Friday, December 30, 2016

Detroit teams

Things aren't looking so good in Detroit these days as far as pro sports go. Consider the teams:

Detroit Tigers

In the American League Central Division the Cleveland Indians are clearly the class of the field. They were oh-so-close to winning the World Series a couple months ago even while short-handed. A couple of their starting pitchers and a star outfielder were out with injuries. They'll be back. In all likelihood, the Tigers won't be equipped to compete for the division crown. That leaves a couple wild card spots regarding the playoffs. Thing is, the competition is pretty severe there as well. In the east, the Yanks, Orioles, Bosox and Blue Jays will all likely be contenders. Out west are the Texas Rangers and those pesky Houston Astros. Even back in the central, Kansas City shouldn't be overlooked. When the big dance starts next October, there's a very good chance the Tigers won't be invited.

Detroit Pistons

Currently the Pistons are wallowing in the basement of their own division. They are not a good team by any stretch of the imagination. Even if they somehow sneak into the playoffs in the rather weak Eastern Conference of the NBA, who are they going to beat? As a lower seed, it's almost a foregone conclusion they'd get blown out in the first round by a much higher one. The Cleveland Cavs are what they are. The Toronto Raptors look formidable as well. And don't look now, but the Boston Celtics are slowly climbing back into contention after blowing everything up and starting over. They ditched older players with ridiculous contracts and amassed draft choices. It takes a while, but look out for these guys in the near future. The Pistons are a young team, but the talent level just isn't that good in the whole scheme of things. Their future is not bright.

Red Wings

Like the Pistons, the Wings glory days are far in the rear view mirror. They too are bottom feeders in the NHL's Eastern Conference -- or close enough. As it stands, they're hopelessly out of the playoff picture and are now staring at a lengthy road trip. What star power they had has aged and they don't appear particularly adept at any of the facets of the game. The Wings' 24 year streak of making the playoffs is in serious jeopardy. And in the NHL, the playoff field is watered down to begin with. Fully half the teams qualify. In other words, one has to be pretty bad NOT to make it. When the Wings start bottoming out, and it appears that day is very near, they could be down for quite some time. Once known as "Hockeytown", it is no more. It's not even a preferred destination. Free agents around the league have been taking less money to play elsewhere. A very bad sign.

Lions

Who would have thought that of all the Detroit teams, the usually dreadful Detroit Lions would be their best hope at celebrating something? A Super Bowl victory? Not a chance, but they have a very good shot at making the playoffs. However, it is telling when their fans and media would seem to be content with merely a single playoff victory. After all, it's been over 20 years since the last and ONLY one. Is this what it's come to? Have the expectations sunken that low? A single playoff victory would be scoffed at in several other NFL towns. Think New England, Dallas, Green Bay, Seattle, and even Pittsburgh would be happy with that? Of course not. Anything short of the Vince Lombardi trophy is considered a failure in those towns. The Denver Broncos came up short in the Super Bowl just a couple years ago and their coach was summarily fired. Not good enough. But in Detroit they'll hand out contract extensions to a head coach and his staff if they can just put a mediocre product on the field. It truly is a sorry state of affairs.

All the way around.

And the city itself isn't any better. Crime is still rampant, it's barely emerged from bankruptcy, and who knows when the next corruption scandal will hit? Safe to say, Detroit isn't exactly considered a vacation paradise. Other than their renowned "Fox district" it's pretty much a place to be avoided at all costs, unless one is feeling adventurous -- to say the least.

Later update --- The once highly-touted #6 Michigan Wolverines from nearby Ann Arbor just got dumped by #11 Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Throw in the goofy weather and horrible roads and things aren't getting any better in the mitten state. Oh my.

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