“AND WHAT MAKES YOU SO SMART?” he wanted to know. Of course, I could not answer him right away, since he screamed the question into my ear at close range, while spilling beer on my pants.

But when I recovered I started thinking, well, maybe he’s got a point, maybe.

We were talking about the Tigers. Every sports writer in town, it seems, has buried the Tigers, or at least fluffed their casket. Maybe they’re right, and maybe not. No one knows.

Which is sort of what the man in the bar was saying — his guess is as good as mine. Alas, he said, the average Joe or Josie never gets a chance to write what they think in the newspaper. If they did, they’d show ’em.

And so I figured, why not?

Below is the standard “Here’s What’s The Matter With The Tigers” column, model number JC25700. You’ll notice it is filled with blanks. These are for you. Put down your thoughts. Then send your column in.

If it’s really creative, maybe we’ll print it, and I can take the day off and go scream in some sports writer’s ear.

Hey, sports fans. Here’s the real lowdown on those Tigers of 1985.

They are ————- to win the pennant. Believe me. I know. I’ve been writing a column for four seconds now.

OK. They need a guy who can —————— when the team is
——————. Without that, they’re not worth ————-.

And they should tell ————- to get off his rusty ————— and learn how to ————– again. Fast.

And I have just two words for the Tigers’ bullpen: ————-
————-!

Also, I think ————- must have a hole in his glove.

Just the same, everybody should stop picking on —————-. Baseball is a tough game. The pressure. The grind. Besides, if you really want to pick on somebody, how about ————-? I mean, he ————, doesn’t he?

Also, I think ———- must have a hole in his bat.

Still, there are many good players. I’d like to have 10 of ————–. And I want to jump and holler “Hooray!” every time ———— ——— a
——— only my friend always says, “Sit down, I can’t see.”

Sparky Anderson? He’s ————-. And Kirk Gibson is the
————– ever. Aurelio Lopez should be —————. I’d love to invite ————— to my house for ——————.

Of course, the Tigers never should have traded ————–. But I sure wish they would trade ————- before he dies of embarrassment. Or we do.

I mean, come on. Did you see that game where
——————————-? If that wasn’t the ———- thing I’ve ever seen, then you can just hit me over the head with a ———–.

As for the pennant race, well, the idea of Toronto winning the division makes me want to ————. Then again, the idea of the Yankees winning it makes me really want to —————.

All the Tigers need to get back into this is ————-. Of course if they don’t, I’ll have to watch the Lions play all September. And that would be ————- .

In the meantime, let’s leave ————- alone. He’s a pawn in a chess game of fate. (Fancy words, huh? Every column should have a few fancy words.)

Also, I think ————- must have a hole in his head.

So there you have it. This is why the Tigers will be in —————- come October.

I am qualified to make such statements because I have been a Tigers
————– for ————- years, which makes me at least as smart as any sports writer in town.

Doesn’t it?

Send to Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press Sports, 321 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI, 48231.

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