Open Letter to Detroit Sports Fans
Look it is not your fault that all Detroit sports teams are going through long rebuilds. It really isn't any fan's fault but it is quite a downer when the Lions, Red Wings, Tigers, and Pistons are all fighting in their leagues to not be the worst team. This has been building for a while for two of these teams but the other two I don't really have a good reason for them being at the bottom.
Let's start with the Red Wings, who were good from the early 90s until a few years ago. They are working on what will be a very long rebuild since they wanted to stay competitive in the early 2010s. The Red Wings wanting to stay in the playoffs up until 2015 is the main reason for them being so bad right now. They signed a lot of older players and players to long term contracts, which really cut into their salary cap over the last few years. Along with cutting into their salary cap they don't have the all-stars they had a few years ago. This gives the Red Wings the longest and maybe hardest rebuild of all of the Detroit teams, but at least they have Steve Yzerman running the team now so I have tons of faith in him to get the job done.
The toughest Detroit team to be a fan of right now is the Tigers. The Tigers are like a hamster on a wheel that is going no where. After winning the American League and going to World Series in 2006 and 2012 the Tigers have been stuck at the bottom and over the last 6 seasons they have gone 358 - 507. After looking at that record it looks like it won't be getting better for a while because of the Miguel Cabrera contract that the Tigers are locked into barring them from using the money on players they actually need. Cabrera isn't bad, though his 2020 season wasn't great, but if you are a team that loses 98 games or more 3 seasons in a row, one really good player isn't going to help you out of the hole.
Meanwhile, the Lions are the Lions. They are also like the Tigers in that they are on a hamster wheel to no where, but at least the Tigers are trying to rebuild. We really don't know what the Lions are trying to do. Over the last 3 seasons the Lions have been pitiful and they are, at this point, wasting the good years of Matt Stafford. They will never get back the last 3 season, so a quick fix for the Lions is obviously getting rid of Head Coach Patricia but also trading Matt Stafford. I know Stafford is great, but he's just wasting away here. The Lions have 1 really good receiver in Kenny Golladay and an emerging Tight end in Hockenson, but really what else? They don't have a great running game to help Stafford and their offensive line isn't great either. So you are putting more on the arm of Stafford and over the last 3 years we have seen what happens...a bunch of mediocre seasons.
I'm not sure about the Pistons anymore, they seem like the Lions in that they are going no where but they are in a better spot than the Lions. I say this because with the NBA, teams have a better and easier shot at getting good quicker. The Pistons can say they have a good coach but other than that really nothing else, so they really need to draft smart and also trade smarter. This means no more trading for former All-stars to give you a season or two and eventually break down. The Pistons need to draft smart and keep those players a little longer than 2 years because if you draft at least 3 players that are NBA ready you could build another great team like the Golden State Warriors did.
In summary if you are fan of all or any Detroit team you will have wait a little longer before you see any of them get better. I have the most faith in the Red Wings since Yzerman built the Tampa Bay Lightning, who just won the Stanley Cup, so just hang in there and we could be seeing the cup come back to Detroit soon.