Lions Draft is Thursday Offering Fans Much-Needed Annual Hope
Pro-Sports fans in Michigan try not to even think about it. We just want to enjoy the occasional win by a Detroit team, and block out the rest. We’re getting good at it. (The blocking-out part that is). I really can’t stand “fair-weather fans”, but let’s face it, when it comes to professional Detroit sports teams, we get freezing drizzle just about every day. Who can blame us for running out of enthusiasm? It’s gotten to the point where all four teams are perennial cellar-dwellers and this is not a new thing.
Dave Hogg has covered Detroit Sports for the Associated Press for more than three decades. He researched after the 2019 seasons and found that “the 226 losses suffered by the four Detroit teams in the calendar year 2019 are not only the most in Detroit sports history but also the most of any city or market in any calendar year in the history of North American professional sports.” Some might hate Dave for pointing that out and causing our cloud of denial to evaporate. I know I do. I hate you, Dave, you dream-squasher you! Ok, I don’t hate you, Dave. I just hate reality.
Will this season be even worse? No, with pandemic-shortened seasons, we probably won’t top 226 losses, (despite the Tigers). In Michigan, we call that a “silver lining.”
The last major championship for a Detroit team was back in 2008 when the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. The Pistons won the title in 2004. The last Tigers’ World Series championship was 1984. The Lions? Ok, I wasn’t born yet and I’m old.
The Tigers brought in a new manager. They brought up some talented young arms. But we’re a month into the season and they’re in last place with the worst record in baseball, and on pace to be just as bad as the worst Tiger team ever. The 2003 Detroit Tigers lost 119 games. The way this team is hitting right now, they could lose 155!
At 19-43, the Pistons are a lot worse than last year when they finished at 41-41. They have 10 games left, so they could easily drop 50 on the season.
Red Wings are 17-25-8 with 6 games left. Last year they were 17-49-5. The 1985-86 Red Wings went 17-57-6. So, there’s another silver lining. It could be worse.
The Lions finished last season at 5-11 and last place in the NFC North. Well, that’s a little better than the 3-12-1 record of 2019, but not much. We call that a Silver and Blue lining.
The NFL Draft starts Thursday and the Detroit Lions hold the 7th overall pick, and also the 41st and 72nd overall picks. The first round Thursday begins at 8pm in Cleveland. With the right picks, we could go 6-10 next year. Let the hoping begin. It’s all we can do.