Am I just plain dumb for being optimistic about the near future for Detroit pro sports?
I’ve been hurt so many times by the Detroit Lions that it just doesn’t faze me anymore. Maybe numb, not dumb. Maybe both.
But hey, I’m an eternal optimist — much to my wife’s chagrin.
“It’ll be fine,” I say as she rolls her eyes in response. A common occurrence in our household.
But there seems to be genuine optimism with a lot of folks surrounding the Red Wings, Tigers, Pistons and, gulp, even the 2-11-1 Lions, who face a short-handed Atlanta team today in what could be Detroit’s second win in a row. (That’s a lot to expect, but as stated above, optimist.)
The first in what could be an actual win streak came last week when the Lions thrashed 10-2 Arizona so soundly that the Cardinals’ own Twitter account didn’t post the final score.
At least the team finally made a jovial mea culpa Thursday and actually tweeted out the score of last Sunday’s 30-12 road rout at the hands of the NFL’s worst team.
You had to make it through a minute-long video with the Cardinal mascot holding up cue cards that eventually showed the score, all in the name of Christmas honesty.
The team was taking a bit of a beating on social media for not updating anything past the Cardinals’ last — and only — touchdown as the Lions made history by becoming the first NFL team with one or fewer victories to beat a team with 10 or more wins by double digits. Way to say, “We wouldn’t have admitted this embarrassment if it weren’t for Santa Claus.”
We know the Yzerplan is already starting to reap rewards. The Wings are just a little over .500 and in position as of now to grab the last Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Pistons are still a work in progress, but Cade Cunningham is turning into what Detroit thought it was getting with the No. 1 overall pick after a rough start.
The rest of the roster is young and improving, and another high draft pick is on the way next offseason. This year’s poor won-loss record is actually a boon because the team is showing signs of improvement while still putting itself in a position to add another big-time draft pick next year to an already solid core.
The Tigers showed last season that they were on the rise. Adding a few free agents (shortstop Javy Baez, lefthanded starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, catcher Tucker Barnhart) before the lockout helped put them in a better position, and they’ve got several stars in the minor-league pipeline (first baseman Spencer Torkelson, outfielder Riley Greene, etc.) who should make an impact this year.
Reason for optimism, totally. Guarded optimism, of course.
That just goes without saying in Detroit pro sports.
We’ve all been hurt before.