Unemployment is 14.1 percent, the stores are boarded up, the population is still dropping, and even The Bus' boyhood home is a burned-out stump. The Motor City will be the real loser at Super Bowl XL.
But wait! Detroit is back! Sunday's Bowl will show everybody, promises Motown chief exec:
The jokes are out of date. Seventy new businesses have moved in downtown since Detroit won the rights to this Super Bowl four years ago, including 35 restaurants. There are three casinos in the city, and another across the water in Windsor, Canada. A massive Super Bowl XL banner covers the city's largest building.
This is not your father's Detroit, [Mayor Kwame] Kilpatrick says. It is not the one that hosted the 1982 Super Bowl, when a snowstorm, a traffic jam caused by a bus fire and the motorcade of then-vice-president George Bush snr led some journalists to declare it the worst Super Bowl ever to cover.
Because, you know, if we have to play football when it's snowing, the terrorists have won.
How has the city revived? How else—with a stadium that only cost the public $500 million.
Will the bowl ever return to its birthplace?
And speaking of public building projects, light a firecracker for Guy Fawkes—the only man ever to go to Parliament with honourable intentions—who was executed 400 years ago today (a mere three months after the crime!).