Over the years, the city of Detroit has produced many dominant sports teams. Some of these teams came out of nowhere to win the title, whereas others were expected to contend and won it in a dominant fashion. Let us know if you agree or disagree. Which team deserved it? Which team did we miss?
Here are your 5 greatest Detroit sports championships.
#5- 1953 Detroit Lions
The 1953 Detroit Lions were led by 1st-team All-Pro Running Back Doak Walker and veteran Quarterback Bobby Layne. The Lions boasted a 10-2 record, losing both times to the Los Angeles Rams and winning the NFL Western Division. The Lions would end up facing off with the Cleveland Browns, who had an 11-1 record in the NFL Championship Game. The Lions were considered an underdog in the game but were able to pull out the win 17-16 via a Layne-led touchdown drive with under four minutes left in the game. This team was arguably the most dominant of the Lions’ four NFL Championship teams.
#4- 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons
This squad was probably the least likely to win the championship out of all the teams on this list. The 2004 team is considered to be the only championship team since the 78-79 SuperSonics to not have a “star” player. Led by coach Larry Brown, the Detroit Pistons played great defense throughout the season, holding opponents to under 70 points, ten different times. They would go on to dominantly beat the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 in the NBA Finals, thanks to their smothering defense.
#3- 1989 and 1990 Detroit Pistons
“The Bad Boys” were a shoo-in for this list. This team brought a roughness and toughness that no other team ever had, and hasn’t had since. The Bad Boys had four Hall Of Famers, Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, and head coach Chuck Daly. Coming off a heartbreaking Game 7 loss to the Lakers in the 1988 NBA Finals, the Pistons were ready and hungry to get back and win the title. Armed with their forever-rugged attitude, the Pistons lost only two games in the entire 1989 playoffs.
#2- 1996-97 Detroit Red Wings
This team made the Detroit Red Wings the dynasty they became. Coach Scotty Bowman shaped the team for greatness. Captain Steve Yzerman, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and goalie Mike Vernon led the way. Lines such as “The Grind Line,” and “The Russian Five” helped the Wings put everyone in the league on notice that they were serious about winning. The championship brought the Stanley Cup to Detroit for the first time since 1955 and was the first of back to back titles.
#1- 1984 Detroit Tigers
It was a little hard to rank this team ahead of the ’97 Wings, but it made sense. The ’84 squad is hands down the most dominant team in Detroit Tigers history, and possibly had the most dominant run a Detroit championship team has ever had. They started 35-5 and would never look back in the standings. The Tigers were led by AL MVP and Cy Young winner, Willie Hernandez, on the field, and AL Manager of the Year Sparky Anderson in the dugout. The Tigers would go on to capture the World Series title 4-1 over the San Diego Padres to end a magical season. The 84 Tigers squad remains the last Tigers team to win a World Series.