Last calendar year Detroit professional teams combined for 226 lost games, the most of any city in history. What exactly has gone wrong? How can the once mighty Detroit things around? Here’s the State of the Union, Detroit sports edition.
Arguably the team with the brightest future has to be the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons, a win-now team with a record of 19-38 and is currently three games out of the playoffs. Although a large majority of the losses and struggles are due to the injuries to Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson, and Luke Kennard. The reason that the Pistons might have the brightest future is due to the emergence of rookie Sekou Doumbouya, and the shrewd moves made by Piston’s GM Ed Stefanski. Sekou Doumbouya wasn’t supposed to be making this much of an impact at this stage of his career but injuries to members of the Pistons frontcourt resulted in him getting minutes. Sekou’s first game he started was against the Los Angeles Clippers where he was tasked with guarding Kawhi Leonard. Here Pistons fans saw the defensive hustle and energy that reminded us of players like Tayshaun Prince and Dennis Rodman. Sekou’s monster dunk over Tristan Thompson and his 24-point game against the Celtics put the rest of the NBA on alert. With a young core of Bruce Brown, Sekou Doumbouya, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Christian Wood, and Luke Kennard, the Pistons could tank the rest of this season and retool around Blake Griffin and our top lottery pick.
“With the third pick in the 2020 NFL Draft the Detroit Lions select Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama.” The things I would do to hear those words. I understand that when you think of the Lions, you think Matthew Stafford and the entire franchise has been molded around him, but you can’t pass up on a generational talent such as Tua. But who has faith in Bob Quinn and the “Same Old Lions?” Not me for sure. Obviously, the Lions will not take Tua Tagovailoa as that would be the smartest thing to do. The other option that would be acceptable to me would be to trade the third pick for multiple picks to whoever wants Tua at pick No. 3. The most likely outcome would be for the Lions to draft Jeffery Okudah, CB from OSU, a solid player but someone the Lions shouldn’t draft at the top of the draft. If the Lions were to draft Tua, he could fully recover for a season behind Stafford allowing him to come in next season prepared and fully healthy. Hopefully then Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and the other offensive weapons on the. If Matt Patricia can get the defense to match Stafford’s MVP level play earlier in the season, maybe then the Lions could get to the playoffs, and maybe even a playoff win, for the first time since 1991.
The third of the four teams based on future success is the Red Wings. The once mighty Red Wings who went a quarter century straight of playoff hockey, made Detroit known worldwide as “Hockeytown”, and holds the third most Stanley Cups of all time, has now been re-named the “Dead Wings.” At the all-Star break, the Red Wings are in last place in the NHL, 13 points behind the Los Angeles Kings, they have a -96 goal differential, and have only won 14 games out of the 58 that they have played in. After falling in the lottery last season and not being able to draft Jack Hughes, Steve Yzerman agreed to become the next GM of the Wings. Yzerman has a tough task due to Ken Holland sacrificing the future of the franchise to keep up the 25-year playoff streak. After turning around Tampa Bay, Yzerman’s hire was the highlight of last year’s season, which is pretty pathetic. Yzerman has started off his tenure in Detroit’s front office well as he’s off to a great start by drafting Moritz Seider, and trading for Robby Fabbri. Seider has been playing incredibly well as he has two goals and thirteen assists in 36 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins. It surprised many when the Wings drafted Seider as he was projected to go in the 10-19th pick range, but he’s seemingly checking many boxes. Once a first-round pick, Robby Fabbri was acquired from the St. Louis Blues in November in exchange for Jacob de la Rose. Fabbri was struggling in St. Louis but has started to become the player that he supposed to be scoring ten times and assisting thirteen times so far this season, eight goals and six assists of his career highs in each category. Fabbri adds to a young core that paired with Yzerman’s front office skills, could result in a new Red Wings dynasty.
Finally, there is the Tigers, a team with no hope for the seeable future. The Tigers are coming off one of the worst seasons in the history of baseball with a record of 47-114. The Tigers also had a run differential of -333, one of the worst in history as well. For all the MLB fanatics out there, you know how hard it is to break records, but the 2019 Tigers broke two records. Those records were most home losses, 59, tying the 1939 St. Louis Browns, having a run differential of -221 at home breaking the record of -215 set in 1883 by the Philadelphia Phillies. The worst part of the Tigers though is all of the former players winning World Series’ with other teams, this year of course being Anibal Sanchez, Fernando Rodney, and Max Scherzer with the Washington Nationals. The death of beloved owner Mike Illich has led to the slow-down of the Tigers’ successes and a slashing of one of the league’s highest payrolls. However with prospects like Casey Mize, Riley Greene, Tarik Skubal, who are among the MLB’s top 100 prospects, the Tigers could possibly turn it all around in the near future.