A lot has been said about Chrysler's Super Bowl ad that ran just after the half time show, featuring Clint Eastwood and Detroit. While the pundits talk about whether or not it was a campaign commercial, let me tell you what Detroiters really think about it.
Detroiters are proud of their city. In fact, we take tremendous pride in it; its people, sports teams, universities, music, musicians, food and cars. In fact, we are so proud that we wear shirts that say "Made in Detroit," "Pure Detroit," "313," and now, "Imported From Detroit."
If you ask us where we live, we simply say, "Detroit." It does not matter if we live in the city or the suburb -- it is simply Detroit.
While there are people that may poke fun of us, or use us as an example of what is wrong with America, they will never succeed in beating us up. Detroit is a tough city. We are city where the people can make fun of us on one hand and on the other beam with pride and admiration as to what a great city it really is.
Our skin is thick and our pride is deep. So when it comes to our industry, we take it and make it personal. Because we are not just a city, we are a community. While Detroit may be a diverse city in terms of ethnicity, religion, economics and geography, what we all have in common is where we choose to live -- and that is The Motor City.
So when GMC says, "It is Built to Last," or Ford says it is "One Tough Truck" and Chevy's "The Heartbeat of America," these companies -- America's auto companies -- are not just talking about cars or trucks, they are talking about the people who built them, designed them and drive them. They are talking about Detroit.
I know of no other city in America where its residents are in love with the city as much as they are in Detroit. Our children may leave after college to work in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta or Denver, but when they are ready to start a family, they come back home to Detroit.
There is no other place in America where a city is celebrated more, not only for its cars, but also for its food, music and other culture.
Although the Lions did not play in this year's Super Bowl, Detroit still played a major part. In fact, Detroit's material girl, Madonna, was half-time's main event. And while Chrysler's commercial may have missed a few minutes on YouTube, it certainly dominated the airwaves.
Regardless of the discussion, it is Detroit that is at the center of the debate. Is it our auto companies that people are infatuated with or is it the middle class that the auto companies created that we are most concerned about? Regardless, Detroit is resilient. We can take the punches but we will fight back, survive and thrive once again. I guess the Detroit Lions are pretty indicative of the city they represent. We may not be Super Bowl Champions yet, but where there is hope there is drive to move on and forward.