Put Your Hands Up For Detroit

May 8, 2024

Wow, just wow.

What a day in The Motor City; Detroit you have found a new friend. Beers on a rooftop patio overlooking the lovely Comerica Park followed by a nice walk to go cover my first ever XFL UFL game as I intern with the Down By Two crew that are credentialed with the Michigan Panthers. They needed a camera man (someone to hold a cell phone) and to be honest, I was a bit nervous, but after watching a tutorial or two, and a couple Yup! Beers, I felt like I was up for the task.

As a small town kid in a southwestern Ontario town of Dorchester, which was only about 2 hours away from Detroit, I would often go to watch a Red Wings game at the Joe Louis but always was told by Mom to “Make sure you go straight to arena and straight to the car, Detroit is dangerous…” I still recall walking the runway back to my friends parents car through a tunnel and seeing all the down and out homeless people begging for change, which is something I had never experienced before. Having played in a hockey tourney called Hockey Helps the Homeless for the past 8 years, I have learned a bit more about the struggle of homelessness.  It’s an ongoing battle but it looks like Detroit has many initiatives in place. A quick google search showed a 70% decrease from 2007 to 2020.

Fast forward to Sunday May 5th, 2024 where the Michigan Panthers were taking on the basement dwellers Arlington Renegades at Ford Field with an attendance of 7,428; the beautiful Motown was booming especially at this special bar called the Tin Roof.  The royal plum, champagne silver, light blue shirts and hats stood outside the establishment waiting for the door to open so they could start their tailgating.  Once 11am hits, these fans are ready to rock. As I enter the legendary Ford Field, I’m hit with all of the football lore. We start to walk down the entrance pathway to the field, as all of the Detroit Lions legends would, and we march out of the tunnel alongside the Renegades. Arlington’s Tight End Sal Cannella is one big dude.

We then make our way to the press box, another first for me as I find my work station with my name printed on my desk. We take in the pregame rituals followed by the kickoff. Michigan elects to take the ball first, and what a drive it was by Danny Etling, going 70 yards in under 4 minutes for the first score of the game. One major takeaway from the drive was the first down Panthers roar that happens EVERY first down, I believe they stole the roar from Anchorman’s Sex Panther cologne. It was obnoxiously loud but got the fans on their feet and was pretty entertaining. Might not help on a Sunday hangover though.

The Panthers held the lead for most of the first half until a pair of quick touchdowns at the end of the half gave them the lead. Then, the man, the myth, the legend took over.


The biggest story in the UFL this year, the guy is routinely kicking 60 yarders with ease. After kicking 1 in the first from 43 yards, he went on to kick 3 more from 60, 29 and 49 yards. With a field goal of their own with 59 seconds left, the Renegades retook the lead and the Panthers were Down By Two. With an unbelievable 45-yard kick return from Simms and a face mask to add another 15 yards, the Panthers were basically already celebrating. Jake Bates is basically the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, it’s a lock, he’s gunna win it. Etling just ran the rest of the clock with a couple of knees, I think he even ran back to make the field goal longer to make it a bit more exciting for the fans. Snap and hold is good, the Undertaker Jake Bates wins the game.

The Panthers now move to 4-2, making the line from Anchorman also work: “60% of the time, it works every time.”As soon as the kick was up and good, we made our way to the press conference room where I took part in my first media scrum. I had the opportunity to chat with Michigan Panthers head coach Mike Nolan and discuss the Quarterback situation, with Danny Etling stepping up big in this game.

Instead of just telling you about it, why don’t you click on the link below to see it for yourself. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the first instalment of ‘Questions with Kyle.’

As this was my first time actually experiencing the Detroit downtown, I literally can’t say enough good things about the whole experience. If you are a sports fan, it’s a must see town. I doubt there is a day in Detroit when there isn’t a major sporting event happening within a km radius of Downtown. You’ve got Ford Field, Comerica Park, and Little Caesars Arena blocks away from each other with a vibrant downtown core that was so much fun. The trip back to the Tin Roof for a quick bite was interesting, out front of the Tin Roof there were two Pedal Pub Cars, a lady twerking on the sidewalk, loud music blaring, 30 ladies crushing the dance floor to some Pitbull, town on fire at 4 PM on a Sunday, you bet your ass I’ll be back Detroit. Leafs suck, Jays stink, Raptors are rebuilding, and Toronto downtown is a nightmare. I’ll be heading 401 West next time.

The only bad experience of the whole trip was not running into Tim Robinson or Sam Richardson. I was under the impression that they would have season tickets. Next trip will include the Michigan Pedaler Pub as nothing beats exercise and slugging down Yup! Beers with my friends, but I’ll ensure to eat more than 3 hotdogs for lunch because I don’t want my body to eat itself…or I’ll at least bring some emergency dogs.

These Michigan Sex Panthers have a team to be reckoned with in the league this year, put your hands up Detroit and go take in this amazing spring XFL UFL football.

  • Written by Kyle Elliot & Josh Elijah

Contributing Writers

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