For whatever reason, some areas seem to breed champions while others not so much. Comparing the San Francisco area to Detroit would present such a contrast. Let's look at their respective teams over the years.
The San Francisco Giants have won three of the last five World Series. The Detroit Tigers haven't won one since 1984. Advantage Bay.
Idle thought: Why have they always called it the "World Series" when, with the exception of the
Toronto Blue Jays and the long defunct Montreal Expos, all the teams have been American? Even the Little League World Series has long been open to foreign competition. But not Major League Baseball. Who knows how good of a team the Cubans or Dominicans might have to offer?
The Golden State Warriors, in Oakland across the Bay, are reigning NBA champions. The Detroit Pistons won back to back titles in 1989-1990, and another in 2004. Though they remained almost but not quite championship caliber for a couple more years, their fall from greatness was quick and they've pretty much been in the dumpster for the better part of the last decade. Though they squeaked into the playoffs this year, they were predictably blown out by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round. Overall -- let's call that a draw.
After a long hiatus, the Detroit Red Wings finally broke through to capture Lord Stanley's Cup again. Back to back in 1997-98, again in 2002, and most recently in 2008. Hey, 4 Cups in little more than a decade is impressive stuff. Since then, the Wings keep making the playoffs -- sometimes barely -- but don't usually get far once they begin. This year they were bounced in the opening round by Tampa Bay. Though they will never admit it, the winged wheelers appear headed to total rebuild mode in the near future. It was a nice run back in the day, but eventually all good things must come to an end. Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks, just down the road from the Bay, are into the Stanley Cup Finals this year. The Wings have banners hanging from the rafters and the Sharks so far have none. Advantage Detroit. However, if the Sharks can dispatch the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Finals to become current champs, that picture would change a bit. As they say -- what have you done for me lately?
When it comes to Detroit vs the Bay area in NFL football, the difference is staggering. Back in the early days, the Oakland Raiders won a couple Super Bowls. Then along came the San Fran 49ers with their "dynasty" in the 80s. They would win four and, just for good measure, "one for the thumb" a few years later. A total of seven championships in all.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions are one of only four franchises to have never even MADE it to the Super Bowl, let alone won it. The other three are "expansion" teams -- namely the new Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Houston Texans. Even the old Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and won the Vince Lombardi trophy.
Fifty -- count em -- FIFTY Super Bowls played and no sign of the Lions. In fact, it's been SIXTY years since they had anything to brag about. This was about the same time the ill-fated Edsel was making its debut. A guy named Eisenhower was early into his second term in the White House. The Leave It To Beaver TV show was brand new. Let's just say it's been quite a long time.
The "over-under" on the Lions win total this year is a meager 7. Obviously, the wise guys in Vegas think it's just going to be another year piled on the already huge scrap heap.
So if I have this right, teams from the Bay area have won seven Super Bowls, been to and lost a few others along the way, and the Lions have put up a grand total of ONE playoff win during all those decades. Advantage Motown or Bay? Are you kidding?
San Francisco is a beautiful town to visit. So many sights to see and things to experience. Oakland not so much. Detroit? Well, it's trying to find its way out of bankruptcy, avoid being #1 on the murder capital list of American cities, features deserted properties and blight throughout, and maybe they'll pick up the garbage the citizens leave at the curb this week -- or maybe not. All in all -- not a pretty sight, much less a place most tourists would rank high on their lists of places to visit.
Yet you never know. Maybe the Tigers will win the World Series this year. The Lions (cough, choke, gag) march on to a Super Bowl. The Pistons will come roaring back next year to dominate the NBA. And the Red Wings skate again into Lord Stanley's good graces. Right.
But I wouldn't count on it.
For right now, be it sports or quality of life, give me the Bay area any day......