Being a Detroit professional sports fan will test your will to live in recent years.
Has there ever been a worse time to be a Detroit professional sports fan than right now? It is hard to believe there could have been.
The average winning percentage for Detroit’s four major professional sporting teams during their most recent season or current season averages out to a .269 winning percentage. The Red Wings are tops on that list, earning a pathetic 30 percent of all the points available during the National Hockey League season. The rest are nursing winning percentages that look like reasonable batting averages, but not much better than that. The Pistons failed to make the playoffs for the third straight season (and for the 11th time during the last 13 seasons), posting a .280 winning percentage. The Lions, of course, did much worse than that, finishing the 2021 season with a 3-13-1 record, or a .206 winning percentage. The Lions saw their past starting QB win a Super Bowl title just a few months ago and the franchise has not won a postseason game since winning the NFL Championship way back in 1957. Finally, the Tigers may be the biggest embarrassment of all four teams. Currently playing .290 baseball, the Tigers are on a current pace to finish the season with a 47-115 record, which would rank as the franchise’s second-worst record since joining the American League in 1900.
So when the USFL ‘returned’ as a minor league spring football season, recreating some of the best known franchises from the league’s mid-1980s past, what could it hurt for Detroit fans to pull for the Panthers? Who cares that the team will never play a single game in Michigan this season. Most of the games should be on television and we can follow the Panthers with pride, right?
Wrong, Even the Panthers are pathetic to this point. The squad is currently 1-3 and last week they lost a game in what can only be termed a very ‘Lions-esque’ way to lose a game. The Panthers’ kicker had a chance to earn Michigan the victory if he could convert a 21-yard field goal with two seconds left on the clock. It’s a gimmie field goal that I argued even an out-of shape 53-year older (that would be me) can make. I guess we can forget about the Panthers. Oh well, I guess I can spend my summer watching old Detroit sports games on YouTube once again.
Which team will turn it around first? It’s tough to tell.
Wouldn’t the Pistons be the most obvious choice to do just that? They not only landed maybe the best rookie prospect in the game a year ago with Cade Cunningham, the Pistons should land another strong selection during this spring’s NBA draft. But who really knows? Would it shock anyone to see the Pistons still failing to make the playoffs three years from now? Unfortunately, I could see that.
What about the Tigers? General Manager Al Avila just needs to be fired. He’s been at his position since the summer of 2016, and this team is in worse shape during the Comerica Park era. Steve Yzerman hasn’t done much with the Wings and let’s face it, the Lions are the Lions. No one expects anything from them in their lifetime, realistically. This is a tough question to answer.
This is downright depressing. Maybe it’s time to find a new hobby.