Which sports team will win Detroit’s next championship? – Detroit Free Press
It’s been kind of a slow Friday for Detroit sports news, so we have an interesting question for you to ponder as you get ready for the weekend.
Which Detroit major pro sports team will win the city’s next championship?
It’s been eight years now since a Detroit team’s won a title (the Red Wings in 2008) and, before then, it was the 2004 Pistons. The 2012 Tigers reached the World Series, but were promptly swept in the Fall Classic.
Now, with the Tigers selling off and retooling for 2016, the Detroit sports landscape is murky, albeit still promising.
Here’s our super-optimistic case for each team, then you can vote and chat about it with us on Facebook and Twitter (or in this story’s comments):
Detroit Tigers: Yes, this season might be all but over, but the Tigers did what was necessary to set themselves up for a run in 2016 and beyond. They still have Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez, Jose Iglesias, Ian Kinsler and James McCann in the lineup, all of which could be healthy by next spring. Thanks to selling, they’ve now got promising pitching prospects in Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Michael Fulmer, all of whom could see action in the rotation or bullpen next year. And the Tigers could still sign a starting pitcher or two in free agency to shore up the rotation. The aging stars could decline at any moment, but they’re here and still producing, which means the window is not closed.
Detroit Lions: We’re well aware the Lions remain one of only four NFL teams without a Super Bowl appearance. In fact, they only have one postseason victory since 1957. But that doesn’t erase the fact that they went 11-5 last year, still feature one of the best wide receivers in the game in Calvin Johnson and a suddenly emerging top-5 defense under coordinator Teryl Austin. Matthew Stafford has mechanical issues to work through, but teams have won Super Bowls with worse quarterbacks (Brad Johnson, anyone?) and some of the younger pieces, such as running back Ameer Abdullah, are looking good in camp. It’s still a long shot but, again, we’re comparing with other Detroit sports teams, and the Lions could be one of the closer teams of the four.
Detroit Red Wings: The 24-season playoff streak continues, and there are quite a few reasons to think the Wings could emerge very soon from their first- and second-round doldrums. First of all, Jeff Blashill’s the coach now, and could be the fresh face this young team needs (many of the Wings’ current players won a Calder Cup under Blashill in Grand Rapids of the AHL). Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are still here. The defense is bolstered with Mike Green on board. Give this team one healthy year and see what it can do; remember, the Wings took the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals, to seven games last year.
Detroit Pistons: They’ve been a doormat since 2009 and they’re probably still at least a season away from playoff contention, but the Pistons might finally be in the early stages of rising back to prominence. Stan Van Gundy is slowly molding this team into his vision, with a great pick-and-roll combo of Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. And while he hasn’t played a single game yet, Stanley Johnson is invoking promise with his strong summer-league and Drew League play. The Pistons would need Johnson or Jackson to emerge as one of the NBA’s top 20 players for this team to become a real championship contender, but there’s reason to feel good about this team’s near future.
So which team do you predict will win the next Detroit sports championship? Vote in the poll here (hit refresh once if it doesn’t show up, or tap here on mobile).
From polling fans on Twitter, here are some of the responses (and, believe it or not, they varied):
Contact Brian Manzullo: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BrianManzullo.