Here in the mitten, we have a long and proud history of being kind of bad at our professional sporting endeavors. Yes, I’ll admit, although it is hard to remember at the moment, there have been good versions of the four big professional teams in Detroit.
Since I have been alive, the Pistons won in 1989, 1990, and 2004. The Red Wings won 4 times between 1997 and 2008. The Tigers won in 1984, which is a stretch because I wasn’t really aware of that team, but I was, in fact, alive. Plus they won the AL Central division from 2011 through 2014 and went to the World Series in 2006 and 2012, although they did fail to actually win it all. Our expectations are somewhat tempered around here, so I’ll round up and count this as a successful run.
You have to go back to the 50’s for the Lions to find an actual champion, but Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson (and Matthew Stafford? Is it too soon? Is it deserved?) happened during my lifetime, so at least it was occasionally fun to watch the relentless failure.
However, right now things aren’t looking so good in the D because all 4 major Detroit teams are in some stage of a rebuild. I feel like this is pretty rare, or at least I can’t think of a time when at least one of the 4 Detroit teams wasn’t at least competitive. So, lets talk about why the teams suck and what the plan seems to be to not suck anymore! When I say “let’s talk about”, I really mean “I’ll talk about” and you can all shut up and read my minimally researched opinions. Feelings are facts now, so let’s do this.
In a series of posts, I’ll address each team one at a time and guess how successful each rebuild will be next year (seasons beginning in 2021) and in 3 years (2023). Success for 2021 is more about the future prospects of the team. 2023 is about actual success. And, if I
can be bothered remember, we can check up and see how I did! I think we will start with the most inept of the Detroit Big 4, at least in the modern era, a team who has not won any version of a top level championship since 1957, the Detroit Lions.