'Hockeytown' Welcomes Its Heroes

  • Share
  • Read Later

DETROIT: The rest of the world may call their hometown the Motor City, but Detroiters have taken to calling it "Hockeytown," and nothing generates more pride year after year than their beloved (and beleagured) Red Wings. Thirsty after a 42-year drought, the longest in the National Hockey League, Red Wings fans are drinking again from Lord Stanley's Cup. An exuberant 750,000 turned out for Tuesday's victory parade up Woodward Avenue, hoping to catch a glimpse of the 35-pound silver trophy, captured when the Red Wings completed a stunning four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night. Detroit Police had the crowds under control through most of the parade, but order broke down when team captain Steve Yzerman finally appeared, holding the Cup aloft. Yzerman, who has played his entire 14-year career in Detroit, was swarmed by a cheering mob which trailed more than a block behind his red Mustang convertible. The Mustang, like the Cup, is a symbol of Detroit's return from the brink of collapse. A lot of fans see their Wings triumph after so many dismal years as the echo of Detroitís auto turnaround. For many of the Red Wings' mostly suburban fans, this cloudless 85-degree day was a chance to see downtown in a new light. Families were again roaming the sidewalks, lining up for Detroit's famous Coney Island chili dogs. As one fan put it: "What a great day to be in Detroit."