Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting up close with the Marathon Oil Refinery's Pistons tribute

Every now and then we let our "reporting" wander out of downtown Detroit. Sometimes, even outside the city.

This Pistons' tribute at the Marathon Oil Refinery actually sits in Melvindale just outside the city boundaries, but it's still one of the coolest Detroit sports tributes around town.

Marathon turned this huge sludge vessel (that's really what is stored in there) into a Pistons homage after Chauncey, Rip, Ben and the guys won the championship in 2004. For a few years, the ball also celebrated the Shock on one side, but that was  painted over when the team left town. (Pause for a moment of mourning.) Thanks to Marathon, there's no disputing the Pistons love that lives Downriver, even if driving to the Palace to see a game is too much of a pain.

And one more interesting sidebar: Longtime Detroit-to-Downriver travelers might  recall when this same tank featured the stitching of a baseball and served as a Detroit Tigers' tribute. How long ago was that? Well, we believe the ball also featured a WJR logo. You do the math.