Christians aren't fighting lions anymore. Now they're fighting the Tigers.
Several downtown churches are angry at the baseball team for hosting Opening Day on Good Friday.
The April 10 collision pits one of the sweetest days in sports against one of the most solemn days in religion.
"Nobody is saying baseball isn't big but Good Friday is really big," said the Rev. Ed Vilkauskas, 62, pastor of Old St. Mary Church in Greektown. "It's 2,000 years old."
Even more galling is the time of the game, 1 p.m.
In the last hours of his life, Jesus hung from a cross on Good Friday from noon to 3 p.m., and many devout Christians attend church services at that time.
Quiet contemplation is what's sought. The drunken debauchery of Opening Day is not.
"It's like Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday rolled into one," said Michael Ochab, 47, a Hamtramck Catholic who will skip Opening Day for the first time in 20 years. "I couldn't believe they had it that day."
The Tigers had hoped to hold the game April 6 but that would have been a logistical nightmare because the Final Four will be held that day at neighboring Ford Field.
Playing the game later in the day also wasn't an option because of cold weather, team spokesman Ron Colangelo said.
In another religious wrinkle, the region's 1.3 million Catholics are asked not to eat meat on Fridays during Lent. That prevents fans from indulging in the most popular item at a baseball game -- a hot dog.
Not to worry, Colangelo said. The stadium offers plenty of alternatives, including Little Caesars, the pizza that made Tiger owner Mike Ilitch famous.
An informal poll found that bars and restaurants surrounding the ballpark weren't changing their menus for the religious day.