Ah, Thanksgiving, when we gather together to give thanks for that handful of well-meaning but unbelievably misguided Native Americans who fed our ancestors through the harsh winter so that our ancestors could later slaughter them and destroy their culture by engaging in the traditional gluttonous excess for which they paved the way. And as our bloated eyes gently close in front of the football game and the farting of our fat uncles rocks us into a slumber from which we will later awaken and eat turkey sandwiches with mayonnaise and salt — nature's greatest food — and then drive home only a little drunk, we will have so much more to be thankful for. Like turkey sandwiches with mayonnaise and salt, for example, and our proud American way.
But mostly, we can be really thankful we're not Detroit.
Punched in the face by life with astonishing frequency, Detroit has, since the 1970s, seen its population decline by nearly half, its property values get decimated, its unemployment rate rise (by some estimates) to nearly 50 percent. Even its weather is shit. Even its sports teams suck — except, this year, by some Christmas miracle, the Lions.
Indeed, it's been a banner year for the Lions: They're going into their traditional Thanksgiving Day game — a game they've traditionally lost — an impressive six and two, with a good chance of winning. There's just one major downside: The halftime band is Nickelback.
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It's pretty sad, really, to see Detroit's one desperate moment in the sun ruined by what's commonly known as the worst band in the world, and Detroit is understandably pissed about it. Earlier this month, Lions fan Dennis Guttman began circulating an online petition to kick Nickelback off the ticket that as of this writing had garnered more than 50,000 signatures. "Detroit is home to so many great musicians and they chose Nickelback?!?" Guttman wrote, and while I normally find more than one punctuation mark at the end of a sentence excessive, in this case I'd say it's justified. Shit, even Detroit's worst band — Insane Clown Posse — is at least mildly amusing in its retarded earnestness. (That's right: Nickelback's awful "When We Stand Together" finally gave "Miracles" a song to be better than.)
For Nickelback's part, interestingly, frontdouche Chad Kroeger — in a weirdly implied acknowledgment that his band sucks — took aim at sucky bands similar to ICP in the pursuit of making his band seem comparatively somewhat better. "I think we can all pick out a Slipknot fan," he told MTV in response to his many detractors, "but it's tough to pick out a Nickelback fan, because they're all so different." Which may be true — there probably are a wide variety of people who like music for people who don't like music. But if there's one thing you can say for Motown, it's that it's a city with generally excellent taste in music.
And so I feel — I really do — for all the Lions fans loyal enough to come to the game, because they'll be rewarded for their loyalty with punishment. At least the rest of the country, as Guttman observes, can just mute the TV. And that's something to be thankful for.