Monday, April 18, 2011

An open letter to Jeff Miller of the OC Register

I love hockey. I love watching it. I love playing it (even though I'm pretty bad). I figure out ways to get to friend's homes or to the pub to watch it. I'm fairly resourceful. That being said I am not, nor will I likely ever be, a Predators fan. I just have a hard time rooting for 'em. They're in the same division as my beloved Detroit Red Wings. I do love the city of Nashville and when I came across this article which was 'written' by some asshat named Jeff Miller who, apparently, gets paid to be a jerk, I was upset. While as delightful as that sounds and if someone would pay me to do it, I would, too, I can't let things slide.

In defense of the city in which I live, I fired a slapshot right on back. If you feel so inclined, his email address is


I'm going to preface my email with this: I'm a Detroit Red Wings fan. Born and raised in Detroit. Why is this important? You'll see...

I don't spend much time on the internet. I know I'm way late on this whole "Trashville" article that has quite a few of my fellow Nashvillians up in arms, even a week later. In 2005, I decided that I wanted to move to Nashville, TN. As a relatively recent college graduate, Michigan's struggling economy (which, let's face it, everyone knows to be a euphemism), and the infatuation that I had developed for this fine Middle Tennessee town over the course of visiting it for the previous few years, I up and moved. I put everything I owned in the back of a Ryder truck, hitched my Ford Escort to the back of it and drove 550 miles south to Nashville. I'm not married, never have been, and was young and impetuous enough to agree to live in a friends' already full apartment. I could've moved anywhere in the world and I willingly picked Nashville. Willingly.

I'm not much of a musician and I know almost nothing about the record industry. I'm not slinging pints of lager in the hopes that I might meet a record label guy that is going to get a copy of my demos in his head and hands and sign me to a huge deal. I'm not an athlete and didn't move here in the hopes of pulling a Vince Papale and scoring a random tryout with the Titans. I know that's a Philadelphia Eagles thing but you get the idea. I'm not a doctor and didn't move here to work for one of the many healthcare organizations in the area. I'm not a typical Nashvillian other than, like so many other young professionals who live here, I wasn't born and raised here. But you know something, Jim? I choose to stay here. And it's not because I love "Hee Haw" (I've seen it) and it's not because I love The Grand Ole Opry (I don't even like country music).

In coming across your terribly degrading piece on this fair city which I call "home" I can say that my jaw hit the floor when I read it. The proverbial "Athens of the South" and "Music City, USA" is more than the "Trashville" you tried to portray it as. It's a place home to such learning institutions as Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Meharry, and Tennessee State; a place where the world's first piece of airmail was delivered; a place devastated by the Civil War only to rebuild itself; a place devastated by a major flood last year only to be in the process of rebuilding itself once again; a place that after last year's flood didn't get mad because it took several days for the federal government to respond -- the royal we took time off of work to cleanup the city, to hike to neighbor's homes to make sure that they were okay, to put on benefit after benefit after benefit to raise what money we could to get our friends and neighbors back on their feet. It's a place of education, renaissance, arts and entertainment. And your article is a desecration of all of it.

I'm still relatively young. I'm still full of far too much piss and vinegar. I'm still in love with living in Nashville. And I'm still a Detroit Red Wings fan. It's hard to turn your back on a team that you watched grow from the days of Paul Ysabaert, Petr Kilma, and Bob Probert that couldn't make the playoffs to an organization that prides itself on winning. Sure, the Predators probably won't ever be a storied franchise like my beloved Red Wings. The Ducks probably won't either. But there's something special about this town. It's got a vitality and a spirit to it. You should check it out sometime. Sure, the accent may take some getting used to. Sure, all the honky tonks on lower Broadway make us locals roll our eyes because we only go there when our friends and family come to visit and want the 'authentic' Nashville experience. But there's so much more to explore than what CMT (that's Country Music Television, by the way) would lead you to believe.

Preds in 6,

Stephen P Bohn


pull the mctrigger