Friday, November 04, 2011 • 2:25 PM Comments ()

Keep the change: Detroit Lions' fans protest Nickelback Thanksgiving appearance

posted by Michael Cimaomo

Nickelback (Gotta Be Somebody single album cover)Well, Mother Nature decided to deal Western Massachusetts another blow Saturday.

While forgoing previous disasters like tornados, earthquakes and tropical storms, fall weather in the area turned frigid and snow fell in abundance. Plus, with their limbs still covered in multi-colored foliage tree branches across the valley, burdened by the added weight of precipitation, started falling, many of them onto power lines.

Yet, rather than focus on such a disaster and add to the finger-pointing surrounding the already harried utility restoration effort, we at the Underground are anxious to just get back to business as usual. And what better way to come back than with some news from the always entertaining world of professional sports.

For the first time in years, the Detroit Lions of the National Football League are no longer a laughingstock. The team currently boasts a record of 6-2, and has a legitimate shot at reaching the playoffs after years of futility. Even the team’s annual Thanksgiving Day game has new significance as the match-up with the defending Super Bowl champions and bitter division rival Green Bay Packers could lead to some serious postseason implications. However all is still not well in the Motor City.

According to a report by ESPN, a scheduled appearance by the Canadian rockers of Nickelback for the halftime show at the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game is being vehemently opposed by a growing number of Detroit fans.

Starting with a simple petition by University of Michigan graduate student Dennis Guttman, the movement has quickly gained momentum and has already garnered over 20 thousand signatures as well as widespread media attention.

“This game is nationally televised, do we really want the rest of the U.S. to associate Detroit with Nickelback?” Guttman wrote on his petition’s page via Change.org.

“Does anyone even like Nickelback? Is this some sort of ploy to get people to leave their seats during halftime to spend money on alcoholic beverages and concessions? This is completely unfair to those of us who purchased tickets to the game. At least the people watching at home can mute their TVs. The Lions ought to think about their fans before choosing such an awful band to play at halftime.”

Watch the video for one of Nickelback’s most popular songs “How You Remind Me” here:

Though the band members of Nickelback have yet to comment on the controversy themselves, this isn’t the first time that their appearance at a sporting event has been less than welcome.

A similar furor actually erupted several months ago in the group’s home country, when the possibility of them performing a free concert as a prelude to the home opener by the National Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets was heavily criticized by the local press.

The band ended up being cut from the list of performers for that show too. And if Guttman and his army of petition signers have their way a similar result may be in store for Motown.

“It would be fantastic if they change it,” Guttman said. “I'd like to hear some good music during halftime -- hopefully something that better represents Detroit.”

Are you listening Bob Seger? Your town needs you. You too Kid Rock. Just because Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October doesn’t mean that their musicians should be foisted on an audience already riled by the side effects of eating too much Turducken.

As for me, I’m rooting for an appearance by Iggy Pop. Or at the very least, if Nickelback is booked to perform, maybe a visit by Lions’ defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to frontman Chad Kroeger’s dressing room.

Now that would be worth the price of admission.

For more information on Nickelback or to see future tour dates please visit www.nickelback.com.

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