Detroit Police Department and the 2005 All Star Game

Fact:  According to Google, it is 19 minutes from Dearborn, MI to Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.


Story to Disprove Said Fact:  Imagine walking out of your hotel and seeing 20 motorcycle cops.  We’re talking about 20 cops lined up in a perfect row against the sidewalk.  I thought to myself, no wonder there are no autograph seekers here.  This place is protected like a military base with all these cops.  At this point it didn’t see the connection.

As usual I walked up the bus stair and moved past some of the most popular players in the game.  It is surreal.  All Star…Future Hall of Famer…All Star…MVP…it was crazy to me.  Once I sat down I looked out the right side window to see the motor cycle cops still sitting in a perfect row.  Then I watched as one man, clearly the leader, started his bike.  VROOOOOM.  Then I watch 19 other cops jump up and down to start their bikes….. KAAAAABOOOOOOOOOOM…. VRRRRRMRMMMMMMRRRRRMMMMMM…..OH MY GOSH!  THAT WAS THE COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN!

At this point the entire bus with All Stars and future Hall of Famers are standing up in the bus looking out the window like we are all 6 years old!  The Latin guys are firing out Spanish with huge smiles and laughing.  We are all just in awe!  Then the Lead Officer starts rolling forward.  Behind him each motorcycle peals off and moves towards their intended position.  These guys are good.

Flashing lights and sirens everywhere!  Boom!  Four cops shoot out from the group and head in front of the bus.  They are “The Wedge” that is going to scare the living daylights out of some poor drivers who happened to be driving on the freeway just trying to get to work or a meeting.

“You guys may want to sit down.  We are going to be moving pretty fast.”  Those were the words from the bus driver.  As he said those words you sort of felt like he was pretending that he was on a aircraft carrier with Maverick ready to assist Iceman and Slider.  You know the sound of a guy who is taking things a little too seriously for the situation.

It worked.  I sat down and debated over sitting with both feet on the floor or if it would be better to get in the “crash landing” position with my head between my legs.  I chose the traditional seating knowing full well that one slip and I would be catapulted forward and hit the driver’s window 9 rows up like a splattered fly.  But who cares about that.

The bus driver pulls out and we are flanked with officers on either side, in front and behind.  We are rocking the vehicle equivalent of protecting the President after shots are fired.  Every street light we pass there are officers on either side blocking crossing traffic.  Their faces are stoic and their postures are intimidating.  They make no movements except for a stare directly into the oncoming cars.  Once we pass them, they peel back in line and now they are protecting the rear.

BOOM!  VRRRRRRRMMMMMMM! Two more officers shoot off from the front.  It’s their turn to block traffic.

We are about to get on the freeway and I already have this strange feeling of excitement and worry.  I know that the combination of the police blockade with “Turbo” our bus driver and a free pass to go as fast as he would like is a terrible combo.  But I am actually really excited!

Onto the freeway we go and cars are already pulling over to the side.  The Detroit Motorcycle Police are in charge and everyone on that freeway knows it.  I looked into one of the cars to see a woman who was about 60 years old.  She was staring at us in awe trying to figure out what was going on.  When I looked out the front of the bus I saw something I have only seen at 5 AM in the morning…a cleared freeway without a single car in the 4 left lanes of the freeway.  The Police gave us an entire freeway!  Not only that, they continued to drive in the same formation around our bus, filling in as responsibilities changed.  The best way I can describe it was like a team time trial in bicycle racing.  The rider in front cuts the wind for a few seconds and then peels off as the rest of the racers fill in the gap.  The racer then lines back up behind the last racer and recovers.

Then the bus gets off of the freeway and we move through the city.  Detroit has blocked off something like 2 or 3 blocks around Comerica Park.  With the same perfection as the rest of the drive we cut through the city street to stares from the crowds of people.

We made a turn and see a door.  The bus pulls up right next to the door.  Our bus driver parks the bus and this side door to the stadium swings open.

“Go, GO!”  We heard from the officers who were in between the bus door and the stadium door.  We shuffled down the stairs and took the 5 steps through the door and silence.

Down a set of stairs and into the tunnels underneath the stadium that will take us to the locker room.  We made it!  I looked at my phone.

7 minutes!

It took us 7 minutes from Dearborn to get inside the stadium once the bus pulled out of the parking lot.

I have been in Farrarri’s, Lambourghini’s, Porche’s, and all sorts of other fast vehicles.  Nothing was as fun as sitting on a bus watching the Detroit Motorcycle Police do their thing!


14 Comments on “Detroit Police Department and the 2005 All Star Game”

  1. Karen says:

    Great story–again. I am enjoying the opportunity to read your All-Star Game memories.
    I have a question for you, Morgan. When you were in Houston, did you ever see an empty freeway at 5:00 a.m.? Because they certainly weren’t empty when I was getting off work at Astroworld–ever. And, working the night shift in Cash Control (and I was there LONG after the park closed), I would get off anywhere from 2-6 a.m.

  2. Connor says:

    Haha that sounds awesome!!

  3. Jason says:

    That is just freaking awesome to read. I RT’d it, and I’m emailing it to about 50 family members and friends who don’t use Twitter but love baseball.

    Hopefully 6-7 of them become regular readers…

    • Thanks Jason. The hope is to learn from you guys also. If I don’t listen to your questions I will not be in touch with where to lead the blog. Keep commenting!

      Morgan

  4. Chris says:

    Had the good fortune to be on a police-escorted bus this past January (in Los Angeles no less). It’s really one of the coolest things I’ve been a part of. Watching those guys clear out an LA freeway was very satisfying.

  5. Brian McMahon says:

    No offense, Morgan–I’m sure that was a really cool experience–but if I had been trying to get to work that day and the whole freeway was closed so you guys could save 10 minutes on the way to the stadium, well…I would have been pissed.

  6. jklender says:

    The DPD escort was probably just for show… Everyone in and around Detroit has developed the survival instincts to avoid getting in the way of any SMART bus! (The local public transportation, the drivers are crazy. Though I’m sure you guys had a charter. )

  7. AJ says:

    If my memory is correct at that 2005 All Star game there was a concern since 911 was not that far back there might be an attempt to use this national TV event by terrorists. Detroit PD , MLB, and the US government was not going to let that happen. I am sure that was a factor is blocking the freeway. However I too had never seen rush hour trafic shut down in a major city on its busiest freeway. It was really cool.

  8. Barrie G says:

    Just be glad it wasn’t the 405 at 4-7pm dude, because no police force could clear that train wreck! Haha!

    Great story as usual dude, love reading this stuff during my study breaks. Hope you and the fam are well bro.


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