By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
DETROIT — Detroit has it tough, with falling home prices, high unemployment, struggling manufacturing, and crime so rampant in the downtown city bus drivers say they’re “scared for their lives.”
Now comes another blow: Nickelback.
The formulaic, faux rock n’ roll band is scheduled to perform the halftime show for the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, one of the most anticipated home games of the season.
But fans aren’t taking it lying down, with more than 43,000 people signing a petition at change.org that asks show producers to reconsider their choice.
“Detroit is home to so many great musicians and they chose Nickelback?!?!?!” the petition says. “Does anyone even like Nickelback? Is this some sort of ploy to get people to leave their seats during halftime to spend money on alcoholic beverages and concessions?
“This is completely unfair to those of us who purchased tickets to the game. At least the people watching at home can mute their TVs.”
University of Michigan student Dennis Guttman started the petition. Why?
“It’s because they suck,” he told news website MLive. “I’m sure they’re great people, but I can’t stand their music. If people want to see them perform, go buy a ticket to their concert.”
Petition signer Eric Ransom summed it up this way, “Haven’t the good people of Detroit been through enough?”
Guttman, and others, have noted that The Motor City, home of Stevie Wonder, Eminem, Kid Rock and Bob Seger, birthplace of Motown, is not the place for a Nickelback stadium show — especially during the premier game of its football team’s best season in memory.
Robert Jones, who describes himself as a “lifelong Lions’ fan” wrote on the website supporting the petition, “Nickelbacks’ music doesn’t even reflect a musical genre that has ever been popular in the city. It is not rock and roll, its a nasty hybrid of the worst manufactured music on the planet.”
“See ‘ya Thanksgiving Day,” Hawthorne says in the video, urging fans to support him on Facebook and Twitter. “Go Lions!”