Are the Detroit Lions stagnating while the city’s other teams have direction?
The Detroit Lions, at least for the time being, appear to be on a steady course to nowhere. Meanwhile, the mess that has been the Motor Cities other three major sports franchises are searching for a direction.
The Detroit sports franchises haven’t always been good. As a matter of fact, they have turned out some pretty bad models, like the 2003 Tigers who lost 119 games or the 1985 Red Wings who finished with a 17-57 record. Then there was the 1980 Pistons that finished with a paltry 16-66 mark and of course the 0-16 Lions of 2008.
Those were all bad teams that led the Detroit faithful to dream of better years to come. Since those terrible lows, all of Detroit’s teams have either won championships like the Red Wings and Pistons or at least had the opportunity to play for a championship like the Tigers. All except the Lions that is.
As a matter of fact, the Red Wings had a string of 25 straight years in the playoffs, the second-longest streak in NHL history. The last couple of appearances were just sort of padding the streak, but for the most part, in almost all of those postseason appearances the Red Wings were legitimate championship contenders.
The Pistons ‘Bad Boys’ at the end of the 1980s and the start of the 1990s are the most underrated champions in NBA history. The way they played defense changed the game and the San Antonio Spurs dynasty which seems to have finally died was built in the image of those Pistons. Except unlike those Piston teams which were vilified, the Spurs have received praise when they did nothing more than copy the Pistons blueprint.
From 2006 until 2014 the Detroit Tigers were one of baseball’s best teams. For most of that nine-year run, the Tigers were considered one of the favorites to win the World Series. They made two appearances in the fall classic but were not even close to bringing either title home as they lost to the Cardinals four games to one in 2006 and then were swept by the Giants in 2012.
Then there are the Lions who last won it all in 1957. They made it to the NFC championship in 1992, but as the blow out by Washington demonstrated, they weren’t a legitimate contender at all.
Now all four teams are down on their luck together. Which leads us to the poignant question of; which Detroit franchise is the furthest away from winning it all?