Foster: Tate sticks up for Detroit, vows team will rise

Terry Foster
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Golden Tate grew up in Nashville, Tenn., and played at Notre Dame.

But on Monday morning, he woke up a Detroiter.

He sat in his dressing stall and glanced down at the bright red sweat shirt he wore.

"Detroit against the World"

Tate said he didn't wear the shirt to make a statement. It was simply next in the rotation.

Still, he understands the pain. He understands the anguish people feel around here.

Whether it's criticism for the auto industry bailout or Detroit's bankruptcy or questionable calls on the field, Detroiters believe they too often are on the wrong side of justice.

And last weekend, that's where Tate and Co. were — on the wrong side of a pass interference call that turned the tide in an eventual wild-card loss to the Cowboys.

"At first I thought it was just a saying, but this shirt kind of says it all," Tate said. "And I am starting to believe it. This is all we've got and this is all we need here. We are going to have a heck of an offseason and make sure this does not happen again."

Ice Bowl rematch

Lions fans are angry, disappointed and shocked.

Many believe the call — initially a pass interference but then ruled a non-penalty — proves there's a conspiracy.

And they might be right.

Within minutes of the final gun, the Cowboys were selling Ice Bowl II, commemorating the rematch of the historic 1967 NFL Championship game against the Packers in minus-15 degree weather at Lambeau Field. It is one of the most romanticized games in history.

Now, we get the rematch.

There also was the photo that showed Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' son, Stephen, hosting Dean Blandino, NFL head of officiating, on Jones' party bus in Los Angeles a few weeks ago.

It just doesn't look good.

Tate never understood the angst of Lions fans.

Now he does.

"I understand the people from the outside who are haters that will kick you when you are down but don't say anything when you are up." Tate said. "Who cares what people think? We have this organization, the city, and as long as we stick together and keep coming together we are going to make it into a city where everybody wants to come and where everybody wants to experience. But it is going to take a collective effort."

Impressive words from a player who has been in Detroit for one season.

And while it may be premature to call Tate "Mr. Detroit," he took a big step in that direction this week.

High expectations

"We expect to win, and there isn't a team we face or worry about unless we don't handle our own business and kill ourselves." he said. "We are going to win more games, our fans are going to play more of a part in our games. We are just going to go up.

"We don't have to say anything. We want to win games and give you guys something to cheer for."