Demolition are up for just that
Women’s football team opens season tonight against Predators with chips on its shoulder.
LIVONIA — You might see some attitude when the Detroit Demolition kick off their season at 7 tonight at Livonia Stevenson High School. The team still is peeved about losing last season’s Independent Women’s Football League championship — snapping a 52-game winning streak — and could take it out on the Detroit Predators.
You also will see genuine gratitude from the 42 Demolition players, who are appreciative they’ll be playing at all.
By the end of last season, mounting expenses and time demands nearly overwhelmed team owner Rich Rosen. It seemed likely the team would fold.
That’s when Demolition quarterback Kim Grodus began making public pleas for help. She did not want to see her career end. Despite four championships in five seasons, she was hungry for more.
Jeff Rose, owner of J.R. Charter Services of Novi, saw Grodus’ plea during a local television segment this spring. Rose, his son Kevin and Rosen formed a company, R&R Sports Entertainment, to run the team.
“It just seemed like something to do,” Jeff Rose said. “Our company is pretty successful, and we spend zero on advertising. I figured it would be good promotion for us. I am not a big sports fan, but Kevin is, and he is enthused about doing this. It was for Kevin’s love of the game, and I figured we could use a little promotion =, so why not make it happen?”
Kevin Rose will be general manager.
“I am so thankful and so appreciative that this team can go back to concentrating on winning championships instead of having the stress of having to figure out how the next bill is going to be paid,” Grodus said. “We can now concentrate on what we wanted to do all along, and that is play and win championships.”
Kevin Rose, a diehard Lions fan, said since the Lions are not going to allow him to replace Matt Millen, this is the next best thing.
“My overall goal is to fill the stadium and make the Demolition more known throughout Detroit,” he said. “I want their players recognizable around the community.”
The loss in the championship game to Atlanta created more urgency, which is why the players fought to keep the team going.
“It was difficult on the whole organization, including myself,” coach Tony Blankenship said. “I remember watching Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas and how important it was for them to win a championship. To lose one leaves a heck of a negative feeling in your spirit. You want to be able to leave on a note of your own.”
So, Grodus and linebacker Tammy Lowrey-Ridgley spent the offseason as co-general managers, while tailback Kiana Dennis worked on graphic designs to produce a program and tickets.
“Although we have fewer numbers, I believe this is our strongest group,” Grodus said. “The (16) rookies lack football experience, they are extremely coachable and they are learning very quickly. The intensity level is higher than ever.”
Grodus’ drive to keep the team afloat did not surprise Blankenship. He said he sees it on the field every day.
“It is in her,” Blankenship said. “She has a special gift when it comes to leadership and being in control and playing a factor in something that is good.”
Grodus was an all-state softball player at Sterling Heights High, where she also played basketball and volleyball. She played softball at Western Michigan University. You can reach Terry Foster at (313) 222-1494 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary Malerba/Special to The Detroit News Demolition co-general manager/quarterback Kim Grodus, right, offers encouragement to Michele Lewis Watts, 34, of Southfield.