Mayor Dave Bing

There are times when the sports world collides with “real-life.” We saw that this past weekend with the tragedy down at the Dallas Cowboys training facility. We have also seen the good sides like the 1968 Detroit Tigers or the 2006 New Orleans Saints lifting their respective cities out of difficult times. For all of the bad press that has come out of Detroit, the latest election proved that this city can come together for a common purpose.

I know the first thought is going to be that the turnout was sub-20% and that Mayor Bing has 180 days before his referendum comes to the polls. While the politics of such an election can be debated for days, I have a personal story on how Detroit’s new mayor made an impression on me.

It was a number of years ago now, but I found myself in a Southfield eatery with my family – my “last supper” before heading to Syracuse University, a school in which Dave Bing initially came to prominence.

Upon completing my dinner, I noticed that Mr. Bing was seated with his wife in the corner. I slowly approached him and let him know that I was going to be an Orangeman the next day. He immediately perked up and had me sit next to him as he told stories about how he would have loved to have played in the Carrier Dome in front of 30,000-plus. The conversation seemed to last countless minutes and concluded with him requesting that I meet up with him on campus.

It was this impression of no. 22 (or no. 21 to Pistons fans) Dave Bing that has remained in my memory for many years. Long before he was known as Mayor Bing.