The interesting dichotomy of the sporting world is the division of a “good” and “bad” realm, a “yin” for every “yang.” For every missed tackle or fake girlfriend scandal, there is another beautiful Bobby Orr-esque goal being scored somewhere, making up for it. So, here are my thoughts on the year’s biggest winners and losers in Detroit sports.
•2012-2013 Detroit Pistons
Dropping dead weight left and right (See ya Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince!), the 2012-2013 Pistons were obviously a team in the middle of a rebuild. There was only one small problem: Joe Dumars, the on-site architect, never really got the ball rolling on the project. Jose Calederon wasn’t exactly the answer to anyone’s prayers.
It’s easy to pile onto a guy who has already been shipped out of town, but Prince’s performance was the equivalent of a long night at the bar. Good on the way in, but leaving with a stunningly bad dismount. The Tigers are going to miss that bat during the season, but what’s the point in making the playoffs if you can’t perform during them?
•The New Red Wings Stadium
You guys just couldn’t wait! A major metropolitan city in the midst of bankruptcy and you willingly accept $450 million dollars in public money from the state to fund a new arena. I’m surprised this made it past the PR department at Olympia Entertainment because it seems as if you don’t care about the public’s perception of this move at all.
•Detroit Lions’ Secondary
As the football equivalent of Swiss cheese, the Detroit Lions’ secondary has made its living making a living for other teams’ horrible quarterbacks. We might not make the playoffs, but Andy Dalton and Mike Glennon probably will be sending along “thank you” notes for their killer new contracts based on wins over the Lions.
•Brady Hoke’s Headset
Has there ever been a more scrutinized piece of non-existent technical equipment? Probably not. Oh well, from God’s lip to his ears, right?
•2013-2014 Detroit Pistons
It’s funny how much difference one offseason can make; everyone coming back a little wiser, a little tougher and, in the case of the Pistons, a little deeper than the previous year. The additions of Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith were big moves for the team. Oh, and everyone who wanted to reuse their Chauncey bobbleheads were pumped to see a hometown hero return. It’s too early to tell, but this could be the start of some interesting basketball in Auburn Hills.
Let’s get it straight — skateboarding isn’t a sport, plain and simple. However, I’d feel like an idiot leaving it off this list, as it seemingly has exploded in Detroit this year. From the Ride It Sculpture Park in Hamtramck to this year’s hugely successful Go Skateboarding Day, skating is back on the map in the city and the world has taken notice. Hit up skate shops like Chipps, Refuge or Pigeon — and go skating!
It’s great to see a local guy doing so well, and Joique Bell has done just that in becoming one of the most profound roster additions for the Lions. His workman-like attitude, on-field tenacity and interplay with crowds at Ford Field have made for an exciting season of football.
•Detroit City FC
Two years into its experiment, Detroit City FC has succeeded in its mission of bringing elite soccer within the city limits. Adding to the mix are the Le Rouge Supporters, Northern Guard Supporters and Motor City Supporters, who have a sense of fanaticism that hasn’t been seen locally since the Tigers’ World Series run and the “Hockeytown” era circa the late ’90s.
For a minute there, the world of the Red Wings was upside down. Home games were away games, Babcock’s hair was flat and the prosperous youth appearing in the playoffs were mistakenly sent down to Grand Rapids. Enter Gustav Nyquist. Brought up from the minors, this stud has almost singlehandedly made the last month of the Red Wings season “Must See TV.”
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