Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekend Michigan sports

The Detroit Lions beat the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are a mess. Their All-Pro wide receiver Percy Harvin bailed on them to Seattle via free-agency -- as did Jerod Allen to Chicago, likely the best pass rushing defensive end in the NFL not named J. J. Watt. Their quarterback position remains unsettled at best. Rookie Teddy Bridgewater seems to have inherited the position by default. Nobody else was any good. And, of course, likely the best running back in the league, one Adrian Petersen, finds himself up to his eyeballs in legal trouble. Depending on how all that works out -- Petersen may or may not EVER return to the Vikings, or any other team in the NFL. Add it all up and the Vikes have more than their fair share of problems. But the Lions got a road victory and a win is a win.

Michigan eked out an ugly victory at home over Penn State to reduce the temperature of head coach Brady Hoke's seat by a couple degrees, but it remains hot. These were two bad teams playing boring, mistake-prone, predictable, and all-around second-class football. Somebody had to win. And oh my. How far the once mighty have fallen. Under the late Joe Paterno, Penn State was always a power to be reckoned with. That nasty little Jerry Sandusky dust-up a few years back blew up their whole program. In the meantime, Michigan has fared even worse, though for different reasons. Once a power themselves, after 3 years under Rich Rodriguez, and 3 going on 4 under Hoke, UM shows no signs whatsoever of being anywhere near competitive on the national level. They keep getting worse. Six, going on seven years without a major bowl appearance? Oh my indeed. This is not the Michigan yours truly remembers from decades past. What has happened to these guys?

Idle half full/half empty thought: What gives with some of these political campaigns? If you believe the "good" stuff, which is about 10% of the TV ads, then it's hard to choose betwen the candidates because they're obviously both superheroes. They will fight, fight, fight for the truth, justice, and the American way. But if you believe the other 90% of attack ads from both sides, then neither one of the bums deserves to get a single vote. Yep, must be election season again. Alas.

Pretty sure the Red Wings have started their regular season. Wake me up after the Super Bowl. Better yet when the playoffs start. The Wings look to be about average. Though their current string of 20+ seasons in a row making it to the postseason is still intact, most consider the Wings a "bubble" team this year. Maybe they make the playoffs -- and maybe not. But legitimate Stanley Cup contenders? Not a chance.

Not sure if the Pistons and the NBA have started their regular seasons yet. But like the NHL, most will pay them little heed until the snow starts melting next spring. Bad news for the Pistons, though. They play in the same division as the Cleveland Cavaliers. With the recent additions of Lebron James and Kevin Love, the Cavs suddenly became favorites to win the Eastern Conference. The Pistons are still terrible with no help in sight. They'll likely finish at least 15, maybe 20 games behind. After the passing of the late-great Bill Davidson, long time owner of the Pistons, former Michigander Tom Gores swooped in and bought the team from his widow Karen. Pretty slick -- but guys that make billions by managing other peoples' money have to be shrewd operators.

Just a couple problems. Gores now finds himself with a team chock full of ridiculous players' salaries, and they haven't a prayer -- none -- of competing for a championship in the near future. Plus, despite various promotions, gimmicks, and even give-aways, the Pistons continue to struggle mightily just to get people in their own arena to watch the games.

So it leaves one to wonder..... between the shrewd billionaire and the poor distraught widow of the former owner -- just who out-slicked who? Nobody's heard from Karen lately. She might have bought a small tropical island somewhere and is living in the lap of luxury sipping on exotic cocktails with those little umbrellas sticking out of them, while her man and maid servants cater to her every whim. Tom Gores recently hired Stan Van Gundy to be his president, head coach, and all-around Messiah that will lead his Pistons back to the Promised Land.

Right.  Pretty sure I know who got the best of THAT deal.

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