The Baltimore Sun prints interviews with players each week. This past Sunday the spotlight was on Derrick Mason. Here is my favorite part of the interview:
Q: You’re from Detroit. You were born there, grew up there, went to college at nearby Michigan State, and still have family there. Obviously Detroit is a city that’s dealt with its share of problems in recent years. I’ve seen a lot of people in my profession write stories about how the success of a profession sports franchise can uplift a city, and inspire it’s residents in difficult times. We saw it happen a ton when the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl last year, but those same stories were written when the Tigers made the playoffs, when the Pistons won an NBA title, and when Michigan State made the Final Four. What do you think about that?
A: I don’t think there is any truth to it. When you’re winning, honestly, people are excited. But it’s not going to do any good for jobs. It’s not going to bring General Motors, Chrysler and Ford back. If their team is winning, that just gives them something to enjoy on a Sunday. Or something to talk about. But as far as uplifting a city, I haven’t seen it happen. Even in New Orleans. People said when the Saints won the Super Bowl it would regenerate the economy down there in the city. For a time being, it did help the city. But New Orleans is still in the same situation they’re in now, just like a lot of other cities. Especially in this economy, a sports team is not going to lift up a city to where it’s going to come out where it was. It will lift it up to a point, but once the season is over with, they’re done. That uplifting is gone.