Detroit bloggers’ roundtable (Pt. 3)
Last week, I sent an email to many sports bloggers who cover Detroit teams with five questions about why the city of Detroit is such a great sports city. I received so many great and well thought out responses that instead of posting the answers to all five questions at once, I will spread it out throughout five days.
I’d first like to once again thank the bloggers who participated in this discussion:
Kurt @ Mack Avenue Tigers (Detroit Tigers)
Scott @ Quo Vadimus & Cutoff Man (Detroit Sports & Detroit Tigers)
Sean @ Pride of Detroit & Michigan Sports Center (Detroit Lions & UM Sports)
Matt @ Lets Go Wings (Detroit Red Wings)
Paul @ Kuklaâ€™s Korner (Detroit Red Wings/NHL)
Al @ The Wayne Fontes Experience (Detroit Sports)
Ripismoney @ Detroit Sports Unleashed (Detroit Sports)
The third question I asked the panel was… “How do you think the sports scene in southeast Michigan will look in five years?”
Kurt @ Mack Avenue Tigers: “I can’t speak much for the Red Wings, as I don’t really follow pro hockey, but I think we’ll continue to see fine performances from the franchises in town. Actually, I think I can include the Wings. The key for three of the four teams is solid management at the top. The Wings, Tigers and Pistons all have leaders who bring the right personnel in. As long as they can maintain those general managers, I think all three should keep winning. And honestly, the Lions can’t really get any worse, can they? So I think they’ll be better. This will be a second golden age of Detroit sports.”
Scott @ Quo Vadimus & Cutoff Man: â€œI think the fans will be just as enthusiastic, though I think the success of the teams may be different. The Lions should be better. The Tigers will continue to be one of the best teams in baseball, and in five years, with Verlander and Bonderman in their prime, Andrew Miller three or so years in, and Cameron Maybin comfortable in the Tigers outfield by that point, they could really be something special. The Wings will always be the Wings. The Pistons? Five years? I donâ€™t know. Probably not the team they are right now. But, weâ€™ll see what Joe D has up his sleeve.”
Sean @ Pride of Detroit & Michigan Sports Center: â€œI actually do believe things will change quite a bit five years from now. One thing that hits me first is the future of the two consistent franchises: the Wings and Pistons. Both are filled with veterans and young talent. How exactly will that balance out down the road? I see the Pistons winning a championship or two if Chauncey stays on board and is re-signed this coming offseason. For the Red Wings, I think it’ll take a few more years of putting together the right players before we see another Stanley Cup raised at the Joe or potentially a new hockey arena. The Tigers are going to be well off as well in the future as the talent and a great manager are in place. The Tigs will be in and out of the playoffs due to playing in such a great division, but every year they will contend for the World Series.
Everything written above looks great. Doesn’t it? Well, finally we have that one team that never can win. Of course, I’m talking about the Lions. Optimistically, I see another bad season coming up that *crosses fingers* will result in the long and overdue firing of Matt Millen. Once the rebuilding upon the rebuilding is complete, Detroit could get to the playoffs. I could see it happening in five years, but I wouldn’t really count on it.â€
Matt @ Lets Go Wings: â€œIt’s tough to say.
I still think that this region will be as sports-hungry as ever, but maintaining the current level of competitiveness in the age of rampant free agency and salary caps will be extremely difficult.
However, all of the current winning teams have rock-solid front office situations and it’s hard to imagine that the drop off will be severe — or even noticable — in five years. In what was supposed to be a “transition year” for the Red Wings turned into a solid foundation for winning years down the road. The Pistons didn’t have a drop off after losing Ben Wallace and have still maintained the “best starting five in the NBA” with the acquisition of Chris Webber and are in their fifth-straight conference final. The Tigers surprised everyone last year and boast one of the deepest, most-balanced lineups in Major League Baseball and a fantastic front-office duo in Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland. The Lions, well — are the Lions. One would have to think that in five years this team will be battling for a Super Bowl bid, but I think that most fans thought this team would be competitive five years ago, too. There’s no place to go but up, right? … Right?â€
Paul @ Kuklaâ€™s Korner: â€œIf ticket prices continue to rise and with the way the economy is right now, I see fans cutting back on attending games and spending their money improving their viewing pleasure- meaning the entertainment room at the home will get the $$$, the teams won’t.â€
Al @ The Wayne Fontes Experience: â€œI don’t think much will change. Mainly due to the fact that 3 of the franchises have good to excellent front offices who have both the ability and the finances to keep their teams at a winning level. The Pistons and Red Wings should still be playoff teams, and the Tigers should be what they once were up to the last deacde, that being a well run, respected upper division franchise. The Wolverines will still be a national power in football and hockey, and hopefully the basketball program will be back to what it once was, a perennial NCAA tournament team.
The awful Lions will still be the awful Lions, a team that strives to be mediocre. There is no reason to think otherwise.
The overall scene will still be as rabid as ever. If anything, the rise of the internet and weblogs, let alone whatever alternative media will arise in the next 5 years, will make for an even smarter and more vocal generation of Detroit sports fans. This area has always been a mecca for the sports crazy, and that will never change.â€
Ripismoney @ Detroit Sports Unleashed: “It’s hard to say. Right now there are so many teams on the top of their games it is important to continue to recruit young talent that can learn from the veterans of today to become the stars of tomorrow. The Red Wings are beginning to see a large portion of their contributions come from younger players, and it is important they bring in younger players to help aid the aging players who will certainly be gone in five years.
The Tigers should have success for years to come as well — Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller are lurking in the Minor Leagues for now, and Ilitch just started to open up the payroll a little. It’s something a lot of baseball players would likely want to be part of.
As for the Pistons, things are a little more blurry, I’m not sure where the next leader of the team will come from. The core of players they have now are great, but eventually even the young ones of the group will be getting up there in years — plus Chauncey Billups is in a contract year right now. With the Cavaliers coming up in the Central Division, improving every year, it’s hard to argue against them if they get LeBron a consistent bunch of teammates. The Pistons should still continue to have success, but I won’t bank on annual trips to the Conference Finals in five years.
As for the Lions, as long as Matt Millen is at the helm, we won’t see the lights of the Super Bowl. However if they can avoid the massive slew of injuries that plagued them last season they should be in much better shape. Mike Martz’s offense could use a better offensive line to give Kitna time to hit Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams, and the defense is nothing too special. Who knows?”
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