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A musical playoff

Monday, October 03, 2011 - 11:12 AM

We native New Yorkers are born with an attitude that is best expressed this way:  my city can take your city any day of the week.  Our city is like Muhammed Ali: loud and proud, brash – okay, maybe even arrogant – but backing it up by delivering the goods. 

But even Ali must’ve been sweating at the prospect of meeting Joe Frazier that first time, in 1971, in what became known as The Fight Of The Century. 

New York, meet your Joe Frazier: Detroit. 

I’ll be sweating out both of today’s contests.  The Tigers host my lifelong team the Yanks tonight, with Detroit going (again) with the presumptive Cy Young Award Winner, Justin Verlander.  And even though C.C. Sabathia is a stud on the mound, Verlander is the best in the league and the Yanks lineup, despite Cano’s first game heroics, looks vulnerable. 

And as for our rare Monday Smackdown, well, New York has a Murderer’s Row of musical sluggers.  Punk, hip-hop, and disco all started in New York in the early 70s, an unparalleled explosion of different musical styles, all important and influential, at the same time in the same place.  Classical music fans will point to the Met and the the NY Phil; jazz aficionados to a host of world-famous clubs like the Village Vanguard; and there’s a street in Manhattan called Broadway which has produced a tune or two over the years. 

So why should New York fans be worried about Detroit?  One word: Motown.  Motown is the Justin Verlander of the music world.  (Apparently, I’ve switched metaphors from boxing to baseball.)  Amply supported by a lineup that includes MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, Bob Seger, Eminem, techno, and a host of others – none of them, in my opinion, strong enough to win this Smackdown by themselves – Motown gives the Motor City a puncher’s chance (oops, I guess I’m back to boxing metaphors) in today’s Smackdown.  (Wait, that’s wrestling, isn’t it?)

Which city wins our musical playoff – New York or Detroit?  Leave a comment. 

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