clothing and was difficult to see. I am glad I have good reflexes because I was really in chill mode. If I do not see cars on the road I relax.

No more.

You always need to be aware of your surroundings. You just never know who or what is on the road.  I’ve run over raccoons and squrrels but have never hit a person with my car. I of course never want that to happen.

But as I thought about it later. Who the heck walks in the road when it is dark? Isn’t that kind of a death wish? Usually runners wear reflective strips on their clothes or bikers have lights and reflective parts of their bike where you know where they are.

But black on black at night does not work. Let’s be careful.

 

 

February 2, 2012

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The Super Bowl is The Big Game

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I hate calling the Super Bowl the Big Game.

It sounds childish, but it goes to show the impact the NFL has on this country. Anybody that uses the term Super Bowl in advertisements can be subject to litigation by the NFL for copyright infringement. That means any mom and pop shop or local bar can be sued for inviting people to come to their place for the Super Bowl. If you look around the city there are a number of places doing that. They probably don’t even realize they are breaking the law.

I am doing an appearance for “The Big Game” at Fifth Avenue in Royal Oak for 971 The Ticket this Sunday. I am allowed to say that. If I said hey gang meet me at Fifth Avenue for the Super Bowl cause I just want to hang out with you, then that is fine. But if I say it as a member of the bar or restaurant I cannot say it.

February 3, 2012

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Twisted reason why Giants will beat the Patriots

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Take it to the bank. The New York Giants will win the Super Bow today.

Do you know why?

It’s because I am picking Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to win. Are you confused? Well so am I.

Let me explain it to you another way. I am predicting the Giants to win the Super Bowl because I am picking the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. Still confused? Yeah, so am I.

Here is what’s going on. I am finishing up a terrible season in picking winners in football. I swear I’ve gotten every game wrong during the playoffs. Well I did pick the New Orleans Saints to beat the Lions. So I got one right. I finished last for the first time on the Valenti and Foster Show on picking winners in the NFL and college. I dragged on my NFL picks after replacing former Detroit News sports writer Tim Twentyman who left the paper to work for the Detroit Lions website.

I called a female friend to pick my games one week hoping the female touch sparks me. That did not work.

Stuff happens. Games are unpredictable. These things go in cycles.

I explained this to Pistons coach Lawrence Frank as we left the Palace Saturday night. He wants the Giants to win because he is a Jersey guy. He had a puzzled look on his face, finally got it and smiled.

“Good.” he said laughing.

Some years I can do no wrong. My percentage is so high I half way think of moving to Vegas and cleaning up. There is no secret formula. It just happens. It is the same this season. There is no secret formula to being bad. It just happened.

This is a curious game any way. The Giants are favored underdogs. They are 2 1/2 point underdogs but 65 percent of betters are betting on them. I don’t know why they are not favored to win. It’s probably because Vegas knows something we don’t know, which is often the case.

So do you want to clean house and buy a new house? Then bet the house on the Giants because I am telling you the Patriots are going to win.

February 5, 2012

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Take that Mr. Bettman: Wings win despite schedule

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The NHL and Commissioner Gary Bettman is already crawling back on its hands and knees back to Detroit saying “Hey guys remember us?”

The Red Wings are this league’s greatest asset. There is no Jeremy Lin coming around the corner to save the day. The NHL’s Jeremy Lin is in street clothes in Pittsburgh. Without Sidney Crosby what does the NHL truly have? It has the Red Wings, a barnstorming team from coast to coast. If you’ve ever been in an opposing arena you will know what I’m talking about. You feel at home on the road with the Red Wings because arena’s are usually filled with your homies who root for them.

I am sure the plan was in place many months ago, but I find it curious that this area gets the Winter Classic when Crosby is shut down and may never be the same. It seems as if the league is giving the Wings something it should have had a long time ago — a home Winter Classic. The game will be played at Michigan Stadium so the league can break attendance records. I’m not a big fan of it because downtown is the right spot for the game.

However, Comerica Park won’t sit empty because of a number of other games and festivities which hopefully will make downtown jump.

The Wings also made their own history by winning their 21st consecutive home game at Joe Louis Arena. Players skated around the ice and gave fans a 21-win salute. They also sent a message to New York. Shove it Mr. Commissioner. The Red Wings along with a handful of other Midwest teams have the most difficult and mind bending schedule in the NHL.

The Wings should not be a team winning 21 straight home games simply because they travel longer distances than anybody. Fans don’t understand how difficult it is to perform at home on a Tuesday night after playing back to back weekend games in Vancouver and Edmonton.  It wears on you.

I went through several 82-game seasons with the Pistons and some nights you don’t who you are, let alone where you are. The Pistons schedule was grueling but it was not Red Wings grueling because at least they played in the Eastern Conference. Teams like New York, Philadelphia and Washington should enjoy long home winning streaks. They can take the subway to some away games.

The Wings should be in the East. Most of us want that and most of us realize that is the right place for them to be. But the Wings sent a strong message to Bettman. You can play your games but you cannot stop us.

 

February 15, 2012

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I knocked my wife out in a smooth brew

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I knocked my wife out last night. I mean snot bubbles knocked her out.

It was not an accident. It was not a mistake. I meant to do it and home girl was knocked out for hours. I didn’t do it with my fist. I did not do it with my feet. I did not give her a karate chop across the lips.

I knocked Abs out with a hot ta ti. And it was fun to see her slump in the bed and go to the land of Oz. She is sick with a cold and could not go to sleep, which is strange for her. We are opposites in that it is difficult for me to go to sleep. Abs can go to sleep in five seconds. She goes to sleep in mid sentence.

Last night was different. The cold was messing with her and she wanted desperately to go to bed. She knew my grandmother made hot ta ti’s for me. I remembered the recipe and went to work. I poured a mixture of Canadian whiskey, lemon juice, honey and water. I stirred and warmed it up until it was the perfect mixture of sweet taste and knock out juice.

I must admit it did taste good. I might make some for my next party.

February 8, 2012

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My Detroit sports all interview team

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Opinion, sports

Here is my Detroit All time All interview team. Only people I actually interviewed qualified.

GRANT HILL (PISTONS): He was a smart guy who loved breaking down the game even though his team usually broke down around him. Hill was filled with quips and good stories and loved to shoot the breeze with reporters.

NATE BURLESON (LIONS): Burleson loves to talk. He is a great promoter of the team but you can tell he believes in what he says. He fills reporters’ notebooks with great stories.

ISIAH THOMAS (PISTONS): You knew you had a good story coming if Thomas sat in his dressing stall with his head down while teammates showered. It meant there was something on his mind and he needed to talk.

PAUL COFFEY (RED WINGS): Former Red Wings coach Scottie Bowman always hated when I talked to Coffey. He thought he was giving me inside secrets, which he wasn’t. Bowman saw me talking to Coffey and cleared the dressing room. I thought the interview was over. Coffey told me to go to the stands where we continued our conversation.

BRANDON INGE (TIGERS): He was everybody’s go to guy and it will be interesting if that will be the case as his role diminishes with the team.

DOMINIC RAIOLA (LIONS): He wears his passion on his sleeves and tells the media and fans exactly how he feels.

BILL LAIMBEER (PISTONS): Everybody in the media did not like Laimbeer and he did not like everybody in the media. But we got along and he was very insightful during interviews.

CHRIS OSGOOD (REDWINGS): Osgood always let you in on how he felt. I was even there when he cried after that bad clearing pass that cost the Wings a series. He was quiet but had a lot to say.

DINO CICCARELLI (RED WINGS): Dino gritted his teeth during interviews. It was as if he was still playing the game.

HERMAN MOORE (LIONS): He was a smart guy that explained the violence of football in a clear way.

ALAN TRAMMELL (TIGERS): Tram would talk forever, the exact opposite of running mate Lou Whitaker.

 

 

 

February 9, 2012

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This place is haunted

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

SOUTH LYON — The night manager sat in a chair counting money and organizing the night receipts. It was quiet and no one was around.

He felt a tap on his left shoulder. He turned and no one was there. He kept counting. There was a tap on his right shoulder. Again he turned around and no one was there. The South Lyon Hotel Grill was empty that night but something was playing with the night manager. It is one of many haunting stories of this venerable bar and grill that sits downtown in this small town west of Detroit.

I spent part of my evening in a haunted building and after a night of good food and drink I listened to stories of the old South Lyon Hotel. My host Zack and some of his waitresses have witnessed unexplained happenings the past several years. If you turn on certain switches by the bar the hand blowers turn on in the bathroom. When workers clean up downstairs they hear chairs moving. And sometimes the ghosts talk.

One guy was closing down shop when a ghost kept pestering him. He screamed: “If you don’t leave me alone I am going to bother you when I die.”

He was left alone the rest of the evening.

The place is built over an Indian burial ground and people swear visitors from beyond enjoy their own version of last call. One startled waitress said she saw a ghost make crazy victory laps after closing time. She got the heck out and was white as a ghost.

I believe in ghosts. These stories send chills down my spine when I hear them. I think it would be fun to spend the night at the South Lyon to see if the underworld wants to join in the fun. I would not do it by myself of course. I am not that brave.

So stop by the South Lyon Hotel for a night cap. If you feel a tap on your shoulder do not be alarmed. Just say hello.

February 10, 2012

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Where is Charlie Vincent from the Pree Post?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I am glad I did my all interview team the other day on this blog because it drew a response from former Free Press columnist Charlie Vincent.

He mentioned that Sparky Anderson and Herman Moore were good guys to aid to my all-interview team and he is right.

Vincent is one of the most underrated voices in Detroit sports history because Vincent was always forced to play second fiddle to other people at the Free Press. But the thing I liked about him is he wrote opinion pieces. He did not write features disguised as columns. His goal was to send a message whether you agreed with it or not.

Two of the more interesting stories involved Vincent.  One time he wrote a descriptive pieces about a black athlete. He wrote what he wore, where he was and what he was eating. The guy happened to be eating a piece of fried chicken and Vincent included that in his column. The editors took it out because they said it was racist.

Vincent argued that he simply was writing what the guy was doing. The editors did not move. I understand that us black folks are sometimes portrayed as shuffling fried chicken eating people who are angry with the world. But I told Vincent he was in the right on this and the entire narrative should be included. It was an early sign of things to come.

February 11, 2012

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Whitney Houston death proves again drugs are not the answer

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I’ve lost my wife and I am not sure when I get her back.

Abs is in full Whitney Houston mode. She watches every segment of every show chronicling the death of one of America’s greatest singers.  She’s got the down stairs television and the bedroom television churning as details about Houston come out. This isn’t unusual for my news hound wife. We lost her when Michael Jackson died. She disappeared right from the face of the Earth.

Her body still roamed the house. Her mind was elsewhere. She was like one of those ghosts I wrote about at the South Lyon Hotel.

Part of this is people from our older generation are dropping like flies. For the most part it is not through natural causes. Drug abuse played a part in the deaths of Jackson and Houston. They should still be singing and entertaining people. They were young people with spirit and energy and talent.  Their problem is they were not on a natural high.

I do not know what addiction feels like. I’ve never tried cocaine, or crack or heroine. And I never wanted to. Hard drugs always scared me. I attended a party in my 20′s and stumbled into a room where people were snorting coke. I got out of there as quickly as possible. My friends know to hide any drugs they have when I visit them in my old west side Detroit neighborhood. They know I do not use. And they do not want to risk a police raid with me in the house.

I sat in a hospital room with an old girlfriend watching her brother die because of drug abuse.

February 14, 2012

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Death storm 2012 fizzles again

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

I am holding my crying children in my arms. They are scared and scarred for life.

My wife is stuck on the roof of our house. We are trying to reach the neighbors because we have not heard from them for hours. I do not know if we can survive this. And if this is the end of the Foster family I simply want to say I love you guys and thank you for supporting me during my media career. I love my wife. I love my kids and I love my community. And dammit!! I will say it. I love me some me.

Death Storm 2012 hit us and left our property devastated and dilapidated. What is the number to All State again?

Seriously folks, they got us again. I think there are like 12 snow flakes placed strategically around our property. Who are these people that predict the weather? It was on the national news for heaven sakes talking about this band of snow flurries that was going to hit Chicago, Detroit and the rest of Michigan. We were supposed to get 3-8 inches.

This is a conspiracy by the government. When they want to stimulate the economy they parade another death storm so we will rush out and buy batteries, food and water.  My poor son wanted to know if the birthday party he was invited to will go on as scheduled? I don’t know buddy. Our cars might not be able to get through this death storm.

February 24, 2012

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I felt like a criminal while visiting my old school

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

On Thursday I went to my alma mater Cass Tech to be part of a panel discussion regarding a film called “Black and Blue.” It was an enjoyable film about former President Gerald Ford and his friendship with black teammate Willis Ward.  It is a great story that has not been told much. Ford threatened to quit the team when Georgia Tech said it would not play Michigan because the Wolverines had a “negro” on their roster.

The school caved in and did not allow Ward to play because of Tech’s demands.

It is the first time I’ve been in my old school during class time and I felt like a combination airline passenger and criminal while entering the building. But it is the sign of the times. First you empty your pockets and go through a metal detector.  I had to show my identification twice and finally sat in a chair while they took my photo.

That is when I began feeling like a criminal. I swore they were going to finger print me next.  Metro Airport has nothing on Cass Tech and many of the other schools in our city. Back in the day we complained about our civil rights being violated because we were forced to wear identification cards.

Now you get stripped searched and have to leave your first born as a deposit.

 

February 16, 2012

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Parents don’t shoot up that computer

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Did you see the video of the dad pumping bullets into his 15 year old daughter’s computer because of something she published on Face book?

A bunch of parents applauded the man. Others were outraged. I understand we become upset with our children. My daughter Celine has a mouth on her and sometimes you want to strangle her. But you cannot humiliate your child this way in public. More than 23 million people have seen the dad blow up her laptop with a 45 pistol and most parents approved of his message.

This dude was very angry during his eight minute video. It is a new way of corporal punishment that is new to our world. What ever happened to the days when kids were grounded or you had to pick out your own switch for that spanking across the legs? It is another sign that our world has really changed.

Back in the day you were punished by being banned to your room. Today, kids want to be in their rooms because they have I-pods, computers, Skype and all other gadgets and programs to play with. Our punishment for our children is no Internet or no electronics. I was punished with a spanking and told to read in my room.

I get mad at Celine at times. We box and argue. But after a few minutes we make up and everything is fine. I would never shoot up her computer on the Internet. I’d be punishing myself because ultimately I would end up buying her a new computer because I am not only a dad but I am a bit of a sucker.

 

February 17, 2012

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They got rid of my girl Olive Oyl at CMU

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

MT. PLEASANT — It felt like a homecoming Friday during my tour of Central Michigan University. I was the keynote speaker for the opening day of the Sports Management Association’s Professional Management Conference where students looking to get into the business picked up tips from sports professionals. I met some fine students from CMU, Grand Valley and other schools who will do well in our business.

However, the real reason for this blog is to tell you how much CMU has changed. CMU is really nice. It has new buildings, new theaters, new athletic facilities and new reasons to come here if you are a student. It was a lot different then when I attended here. One of my stops was at the CM Life newspaper office where I chopped it up with some of the sports writers.

Our office was cluttered with yellow paper all over the place. The new place in Moore Hall looks like the New York Times. Our place had pop bottles all over the place covering dead bodies from the previous night’s bar tours. Their place is spotless. I stopped by the basketball offices during a coaches meeting. There were basketball logo’s action photos and a lot of Chippewas pride. The basketball offices I remember featured desks and chairs from The Gomer Pyle Show.

February 18, 2012

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Getting Loopy for breakfast at the Mixx Sports Bar

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I hope my girl Lauren who is a waitress and bartender at Mixx Sports Bar in Novi doesn’t get in trouble with her bosses.

It was my idea for her to try a breakfast of Loopy and milk today as she begins the morning shift there. What is Loopy and milk, you ask? It is a new drink I want her to try and then tell the world what is is like. Loopy is a new vodka drink from Three Olives that tastes like Fruit Loops. They let me try a small sample during my visit Saturday night after Sports fest which was sponsored by my radio station 971 The Ticket.

I see all these new flavored drinks and they sound interesting. There are vodkas flavored with orange, vanilla, blue berry and root beer. The other day a woman gave me a sample of Jack Daniels honey and it tasted great also. I love the new concepts but I do not know what to mix with them. Some of the drinks are sipping drinks. And some should be mixed, but I never know what to flavor them with.

I usually drink beer when I am in a bar setting, but now and then I want to relax to a mixed drink. The new flavors seem inviting but they are confusing. What do you mix with them besides Sprite and cranberry juice. I think that is what Laura, not to be confused with Lauren, gave me when I went to Mixx. It was great but I am intimidated by the new flavors.

If I order a root beer vodka should I have an A@W foot long hot dog with that? Do I mix a little raspberry with my chocolate drink?

I used to be a bartender way back in the day, but my specialty drinks were rum and coke and Slo Gin Fizz. Do they even make those any more? Would a bartender know what I’m talking about or would they make fun of me?

The industry has changed so much. Bartenders can make drinks that taste like frosted flakes, Cocoa Puffs and ham a eggs. I don’t know if we go to the bar any more to relax or have a Breakfast of Champions.

I will return to Mixx soon for a big bowl of Loopy and milk. Do you think I can get an omelet and hash browns with that?

February 19, 2012

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Wolverines and Spartans bring excitement on the hardwood

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Michigan and Michigan State are giving us thrills and it isn’t even football season. Their basketball teams are fighting for the Big Ten title along with Ohio State in  race that could come down to the final days and nights.

Currently the Spartans (22-5 overall, 11-3 in the Big Ten) lead Ohio State (22-5, 10-4) and Michigan (20-5, 10-4) by one game with four to play. Michigan crawled back into the race by beating Ohio State at Crisler Arena this weekend. MSU followed with a victory at Purdue.  The Spartans and Wolverines do it in different ways.

The Wolverines are like a pack of wild piranhas. They scramble and play a frenzied style that leaves you dizzy and tired after chasing them. The Wolverines have not met a three-point shot they don’t like. The Wolverines don’t chase you as much as they hunt you down.

The Spartans play like fish also. They are that lurking shark. They might not hurt you in the first half but at some point they sink their teeth into you and won’t let go. The Spartans don’t necessarily beat opponents. They beat them up.

MSU coach Tom Izzo always talked about Michigan and Michigan State becoming the Duke-North Carolina of the north. We may not be there yet but there will be interesting hoops talk in the coming weeks. Both Michigan and Michigan State are trending towards top 3 seeds in the tournament. They very well could meet on a neutral court for a third time during the Big Ten tournament and both could advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

I’m excited and love seeing both play. Both programs are doing well and the great thing is the best has yet to come.

And yes I will admit it will allow me to start more Spartan and Wolverine twitter fights. Now

February 20, 2012

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Everything in the house is falling apart

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family

My garage door now looks like an accordion.

It is more than 15 years old and has been rolled up and down and back and forth thousands of times. It has been slammed shut and backed into by a car. My son B has used it as a training ground for tennis and my daughter Celine bangs soccer balls off it. Poor guy said enough. Someone please take my life.  I can go on no further.

I guess my fingers will be walking through the Yellow Pages looking for a garage door place. Oh wait! Do they even have Yellow Pages any more?

Sometimes the dryer works. And sometimes it hums. Sometimes it stops and sometimes it churns. But old Betsy is saying “my final days are coming.” It is going to join that great Maytag repair grave in the sky.  It too is on its last leg and I’ve begun the process of finding a replacement.

The motor on her sister washing machine gave up three months ago. The wife did not want to buy a new machine at the time so we installed a new motor. The repairman said we are living on borrowed time. She too could go at any time. There is evidence of that. Old Suzie works, but sometimes she farts. I kid you not. It is humming along and all of a sudden it lets out a loud “bap.” It sounds like it ate beans the previous night.

It is only a matter of time.

It is fun being a home owner. And sometimes it becomes a pain in the pocket book. We will be eating franks and beans for a while as we make costly replacements to the house. Everything seems to go all at once. The refrigerator and dish washer walked to heaven together. The windows and side door went at the same time.

The carpet turned into the Joe Louis Arena ice right about the time the shower heads turned to Niagara Falls East.

It is time for me to go shoppping to keep my house together. Oh and did I tell you we might need a roof this summer?

 

February 22, 2012

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Living with a grumpy young girl is tough at times

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I want to yell at my grumpy daughter Celine but I just can’t do it. She is going through the toughest stretch of her young 12 year old life.

She has nightly three hour rehearsals at West Bloomfield High School for her upcoming musical and it has been grueling. There is school, home work and rehearsals and by the time we get home she is tired, grumpy and crying like a baby. Your first inclination is to tell her to hush and suck it up. But she is going through a lot.

She is also doing it on a bad foot which has kept her out of soccer for five weeks.  Now she claims she has a stomach ache which followed two headaches and a threat to throw up. She falls asleep at the drop of a coin and does not want to wake up in the morning. It has been a real joy watching my daughter turn from joyful child into Bride-zilla.

But this is what she wants to do. Celine dropped out of violin because she wants to sing, dance, act and write. She loves theater and is going to New York with her group this spring to see three Broadway plays. She loves to write and has written an unpublished 181 page book about children escaping evil wizards and monsters. I’ve read it and I would not say it is the best book in the world but you get it and it is semi entertaining.

She sometimes goes through a lot with athletics, school and extra work she enjoys doing. Sometimes her little battery runs dry and she is not a joy to be around. My thing is to allow her to have her space. She says and does things she does not mean and after a long nap she bounces up to you and apologizes.

So when she calls me a crusty old monster this week I will simply walk away and wait a couple hours for the apology.

 

February 23, 2012

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Once famous Yellow Pages are now paper weights

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

There is an ongoing saga going on in my neighborhood that shows how times have changed.

Last Friday they dropped off the Yellow Pages and about a third of them are still on top of the mail box. On Monday about half of the books were taken in. And on Sunday about 75 percent of the books sat and waited for the home owner to grab them. No one cares about the Yellow Pages any more. If you need something you have the Internet, talking phones and GPS to guide you.

That wasn’t the case during my youth. The Yellow Pages were a big deal. People snapped them up as soon  as they were dropped off and they were thumbing through the books looking for coupons and deals. It was fun to see what auto repair shops were near and which ones were on the East side. Our lives were much more simple.

My grandmother loved when they dropped off the Yellow Pages and I remember one year she said: “I think the Yellow Pages are late this year.”  They came the next day. We also loved when the regular phone book came in. It led to a new assault of prank phone calls because nobody had caller ID back then. Now it is impossible to do a prank phone call.

Do you know what the worst one was?

Prankster: “Excuse me Miss I am John from Bob’s Repair Shop. How are you doing?”

Woman: “I am fine. How are you?”

Prankster: “Is your refrigerator running?”

Woman: “It sure is.”

Prankster: “Well you better go outside and catch it.”

You are correct. We did not have much of a life. But those days are over. Most people are unlisted. The White Pages are also printed regionally. Back in the day you could smash bullet proof glass with the White Pages because they were so big. Now they look like a Stephen King novel.

Well I am done here. Maybe it is time for me to finally go out and get my Yellow Pages before they stack next year’s on top of it.

Let’s throw our support to Detroit 300

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

A few years ago I Detroit policeman used to have me talk to troubled youth about making a break from crime and trying to better themselves. He figured they might listen to someone who grew up in Detroit, works in Detroit and made a successful living in Detroit.

The talks were rewarding for me but I never knew if I reached the kids. He said he saw a difference in a couple of kids and one day I asked him why we did not do this more often. His response was troubling.

“I only give you the kids I think have a chance of being rehabbed. Many of the kids I deal with are unreachable and I don’t want to waste your time or mine.”

Detroit needs help and I’ve tried to help by school lectures and by donating to soup kitchens. However, I was moved by a group of men from in and around Detroit who are trying to make a difference by going to the streets and finding people that hurt children and the elderly. Detroit 300 has been around for about a year and a half but got major exposure by appearing on Fox 2′s Let it Rip last Thursday.

There have been a rash of child killings in Detroit and unreported rapes and attacks on the elderly. These men are trying to take back the streets and root out the criminals. Their motto is “Taking our streets back, one neighborhood at a time.” It is a daunting task and they are up against citizens who are afraid to speak up or point out the criminals. And of course there are others who protect them.

They need flashlights and other equipment to take to the streets and make them safe. I plan to donate to help them with their cause. I encourage you to do also. We should do as much as we can to make Detroit safe again. I am not calling for you to go to the streets at night and risk your lives. But we can support those who are willing to do so.

Go to theDetroit300.org and read up on this group. If you want, then support the cause by joining or sending in a donation. This is important.\

Here is the link  http://bit.ly/xHDNlu

 

February 25, 2012

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How to handle the two on one break down

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Parenthood

Sometimes being a parent is about making tough decisions or compromises. I found myself in that predicament Saturday night when one child wanted to stay at a party and be with her friends while another was breaking down and wanted to go home. I call it the two on one break down.

Here is the situation. My daughter Celine celebrated a three show run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream coat at Gino’s restaurant in Keego Harbor. The Abbott Middle School Theater played at West Bloomfield High School and it was an amazingly good production filled with music, professional looking props and special effects. Celine is a seventh grader and played a nice but minor role in the production. The eighth graders were great.

Afterwards the parents and children went to Gino’s. I took Celine and my son Brandon to the post production party for pizza and bread sticks. Brandon was fine for the first half hour but after we ate he wanted to go home. Celine was still enjoying a good time with her cast mates was in no mood to leave. And after all the work they went through I did not want to cut her fun short. Believe me when I say these kids worked their tails off for an entire week.

She missed three days of school for all-day sessions and they had regular practice from 6-9 pm four nights last week.

Back at Gino’s Celine was giddy and Brandon grumpy.

“I am tired,” he said. “Can you tell Celine we want to leave?”

February 26, 2012

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The 24 hours of Daytona seemed to last forever

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Yes I will admit it. I was one of those idiots who stayed up until one in the morning Tuesday watching the 24 Hours of Daytona.

OK. Let me make a confession. I fell asleep a little past the halfway point of the race and woke up to see the final 30 laps. Heck, that was like another good hour of raceing. This thing lasted forever.

This raced was delayed by rain, fire, snow, natural disaster, crashes, road rage and the concession stands running out of beer.  I was waiting for a swarm of locust to hit the track.  It was long but amazing and of course came down to a two lap sprint which was finally won by Matt Kenseth. It was his 22nd career victory and I dare say it was his longest and most anticipated victory.

I love the Daytona 500. I covered it as a young auto writer when I wrote for the Free Press and really had a great time during my week down there covering time trials and the other races.  It is one of America’s grestest sporting events although many people do not consider auto racing a part of sports. But it is a great event.

I just never remember it lasting so long. However, night racing was fun. The Daytona 500 has always been a day event but they should consider running it on a Sunday night. Afterall all of our great events are on Sunday night. The Super Bowl, NBA All Star game and the Grammys.

OK. I am out. I am tired.

February 28, 2012

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In the mood for pancakes

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I missed out on International Pancake Day. I love pancakes but do not eat them as much as I used to.

My breakfast consist mostly of cereal and fruit. But now and then I get some good old fashion pancakes and they really hit the spot. My favorite are blueberry pancakes with the blueberry compote from the International House of pancakes. Man those things are sweet and are filled with flavor.

The best pancakes I’ve ever had was at this place called Moose McGillicuddy’s in Hawaii. These things were the size of SUV rims and just as thick. I ate the entire stack and they had to wheel me out of the place. If you are in Hawaii you should go. Besides, I love the name also. And I heard their happy hour is fun although I would not mix Long Island Iced Teas with pancakes and syrup. The sugar rush might kill you on the spot.

I am taking the wife there this summer and I am just as excited to hit the Moose as I am the beach.

Do you want to hear something strange? Sometimes I am in the mood for waffles and sometimes I am in the mood for pancakes. They are the same thing. They are just shaped differently. But I swear that waffles and pancakes do not taste the same. The Sun Rise Cafe in Farmington Hills has a nice waffle with infused pecans or raisins.

Now I am in the mood for pancakes. I might have some for breakfast today with Little B. It should be fun. Where are your favorite spots for pancakes?

February 29, 2012

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The kissing cheerleaders

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

I could tell my friend in Florida was upset. There were long pauses between conversations.

“What’s up,” I asked.

“Nothing,” she said.

I told her I was not stupid and for the next 15 minutes her story unfolded. I will change names to protect people, but her daughter Darla is a member of the high school cheer team. She is a sophomore and has always enjoyed jumping on couches and screaming. She is a cute and dainty child who is now beginning to discover womanhood.

The other night she had a couple of her cheer buddies over for a sleep over. They enjoyed pizza, went through some cheers and watched television. It was a typical girls night filled with laughter and stupid talk about boys and school and how they hated Mr. Dumplings the principal. It was past midnight when mom went upstairs to tell the girls to knock it off and go to sleep.

When she did mom caught two of the girls kissing. Their bottoms were on but their tops were off.  They stopped and turned red and said they were just playing around.

Later the daughter admitted that three or four of the girls on a 25 member cheer squad kiss sometimes and that the girls touched each other on the breast, but that is as far as they went. There was no sex. It was just girls exploring.

The mom told me she never did that as a child. She grew up in a strict family in Michigan and never dreamed of doing something like that because her family would kill her. She wanted to know if she had a problem or was this just girls exploring one another and that this will disappear? I admitted I had no answers.  I did not know if this was a problem or a phase.

The mom said it doesn’t bother her if Darla is bi-sexual, gay or straight. She was just shocked to see what she did.

I asked if it would bother if Darla kissed a boy. She said no. But it is the semi-nudity that worried her. She wants to end all sleepovers.

I bring this to the people. What do you think about this? I would love to hear from parents with teenage girls. Do you have advice for my friend? Is this normal behavior for young girls?  I quite frankly did not know what to tell her.  She reads comments here and on my face book and twitter pages.

Can you help or advise?

NCAA should drop Michigan twitter incident

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

What would you do if one of your boys decided to join your company?

You might send him a text. You might give him a phone call or you might send out a text welcoming him to the family. That is what University of Michigan wide receiver Roy Roundtree when he found out “his little brother” linebacker Mike McCray was attending Michigan. It is a violation of NCAA rules and the school has notified the governing body of the incident.

I say drop it. Michigan does not gain a competitive advantage because of the tweet. The tweet is not changing any minds. It was like sending out a public congratulations card. I do not see the harm. The two attended the same high school in Ohio. However, the NCAA has this rule on the book and Roundtree might have violated it.

“NCAA rules do not allow comments about possible recruits on an institution’s social media page or a page belonging to someone affiliated with the institution. In addition, these pages cannot feature photos of prospects and messages cannot be sent to recruits using these social media technologies other than through their e-mail function.”

I can understand if a recruit is deciding between a few schools and someone is publicly calling for them to come to their school. But his is not the case. Let’s hope the NCAA uses common sense, tells Roundtree not to do it again and moves on.

Don’t block my view

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

People often ask me if I grow tired of talking sports. The answer is no. This is what I do.

I write three columns a week for the Detroit News and baby sit Mike Valenti five days a week on 971 FM The Ticket. They are fun jobs that do not burn me out.

People often ask me is it OK for them to approach when I am out. The answer is yes. I enjoy talking to people and you always learn something when you do. My son Little B is not a big fan of it, especially when we run errands together on Saturday and have lunch.

But there were two things that annoyed me a bit Friday night while watching the Michigan game in local sports bars. One guy wanted to talk during the Michigan game and stood between me and television sets showing the game.  I didn’t want to be rude but eventually asked him to move. It was an innocent mistake I suppose. He was a bit lost and did not realize he blocked my view.

When the Michigan-Minnesota game was still in doubt a guy wanted to show me videos of his kid taking batting practice. That could not wait five minutes?  Little B still talks about the dad who sent his 12 year old daughter alone to Jc Penney while he asked me sports questions in the food court at 12 Oaks Mall.

It is difficult to grasp this local celebrity thing. I do not feel like one even though people tell me I am. I am just a dude making a living in the media trying to support my family until the little monsters grow up and leave the house.  It is cool to talk and share laughs and shoot the breeze.

I only ask that you not block my view. And I do not mind watching your kids video. Just not in overtime of a tight game.

I could not ignore the DeLaSalle story

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Why did you do it? Why didn’t you ignore it?

Those are a couple of questions I got in the aftermath of my Warren DeLaSalle-Detroit Martin Luther King column in today’s Detroit News. I did not write as much about the game as what was happening outside the game. King blew out the Pilots 72-50 and the outcome was totally unexpected. I expected a close game. It didn’t happen and King fans began the usual Good Bye chants.

The DeLaSalle student section was frustrated because its team did not win. It fired back with a “We have a future.” You could see the shock on the faces of the cheerleaders and some of the fans who sat nearby. I sat near mid court and two guys next to me said: “What did they say?”

I saw anger and one guy said he wanted to go over there and threaten the students’ future. Meanwhile a guy wearing Pilots purple lectured the group. You could tell he was angry.

This was real life playing out in front of me and an issue I did not want to ignore. I wrote the column because I want people to understand the society in which we live. Class, economics, race, social standings still play a role in how we view people and what we think of them. It has been pointed out to me that DeLaSalle students poke fun of economics at poor suburban students. But does that make it right?

A lot of people are struggling and why make fun of their them? The neighborhood around King High School has struggled for years. There are abandoned houses, drug dealers and crime. I admire the kids walk through the carnage and get an education. Their commute to school is a lot tougher than the commute to DeLaSalle.

I wrote on my face book page that people are mean to each other. This is another prime example. I am not here to give you the happy stats of sports all the time. I want you to be aware of the world you live in. And I want to send a message to some of the DeLaSalle students. You don’t know how many people wanted to walk over to the stands and threaten your future. But they let the anger subside and simply went home.

 

 

The NFL should consider medical marijuana program

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Lions running back Mikel Leshoure’s career in Detroit could be over before it even begins. He’s been caught twice with marijuana in his car within a month. They are dumb moves and it is an issue the NFL will deal with. Do not be surprised if he is suspended a couple of games next season and the Lions are forced to make a decision on him.

However, I am not here to scold him. I am here for another reason. The NFL should make marijuana an accepted part of the game to ease players’ pain. If you can have medical marijuana for every day people with chronic disease and pain, then the same should happen in the NFL. The league should consider a controlled environment where weed is distributed to players in pain.

I’ve seen how players move the Monday after a game, especially veteran players. They’d lose a race in a seniors home. Former Lions tight end Charlie Sanders once told me that the brutality in the NFL goes beyond cruel.

“It is stupid,” he said.

Players suffer from concussions. They play with broken bones and damaged nerves. They get knocked out of games or sometimes sit on the sidelines semi conscious while fans cheer on the next play. I would never make this proposal for baseball, hockey or basketball. But football is a different animal.

Sunday afternoon in the fall is the most violent and cruel part of the week in the United States of America. If a guy wants to lose his pain in a blunt I am all for it. Of course you must have some controls. You cannot smoke on game day or in the dressing room.  There should be rules but the league can figure that out.

I’ve spoken to people who used all types of drugs to ease their pain. They said weed worked best. If it is good enough for them why not spread it to players who are in pain for our entertainment.

I know a number of you will say it is a dumb idea. Don’t just blurt out your hatred. Tell me why.

Tiger fans should get mad if Inge starts

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

He’s at it again. Brandon Inge cannot hit. He cannot get on base and this must be the end of him.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Inge’s bat will determine if he makes the ball club next week for Opening Day. Well his bat is silent. Inge is batting .159. There is no way he can be the opening day starting second baseman against the Boston Red Sox. He lost his job to Danny Worth and Ramon Santiago.

They are better, more valuable and they are better.

The Tigers are in it to win it and they cannot have dead weight holding them back. Currently the Tigers carry 5-1 favorites to win the World Series. Only the Philadelphia Phillies have lower odds at 4-1. So the Tigers are serious about winning but in order to pull this off they need all hands on deck.

My broadcast partner Mike Valenti maintains that Inge will start at second base. I believe he is a fool but if he is right then Tiger fans need to react. You cannot sit there and cheer the man. You must send a message to General Manager Dave Dombrowski, Manager Jim Leyland and owner Mike Ilitch.

You must send a message that you are not happy. I don’t normally promote booing but you have to do something.  The Tigers listen to their fans when you actually say something. Now is the time if Inge is in the starting line up. Just don’t sit there and accept this. He is baked and should be gone.

We must trust each other behind the wheel

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: driving, Life

I was on the phone with my wife Abs following another entertaining day of real radio. I always call after the show to see if she or the kids need me to pick something up on the way home. My car has hands free audio so it allows me to be on the phone so I can focus on driving. I love it.

She said she was going grocery shopping but said dinner was ready for me when I got home. We chatted some more and everything was normal. I looked ahead and saw a car in the driveway. I was traveling about 40 miles an hour. All seemed clear. And then the car in the driveway began to creep into the middle of the road. It was almost as if the person had a death wish.

We were headed for a perfect T-bone. I slammed the breaks and all the papers and junk in my car slid forward to the floor.

I screamed into the phone: “I can’t believe this person is pulling out like this. What the hell are they thinking?”

I gave the person a dirty look and she didn’t even look my way. I am convinced the woman never saw me and was not aware the danger she was in. If I had been a second late on the trigger we would have crashed. She wasn’t texting. She wasn’t applying makeup. The only distraction this woman had was she did not see any distractions.

Have you heard the term “I got your back?” Isn’t that the case every time we step into a car? We not only have to drive safely but we must trust that the person next to us or ahead of got our backs. We rely on each other to get to our families safely every day.

I got your back. Can I trust you?

I sure hope none of you run into this woman.

 

 

 

 

Looking forward to opening day

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Things I will be looking for on Tigers Opening day.

** The ovations. How loud will Tiger fans cheer Prince Fielder? He is the new guy on the block with the potential to be a big hero in a rabid sports town. Fielder should know the feel since he lived here when his father Cecil Fielder played here.

** The response. People praise and dog Brandon Inge on the radio. He won’t play but he will be at Comerica Park. If he is introduced I am betting we hear boos but I am also betting that ovation will be louder than you think. I am going 85 percent cheers to 15 percent boos.

** The atmosphere. How crazy will it be? How exciting will people be for baseball? Normally people are nuts on this day. But this team carries high expectations which will heighten the anticipation.

** The first chopper to third base. Will Miguel Cabrera handle it cleanly or will he flub it? Will he even get to it or will he fall in the grass? Ground balls to third will come with great expectation.

** The first pitch. Ace Justin Verlander will launch it. Is he back on his game? Or did all the distractions and traps of the off season linger?

** The ladies. Comerica Park is a great place to come when it is warm because you know the ladies will dress to please. However, it will be a chilly day. Will our finest be at their finest?

** The bar scenes. There is nothing like a crowded bar with spilled beer and drunk people. They are fun to watch. But it is difficult to hold a conversation with them.

** Austin Jackson at the plate. We are so focused on Miggy and Prince. But you do know the Tigers will be unstoppable if teams cannot stop Jackson from getting on base. He can be a spark plug that can ignite the Tigers.

** The post game show. The Valenti and Foster Show will broadcast live after the Tigers game in Grand Circus Park. They got us on a big stage and it will be a party atmosphere until we get off the air at 6 p.m.

Does anyone care that another Detroit child was murdered?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Another child was shot and killed in Detroit last night. And there will be no protest or outrage. No one will wear a hoodie or carry a picket sign in protest.

We should. I would love to tell you the child’s name and age but I cannot. The 12 or 13 year old was shot around 3 in the morning, was doused with gasoline and set on fire. The body was so badly burned that police do not know if it is male or female. A tear came to my eye just writing this. My daughter is 12 years old about to turn 13. This hits close to home.

It will just be another face that comes and goes in the media unless it was a black child killed by a white person or a white child killed by a black person. It seems as if the only time we become angry with murder is if it is a hate crime with race involved. The way I look at it is a death is a death. Isn’t every murder a hate crime? The Rev. Jesse Jackson said something interesting on WDIV Thursday morning.

It went something like this. If it is a white on black crime it is revolt time. If it is a white on white crime or a black on black crime it is Miller Time. In other words we move on, have that drink at the bar and forget about it. Life has no value any more unless it is a hate crime.

There are some who criticize me because I do not live in the city of Detroit. I did for a long time until I started thinking about family, schools and safety of my family. I can afford to live in a nice safe community. Excuse me for that. I have two children that I love very much. I want to make sure they are safe and I want to make sure they get the best education they can.

It’s been a nice run. It is time for this dummy to retire

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

Today is going to be great.

I am quitting my job tonight at 971 The Ticket and am telling my editors at the Detroit News its been a nice run, but it is time for this guy to retire. I am going to sell my house next week and buy a bigger one in Bloomfield Hills and hire servants and someone to drive me around.

And then I am going to plan a three week summer trip with the wife and kids and take them to Europe and Asia.  This weekend I am going to watch the NCAA tournament games at Fifth Avenue in Royal Oak or Three Nicks Taproom down river and buy rounds for the house all night long. And I am leaving behind a big, fat tip for the wait staff.

I wanna be a millionaire so friggin bad. And tonight is my night. I am going to win the Mega Millions jackpot this evening and win a cool $640 million.

Yep. That is the plan. That is why I am going to guard my 20 easy pick tickets with my life this weekend. After I win I am not going to tell anybody that I won. I don’t want to hear from relatives and I do not want to risk somebody coming to the house to rob me. I will let everybody know on Monday after I take the ticket to the claim center and take a photo for the media with my giant fake check.

Abusive customers are not fun

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The other day I was standing in line at a bulk food store waiting my turn to purchase dried cherries and raw almonds. I was second in line waiting for the guy in front of me to pay and leave.

He asked the man behind the counter if he was having a good day.

“Yes I am,” the counterman said.

“Oh that’s too bad,” the guy replied.

I thought it was strange but shrugged and continued to wait in line.

“That will be $9.75,” the man behind the counter said.

“You are an ass,” the customer replied. “I hope you have a bad day. Bleep you.”

The man paid and left.

I was dumbfounded by now. You never hear anything like this during a simple transaction. The counterman told me this guy comes in three to four days a week and insults him. He dogs the way he looks. He does not like the way he dresses and is just a jerk. The counterman told me he knows it is coming but he says nothing because he wants to keep his job.

We’ve heard that the customer is always right. But it can’t be in this case. Don’t you think ownership should step in and protect its employee? Do you really have to put up with this abuse on the job?

Many people probably do. I feel sorry for the gate attendant when flights are delayed. It is not that person’s fault but they sure do get the abuse.  I guess rude behavior is part of the business for dealing with the public. I can’t imagine how much abuse a waitress or bartender gets around drunk people. It is probably pretty bad.

I get yelled at by customers on radio. The good thing is I get to yell back.

How does your boss handle prickish customers? Do you have to take it or does your boss have your back?

 

 

Where the &*)$#* did that come from?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I usually do not curse. I swear I don’t. But I let a real bad volley of bad words fly Friday morning and even I was stunned when the words came tumbling out of my mouth,

I won’t tell you what I said. But it was bad and I immediately ran home and washed my mouth out with soap and water although soup and water would have tasted a lot better.

Let me tell you the story. I was playing basketball at Lifetime Fitness and there was a mad scramble. The ball was loose and I knew my old ass (opps there I go again) could not get the ball. I held up and a much younger and more athletic buck slapped at the ball and they called it out on me. I was stunned.

So as usual in pickup games you argue and call each other liars and then they wanted me to shoot a three-point shot to prove my innocence and keep the ball. I refused.  We argued more and then I just lost it. These hideous four letter words bum rushed from my mouth like the bulls at Pamplona. I have no idea where those words came from.

I take responsibility. And I stand before you and confess that I am a potty mouth.

I normally do not curse during everyday conversation but the true test of a person is how do you react when stressed. I failed. I have not been in many competitive situations because I quit playing basketball for a long, long time and the juices were flowing that morning. I was mad. I knew I was right and my emotions got the best of me.

So next time I get into an argument on the basketball court I will simply say “no way buddy boy.”

That should keep me out of trouble.

What a great week for sports, so lets talk Brandon Inge

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Today should be a great day. It is Championship Monday. Kentucky is expected to beat Kansas in the national championship game. I can’t wait to see that.

The Red Wings are finalizing things before making a final push towards the Stanley Cup playoffs. And in just a few days we get to see Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and a real Tigers lineup hit the field against the Boston Red Sox.

And did I tell you the weather is getting nice?

There are so many things to think about or talk about as the spring blooms into full bloom. But do you know what I am going to end up talking about today on the Valenti and Foster Show on 971 The Ticket?

Brandon Inge.

Yes, we will end up talking about a career .234 hitter because that is what this town does. We are all guilty of wasting time on the gift that keeps on giving.

We don’t know if the Tigers are going to cut him or keep him, release him or waive him. Will they buy him out or let this whole thing play out? We will talk Inge today on the radio because he conviently has a groin injury that Inge hurt recently. He had a similar injury during the offseason and he said it kept him from his workouts for four or five days.

If money or loyalty or name recognition were not a factor the Tigers should cut ties with Inge and give Danny Worth a try. Inge batted .197 last season and hitting .180 in spring training. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the decision to keep Inge would be based on his hitting.

Well Helloooooooooo!! The dude is not hitting again. Inge said he is hitting the ball on the screws and is not getting breaks. I talked to someone in Lakeland and they said that might be true but Inge is hitting a lot of ground balls to short stop and lazy pop flies to the outfield. The Tigers need more from Inge or whomever takes his spot.

This isn’t a team playing baseball simply to entertain us. The Tigers are looking to win a World Series. They need as complete a team as possible to pull it off. Inge just isn’t cutting it.

Santorum makes decision all dads should study

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Parenthood

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum dropped out of the presidential race and that is good news for leading candidate Mitt Romney, the Republican party and even Santorum.

This is not a political decision. This is a family issue. Santorum should have dropped out a long time ago when it became obvious his victories were too minor and his deficit too much to overcome. More importantly he should have dropped out for his daughter Bella who has chromosomal disorder Trisomy 18.

Bella was expected to die but the girl keeps on fighting even though she is in and out of the hospital. Bella needs her mother and father. We do not know if these are her final days, her final months or if she is going to keep hanging in there as an inspiration to all. There is a bigger message for all dads. Are we there enough for our families in good and bad times?

Do we work too much? Do we travel too much? Do we party too much?

Both of my children are healthy and active children. Sometimes they are too active but I will take it any day of the week. My favorite times of the week are spent at Celine’s soccer games and Saturday morning with Brandon. I love seeing my daughter play and I love running errands with Brandon on Saturday and having lunch in the food court. I love Friday nights when the work week is done and I have no game to cover.

We go to Pizzeria Biga or Bravos for pizza and pasta. Or we get carry out and hang in the family room and watch bad movies.

I remember getting called out by a friend who said I did not hang out with the boys enough. He said he had not seen me at Floods in a long time and I was out of touch with the social scene in Detroit. I could not believe I was hearing these words from him. Yeah I might be out of touch with the party scene but I do not want to be out of touch with my children.

I am sure Santorum will find peace and happiness spending time with Bella. That is his flesh and blood and she is more important than anything right now — even a long shot Presidential campaign.

We got a mobile weed epidemic going on around here

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Let me make a confession. And if it makes me a square then so be it.

I’ve never bought weed in my life.  And I don’t even know where to get it. I really don’t care to know.

But it sure was in the news Tuesday. There were so many reports of athletes with weed that I think the Detroit News just hired an athletes on weed beat to keep up. It was crazy. And stupid.

Three Lion players have been caught with the stuff since the season ended. Then Michigan State forward Derrick Nix got caught with drugs in his car and has been suspended indefinitely from the Spartans basketball team.  They caught Lions running back Mikel Leshoure twice in one month.  Defensive tackle Nick Fairley topped that by getting stopped twice in one day on traffic violations. The second time they caught him with weed.

So one of two things happened. The Mobile Alabama police did not catch him with the weed the first time. Or he was on his way to the drug man when they stopped him the first time. How do you get caught for a traffic violation, say good bye officer, and then go speeding around a neighborhood?

I don’t know what is more stupid. Fairley’s actions or LSU football player Morris Claiborne scoring a 4 on the Wonderlic test.

We’ve talked about this on the radio and a couple of people suggested that head coach Jim Schwartz has lost control of the team. I disagree. If you think this is the first time a Lions player has lit up a fatty then you are nuts. Pro athletes smoke dope. The smart ones do it in the privacy of their home and don’t drive around mobile pharmacies.

I don’t say Schwartz has lost control. I say the Lions drafted players who are young and dumb. No wonder the White Castle drive thru near the Lions practice facility did record business.  And shame on Nix. He said he wanted to be the Spartans senior leader next season. Good luck with that one pal.

I am not going to stand up on my soap box and say athletes should not smoke dope. We know they are. Just be smarter about it, especially if you wear a Detroit or state of Michigan uniform.

 

She’s fallen and she can’t get up

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

First she fell inside the restaurant. The woman tried to get up from her chair at American Coney Island but her legs were made of rubber.

Splat!

I saw the scene unfold in front of me but I was too busy enjoying my evening treat. People looked up with concern as the drunk woman struggled to get on her feet. Finally her friend and another guy helped her up. It was time for this one to go home.

Like most drunks she was a little indignant.

“I can make it on my own,” she said.

All she had to do was navagate a one block walk to the Westin Hotel. Her friend wanted to call a cab. The woman said she could make it. Of course she stopped at my table to ask how I was doing. I told her to be careful and not to drive.

“Oh no honey. I am just going to walk to my hotel room. I will be alright. Hey you are kind of cute.”

“I am taken,” I replied.

FYI. Even if I wasn’t taken it was not happening.

Boxer Thomas Hearns was Detroit’s fifth pro sports team

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

There was this kid, just a little older than us making news with his hands at Olympia Stadium.

His name was Tommy Hearns and we thought we knew him. There was a kid that grew up in my near west side Detroit neighborhood named Tommy Hearns. We’d gone to school with him at Pattengill Elementary School and he just disappeared, which often happened.

“Could this be our Tommy Hearns? He was such a nice kid and would not hurt a fly,” we said.

As it turned out it was not. This was a dude who grew up east of us but we quickly adopted him as one of our own. He was the Hit Man (We did not like Motor City Cobra) and he was making news around he city. The country did not know about this one punch knock out specialist who seemed to be fighting every other month.

But we knew he’d make news. He did and became one of Detroit’s greatest sports icons. People loved Tommy’s passion in the ring. He won multiple World titles and he was Detroit’s own. I believe he was born in Tennessee but as far as we were concerned Tommy was just like a bottle of Faygo. He was bottled and flavored in Detroit.

Weber’s $2,500 fine is not enough for his double dribble of Z

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I didn’t know I was watching a basketball game when I saw Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber dribble Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg’s head against the boards during the final moments of the Wings 3-2 opening game loss Wednesday night in Nashville.

It was the final seconds of the game and the Wings were desperately trying to tie the score with an extra attacker when Weber pounded Zetterberg’s head into the boards twice. Commissioner Gary Bettman and his boy Frank Brown saw it. We all saw it and here is the way I see it. Weber should be suspended in Game 2.

But we all know that he wasn’t and it is a shame. Instead Weber was fined $2,500 which is like asking you for a quarter for punching somebody in the face. It was a slap on the wrist and really does nothing to deter this from happening again. One of the problems is the czar of punishment Brandan Shanahan is a former Red Wing and coming down on Weber might have been viewed as favoritism.

Maybe he could have taken himself off the case or made the decision by committee.

That was a vicious and dangerous move that should be punished. It was too late to call a penalty in the game. You cannot call a two-minute minor that carries over to Game 2, but you can suspend Weber. There is a lack of regard amongst NHL players. They don’t seem to care about the damage they can cause on the ice until they are off the ice. They smash opponents illegally and then step in front of the cameras with those soft voices and doe eyes and plead their innocence. And for the most part the public buys into it.

Weber said he was glad Zetterberg was not injured. I wonder if he was thinking that when he did that cross over dribble with Z’s head?

Weber said he was retaliating for a Zetterberg hit to his back. He also said Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi was busting up his teammates.

Reporters asked Weber if he thought he would be punished by the league.

“I don’t know,” he said. “He hit me from behind. So we’ll see.  I don’t know.”

I really don’t care what Weber has to say. It is time for him to pay and sit for a game.

If he does not sit, which will probably be the case, then the Red Wings need to step up and rough Weber up a bit. I am not talking Darren McCarty and Claude Lemieux to start the game. But they need to send a message that this type of rough stuff to one their better players won’t be tolerated. They punked out earlier in the season when goalie Jimmy Howard got run. They cannot do it again.

Everybody knows it happened. The Wings saw it and they were talking about it. So now we get to see if there will be some justice.

They call it puppy love

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

My son Brandon, 10, has a girl friend.

He doesn’t know I know. And he doesn’t want me to know. But the other day I dropped him off to school. I drove off and turned around to go home. A tall brown skin girl ran up to him and gave him a big hug. Brandon immediately turned around to see if anybody saw it. He did not see me.  A friend went to his school the other day and told me about a tall brown skin girl giving Brandon a huge hug and she smiled as if she were about to devour Thanksgiving dinner.

Again Brandon looked around to see who was looking.

Hmmmm.

I casually asked if he had a girl friend and he turned up his face as if I’d asked him if he wanted spinich for dinner. He said there is no girl. No one hugs him blah blah blah.

I dropped it because I don’t want to press him and embarrass him.

But it reminds me of my first loves and the silly reasons why I liked them.

My first love was Suzanne Parks who lived briefly on my street, Vancouver in Detroit. Suzanne was tall, slender and brown skin. Hmm. Maybe me and my son have similar taste. I loved Suzanne because she had a pretty face, waves in her hair and she always smelled like the talcom powder Mr. Carson the barber used to slap on your neck after giving you a haircut.

I was devasted when she moved away. I have not seen her since but someone told me she works at MGM Grand Casino.

My second love was Lydia. The problem with Lydia is she lived most of the year in California when he mother moved away. I loved Lydia because she was tall, brown skin and she could bend her fingers backwards. She also used to braid my hair for 50 cents.  We used to wrestle as kids and I would let her win now and then just to be close to her.

But things turned when she convinced me to eat spoiled mayonaise out of the garbage. I was sick for two days. I knew she liked me when she came to see how I was doing although the rest of the kids stayed away because I was a leaper with the Mayo touch. Our relationship officially ended when she began smoking cigarettes and dated some dude called “The Afro Dog.”

I don’t know where Brandon’s relationship is going with this girl. My o

How dare this N scores the game-winning goal in hockey

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The guy calls every two to three months.

He calls just to remind me that despite my successes in life that I am still a nigger.

He calls because I hate white people and I’ve never defended a white athlete in my columns. He calls because black athletes are ignorant and covet white women. He calls to remind me that I am stupid and that I am taking a job away from a smarter and more qualified white guy. And he knows for a fact that I have four children on the East side by two or three baby mommas because that is what we do.

The guy has been leaving messages on my Detroit News voice mail for about five years. I do not hang up. I do not cut the messages short. I listen to every single hate-filled word because it acts as a reminder that we have not totally overcome. He is not the only one, but this guy is the main one. Every blue moon I get racial attacks from others.

I’ve been called that word from a passing car. I’ve been called that word in a crowded bar.

Brandon Inge saga turns into side show

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I wanted to hear what fans were saying about Tigers utility man Brandon Inge so I left the press box for a couple of his bats and listened.

People booed. People cheered. People called for him to retire and some people called for support for Brandon Inge. I expected all of that. But here is what I didn’t expect.

Laughter. I did not expect people to laugh when he came to the plate. But when Inge swung and missed at pitches you heard traces of laughter at Comerica Park. He has officially become a side show in Detroit and a part of me feels sorry for the dude.  I understand that he makes millions of dollars and a lot of this is his doing. But it cannot be fun to be ridiculed.

“We are human,” Tigers catcher Alex Avila told me.

Do you know what the speed limit is on some highways? Well, that is pretty close to Inge’s batting average. He’s hitting .056. That means he has been up to the plate 18 times and all he has to show for it is a two-run home run where he said he shut his eyes and five strike outs. It would be one thing if the Tigers were rolling over opponents. But they’ve struggled at the team lately and need all hands on deck.

Smoking ban should apply to all

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life, Opinion

Tuesday night I smelled the stale fog of cigarette smoke for the first time in quite sometime. I attended a fundraiser at Greek town Casino and was taken back at the smell of smoke.

It’s been a while. And I didn’t like it.

I have not been in a casino for months so I am not used to the smell of smoke because the state of Michigan has a non smoking ban in place for every bar and restaurant not associated with a casino. So I’ve been bee bopping in sports bars and restaurants without that stale smell that I despise.

I am glad the law is in place but even I will admit that it is unfair. I love going to the bar, having a few drinks and not smelling of smoke. It feels a lot better driving home without the smell of smoke soaked in your cloths and skin. My wife would not allow me in bed until I took a shower.  However, how can you have a law that allows casinos to ignore a law while everybody else must abide by it?

That is not right and that is not fair.

That’s why I would never snitch on a bar that allows smoking. I’ve seen people smoke inside bars about five or six times in the last year and I say nothing. Some places say they are struggling because of the smoking ban. So why give casinos every advantage while the small guy has to abide by the law?

That is the unfair part about it. It is one more example of how government takes care of the big guys and makes it tougher for the smaller guys.  I do not like smoking. But I also do not like the smoking ban. It is not right.

Confused about the Detroit Lions draft

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I am like the rest of you. I just don’t get the Lions 2012 draft.

I don’t know why they didn’t bring in more impact defensive players. I do not know why they drafted an injured wide receiver in the second round and I am looking for answers. I think offense is wonderful and exciting but teams are not title contenders until their defense is stout. That is my belief although Green Bay and New England bucked that trend last season.

I simply know at the end of the day it was the defensive-minded New York Giants that won the Super Bowl following a so-so regular season.

The Lions needed offensive lineman Riley Reiff because Gosder Cherilus is a bad right tackle and left tackle Jeff Backus does not have much tread on the tires. The Lions needed wide receiver Ryan Broyles because Nate Burleson is probably gone after next season and Broyles can be a nice possession receiver.

But I really wanted them to shore up the defensive back field. The Lions brought in guys we’d never heard of. Dwight Bentley or Little Bill or whatever his name is is a tiny nickle back with speed and small hands. My folks in the MIAA said Albion’s Chris Greenwood is a freakish athlete who runs like the wind. But isn’t anybody who runs a 4.4 in the MIAA a freakish athlete? When you look back on it the Lions are trying to solve their defensive backfield problems with guys from Louisiana-Lafayette and Albion. That is hardly Alabama or LSU.

I am not saying they are not good. I am just saying.

I do believe Oklahoma defensive end Ronnell Lewis will make an impact. He makes a lot of tackles but he misses a lot of tackles and needs to get more physical. But that is what weight rooms and training camp are for.

The Detroit News did a cyber survey and 79 percent of voters said the Lions draft was good to so-so. Only five percent thought it was great. Place me in the so-so category.

 

The Lions kept saying they were drafting the best available player. I guess the question I would like Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz to answer is how does this draft make the Lions better?

I am not ticked off about the draft. I simply want more answers. Mayhew has some street cred with me because he turned around a terrible franchise. So I stand here with question marks swimming around my head. But I also know the guy has done some great things for this franchise.

My formula for electing a white mayor in Detroit

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Let me answer Nolan Finley’s question of is Detroit ready for a white mayor?

Actually the question is will Detroit elect a white mayor? My first instinct is to say no, but there is an opening that could allow for it.

Detroit News columnist Finley wrote about Detroit Medical Center Chief Mike Duggan moving from Livonia to Detroit. The rumblings in the political circles is he wants to run for Mayor. Current Mayor Dave Bing should make this his last term. He gave it the old college try but he has ailments and needs to chill the rest of his life.

Why can’t Duggan replace him?

It is simple. He is white. Most black Detroiter’s won’t vote for a white candidate for mayor.

So why can Duggan replace Bing?

Most black Detroiters don’t vote. And that could be the opening for Duggan if enough whites move into the city. Bing won the 2009 special election with just 49,000 votes. He got 70,000 votes in the general election. That is not that many votes in a city of 800,000.

Don’t you know who the bleep I am?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life, Opinion

I heard an interesting story about a professional Detroit athlete who pulled the “Don’t you know who the bleep I am card?”

The funny thing is he is not that well known. But I will protect his identity. He wanted to get into a bar and forgot his ID. The woman who was checking ID said she needed to know how old he was. She could not let him in because he looked young.

He became angry and pulled out the “Don’t you know who the bleep I am card?”

How sad. Why do athletes believe they are entitled to so much? And why do they give so little? I’ve heard too many stories of well paid athletes going to bars and restaurants and not tipping. Or they run up big bills and leave a couple of bucks on the table. Tiger Woods who is still nearly a half a billionaire after Elin is reportedly a poor tipper.

That is silly.

The other day I could not remember if I tipped somebody because I was in a rush. I could not sleep thinking about it. But I finally realized I did and felt better about it. I plan on leaving something extra next time I go there just to make sure.

Here is one thing athletes need to understand. Everybody does not know who they are. Everybody does not have a 100 percent recognition rating, not even the president. I know I do not even though I’ve become a twink-let in this town. A few people know who I am but I do not try to take advantage of that.

Let me give you an example. I was standing in line to get into a sports bar a few months ago. The bouncer sees me and says he’d be fired if his boss saw me standing in line.

It happened again a few weeks later at another place.  A few days ago I waited a few minutes to get into the Town Pump. I did not bogart my way to the front of the line. I waited. I too forgot my ID. The guy did not know who I was and did not let me in. I guess that was my opportunity to play the “don’t you know who the bleep I am card?”

I did not. I simply walked across the street and had a good time.

I did not make a scene. I did not act an ass. Was it really that insulting?

I know a bunch of people who don’t know who the bleep I am. I can wait in line like everybody else.

We don’t celebrate Mother’s Day any more

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

We don’t celebrate Mothers Day any more. That is a thing of the past because of soccer.

Celine is back playing after a nearly three month layoff with a foot injury. That means her Force team is in the annual Novi Jaguars soccer tournament and it is soccer all weekend and all the time. Her team won twice on Saturday and we could play as many as three games on Mother’s Day.

My favorite part about the tournament is that it rains every Mother’s Day. One tournament it was so cold that Celine was frozen solid and could not move. I carried her across the field to the car and was huffing and puffing and could not make it. A nice guy helped me out and carried her the rest of the way. This was before I started taking better care of myself. We stripped the girl down in the car and turned on the heat to thaw her out.

We ask the same question after suicide

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Uncle James killed himself when I was a child.

He waited until everybody went to work and took a pistol and stuck it on his temple. He pulled the trigger and was dead. You can’t imagine the shock and horror his mother had when she came home and discovered him dead. They lived in a four family apartment building near Central High School just off Dexter Avenue.

James was a small man who was good with his hands. But nothing seemed to work out for him. He was not very educated and wordly. He knew most people around him were smarter and it really bugged him. He could not keep a job and could not keep a steady relationship. James blamed the white man for the periils in his life. He’d get drunk and scream how “pecker woods” did him wrong.

He’d put on dress pants and a nice shirt and go all over the city to find a job. Usually he struck out. And the times he didn’t he’d get fired for showing up drunk on the job. He’d take me fishing and always got drunk and begam screaming “Here fishy, fishy. Come on and bit fishy, fishy, fishy.”

We knew he had problems but never expected him to kill himself. You always ask the question “what could I have done to prevent this?” I am sure friends and family members of former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau are asking the same question after he shot himself in the chest. There was probably nothing they could do.

I am convinced Seau’s suicide note will be found inside his brain when doctor’s examine it. I am betting the years of playing football left him depressed and diminished his brain capacity. He was tired of living this way and wanted to send a message to the world. His act is still selfish because friends and family members still loved him and wanted to touch him.

When you kill yourself you are hurting loved ones more than you hurt yourself. We don’t think about Uncle James much these days because his death occured so long about. But when we do we still ask the same question. What could we have done to prevent this?

The cheap date in bed

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

My wife Abs doesn’t work but she works too hard if that makes sense.

She is the president of the PTO. She is involved in two charity organizations and she is the one who schedules some of my appearances and charity events. Last week she went on a brutal five-day bus ride with my daughter Celine on a bus. She was in charge of the fun run at Brandon’s school and she went to two other meetings.

And during that time I wasn’t exactly hanging around the house in my underwear because of my two jobs.

I could tell she was stressed.

After the kids went to bed I drove to Kroger and bought 10 mini bottles of cheap wine that cost me a whopping $10 total. I placed two bottles in the freezer, cut up some cheese and put them on crackers and placed green grapes in a bowl. Her face lit up when I came in with my cheapie late night party for two.

It wasn’t much but it meant all the world to her and me.

Give me one word to describe the Tigers so far

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

The other day Detroit News columnist Neal Ruben wrote a column asking us to describe the city of Detroit in one word. It got a lot of response and was an offshoot of a face book question by Karen Dumas.

I want to steal the idea and ask you a simple question. Give me one word to describe the Detroit Tigers?

There are so many ways you can go with this and my first inclination is to use the word disappointing. They are nerve wracking and at this point are not fun to watch. I know it is still early in the season but we are getting close to the old Sparky Anderson 40 game assessment. He said you know about a team after 40 games.

The Tigers (17-18) play Game number 36 Tuesday afternoon in Chicago and everything about this season has been disappointing. With the way they’ve blown leads you could probably think of a few four letter words but I am trying to keep this classy. How disappointed were you to see the Tigers blow two three-run leads against the White Sox Monday night?

People praised the Tigers for their offensive punch. I disagree. White Sox starting pitcher John Danks was terrible. Any team would have lit him up. Once he was out the game the Tigers’ offense turned lame again. In more than half their games they’ve scored three runs or less. Silly me thought they would be losing 13-10 games, not 3-2 games.

So far you can put Papa Grande, Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago, Delmon Young, Jhonny Peralta, Rick Porcello and Brennan Boesch on the disappointing list. There are others but they seem to be the main culprits. Jeez, Delmon Young can’t even go out and get drunk without an incident.

Brandon Inge is gone but still makes news in Detroit

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Brandon Inge is gone but he still won’t go away.

I was in Ohio Sunday for one of Celine’s soccer games and by the time I got on a computer late afternoon there were tweets and emails about Brandon Inge. He hit a three-run home run and knocked in four runs to lead the Athletics to victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. And now people question if the Tigers made a mistake in releasing Inge.

Stop it.

It was time to move on. You know it. The Tigers knew it and even Inge knew it. He was getting swallowed up in Detroit. Fans were booing him. Columnists (me included) were calling for him to leave. It was not going to work out no matter what. Sometimes you need a change of scenery. Inge needed it. We needed it.

Now let me give you some fuzzy numbers. Despite his heroics Inge is still batting just .174 with the A’s. That followed a .100 batting average with the Tigers. Inge does just enough to keep himself in the news. He made headlines here and he made headlines on the west coast. There is just something about Inge. How many guys can continue to be heroes batting below .200?

There are people in Detroit following his every move

When he retires Inge should run for president. He keeps himself in the news and won’t have to do much to peak our interest.

I wish him well. He is a swell guy. But the bottom line is he should not be with the Tigers. Let him be. Let’s move on and focus on more serious matters.

How can we get Jose Valverde to pitch better?

 

I don’t care who you sleep with

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Back in the day I used to sneak off to California for a long distance relationship with my girl Miss Lemons. She got the nick name because she grew these huge lemons in her backyard.

We met in San Francisco and various other cities but she was a bit nervous when I visited her home town. She told me about her friends Johnathon and Robert. They were her two best friends and she hoped that I liked them. When I got there we went to their apartment which overlooked a beautiful valley. They were lovers who lived together and were planning a life together.

She asked me what I thought. I told her I did not care. It was like the weight of the world was lifted off her shoulders. She simply wanted me to accept her friends.

I really do not care who you sleep with. I do not care who you fall in love with. It is just not on the top of my radar. If somebody is cool with me, I am cool with them. Currently there are a lot of angry words being exchanged after President Obama said he supported gay marriage.

His Republican challenger Mitt Romney immediately came out and said a man should be with a woman. I suppose both men have strong reasons to believe what they do. If two gay people want to get married I am OK with that. It does not affect me. It does not hurt me. It does not bother me.

If you are against gay marriage, I understand your position.

Who am I to tell you who to be with? That is none of my business. I just want people to be happy. There is so much misery in the world and too many people looking for love. If you find it then grab onto it.

The whole gay thing used to bother me when I was a youth. There was a gay guy named Ezelle who used to flamboyantly walk through the neighborhood wearing all kinds of outrageous costumes. He had boyfriends. We used to laugh at him. Then one day we just stopped making fun of him and most of the neighborhood accepted him. He never bothered anybody. He’d help people with chores. So why were we dissing him?

Parents disown their children because of who they date and who they want to be with. That will never happen with me. If you find love no matter the size, package of gender I support you.

Life and soccer were a bad mix this weekend

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family

There were two bad incidents on the soccer pitch this weekend and I would love to hear your thoughts on them.

Of course I will tell you mine.

1. Celine’s soccer team beat a team 5-0 in the Novi Jaguars Tournament and there was controversy at the end. The backup coach left early in the second half because he had a long day and the game was decided a long time ago. He asked me and another parent to monitor the team. We did. After the game I said congrats to the team and when I saw how frizzed Celine’s hair was I quipped “that a sparrow could live in your hair.” It looked like a bird’s nest and the girls laughed.

During the team hand shake of our girls said to the coach. “Good coaching.”

He went off. He said our team was disrespectful because of her comment. And that we were mocking and making fun of his team. He said he did not appreciate us laughing at them. I stepped in and told him we were not laughing at his team. He would have none of it and after screaming at the other parent, he stalked off and talked to his team.

Tigers load it up and throw away another game

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Bases loaded, nobody out.

That’s the only thing I have to say about the latest Tigers loss in Cleveland, 4-3. Bases loaded and no outs. And you don’t score. Are you kidding me?

This team is beyond annoying. It is almost as if they are teasing everybody with their potential and then shutting down when they should be shutting others down. The Tigers load up their baked potato with butter, sour cream and chives and then throw it out the window. Do you know that in the last six games they are 8-for-47 with runners in scoring position and stranded 53 runners?

Bases loaded and nobody out and you don’t score. Really?

That was the situation in the eighth inning of a 2-2 game. Then the magic happened. Jhonny Peralta swung at a pitch in a different zip code. Ramon Santiago hit a ball so softly that it would make a baby laugh. And then came Alex Avila. The Tigers swing at bad pitches all night and then my man watches one sail across the middle for strike three.

The Tigers are like a football team that spends the entire game in the red zone and has to settle for field goals. Or maybe they are more like the football team that gets into the red zone and fumbles on the next snap.

And have you seen some of the swings? Peralta needed a canoe paddle to touch that pitch he struck out on. Kareem Abdul Jabbar did not have enough reach to get to that pitch. Then you’ve got Prince Fielder swinging at pitches above his eyes, Brennan Boesch swinging at his feet and Peralta swinging at pitches near the concession stands.

If I were a pitcher I’d never throw a strike to these guys. Why? They are swinging for the fences every time they are at the plate.

And did you see the Fielder throw to the plate with the infield drawn in? He was five feet from the plate but threw the ball into the ground. Instead of planting his feet and making a good throw (he had plenty of time) he looked more like Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson scrambling from the Spartan front four.

I know. It is too early to panic. The Tigers can still win this division and make a run in the playoffs. I am not thinking that far. I am not thinking rationally. Do you know why?

I can’t get this out of my head.

Bases loaded and no outs and you don’t score.

Wow!

 

Good burgers for a good cause

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Let me make a confession. I love hamburgers. I couild eat one every day.

So the people who are running Sunday’s Motown Burger Battle didn’t have to ask twice when they wanted me to be one of the judges at the Carriage House Pavillion at Pine Knob in Clarkston. I get to taste creations by some of the best chefs in metro Detroit. The best thing is it is for charity and I would love for you to come by to taste great burgers and golf, if you are interested.

Golf begins at 8 in the morning. The other festivities run from noon until 3 pm. The cost for golf and the Burger Battle is $80. If you just want to participate in burger battle it is $30 and $15 for children 12 and under. All proceeds benefit Justin’s Vision, a charity that gives dream vacations for children with life threatening illnesses along with their families.

So I get to eat burgers for a good cause. I am always on the look out for a great burger. Some of my favorites around town are Hunter House, Miller’s in Dearborn, Cutter’s Bar and Grill in Eastern Market, Union Wood Shop in Clarkston, Oak Cafe in Wyandotte and Five Guys. If you have more suggestions I am all eyes and ears.

Here are the competitors

Chef James Rigato of the Root Restaurant in White Lake, Chef Bob Roberts and Sous Chef Jason of McShane’s in Detroit, Chef Dean Bach and Dino’s Kitchen Magician at Dino’s Lounge (Ferndale), Chef Steve Mallie at Mallie’s Sports Bar and Grill (Southgate) and the Union Wood Shop in Clarkston.

Boxing promotor and first Lady of Boxing Jackie Kallen will emcee the event. The judges include Chris Franz of the Rattlesnake Club, Marc Djozlija formerly of Wolfgang Puck, Dave Benjamin of The Hungry Dude and Jess Bartol of Sweet Layla June Catering.

For ticket information go to burgerbattle.eventbrite.com. Also visit justinsvision.org

Drugs hit too close to home

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life, Parenthood

This is a sad time for me. No one died. No one is sick.

But a slice of life died. Drugs inched a little closer to my daughter Celine. She received a text from a friend that a couple of other kids they know were busted for drugs. Celine is 12. I am sure they were eighth graders but that is still too young to be experimenting with drugs. And on the way home from soccer we had to have that talk sooner than I wanted.

Drugs are not the answer. We’ve spoke to Celine about drug use before. We talked about how bad they can be, how they ruin lives and ruin hopes and dreams for the future. But this talk was for real because I know they are hovering near her. Maybe they are at school. Maybe they are at a friends’ house. I do not know but I believe now we must be even more particular by where she goes and where she spends the night.

I am certain that her close friends are clean and do not do drugs. I do know Celine is afraid of drugs, afraid of the thought of kissing a boy and afraid of so many things in life. I kind of like it that way. But the fears disappear at some point and common sense must take over.

I must be behind the times because I thought she would be exposed to drugs in high school. Or maybe exposed to kids who were using drugs. She has never seen a joint. She has never seen cocaine and curls her face in disgust at the thought of using drugs. I trust her and believe her when she says she would never use.

However, I need to put my guard up a little higher to protect her. You can never be too careful.

A night in jail made no sense on this beautiful day

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

Saturday was a near perfect day. The weather was beautiful. There was not a cloud in the sky.

I got to spend much of it at Comerica Park watching the Tigers and then went to the Detroiter for a burger and beer. People were out and having a great time and I was really enjoying the day even though the Tigers lost again.

And then it happened. I am walking to my car near the Millender Center when I noticed a group of teenagers walking down the street. I did not give it much thought and kept walking. All of a sudden police cars swooped in and two officers jumped out and tackled a guy to the ground and put him in handcuffs.

Others scrambled and there was chaos in the streets of Detroit. And I could not help but think about this wonderful day and all the great things that were going on in Detroit. Maybe I am dumb and naive but how the heck do you get arrested on a great day like this when you come downtown to hang out?

Let me try to understand the mind set. I get up and put on shorts and a T-shirt.  I call my girls to hang out. And then I do something stupid to get arrested? I wonder if it was worth it.

I do not know what the kid did that got arrested. He had that stupid look on his face like he was expecting a visit from the police. He had guilt written all over his face. Maybe this post makes no sense, but I could not help but think what a knucklehead this person was. It was a perfect day in Detroit and this fool decides he wants to spend part of it in the clink.

It makes no sense.

My perfect weekend

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Friday night I sat on my backyard patio with a beer in hand and looked up into the star filled sky. The children were off in the distance playing and the wife was up in har room watching television.

I let out a sigh and took in the peace and solitude. I don’t need much after a hard week of work. Sometimes you need time to yourself to clear your mind and exhale. I got that moment Friday but little did I know it was the beginning of a near perfect weekend. The weather was superb and that made things better.

I got to do some neat things this weekend. Nobody bothered me and nobody stressed me out.

My highlights included covering the Tigers game Saturday. I wanted to do a man in the ball park column for the Detroit News and that is exactly what I did. I skipped the press box and walked around the ball park and interviewed fans for my Sunday column. It was fun to do and I had a blast working. Sometimes my job does not feel like work. This was one of those days.

Later that night I enjoyed a burger at The Detroiter and met some new friends at The Oakland in Ferndale. It is a hard place to find but it was worth the trip. I hung with two doctors and a news anchor and the people that run the place brought us some amazing tasting drinks. I did not gulp anything down. I savored every sip.

The Oakland does scratch drinks where they use high end booze and create their own mixes. The only rules are you must agree not to use your cell phone and pay your tab of course.

On Sunday I got to judge Burger Wars at Pine Knob Golf Course. I got to taste seven amazing burgers and judge for a cause. It was a charity benefit for Justin’s Vision, an organization that pays for dream trips for children and their families that face death because of disease. I was glad to be part of a great event like this and seeing Pine Knob gave me an itch to golf more this summer.

The winning burger came from Mallie”s in Southgate, a place I’ve been to several times. Owner Steve Mallie created a new burger with white cheddar cheese and spices on an onion roll that was amazing.  It is not even on the menu there but he plans on adding it soon.

Later that day I went to Bay City for Celine’s soccer game. The Force tied the Bay City team but I got to see my daughter score and see her playing better after laying off three months with a foot injury. I am proud of her come back. It has been a struggle for her but she has five goals in the seven she has played in during her come back.

We even got to talk on the ride home before video games took over her world again.

I hope for another great weekend M. Celine will play in Canton Cup and I plan on grilling and chilln the rest of the time.

It is tough to judge Lions right now

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Lion fans are always looking for signs of a great season. That is why I receive globs of email every time the team gets together.

Already people have asked me if the Lions look focused and hungry? Do they look like they are ready to make the next step? I hate to tell you that it is impossible to tell during OTA’s. They are not in pads. They are not running real plays and they are just sort of going through the motions. These practices are not about improving the team. They are about shaking off some rust.

The young guys go all out because they are trying to land jobs. Veterans are trying to stay in shape and get into a repetition. It really does not mean much. I asked veteran cornerback Chris Houston how some of the younger corners are looking and he could not even give me an answer. He doesn’t even know his teammates yet.

“Are you talking about number 33,” he asked when I spoke to him.

You really don’t begin learning about a team until training camp. That is when they come in hot and lathered. That is when you see people competing for jobs and fighting in the heat of summer. Even then you don’t really know about a team until they play against others. The Lions always look good in training camp because they are going up against each other.

The key with the Lions is not what you see during meaningless practices. The key with them is between the ears.

Can they shake off the marijuana problems during summer? Can Ndamukong Suh rebound after an off season and can the offense keep pace with the torrid pace it set last season?

I do not know those answers and OTA’s definitely won’t give you any answers. These practices are more like a bunch of high profile athletes stretching themselves out.

There is a first time for everything

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I’ve never walked across the Belle Isle bridge. I’ve lived here for 53 years, crossed the bridge by car a thousand times but I never actually walked across it until Sunday afternoon after doing my work during the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

There is never a need to walk across the bridge. You mostly drove to Belle Isle, cruised the island or picnicked and went home. It is a small thing in life but I wanted to do it. I will say this. The bridge appears a lot lower than you think and at certain points it looks like you can reach in and touch the water. I do not recommend it because the Detroit River currents will suck you under and make history of you.

And did you know the bridge is called the Douglas MacArthur bridge, named after the famous American general?

I’ve never been to a Gay Pride event in Detroit. But I went to Detroit Pride Saturday purely by accident. I saw a festival and stopped by. I did not realize it was a Gay Pride event until I stepped into Hart Plaza and gave a $5 donation. It was a fun and colorful event with plenty of house music and strange sights. Some people on twitter got mad at me because I tweeted that I saw a guy that looked like a mix between former NBA player Robert “Tractor” Trailor and Janet Jackson.

There was actually a person that looked that way but I guess I was supposed to keep it to myself. It was fun watching people be themselves but I wondered what life is like for Gay people when they are in every day society? Do people still harrass them or is life better?

I’ve never been to the Mercury bar. There is a reason. I’ve seen the sign for years but it has been closed. Now it is open on Michigan Avenue across from Slows and I liked the place. It is a combination of malt shop, burger joint and bar. I met a few people in there including a woman who invited me to be a judge in the Royal Oak chili eating contest. I think I can handle that.

I did not try the burger there but they looked tempting. One of the bartenders made fun of me because I was talking to so many people. She said that is here job.

I’ve never been to McShanes, also in Corktown. I’ve been to Hoots but the place has changed names and o

 

I got my first taste of their cooking during a charity event a few weeks ago. I met the owners and vowed to visit. It was a good decision because the fish and chips were great and I loved the atmosphere.

I love doing things for the first time. I wonder what adventures I will get into next.

 

Holiday Cheer

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

The children were playing some ghost and goblins game. The adults sat by a fire sipping on beer, Tom Collins and shots of Three Olives cake vodka.

The weather was great. The bugs were tame and we were stuffed with ribs, chicken and other good food. Friday really felt like the holiday. The four families that share our backyards were in full force. We didn’t do anything exciting. We laughed and talked and the seven kids that made it out that night ran themselves ragged.

It felt great. It was a great beginning to the Memorial Day Weekend.

It’s been a long haul of work, taking kids to school and concerts and running like your head is cut off. That’s how life is these days for our family. You never seem to get a break. It felt good to unwind and relax underneath a quarter moon and with your family and friends. That’s the way it will be most of the weekend.

Family and friends.

My daughter and I will spend most of Saturday at the Canton Cup. We will then drive to East Lansing to be with my wife’s family. And then it is back Sunday for the Canton Cup.

Are you like me? I don’t need much. I savor the days where I can sip on a beer, look up into the sky and just chill. I don’t need concerts or movies or a thrill ride. I love being out of the public eye sometimes and just do nothing. Most of us work hard. We provide for our families and we do things for our work places.

Everybody deserves a night like Friday. Maybe you had dinner with friends. Maybe you watched the Tigers in your man’s room or took a simple walk with your honey bun. Sometimes life is about taking a good time out and savoring the moment.

Hold umpires accountable with fines and suspensions

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: sports

OK. I will take the bait.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland challenged the media to write what they saw after the strike out that wasn’t called a strike out resulted in three Boston Red Sox runs during a 7-4 victory over the Tigers Monday at Fenway Park.

How bad was the call? Even the umpires admitted they got it wrong after the game. But that was too late and it didn’t do losing pitcher Doug Fister or the Tigers any good. It was another loss during a disappointing season. In case you missed it the controversy happened in the second inning when umpire Bill Welke ruled that a foul tip on what should have been strike three and the third out fell into the dirt and not catcher Gerald Laird’s glove. Laird maintains he caught the ball. In fact he said it wasn’t even a tipped ball.

Strike three!

Instead the Red Sox got a fourth chance and took advantage by scoring three runs. Afterwards Leyland went off about accountability.

“There should not have been a second-inning rally,” Leyland screamed at reporters. “There were  three outs. I’ve been in the game a long time. When a catcher catches the ball  and it is strike three, you call the guy out.

“It’s that simple, isn’t it? I mean you guys need to write something and hold  people accountable. You know what, we’re all accountable in this business, and  when I say, ‘all of us,’ I mean everyone who’s involved in the game needs to be  held accountable.

“There should not have been a rally in that inning. Have the nerve to write  what you saw and say it — because I’m not going to sit here and rip the umpires.  Write it and say something once in a while. Have the nerve to say something.”

Here is what I say. First of all Leyland doesn’t need to tell the media how to do its job. The call was ridiculous and we will write about it and talk about it. Secondly, do you want to hold these guys accountable? Then we should fine and suspend umpires for bad calls just like players and managers get fined, suspended and released for bad play or bad behavior.

I’ve been suspended from my job before and it makes you think. It makes you do your job better.

There Jim. I did my job.

Next.

We should all care about Nick Fairley’s off field antics

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: driving

The man was loud. He was bold and he was defiant. I could tell he was angry and was one of those fans who only cares about his team winning games.

He spoke out on the Valenti and Foster Show on 971 FM about Nick Fairley and his latest arrest.

“I really don’t care,” the man said. “I just don’t care what he does off the field. The only thing I care about is what he does on the field. That’s it. I don’t care.”

When the man spoke I bet there were hundreds of nodding heads across Metro Detroit. They were giving the guy a thumbs up and applauding his stance. In the grand scheme most fans don’t care if their heroes are choir boys or crack heads. All they want them to do is show up on Sunday, strap on the pads and pound the flesh out of opponents.

I don’t blame them.

However, there is a reason why we should care about what Nick Fairley does off the field. He was driving 100 miles per hour impaired according to police in Alabama. That is a mixture that can cause a disaster. Fairley could harm himself and harm others. And he’s obviously not learned his lesson because a few weeks ago neighbors called police about a car speeding through a Mobile, Ala. neighborhood. It was Fairley and he had marijuana on him.

Last time it was weed. This time it was alcohol.

Lidstrom was great but Yzerman remains Detroit’s captain

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Red Wings captain and Hall of Famer Nick Lidstrom will go down as one of the top two defensemen in NHL history but he won’t be one of the top two Red Wings of all time.

Lidstrom was great but for the old timers Gordie Howe will be the greatest Red Wing of all time and for just about everybody else their guy is Steve Yzerman who now runs the Tampa Bay Lightning. Lindstrom as many Red Wings fans called him retires as the Red Wings captain but he never was “The Captain.”

Yzerman is “The Captain.” He is the one who tugged at Red Wings heart strings. Lidstrom was never what Yzerman was, not that he was chasing that. He didn’t care. It never mattered to him. Lidstrom simply laced on the skates, did the best he could and let everybody else debate his rankings in this town. He never passed Yzerman. Nobody will.

Yzerman came in when the Wings were terrible. Do you remember The Dead Wings? How about Darkness with Harkness? They used to give away cars at Olympia to draw fans. That’s how bad it was around here. If anybody dared call this Hockeytown when Yzerman was drafted in fourth in the 1983 draft they would have been laughed at.

Only the diehards came to Red Wings games. Yzerman drew the casual fan and the ladies who loved his boyish face and exciting game. He captured this town like no others and will forever be on Detroit’s Mt. Rushmore of sports greats along with Joe Louis, Barry Sanders,  Isiah Thomas and Ty Cobb. Hockey mattered again when Yzerman came here.

Lidstrom might surpass Yzerman in a world view. But not here in Detroit. He was always respected here but never loved like the Captain.

Take a moment for yourself

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

She wears a house coat and slippers and sit sits on her porch puffing on a cigarette. I see the woman often after dropping my son off to school.

She has kids. She gets them ready and when the house is empty she kicks back and has a few minutes of peace and quiet.  I wonder what goes through her mind as she looks into the air and exhales. We all need it. You need it. I need it. We just need a few moments to ourselves where we can collect our thoughts and relax.

Back in the day fathers used to come home from work, retreat to the study and enjoy a glass of scotch. It was their time to unwind before shifting from work crisis to family crisis. My favorite time of the week is Friday evening when I can come home, sit in the back yard and enjoy dinner or a few minutes alone.

The kids are playing next door and the wife is usually upstairs or at a meeting. It is my time to unwind and collect myself. We are running 100 miles per hour in our lives. There is work, family, meetings, transportation and children fighting for your time. There are people calling the house, fires to put out and places to be.

The Tigers will win the division — I think

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Repeat after me. The Tigers will win the division. The Tigers will win the division.

Now how many of you actually believe that? The Tigers are in third place in the American League Central Division six games behind the red hot Chicago White Sox and 3 1/2 behind Cleveland. And they are just a whopping 1 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City, a team most people describe as woeful.

Before the Tigers (25-29) can even think about winning the division they must first get to .500. Then they actually have to start playing good baseball. The Tigers do not hit in the clutch and do not drive in runs. Now they are great with two outs and nobody on. But this offense is dreadful and many fans will tell you there is only one solution — fire hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.

OK. Go ahead and do that. But firing McClendon won’t fix bad fielding. The Tigers rank 22nd of 30 teams in team defense with a .981 fielding percentage. And I contend it could be lower if not for some favorable calls by home town score keepers. I’ve seen too many dropped balls, one hoppers to the plate on easy plays and lapses in concentration.

Firing McClendon won’t fix Jose Valverde who is a walking train wreck every time he gets on the mound. He no longer comes into games for saves. He comes into games for scares. There are only three guarantees in life — death, taxes and Papa Grande loading the bases.

Tigers swing and miss again

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Jim Leyland is not the problem. Lloyd McClendon is not the problem and Brennan Boesch had a bad thumb nobody knew about.

Prince Fielder is adjusting to American League pitching. Max Scherzer just hit a little glitch and Brandon Inge and Ryan Raburn were holding the team back. It’s still early yet and the bats will perk up. It’s still early yet and the pitching will turn around.

We’ve heard it all, but the bottom line is the Tigers season continues to tumble and they are further and further from first place. Meanwhile your temperature is rising. Tiger fans have gone from concerned to ticked off. The Tigers lost meekly again, 4-2 to the Cleveland Indians Tuesday night.

They went down with hardly a whimper as the bats were silenced again. It got so bad that the Queen of England looked better than the Tigers.  They played without Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks again but these two players were not supposed to be the difference between powerful and punch less.

So when does the magic begin? When does the faucet of wins begin to flood Comerica Park? When does the calvery march in and save the day?

I beginning to think there is no help in sight. This is what the team is.

Meanwhile on twitter I asked how hot are? It is a low simmer right now but you are close to reaching the boiling point. This was supposed to be a summer of fun. There wasn’t supposed to be much of a pennant race because the Tigers were going to run away with this poor division with ease.

Missing boots: The tale of a missing cousin

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

The phone call came during lunch at Pizzapapolis in Dearborn.

Miss Boots was missing and it was an eerie feeling.

Miss Boots is my cousin and she lives on the west side of Detroit. Her home phone and cell phone were shut off. Friends tried for three days to get ahold of her because a family friend died and they wanted to tell her about the funeral. Obviously my lunch didn’t taste as well.

I tried both her phones and got recordings. I left Dearborn for Detroit to see if she was OK. I just knew I was going to have to break into the house

When I got there she was sitting in the living room with my mother who was also concerned. She didn’t pay her home or cell phone bills. She got a new cell phone and was in the process of giving out her new number but hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Miss Boots is the fun loving member of the family. She lives pay check to pay check and if there isn’t enough money to pay a bill she doesn’t worry about it.

Life goes on.

It is difficult having two ladies in my life

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life, Parenthood

Let me make a confession. There are two ladies in my life.

There is my woman and then there is my girl. My woman is my wife Abs of 14 years. I love her and respect her. The girl in my life is my daughter Celine. I love her with all my heart but she often comes between me and my woman and life is difficult at times.

On Friday I watched Celine help her team to a 2-1 come from behind victory over the Rochester Soccer Club. She played well and I was very proud of her. After the game I allowed  her to go with her teammates to a Super Y game at West Bloomfield High School. She was to attend the game and come home. No sleep over and she knew it.

Celine missed some homework assignments for the third or fourth time this school year. Abs was tired of it and rightly banned sleep overs for a month. Abs will let a lot of things go. Academics is not one of them.  Celine knew it. I knew it. So what happens Friday after the game? Celine has her teammate call and say: “Mr. Foster can Celine sleep over?”

I really did not care but if I went against the rule set down by my wife I’d have hell to pay for. And she’d be right. I told the teammate Celine knew better and that there would be no sleep over. Of course they pretended there was a bad connection and they could not hear me.

Wow, that’s the oldest trick in the book.

I wanted Celine to sleep over because it was the weekend and she worked hard that day. But I had to stand by my woman against my girl. I stood my ground and demanded she come home. About 10 that night the door slammed downstairs. I knew Celine had arrived.

She was mad at me. I was mean old dad who hates her. She probably won’t talk to me when she wakes up.

I knew I made the right decision. I do love my girl with all my heart. I truly do. But I got to stand behind momma in circumstances like this. I picked her 15 years ago. And guys you all know this. It is easier to survive when your girl is mad at you then when momma is mad at you — especially when momma is right

My old Detroit neighborhood never looked worse

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

The day we thought my cousin Miss Boots was missing I drove over to my old west side neighborhood to see if she was OK.

I wanted to cry. Miss Boots was doing well. The old neighborhood was not. It keeps getting worse and worse and for some reason it really hit me how terrible it looked. Vancouver Street was never a ritzy neighborhood but it was a well kept, middle class neighborhood where factory workers, the number runners, drug man and machinists seemed to make it work.

We had a party store, cleaners and church two blocks down. Four blocks of factories churned out auto parts and it was exciting to see trains bring in fresh supplies four blocks away. And you never stepped on any body’s lawn without permission. They were well maintained and looked like tiny patches of Comerica Park.

We were Heather Nebazny.

When I made the left turn toward Vancouver the party store, cleaners and church were burned out wrecks from the riots in 1967. There was garbage all over the place. I drove the car slowly to avoid debris. Ahead about a third of the houses were abandoned or rotting. My neighborhood looked like something from “Escape from New York.”

I really thought I was going to run into Snake Plissken and the Duke.

Switching soccer teams is a tearful affair

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life, Parenthood

I am the big, bad mean guy. At least that is what my daughter Celine thinks of me now.

She is sort of not talking to me but at the same time she does talk to me when she forgets why she is mad at me.

My transgression is I am considering moving her to a different soccer team after five years with the Bloomfield Hills Force. She was in favor of the move during the season. We’d all grown frustrated and wanted to try something new. Moving to a new team is easy but at the same time it is not.

The way it works in soccer is you practice with a team you are interested in playing for. This week Celine will practice with the Michigan Jaguars in Novi and Waza East in Rochester.  It is like going to the bar to pick up girls. You go there and practice. Do you like them? Do they like you?

Saturday and Sunday are tryout days and they are usually stressful for most people.

If it is a match you hook up and become a team for a year. If they don’t like you then you move on to the next club.

I’ve moved my son Brandon a couple of times and it was no big deal. Celine is a different story. She cried after her last game Sunday and in turn so did I. I have a difficult time moving on from something even if I think it is the right thing to do. I grabbed a couple of parents and asked that their daughters remain friends with Celine.

Get the frozen butter beer at Harry Potter

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Uncategorized

ORLANDO — I woke up today tired, sore and barely able to move. That is a good thing. It simply means we walked a lot during the Foster tour of Universal Studio Island of Adventure on Wednesday.

The best part is Celine had a smile on her face the entire day. She is a Harry Potter freak and loved her visit to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the town of Hogsmeade. Celine gave both a thumbs up and the wait to visit the castle and ride a broom stick and battle monsters is worth it.

But that was not the highlite for Celine. She waited an hour to purchase a magic wand that a wizard picked out especially for her. I didn’t think that was worth the $34 to do all that but she loved it. Meanwhile the men (me and Little B) ditched the ladies and went on a couple of water splash rides and ate at some of the concession stands.

Here is my recommendations if you come here. Get the butter beer frozen not cold. Both are good but there is something about the frozen version. It is the drink of choice among the Potter kids. Do not get the butter beer at the first kiosk you see. The lines in the second one behind the castle is shorter. If you are willing to pay cash flag down the guy who is delivering drinks and you can avoid the lines.

Do the castle first and then do all the other rides. The lines were 55 minutes when we arrived. We tricked around with another ride and watched the line grow from 55 minutes to 90 in a 10 minute span.
Purchase tickets online and print them out. You save yourself 10-20 minutes.

Hate in sports is not always a bad thing

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Are you celebrating a little bit? You saw the Miami Heat fall to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the NBA Finals 105-94. Now the hated Heat are three losses away from losing not one but two NBA titles since their version of the Dream Team got together.

People hate the Heat because they hate LeBron James, the guy that made the decision a couple years ago. Many have not let go and they won’t let it go. Villians in sports are nothing new. I was the beat writer for one of the biggest villians in sports history — the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons.

They made three straight NBA Finals and won titles in 1989 and 1990. They were like a rock band on tour during road trips. Crowds around the arena were thicker. People gathered around loading docks just to get a glimpse of the team and yell at them. People threw four letter words at Bill Laimbeer like they were bullets. They did not yell at Laimbeer as much as they spit the words at him.

Michigan football is hated at Ohio State. I went down for a game and wanted to see if the Buckeyes were as crazy as everybody said they were. Oh boy, were they. First of all every Big Ten flag flies at the horseshoe except Michigan. They ever fly Notre Dame’s flag there. The biggest selling T-shirts are Ohio State gear. The second biggest sellers are anti-Michigan shirts.

I saw two women in their 70s stand by the tunnel where Michigan came out and cursed every player. They spoke like sailors and looked like Marines. It was vicious.

Former Piston Dennis Rodman was hated in Chicago until he became a member of the Chicago Bulls. Once someone threw one of those old fashion Coca Cola bottles at him in Chicago Stadium and shattered all over the floor. If it had hit Rodman it would have knocked him out cold.

It is OK to hate teams. That is part of sports. But sometimes we go overboard.

In this case hate is good. Hate will motivate the Heat. Hate will make the Thunder feel good about themselves and more importantly for the NBA, hate will drive up television ratings.

A kind food exchange

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

One of my favorite things to do on Friday night is get carry out from “A Matter of Taste” in Commerce Township. The gormet food is delicious. All you have to do is throw it in the mircowave and you have a great meal.

I went there Friday to pick up something for my wife Abs and me. She wanted eggplant parmesean. I got salmon and pasta. She loves the parmesean and when I got there there were two slices left. I was next in line when a couple ahead of me asked for the last two pieces. That’s one of the risks when you show up late. You might not get what you want.

I immediately got on the cell phone and told Abs the bad news and asked if she wanted something else. She said no and was about to walk out for pizza when a hand stopped me.

“We don’t need the parmesean. I don’t even like it. We were getting it for friends,” a man said. “You can have it. It’s yours.”

I told the couple that was OK. We would survive and I thanked them for the gesture. But they insisted I could have the food and they would order something else. We argued playfully for a moment and I threatened to fight them. But I took the one slice. That was very nice of them.

I don’t know why but I felt guilty taking their food away even though I was paying for it. There are always small stories like this that keep your faith in humanity.

“If I really liked it there is no way you would get this,” the man said laughing.

The payoff came an hour later when I sat on the back patio with Abs. She loved the parmesean and I told her the story. She smiled and said thank you to the people she’d never met.

 

Great Father’s Day wishes for The Legend

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Back in the day my father in law called himself The Player. Now he is The Legend and today’s Father’s Day is all about him.

He is not in good shape. He suffered a heart attack two years ago during hip replacement surgery and there has been a slow and steady decline. His heart is working at less than 30 percent capacity and he sleeps a lot. He will fall asleep on you in a heart beat.

Today we will drive up to East Lansing for dinner with The Legend. We will talk and share laughs and I am betting that seeing his grand kids is the best present we can give him. He has had a lot of things in life. My fear is the one thing he does not have a lot of is time.

“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” he told me the other day. “And that light is heaven.”

The Legend raised five children and they’ve all become successful. He ruled with a strict hand but filled that hand with love. I remember when I told him I wanted to marry his daughter Abs, he got choked up. I don’t know if it was because he was happy for her or realized all the torment she’d have marrying a silly guy like me.

People around Michigan State University know him as the guy with the thundering voice. He sounds like James Earl Jones — just louder. The voice is still there. His memories of growing up in Cleveland and his days at Ohio State and Michigan State are still there.  He is a good dude, the kind of guy that everybody loves.

There is no gift I can give him but friendship and the kids. We know he loves his grand children and their warmth and love is all we can give him now. Even though I am a father of two, this Father’s Day is not about me. It is about The Legend.

Happy Father’s Day.

Sticker shock and soccer tears

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

My daughter Celine is a Harry Potter freak.  She’s watched every movie at least three times and has read each book cover to cover at least a half dozen times.

She’s read the books so often that the covers were torn off of each. So we bought her another leather covered set because she loves them so much. We’ve decided to take the family to Orlando this week and visit Universal Studios so she can tour the Harry Potter exhibit. She will love going through the halls of Hogwart School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I’ve gone on line and discovered a chilling thing. Man those tickets are expensive. Tickets for one day at Universal are $88 per person. That is nearly $400 for a family of four for one day. Two days at Disney for us is more than $700 and if we wanted to do three days it is more than $900.

Wow. That price is steep.

Now lets see you complain about Tiger tickets going up five bucks.

Flying the friendly skies

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Today the Foster family attempts the impossible. We are going to attempt to have a flawless airlines experience.

We are headed to Orlando for the family vacation mostly to go to Universal Studios so my daughter Celine can see the Harry Potter experience. She knows almost as much about Harry Potter as Harry Potter himself. We know that will be a great experience. What we don’t know is how will the airline experience be.

We have our printed boarding passes in hand. I’ve already paid for the luggage and I’m prepared to take off my shoes, belt, pants, hat and anything else they want me to take off during security check. The Foster family is prepared but I know something weird is going to happen. I just don’t know what.

I love to fly. Back in the day I used to cover the Pistons and was in planes all the time. There were flights from hell and I almost didn’t make a couple of games but for the most part airline travel was good. It has declined these days. The seats are too small, the planes too jammed and flying today is more akin to taking the subway in New York City.

Marriott saves the day after another flight delay

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

ORLANDO — My flying slump continued. But thank God for the Marriott.

We are now hunkered down ready for a day at Universal Studio for a tour of Harry Potter’s World. Our flight backed from the gates on time at Detroit Metro Airport but we sat on the runway for 50 minutes while the pilot got “some numbers” back from somewhere. Nobody understood what he was talking about. I just know we had some maintenance issues and the numbers afterwards did not come back right from somewhere.

There seems to be a breakdown every time we fly.

That is a tough start to the vacation but it is not a deal breaker. However, things brightened when we got to the Residence Inn. The guy behind the counter was super friendly and chatty. He noticed that I’ve been a Marriott Rewards member since 1988.

“You were a member before I was born,” he said.

Wow. I remember joining the Marriott Rewards program in 1988 during a Pistons road trip to San Antonio. I’ve collected more than 600,000 points and this year the program is paying for a trip to Orlando and one to Maui.

“You’ve been such a loyal customer that I am going to upgrade you to the two level suite,” the chatty Marriott man said.

I thanked him and we have a suite where the kitchen, living room and kids bed room are downstairs. And mommy and daddy’s bed room and bathroom is upstairs. You know what that means. Wink.

Last year I sent a letter of complaint to Marriott because our shower broke twice and house keeping did not clean our room because the non English speaking crew thought I told them to not clean my room. Marriott will get another letter about a chatty employee who made everything right.

Downriver won’t be my destination this weekend

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I do not hang out Downriver all the time. I do not have Downriver girl friends but the tales of my alleged Downriver exploits are fun to hear. We even have a designated Downriver Debbie although her real name is Nancy.

Friday night I attended a charity event in Wayne and went to two places called US-12 and Jake’s Next Door. One of the first things I heard from people is “this is not quite Downriver but you are close.”

We all got a good chuckle. I even got introduced to a woman simply because she is a promoter who lives in Allen Park. Now all of this nonsense was started by my radio partner Mike Valenti. When he roars about something it is difficult to stop the tide so I just accept that I am a Downriver rat looking for Downriver mice.

Most of this began when we did Thursday night appearances at Mallie’s and Malarkey’s in Southgate. The adventures were fun and the people we met were wonderful. I even got kidnapped once. Maybe that is a future blog. The whole Downriver thing began for an area that is not talked about much in mainstream media around here.

I forgive LeBron James

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I forgive LeBron James.

I forgive him for “The Decision.” I forgive him for being arrogant. I forgive him for being heartless, ruthless and ignorant.

This has nothing to do with him winning his first NBA title Thursday night during a resounding 121-106 hammering of Oklahoma City in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, clinching the title with an MVP performance. It has everything to do with a young man who was humbled by the criticism and humbled by being embarrassed by the Dallas Mavericks in last year’s NBA Finals.

The weight of the world lay on his shoulders. You could see it in his celebration, a childish chorus of jumping up and down on the sidelines during the final moments of the game. It was more a celebration of relief and release. He released the demons that haunted him and he could finally breathe again. He knew he messed up. He’s tried to make amends for his dumb decision. So how long do we dog the guy because of it?

I know I did. I was appalled by “The Decision.” He had the right to leave Cleveland. The way he did it was tacky. But how long do we hang on if the guy learned his lesson? I decided to let go when I truly believed James tried to make amends for the way he handled things. Over the past few weeks I’ve learned that most younger people forgive James and moved on. It was the older generation for the most part that hung on to their hatred.

Why?

Lock up Jerry Sandusky forever

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Throw away the key.

That is my initial thought about former Penn State assistant coach and head pedophile Jerry Sandusky who was convicted on 45 counts of child molestation. What he did was sick and it is one of the worst crimes in the history of crimes. And I do not believe friends and family members who said all these testified against Sandusky for money.

You mean nothing happened? They did this for money against an innocent man?

He faces sentencing in about three months and there should be no probation or suspended sentences for him. I don’t suppose burn in hell is one of the sentence options the jury can recommend.

He took advantage of young, vulnerable boys who didn’t know better. He abused them mentally as well as physically. Shame on him. What a creep. The verdict came when I was with my family at Disney World. I was at Hollywood Studios when we heard the verdict. At Disney you see lots of happy families walking around and enjoying the place.

But you also see kids with cancer and kids who are having miserable lives, who are enjoying a little bit of happiness. They are leading tough lives and the trip to Disney is just a little respite from their lives. There are kids with no families or kids with families who struggle just to make ends meet. Sandusky mostly picked on kids with no families or are estranged from them.

Approaching women is tough to do in a bar

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

ORLANDO — Two young women sat at one end of the bar at TGI Friday’s after a long day of work or play and relaxed chatting and talking. They were dressed nice and wanted to be noticed. I was there with the family for dinner.

Two young men sat at the other end of the bar noticing the young women who wanted to be noticed. They chatted with each other but you could tell they were chatting about the two young women. The approach was near. The scene reminded me of my younger days when I used to go to Flood’s on Friday nights when I lived downtown. It was pickup night for many Detroit office workers. People wanted to be seen and be part of the scene.

There was a woman with brown skin, freckles and thick braided hair that I thought was absolutely beautiful. She dressed to be noticed and her braids were as thick as the ropes that kept cruise ships from floating adrift. I wanted to talk to her but never got the courage. I could tell she was popular. People were always around her and she seemed to be the life of the party even when she sat alone.

One day I got the courage, thanks to a couple of rum and Cokes, and I approached. I told her my name was Terry and that I would love to buy her a drink and talk for a moment. All I asked for was one drink.

She looked at me and said: “Noooooooooo. Thanks.”

Now she did not say “no thanks.” She drew out the words and I felt like a complete fool. She walked away and I went to my side of the bar.

Two weeks later I went back to Floods on a Friday to meet friends for a drink. The women with the thick braids was there and I still felt the love even though my heart was broken.  About a half hour into my visit the woman approached me.

Who is Detroit’s most important athlete?

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I returned from the family trip Sunday in time to see the magic of Justin Verlander who guided the hot and cold Tigers to a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh.

He gave up five hits, struck out seven and made one mistake when he gave up a two-run home run that tied the game. But I am not here to rehash what Verlander did. He seems like money on the mound and money in the bank. While watching Verlander I got into a personal debate.

Who is Detroit’s most important athlete? I did not say the best, although you have to be pretty darn good to be part of this discussion. But who is the guy that  makes the most impact on the Detroit sports scene?

There are three major candidates in my book. They are Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson of the Lions and Verlander. They not only represent Detroit on the field but represent off the field also. Stafford and Johnson are record breaking players who can express and market themselves. Johnson has made great strides on the field but I was also impressed with the way he handled media responsibilities during the NFL Draft and his marketing with Madden 2013.

Johnson is no longer the soft spoken shy giant that came to Detroit. He is more outspoken and seems ready to put Detroit on the map. He is also a damn good wide receiver, unlike anyone we’ve seen before. He reminds me of former Lions wide receiver Herman Moore except he is bigger, faster, stronger and better.

Stafford, meanwhile, could become the best Lions quarterback in history. That includes Bobby Layne who the old timers carry a torch for because he was part of the Lions championship run in 1957. But Stafford is already better than him. The position has evolved into the premier position in football.  Layne could never throw a football like Stafford.

Stafford and Johnson are exciting to watch but there is just something about JV. You cannot turn him off and it is amazing to see how he handles a baseball. People talk about the heat he brings, but my favorite pitch is that 12-6 curve ball that snaps into the strike zone and buckles the knees of just about anybody who faces him. I just love watching the guy pitch. I would love to take a turn at the plate just to see what it looks like.

Busted child prostitution ring is modern day slavery and sick

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life, Parenthood

What type of sick bastard pays to have sex with a child?

There must be a bunch of these sickos because the FBI and other authorities busted a nationwide child prostitution ring and arrested a bunch of pimps and johns. Some of those kids were forced to work in run down hotels and motels in Detroit, Sterling Heights, Madison Heights, Troy and Southfield. More than 70 people were arrested and the children were sent to child protection services.

This is modern day slavery.

Many of the children were between the ages of 13 and 17. My daughter Celine turns 13 in September and I just cannot imagine some freak having his way with her in some seedy hotel. This story made me sick because you think of your kids and the neighbor’s kids when something like this happens. You see innocent faces whose lives are ruined.

Why do some people have children if they are not going to take care of them? I am willing to bet that none of these kids had tradition upbringings. They are the products and victims of baby momma drama. They were not raised in two parent homes with people who loved them. They probably hit the streets before middle school.

Cheating is a daily part of sports

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

There is a public address commercial on television where a high school basketball player admits a referee made the wrong call that would benefit his team. The player runs over to the coach and tells him that the ball went off his finger tips in a crucial moment of the game and that his opponent should have possession of the ball.

His teammates protest but at the end the coach turns to his player and tells him “good call.” The guy then trots over to the official and tells him what really happened.

That brings us to New York Yankees Dewayne Wise, the fake catch artist. Should he be catching heat for pretending to make a catch he didn’t make?

Here is what happened. Wise tumbled into the stands in pursuit of a foul ball hit by Cleveland’s Jack Hannahan. Umpire Mike DiMuro signaled catch although Wise did not catch the ball. Instead of telling the umpire he did not have the ball, he sheepishly ran off the field and acted as if he made the grab.

In the name of sportsmanship Wise should have told the umpire he did not make the grab. In the name of big business he did the right thing in running off the field. You’ve heard the old saying in sports: “If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying.” This is really a sticky delimna of what’s right for the team and what’s right. Wise said he didn’t want to laugh and upstage the umpire, which is a crock. He did it to get his team out of a seventh inning jam.

“Baseball’s already hard, so if someone gives something to you, you’ve got to take it,” said San
Francisco Giants
first baseman Brandon Belt. “He did what everybody else would have done: get off the field and not say anything.”

My Spanish guy predicted Darko Milicic would be a bust

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

I’ve never met Josemi from Spain. But he became a Pistons fan during the Bad Boys era and follows the team from afar. He liked Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Bill Laimbeer and the rest of the Bad Boys.

He began to email me a few years ago when the Pistons considered drafting Darko Milicic. He told me that Darko was a great practice player but a mediocre player on the floor. He saw Darko play a half dozen times live and said he was nothing special. Josemi liked the Pistons so much that he wanted me to send a message to Dumars and tell him to not draft him.

The Pistons held a pre draft press conference and I told Dumars about my correspondent from Spain. He had a puzzled look on his face and asked “Who is this guy?” I told him but obviously Dumars and the Pistons did not change their minds. This morning I read Wojo’s column in the Detroit News and found an interesting quote from Dumars about Darko.

“After I drafted Darko, the amount of background we do on every player we draft  now is ridiculous,” Dumars said. “Looking back, I realize we didn’t know half  the stuff we needed to know. From that moment on, I said that’ll never happen  again.”
Josemi is not a professional scout. He follows European basketball closely and actually gets to see people play. I wish Dumars had listened to him because the rest is history. Milicic became a bust and hasn’t done anything to warrant being taken second in the draft especially after what Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have done.

Dad come back, I’ve got bed bugs

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

EAST LANSING — There was a frantic text from Celine and her buddy Lauren two hours after we dropped them off at Michigan State soccer camp.

“Help. You gotta come back. We got bed bugs.”

What?

I was not driving an hour back to East Lansing Sunday night. I was tired. I told them to find a camp coach and remedy the situation. As it turns out they did not have bed bugs. Some black flecks fell from the ceiling. That did not thrill me but at least the flecks were not alive and were not life threatening.

Besides, I want Celine to figure things out on her own. That is part of the reason we sent her here. My wife Abs wants to call and she wants to text. I told her to leave the girl alone. This should be a growing experience for her. Celine is 12 years old and she is not the most independent person in the world. I sent her to this soccer camp to learn more about the game she loves, meet new friends and have fun.

But I also sent her to experience college life and to do things on her own. She needs to be away from us. Sometimes we do too much for our kids and they don’t know how to do things that we learned at an early age. She doesn’t even want to put her own dishes in the dishwasher. I told her I had to wash and dry my own dishes as a kid after dinner — by hand.

The only dish washer I knew growing up was Fannie Mae Ratliff, the great grandmother I grew up with. Today’s kids kill me. They have the luxury of having machines and gadgets do the work for them. All they have to do is load and push a button. You have to threaten their lives to get them to do it.

Fight in checkout line brings up freedom question

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Little B and I were finishing up the last of our errands Saturday afternoon when I noticed a man screaming in one of the Kroger checkout lines.

“Why not? Why not?”

I was about to go into his aisle when I noticed he had three shopping carts filled with Pepsi, Vernors and Cokes. I estimated his haul at 40 eight packs of bottled soda. I figured he was going to be there for a while. That was a lot of pop and the man did not seem too pleased. The cashier told the man he could not buy that much pop. There was a limit of eight cases or eight packs he could buy.

The customer was angry and raising his voice for all to hear.

Employees began to gather around and whisper.

“Have a nice day,” the cashier said.’

The customer insisted that he call the store manager. He came and told him the same thing. Someone whispered that they believed he was a party store owner who wanted to get the sale price on the pop and sell it for profit at his store. That made sense. The other issue is I am sure Kroger did not want to tick off other customers that came in Sunday looking for pop for the Fourth of July holidays.

It was a strange occurrence. The man would not move and the Kroger cashier and his manager would not budge. My son B wondered if a fist fight was going to break out. I assured him cooler heads would prevail. It did. The funny thing is a few minutes earlier B noticed that cream cheese was on  sale for $1 per container. He said we could buy 100 cream cheese for $100.

I laughed and said there was no way we could eat it fast enough before it spoiled. We’d have to give most of it away.

“Thank you and have a nice day,” the manager said to the irate customer. “You are welcome to buy eight packs.”

Sometimes you need an escape from your life

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Momma was struggling. Abs hurt her back some how. She was angry because her new diet was kicking in and she had a bunch of clothes to fold and put away following our trip to Disney.

The kids were noisy and restless and I felt sorry for the old girl. So I cleared the house. I told the kids to wash up, get their electronics and pile into the car. We were going out to dinner and clearing the house. So on a Saturday night my date was B and Celine as we went to Pizzeria Biga in Southfield.

Everybody won. The kids got pasta, I got pizza and Abs got peace of mind. Or was it a piece of her mind back?  When I got home I got a big hug and kiss and she didn’t even have to say a word. We love our kids. We love our wives and husbands but sometimes we need time alone. I get that way sometimes and I could tell Abs was having one of those moments.

The only noise you want to hear in the house is that of the air conditioning. Families rarely get that peace of mind because we are so busy. There are school and practice drop offs, help with homework, dinner plans, play dates and vacations. Sometimes it is as if our lives are traveling at 80 miles per hour. We are on the wild mouse.

Celebrating a 21st birthday is a family affair

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Family, Life

Her name is Brooke and she is a student at Ferris State University with a giant smile. I ran into Brooke and her entourage as she celebrated her 21st birthday at Cheli’s downtown after the Tigers game Monday night.

It was a special evening so Brooke rented a party bus and invited her boyfriend, buddies from Livonia Franklin High School and her dad. Yes, dad hung out and drank with his daughter. And did I mention an assortment of aunts joined in and hung with them at Cheli’s and Greek town Casino.

I’ve always wondered what it is like to hang with your child and share a beer or glass of wine. I wonder what the feeling is like when your baby turns 21. Do you want to be there with your child on that special evening? My son Brandon vows he is going to buy me a beer when he turns 21. He said he wants me and him to hang out without other family members. I am curious to see if he will keep that promise.

Brooke and her dad are lucky. There is enough love in that family where they want to be with each other. A few weeks ago I met an 80 year old guy named Bob who celebrated his birthday with his sons and daughters, wife and sisters. You could tell it was a wonderful experience for him. He was having the time of his life.

We have freedom but a bad baseball team

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Happy Fourth of July!

My life is great. My day is great. The only thing that bugs me has nothing to do with this Holiday. It is the Tigers. I will admit they bug me very much. Did you see last night’s 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park?

I get a lot of emails from people about the Tigers and there remains an optimism in this town that the Tigers will rally and pull this off. Those people might be right but this team sure is frustrating. How many of you thought there was even a remote chance the Tigers would be below .500 at the halfway point of the season? I never did.

You can no longer say it is early in the season. We are in the second stages and the Tigers have yet to figure out the Minnesota Twins. There is so much wrong with this team. I figured the defense would be bad but not this bad. I figured guys that enjoyed career years last season would settle down but not lose 50 points off their batting average.

The thing I figured most is the Tigers would find a way to win a bad division. So far they have not.

Heat wave and storms pelt the area and leave us boiling

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Life

It was about 3:15 in the morning when the front door bell rang. It startled me and woke up my wife.

“Babe,” my wife Abs said. “Are you expecting somebody this early in the morning?”

You have to understand Abs. She is a very smart woman but when she first wakes up she is in another land. She has no idea what she is saying or has no idea where she is. I told her I had invited the boys over for poker.

Actually that was not the truth. The door bell rang during one of our many wildcat storms that left more than 200,000 homes without power. We were one of those homes. The bad news is our power went out three times. The good news is we were without power for about four minutes. We thanked our lucky stars.

The weather has been off the chains. We’ve been hit about six times in the past four days. One moment it is calm. The next moment your house is being pelted with waves of water and wind. You don’t want to see my backyard. There is enough wood on the ground to build another ark. I’ll either get out there and clean it up or bribe the kids into doing it. They always fall for the “you are doing it for nature” fake.

Sex in public bathrooms is gross but appealing to some

Written By: Terry Foster

Filed Under: Uncategorized

My radio partner Mike Valenti has created this myth that I am a ladies man, Downriver man and stud muffin of the universe. It is not true but I do appreciate the publicity. However, it still does not stop people from asking me interesting questions.

A guy met a woman in Cheli’s downtown after a Tigers game and asked for my advice. They were both hot for each other and he wanted to know what I thought about him sneaking into the women’s bathroom for a little fun and games. The crowd was thinning out and the two thought they could sneak a little hanky panky in one of the stalls and nobody would notice.

It was on his list of things to do before he died.

My advice was quick and to the point.

Hell No!!

Bathrooms are filthy. People don’t go to bathrooms because they want to. They go because they have to. We poop and pee in bathrooms and bar bathrooms are always filthy. Have you looked at the floor in a bar bathroom? Still some people want to have sex in bathrooms and I never got it. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got in hot water for wanting sex in the bathroom. A number of other athletes have pulled woman into bathrooms.

I don’t even want to have sex in my own bathroom let alone a public stall.

We must become a baseball society again

Written By: Terry Foster