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Bettis, Saddam share key to Detroit
February 6, 2006 5:04 AM   Subscribe

Jerome Bettis is a hometown hero. After "leading" (OK, he doesn't play much anymore) his Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl XL in his native Detroit, the locals came out to celebrate the future Hall of Famer. Last week was declared "Jerome Bettis Week" in Detroit and Bettis was awarded the key to the city. The last person to receive such an honor from the city? Saddam Hussein in 1980.
posted by b_thinky (29 comments total)

 
It's from the bottom of the article, but:

He reigns supreme as a humble Motown hero, in odd contrast to the last individual awarded a key to the city: Saddam Hussein, 1980 version.

As Iraq's new president, Hussein waged war against Iran, an American enemy that had taken hostages from the U.S. embassy. While visiting Detroit, Hussein donated $250,000 to pay off the debts of the Sacred Heart Chaldean Church, which had ties to the Catholics prevalent in Iraq.

The deed prompted Father Jacob Yasso of Detroit to contact Mayor Coleman Young and arrange a Detroit key for Saddam Hussein.

posted by b_thinky at 5:05 AM on February 6, 2006


The point being????

Let's guess:

1. You have to be an idiot to be mayor of Detroit.

2. Saddam Hussein was a football player.

3. Jerome Bettis is the leader of a evil empire.

4. Somebody cares about this, we just don't know who.
posted by HuronBob at 5:19 AM on February 6, 2006


2. Saddam Hussein was a football player.

He does (or did, pre-beard) have a 'stache worthy of a 70's-era Super Bowl MVP.
posted by aaronetc at 5:39 AM on February 6, 2006


I was going to flag this as noise, but they irony is just too great. That's a great little piece of trivia. And it had never occurred to me that Saddam Hussein had visited the US.
posted by furtive at 5:44 AM on February 6, 2006


Yeah, but how many rushing yards did Saddam have last year?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:45 AM on February 6, 2006


4. Somebody cares about this, we just don't know who.

Somebody got snapped with a lot of wet towels in high school. Here's what the post is saying:

Maybe Bettis will get to shake hands with Rumsfeld, too. And then the Bettis/Hussein similarities will continue to grow until Jerome Bettis is leader of an oil-rich country and the US has to make up some story about his weapons program to invade, put Bettis on trial, and give his oil to US companies.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:45 AM on February 6, 2006


Sheesh I just thought it was a great ironic twist, almost a sprinkle of MeFi. The first two lines are like yada yada sports yada yada don't care OH Hussein? Hee hee hee, too funny! Kept it from being flagged IMO...
posted by cavalier at 5:56 AM on February 6, 2006


As Iraq's new president, Hussein waged war against Iran

It was sweet validation for Hussein with a title in his second year as President. The tough guy, the one who replaced former strongman Bakr, teared up as he received the award.

"A lot of people tell you you can't do it, but you know what, it doesn't mean you don't go out and try," Hussein said as he accepted the award in 1980. "History was not going to determine our fate. Our effort today decided this war and that's what's great."

"It's surreal. I'm going to tell you, this is a special group of generals, a special group of soldiers. I was one small part of this."

Iraq tied Iran.

Perhaps the most special moment for Hussein came when he presented the Award to his financial suppoter Donald Rumsfeld.

"I've been waiting a long time to do this," Hussein said. "This is yours, man." Rumsfeld, visibly touched by the gesture, was not available for comment.

The Iraqis certainly got plenty of help from the Iranians. Iran was plagued by penalties, minefields, and poor clock management. A critical fourth-quarter turnover ended the Iranian drive just when the champions of Persia seemed ready to take the lead.

Instead, Hussein (0-1-1) got the clinching score with the kind of trickery that has carried it through an eight-game winning streak. Together with versatile foreign minister Tariq Aziz, Hussein fooled the offense of Ayatollah Khomeni by seeding the border with millions of mines bringing a halt to the Iranian running game.

That set up the Iraqi's only touchdown: a long term weapons deal with the United States.

"I could've had an even better day," said Hussein, who had fought the Iranians to a draw in the desert. Iran, looking nothing like a team that overthrew the Shah, damaged itself all day. It lost 1 million soldiers gaining 40 yards in the opening half. The second half wasn't much better for Iran, and Saddam Hussein's brilliant defense against the Iranians gave Iraq the one last opportunity it needed.

"This is a tough pill to swallow," Khomeni said, "but we accomplished a lot this year. While you don't have a great feeling after a game like this, I want them to remember this feeling, so they can build on it."
posted by three blind mice at 6:04 AM on February 6, 2006


I think thinky was trying to warn us that Pittsburgh is hiding weapons of mass destruction.

I'd bet the big ketchup bottles at Hinds Field turn into ballistic missiles.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:29 AM on February 6, 2006


3 Blind Mice wins.
posted by empath at 6:32 AM on February 6, 2006


Also trying to distance itself from Saddam Hussein's charitable 1980's bender ...
posted by clearlynuts at 6:40 AM on February 6, 2006


3 Blind Mice wins.

Not so fast - I saw a flag (and that flag was fantastic post).

What a difference a few seasons makes - from an epic championship struggle to rebuilding (Iraq) and a return to fundamentals (Iran). At least North Korea can still go for the long bomb when you least expect it.
posted by hangashore at 6:43 AM on February 6, 2006


Saddam didn't go to Detroit. The key presentation took place in Baghdad.
posted by gubo at 7:20 AM on February 6, 2006


i thought this was just another typical newsfilter post until i saw the last link. clever!
posted by clyde at 7:27 AM on February 6, 2006


War on Iraq? Rigged.
Super Bowl XL? Rigged.
posted by billder at 7:45 AM on February 6, 2006


Bettis already has the only key he needs.

A Nexis search shows that since Saddam got his, Detroit has given keys to Winnie Mandela and Jacques Cousteau. Also, I think the Detroit mayor traditionally has given the keys to the city to Santa. (Google cache link)
posted by sixpack at 7:50 AM on February 6, 2006


Detroit has given keys to Winnie Mandela and Jacques Cousteau.

That fish-loving bastard!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:32 AM on February 6, 2006


Winnie was very brave to wait all those years while Kevin Arnold was in jail.
posted by ericbop at 8:47 AM on February 6, 2006


Not to mention all the time Tigger did.
posted by jonmc at 9:00 AM on February 6, 2006


I'm pretty sure they've changed the locks to the city since then. The door to Detroit has been kicked down by the cops so many times that the original keys just don't work anymore.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:23 AM on February 6, 2006


This thread is awesome
posted by Rothko at 9:52 AM on February 6, 2006


I don't care what anybody says, totally awesome post b_thinky.
posted by matkline at 9:55 AM on February 6, 2006


The point is that of perspective. Definitely interesting.
posted by defenestration at 11:01 AM on February 6, 2006


Saddam didn't go to Detroit. The key presentation took place in Baghdad.
posted by gubo at 7:20 AM PST on February 6 [!]


I was surprised to hear he'd been to the US. I guess the article was wrong.

4. Somebody cares about this, we just don't know who.
posted by HuronBob at 5:19 AM PST on February 6 [!]


There is no point. Just a funny bit of irony I thought. If you don't like the post, why comment? I see posts I don't care about every day, and I usually don't click. What's your problem?
posted by b_thinky at 11:28 AM on February 6, 2006


I bet the public toilets smell better in Detroit on this Monday after superbowl than they do here in Kentucky. What these people are eating beats the hell out of me.
posted by mrmojoflying at 11:44 AM on February 6, 2006


Maybe during the next Superbowl Soros can charter a blimp to fly overhad flashing "IMPEACH BUSH!"
posted by davy at 12:23 PM on February 6, 2006


I bet the public toilets smell better in Detroit on this Monday after superbowl than they do here in Kentucky. What these people are eating beats the hell out of me.

Hanging out in the public toilets again are you?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:31 PM on February 6, 2006


This is surprising, I didn't hear a single thing about Bettis being from Detroit for the last two weeks.
posted by my sock puppet account at 5:02 PM on February 6, 2006


Less than a year earlier, on July 22, 1979:

"With a camera recording the event, Saddam told a room full of leading officials that he had uncovered a conspiracy to overthrow the government and, one-by-one, named the alleged traitors. Sixty-eight men were taken away, and 21 summarily executed."

I guess it didn't make the news.
posted by thisisdrew at 12:35 AM on February 7, 2006


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