The downfall of Detroit sports and the difficulty of being a loyal fan

A+depressed+and+disappointed+lions+fan+wears+a+bag+over+his+head%2C+signifying+the+winless+season+that+Lions+had+in+2008.

A depressed and disappointed lions fan wears a bag over his head, signifying the winless season that Lions had in 2008.

William Himelhoch, Staff Writer

Being born in Detroit, I am a die-hard Detroit fan. I have grown up loving the Lions and the Red Wings and always supporting them no matter what. For most of my life, these teams have been pretty awful, and they give their fans little to cheer for. Despite that fact, I am still loyal to my city and the teams that live in it.

The once prestigious ‘Motor City,’ home to hundreds of thousands of people, is now in the midst of a great drought. Not one which refers to the lack of water, but one that refers to the lack of entertainment. More specifically, the lack of a decent sports team.

The city of Detroit has been home to many great sports teams and players over the years. But recently, it seems that all that skill has been used up and is now nowhere to be seen.

To start, let’s visit the Detroit Lions, a franchise football team part of the NFL. Representing their blue and silver uniforms, the Lions began with a stroke of good fortune and dominated the early division of the National Football Conference (NFC). These championships were won before the start of the Super Bowl era, and ever since that era began in 1968, the Lions have been to fewer than 20 playoff games. Considering this is over the course of 51 seasons, that is not a very strong statistic and is certainly not to be bragged about.

I personally have been a witness to this atrocity on the football field. Many seasons have gone by and I am still waiting for our first playoff victory since 1992. Year after year, high expectations and hopes quickly turns to disappointment and a few tears come along with that.

But so what? Maybe Detroit does not have the strongest football program, but there are other sports out there. That is where the Detroit Red Wings come into play, the city’s hockey team.

The Detroit Red Wings are, by far, the worst team in the NHL. There are no two ways about it. Out of the 71 games played this past season, the Red Wings managed to win a whopping 17 games. Yes, that means they won 24% of their games. I paid $100 dollars for an NHL subscription so I could watch my team win 17 games. Even being the worst team in the league, the Red Wings still ended up with only the 4th pick in the 2020 draft because of the way the draft lottery panned out.

The Red Wings play in Joe Louis Arena, a stadium also shared by the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons are not much better than their football and hockey counterparts, landing at third worst in the NBA. Ever since the Bad Boys of ‘98 and ’99 and the championship in 2004, the Pistons have gone nowhere. It seems all of Detroit sports are at a stalemate as none of their teams are producing any sort of hope for fans.

The same goes for the Detroit Tigers, the baseball franchise. The Tigers are currently sitting at the second to worst spot in the Central Division. The Tigers went to their last playoff game in 2014. The 6-year long drought will likely continue for another couple of years before the team gets back on its feet. This comes to no surprise as it seems that all Detroit teams are among the worst in all major sports.

Being a strong and loyal fan of this city’s sports team can be difficult at times. I sure am not immune to the ridicule placed on me by my ‘friends’ and teammates. But I still wear my Lions shirts and my Red Wings jerseys and proudly support my city’s teams. Maybe in a couple years, after some thorough rebuilding, Detroit’s sports teams will once again be a competitive force to be reckoned with. I’m just kidding; we all know that’s not happening for a while.