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Auchter's Art: Who are you voting for?

John Auchter
Michigan Radio

In the 1980s, the Detroit Pistons had an intense basketball rivalry with the Boston Celtics. Actually, for those of us who were caught up in it, "intense" hardly does it justice. It was more like "white-hot passionate hatred." In the years that followed, both teams fell from championship contention and the rivalry, for the most part, cooled — rosters completely changed as players got traded or retired.

So it was sometime later in the 1990s and the Celtics were in town to play the Pistons. My wife and I were watching on TV, and at one point the camera scanned the crowd. There was a fan with a Pistons jersey holding up a sign that said, "We still hate Ainge."

If you don't already know, Danny Ainge was one of the most reviled Celtics of that previous era. He was a very good player, which was reason enough to despise him. But he also was a whiner and had a, well, a very punchable face. (Naturally, this is the Pistons fan in me talking, but look him up and see for yourself.)

My wife and I thought the sign was hilarious, and to this day we will randomly say to each other, "I still hate Ainge." Which is, of course, absurd — the notion that Danny Ainge as a rival player would still be relevant in our lives.

People are funny like that. We carry around slights, real or manufactured, and refuse to let them go. And then when an event (say, an attempted coup) does need to be deconstructed, there are those who want nothing more than to get past it. "What's done is done — we need to move on!"

Will Michiganders ever find unity? Well, the Pistons seem to be putting the pieces together for a quality team. Hopefully some day soon there will be another Celtics player for all of us to focus our anger on.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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