Wow.

I am impressed.

Two weeks ago, on this very page, I offered readers a chance to “Write Your Own Column” on what’s wrong with the Tigers. All you had to do was fill in the blanks of a make-believe column, draw a picture of yourself on top, and lick a stamp.

Well. Apparently an awful lot of you want to get into this business. I don’t understand why. All you get to eat is potato salad.

But columns, man, did we get columns. The first batch arrived with my coffee the next morning, and from then on they just kept coming. Hundreds of them. And hundreds more.

Most were terrific. And the notes that came along with them were, at times, even better.

My favorite was from someone named Denice, who wrote: “P.S. I only used all those swear words because I’m sure you’ve heard them all at Tiger Stadium anyhow.”

Yep. Then there was the man who wrote — and I leave his spelling intact
— “if you don’t print this I think your chicken.” Well. I guess you can think my chicken. If I get to think your duck.

The self-portraits you drew were equally impressive. I never knew so many of you looked alike. Is it just coincidence, or are you all related to that face on the “Have a nice day” bumper sticker?

Anyhow, I promised that if a good column came in, we’d print it and I’d take the day off.

The problem wasn’t finding a good one. It was cutting the good ones down to double digits.

Here’s what we finally did. We took the most original fill- in-the-blanks responses and put them into the following single column, with the contributors listed at the end. The words in italic type are yours, not mine. Please remember that.

We could also not resist printing some of the best self- portrait drawings. These people either have very vivid imaginations or they live alone.

So here it is. “Your Column” on the Detroit Tigers, along with my thanks for the day off. And congratulations to all of you budding sports writers. But I wasn’t kidding about the potato salad.

YOUR COLUMN

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

They are “probably not going to, I think,” win the pennant. Believe me. I know. I’ve been writing a column for four seconds now.

OK. They need a guy who can “slam” when the team is in a jam or else they’re not worth “the price of the “other” newspaper in Detroit.”

And they should tell “Sparky” to get off his “rusty Kuntz” and learn how to “win” again. Fast.

And I have just two words for the Tigers’ bullpen: “MARRY RICH!”

I think “Bob Talbert” must have a hole in his glove.

Just the same, everybody should stop picking on “Larry Herndon.” Baseball is a tough game. The pressure. The grind. Besides, if you want to pick on somebody, how about “Mitch Albom?” I mean, he “writes this column” doesn’t he?

Also I think “Al Ackerman” must have a hole in his bat.

Still, there are a lot of good players. I’d like to have 10 of “their salaries.” And I want to jump and holler every time “the peanut man makes a good toss” only my friend says, “Sit down, I can’t see.”

Sparky Anderson? He’s “the best thing to happen to Tiger Stadium since they cleaned the bathrooms.” And Lance Parrish is the “sexiest” ever. Aurelio Lopez should be “thankful David Letterman hasn’t spotted him yet.” I’d love to invite Kirk Gibson to my house for “(can’t say; this is a family newspaper, isn’t it?”).”

Of course, the Tigers never should have traded “Ruppert Jones”. But I sure wish they would trade a “certain relief pitcher” before he dies of embarrassment. Or we do.

As for the pennant race, well, the idea of Toronto winning the pennant makes me want to “become a Canadian citizen.” Then again, the idea of the Yankees winning it makes me want to “become a monk.”

All the Tigers need to get back into this thing is divine intervention. Of course, if they don’t, I’ll have to watch the Lions play all September. And that would be “like watching my mother-in-law.”

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

I think “Eli Zaret” must have a hole in his head.

So there you have it. This is why the Tigers will be in “Halloween costumes” come October.

I am qualified to make such statements because I have been a Tigers
“columnist for 0.00025” years, which makes me at least as smart as any sports writer in town. Doesn’t it?

The contributors: Marie LaPointe Whitney, Vanderbilt; Robert Adams, Traverse City; Julie Anne Weaver, Gladwin; Clay Coward, Quincy; Russ Dale, Warren; Patrick Grady, Pontiac; LeAnn Bellfi, Ann Arbor; Mike Walsh, St. Clair Shores; R. Steven Longmuir, Pontiac; Paul Irwin and Duane Vollmers, Royal Oak; Bonnie Kwiatkowski, Toledo; Alex Kushner, Ann Arbor; Alan Stiebel, Romeo; Lindsey Morgan, Hot Springs, Ark.; Jim Stein, Powers; Steve Crandall, Dearborn Heights; Andy Demay, Oscoda.

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