The state of Detroit professional sports is kind of in a wacky place right now.
The perennial favorite to win a championship, the Red Wings, look a little lost and realistically may have dropped down to be the third most popular team in the city. The Lions now look like No. 3 in the fans’ hearts and mind, thanks to a huge playoff berth last year, though the Tigers are not far behind. And, well, the Pistons are the Pistons.
Still, things are a little upside down right now for sports in the Motor City.
The Tigers, who are in contention again for the division are having quite the roller coaster of a season — they entered with big expectations from everyone and, thus far, have not really been able to deliver. Hmmm … this reminds me of another team … oh yeah, that’s how Detroit fans are with the Red Wings every year. Even when the Wings do perform and win, fans still find ways to pick them apart. If the Tigers were winning a lot, I believe they would be doing the same thing to them.
The Pistons are now looked at as a second-class organization by most local fans, except for the diehards. But these last 4 years really have pushed people away from even caring. Let’s hope new president To Gores has a plan to remake the Pistons — and not to just make himself more a little more money. As it stands now, the Pistons’ state bears a lot of similarities to where the Lions were just a few years ago.
The Lions were always the laughing stock of pretty much all sports teams for years. Now? They have an offensive one-two punch that can line up with any in the league in Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford, along with some great defensive talent up front; they are looking to reach the playoffs for the second consecutive time, something they haven’t accomplished since … OK, let’s not go there. They are on the cusp of some great things and appear to have the pieces in place to contend for a long period. They look poised to become a regular division favorite — which sounds pretty much like the Tigers’ recent yearly expectations.
So, we have the present-day Tigers playing the roll of the Red Wings, and the bumbling Pistons replacing the (old) Lions. The Lions are close to following in the Tigers’ footsteps. And the Red Wings — well that’s my area of supposed expertise, and I am as baffled as anyone by the past three months of inaction by my beloved Wings.
Did I confuse you? Well let’s just put it this way: for longtime sports fans in the area, things aren’t the way they used to be. We’re a long way from the days when the Red Wings were the only show in town or The Palace was packed for Pistons game.
The Red Wings are at a crossroads, the Lions are winning, the Pistons are irrelevant and the Tigers still have a shot at the playoffs, despite underachieving. Crazy stuff these days around the D.