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    When I stopped talking about last year's Sportsfest I was hoping that we would catch a break and not have a day filled with sporting events and other activities. I almost got my wish - only Drew had anything scheduled, and that was his hockey lesson in the morning. That meant that we had the entire afternoon to spend at the third annual 97.1 The Ticket Sportsfest at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi without having to rush to make it back home to get ready for something else. As has been the case for the past two Sportsfest's, the four professional sports teams were the focus of today's event. I'm sure that it helps that the games for all four of the teams just happen to be broadcast by 97.1... that fact probably makes it a little easier to get each of them to participate!

    When we arrived, the first exhibit that we encountered was that of the Detroit Tigers. Here we were able to see a mock locker room setup, with jersey's from players past and present. The kids were also able to take turns throwing baseballs at two different spots - one tested their accuracy while the other gave them a speed readout. It was here where Tara's youngest sister, Amy, spotted us. She was wandering around fulfilling her duties as a member of the Detroit Pistons Palace Patrol, and she made a balloon item for the three youngest kids (a sword, and elephant, and some other item that I could never quite figure out what it was). After we had seen everything that we wanted regarding the Tigers, we moved across the aisle to see the Detroit Red Wings' exhibit (at Drew's request). On the way over Tyler threw some footballs at the McDonald's display and all of the kids had a bite of pizza and a breadstick at the Little Caesar's Pizza display. The lines for the activities in the Red Wings area were all pretty long, so we didn't stick around for long.

    We decided to move on to the Detroit Pistons area and then come back to the Wings area later on. The first thing we did at the Pistons exhibit was to buy me a Made In Detroit Pistons t-shirt that was on clearance for $5! With my deal of the day in the bag, we moved on to the activities. Tyler played a game of lightning on the full basketball court that was set up, which I missed taking any pictures as I was off watching Samantha and Drew shoot baskets somewhere else. There were some inflatable's set up behind the Pistons area, and this was where Drew and Jayden wanted to head next. They had the most fun here, although Tyler and Sam also took a turn on the obstacle course inflatable.

    The exhibit by the Detroit Lions was the last one left for us to tour, but on the way over the kids took a moment to take a seat inside a real IZOD Indy race car (except for Jay, who didn't have any interest in sitting inside this particular car). We also took advantage of an offer of a free sample of ice cream from Hudsonville Ice Cream. Before we made it to the Lions area we stopped at two exhibits set up behind it - a boxing ring where the kids could "fight" a boxer from the famous Kronk Gym and a bull ride that was on display for the PBR rodeo that was coming to town. All four of the kids got on the bull, but only Sam, Drew, and Jay were brave enough to step into the ring with the boxer (in fairness, it really wasn't geared for kids Tyler's age - maybe braveness had nothing to do with it).

    We finally made it into the Detroit Lions section, and the first thing that Drew and Jayden wanted to do was go in the helmet bounce house. The Lions are far more concerned about lawsuits than any of the other teams, as they were the only ones that required a waiver to be signed to play in/on one of the inflatable's! Tyler, Sam, and Drew also attempted to kick field goals (unsuccessfully) and to throw passes through the targets. There was a field set up to run/throw on, but the kids opted to skip this activity.

    Our last stop was back to the hockey display of the Red Wings. All four of the kids opted to play Drop In Hockey (which also required a waiver, but I understand this a little more, what with all the sticks and whatnot). Drew didn't stay out for long, as he slipped and fell. He decided to leave the "ice" and come over to the slapshot display with me as the other three finished out their game. Tyler was goalie, while Sam and Jay played on the ice (there was only four kids per team).

    With our last set of activities complete, we decided to call it a day. On our way out was spotted Paws, the Tigers mascot, and decided to take some pictures with him. With those complete, it was time to go. Another day of sporting fun under our belts, with everyone already looking forward to next year!

97.1 The Ticket Sportsfest

Jayden standing alongside the locker room displays of current and former Detroit Tigers.

Drew throwing a ball, trying to get it into the catcher's mitt.

Another look at Drew throwing the baseball.

Jayden trying to throw the baseball to the target.

Sam winding up for her throw to the catchers mitt.

Drew took this picture of an xfinity remote control.

We spotted this Wolverine Stormtrooper from across the room.

Tyler giving it his all to see how fast he could throw the baseball...

...and he topped out at 40mph (although the screen briefly splashed a 46mph speed on it).

Sam also took a turn throwing the baseball...

...and she hit 33mph!

Drew also threw the baseball...

...and he got it up to 28mph!

Tyler took a turn throwing a football to Ronald McDonald.

Another look at Tyler throwing the ball.

A look at Gordie Howe's sweater at the Detroit Red Wings display.

Tyler posing as Henrik Zetterberg.

A look at the locker room display of the Detroit Red Wings.

Samantha and Drew shooting hoops at the Detroit Pistons exhibit.

Another shot of Sam and Drew, this time reaching for another basketball to shoot.

Please click here for page two of the photos


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