As a fan, there is absolutely nothing greater than watching your team hoist the trophy for their respective sport at the conclusion of a season. Both the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings have made that happen within the past 15 years and for that we are grateful.
But now what? How much longer will the fans of Detroit sports have to wait for another title?
Current State of Detroit Sports
As I write this piece, the Detroit sports scene is nearly in shambles. The Red Wings missed the NHL Playoffs for the first time since 1990 and are faced with a serious rebuilding phase while the Pistons finished 10th in the Eastern Conference after we were confident they would take a step forward this past season. Unfortunately, it seems inevitable that both teams first season at Little Caesars Arena could be one to forget.
Then we have the Tigers. Though I still believe (as of 6/12/17) they will get things together and find their way into the playoffs, doubt is starting to build up at an alarmingly high rate. The talk seems to be more about who will be sold off at the trade deadline, rather than chatter about potentially winning a World Series.
Is it possible a team which has had, in my opinion, the best right-handed hitter ever to play the game in Miguel Cabrera, and one of the best pitchers of this generation, Justin Verlander, will never win a World Series?
Unfortunately, it looks like that’s exactly what we are faced with as Tigers fans.
How my love for Detroit sports began
In October of 1985, when I was seven, going on eight years old, I fell in love with professional sports for the first time.
I can vividly remember watching the Kansas City Royals battle the St. Louis Royals in the World Series. That was the first time I really ever watched baseball, at least that I can remember, and for some reason, I began rooting for the Royals to win it all.
Well, on October 27th of that year, the Royals did just that by defeating the Cardinals 11-0 in Game 7 of the World Series. Though I had only been rooting for K.C. for a little over a week, the feeling inside me was amazing. After all, MY team had just won the championship!
Soon after that, my Grandpa informed me that we had our own team in Michigan, the Detroit Tigers. He also told me that we had the Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings, and Detroit Pistons. From that moment on, my life changed forever. I watched as many games as I possibly could and NEVER missed checking the box scores in the newspaper the next day.
I could not wait to see MY team win it all!
The Waiting Game
Of the four Detroit teams, it was always the Tigers and Lions that I followed the most closely. By the time I was in high school, I started to realize that winning a championship easier said than done. Sure, the Lions made it to the NFC Championship game in 1991, but other than that, I started to wonder if one of my two favorite teams would EVER win it all.
By the time I graduated high school in 1995, my thought was that as long as the Lions and Tigers each won a championship before I die, that would be fine. with me. Now that I am about to turn 40, I’m having some serious doubts.
With the Red Wings, Tigers, and Pistons all years away from even sniffing a championship do we really have any hope at all of a team from Detroit winning it all?
When I first began composing this piece, I used “me” and “my” instead of “us” and “our” in the title. But I quickly realized this is more than just about what I want as a Detroit sports fan, it’s what we want.
We ALL want to see OUR team win a championship!
Help us Detroit Lions, you’re our only hope
This brings us to the Detroit Lions. That’s right, the team that has one playoff win since 1957 and has NEVER even been to a Super Bowl. The team that managed to waste two of the greats to ever play the game in Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson. The team that somehow, someway, always finds a way to suck us in, only to spit us back out.
But right here, right now, I am here to beg the Lions for their help. At this moment in time, THEY are the ONE Detroit sports team that gives us the hope of winning a championship in the not too distant future.
Matthew Stafford is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL and Lions GM Bob Quinn seems to have a plan in place to build a winning football team.
Are the Lions going to go out and shock the world by winning a Super Bowl this coming season? Of course not. They just don’t have the roster to make that happen at this point in time.
But they are getting closer.
Don’t be surprised at all if the Lions are in the Super Bowl conversation as soon as the 2018 or 2019 season. If that happens, and they can win it all, it would be the greatest championship in Detroit sports history.
Help us Detroit Lions, you’re our only hope.