DEARBORN, Michigan — I needed a little pure dumb luck to come through for me on this trip and it did without me even knowing it, as these things tend to happen. Upon arrival at the Lions’ scrimmage on Saturday, I chatted with Lions media information manager Eamonn Reynolds and I conjectured that the scrimmage must have started early. Actually, I said “Oh, they started at 9:30.” Eamonn replied that, no, it began at 10:30. And then it hit me. Detroit is in the Eastern time zone. That meant when I thought I was 30 minutes early for arriving at Lions camp when I said I would on Friday, I was actually 30 minutes late. I thought the Lions wrapped up practice quickly, but didn’t worry about it. My interview with Matthew Stafford, as mentioned previously, went smoothly. I wondered why the clock in my hotel room was an hour ahead. I went to sleep, and I went back to Lions camp at 11:30 thinking it was 10:30. Oh well. But my obliviousness didn’t stop there. I remember Sports Center saying something about Ann Arbor yesterday, but I just assumed it had to do with people being excited about the upcoming college football season. After Lions practice, I made the 30-minute drive to Ann Arbor, taking a back way so as to avoid the weird red traffic lines on the interstate. The closer I crawled toward Ann Arbor, the more congested the traffic. I noticed lots of people in soccer jerseys and reasoned there must be some huge youth soccer tournament. Nope. It wasn’t until I was in the shadow of Michigan Stadium that I realized Manchester United was playing Real Madrid in the Big House. I thought I would have a lazy Saturday in Ann Arbor, but instead I went on the busiest day of the year that didn’t involve the maize and blue playing football in town. Click here for the game story and amazing photos. I accidentally wandered into a crowd of 109,000 soccer fans. Luckily, I was about 2 hours before kickoff so I made it through the ocean. After parking for only $6 (a minor miracle as far as I can tell), I made it to Zingerman’s Delicatessen which was recommended to me by Mawuli. It’s also featured in the film The 5-Year Engagement and other food shows. I only had the best Reuben and the best potato salad I’ve ever tasted and the homemade sugar cane cola was top notch as well. So, yeah, pure dumb luck. To fill out the day, I ventured into downtown Detroit and dined at the Hard Rock Cafe, then cruised 8 Mile while listening to Eminem.
I’m officially headed to West Virginia for an interview Monday evening, then hustling to Indianapolis for another interview Tuesday morning. It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock n’ roll.