Tuesday I had the pleasure of MC’ing the press conference for the big Jr.Welterweight unification fight between Tim Bradley and Devon Alexander at the Silvedome. That’s right the Silverdome. The last time I had been in the building was after the 2001 NFL season.
Looking through the glass of the restaurant formerly called “The Main Event” brought back tons of great memories that I was lucky enough to witness. Here are just a few that ran through my mind.
1.Barry Sanders..Nobody could electrify 80,000 people like #20. The chants of BARRY BARRY BARRY are something I will never forget. He was the most exciting professional athlete I ever saw.
2.Game 6 of the 1988 NBA Eastern Conference Finals when the Pistons defeated the Celtics earning their first trip to the NBA Finals.
3.Those NBA Finals where the Pistons took on the Lakers and won two of the three games at the Dome sending the Bad Boys back to Los Angeles with a 3-2 series lead.
4.The final game of the 1997 season when Barry Sanders passed the 2000 yard mark for rushing yards in a season as the Lions beat the Jets to earn a playoff berth. The Dome was so loud,Jets quarterback Neil O’Donnell had to call timeouts because the Jets could not hear. The game was tempered by the neck injury suffered by Reggie Brown which brought 80,000 people silent.
5.The lone Lions playoff win since 1957 as they beat the Dallas Cowboys 38-6 advancing to the NFC Championship game.
6.Wrestlemania 3. Say what you want, but it was a spectacle. Almost 90,000 people including Aretha Franklin watching the historic Hulk Hogan-Andre The Giant Match.
7.Seeing the Rolling Stones and worrying that I would be crushed by the crowd during the Steel Wheels Tour of 1989.
There were other great moments that took place before I moved to Michigan in 1986. Many of you still talk about the great times seeing the likes of Led Zeppelin,Michael Jackson,The Who, Bruce Springsteen, and of course the USFL champion Michigan Panthers.
One thing I thought of as I drove away from the Silverdome was how great a venue it was. Yes, it was dirty at times and there were constant fights, but the sightlines for football were better than any stadium I had ever been to. As much as I love Ford Field it is a shame that the Lions could not convince the Pontiac big wigs and stadium authority to rennovate the building. They thought the Lions were bluffing about downtown. For once the Lions were not all talk. They left for a newer and smaller facility. I think football fans are a little worse off without the Silverdome. Hopefully boxing fans will check out the Dome on January 29th to see not only a great night of boxing, but a bit of nostalgia as well. -Stoney