Mike Pryson
Jackson Citizen Patriot

New Detroit Lions football coach Jim Schwartz was asked Sunday before the LifeLock 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn if he had a favorite Kid Rock song.

With the artist sitting next to him and the pressure on, the coach didn't fumble.
"'Cocky,' " Schwartz said without hesitation.

Then he went the extra mile.

"It ain't bragging if you can back it up," Schwartz said.

Kid Rock was impressed.

"He even knows the lyrics," Kid Rock said. "Best coach we've ever had in Detroit."

Kid Rock was the grand marshal for the LifeLock 400, while Schwartz was at the speedway as the honorary starter in the flag tower.

The prerace meeting between the two quickly turned into a pep talk for the state of Michigan and the economy.

"I see hope every day. I still live in Clarkston," Kid Rock said.

"One thing I know about this town and why I stay here, I could live anywhere I want in the world, is the people and who they are. It's a hard-working town with hard-working people. It's not the first time we've been down. We'll get back up and dust ourselves off."

Schwartz, too, said he sees hope throughout Michigan.

"There's a sign on my refrigerator that says, 'Tough times don't last. Tough people do,' " Schwartz said. "That's what we're all about."

Schwartz also leaked his rooting interest in the race.

"It's hard to root against (Joe Gibbs Racing owner) Joe Gibbs and his affiliation with the NFL and the respect that I have for him," Schwartz said. "But I know where my bread is buttered.

I'm employed by the Ford family, so I'm behind all the Ford drivers today."


Dominique said...

I've always liked the fact that Kid Rock is such a positive presence in the city and a great ambassador in spreading some good words about Detroit. I remember when Jimmy Kimmel came to town and Kid Rock was the guy taking Kimmel around town (love the trip to the hatter!).
Great to see Schwartz' enthusiasm for the D, too.

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