Detroit Sports:A year in review
This past year in Detroit Sports the team that had the most news happen to them was the Detroit Pistons. Last season they finished the regular season strong and stormed into the playoffs looking to win a NBA Championship. In the first round of the playoffs they beat the Milwaukee Bucks in 5 games. In the second round they faced the New Jersey Nets. New Jersey swept them in the Eastern Conference Finals the year before. The Pistons went into the series with revenge on their minds. They were down 3-2 in that series but they came back and won game 6 on the road and then won game 7 at home to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year. In the Eastern Conference Finals they faced the Indiana Pacers. This series will be most remembered for Tayshaun Prince's block on Reggie Miller, as he tried to score on a layup, at the end of game 2 preserving the win for the Pistons. The Pistons finished off the Pacers in 6 games to move unto the NBA Finals to face the LA Lakers. A lot of people thought the Pistons would give the Lakers a decent fight but barely anyone thought they would actually win the series. The Pistons not only beat the Lakers to win the NBA Championship but they just plain destroyed them. They won the series in 5 games. It was their first championship since 1990, and it was Detroit's first championship since the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1998. Even though the Pistons won the title, a few monthes later early into this season, they were involved in the biggest brawl in NBA history with the Indiana Pacers. People are still talking about it. It left a scar on Detroit and its fans. It was horrible and it never should have happened. Other than the brawl, the Pistons still had a great year. They won the title and during this past offseason they signed Antonio McDyess. Hopefully his signing will help them defend their title. They have started this season off slow but they have been picking it up of late. The Pistons should be a good team for years to come.
The Detroit Tigers finished last season with a 72-90 record. That would be a horrible record for most teams but for the Tigers it was great. The Tigers have not had a winning season in a long time. Before this past season the Tigers finally spent some money. They signed Ivan Rodriguez and some other good players. Rodriguez was one of their biggest signings ever. He brought some much needed leadership to the team. He made the allstar team and won another Gold Glove as a catcher. The Tigers also traded for Carlos Guillen during the offseason. Before this past season, Guillen was just an average shortstop with average stats. In his first year with the Tigers he was awesome. He had a career numbers in almost every major catagory. He hit .318 and drove in 97 runs. He was even an alterate on the all-star team....The Tigers look to be getting even better. They have a young pitching staff that could be very good. They have some players who can hit and field. They can only get better in 2005. This offseason they signed Troy Percival. They have went after a lot more players but everyone has turned them down. They still have a shot at signing Kevin Millwood, Derek Lowe, Carlos Beltran, and a few others. Even if the Tigers don't sign any more players; I still think they will be even better this upcoming year. Their younger players should continue to develop and Percival will help the bullpen. They should be fun to watch in 2005 and beyond.
It is hard to tell if the Detroit Lions are in another downfall or, for once, an upside. They are currently 6-9 and are about to end another losing season against the Titans this weekend. The NFC is very weak this season, and if the Lions would have won maybe 2 more games then they probably would have made the playoffs. They lost a lot of very close games that they should have won. The biggest losses that stick out in my mind are both the games against the Vikings and the game in Green Bay against the Packers. The Lions really underachieved this season. They should have been at least 500 with the young talent that they have. Although the Lions did not play up to their potential, they showed us some hope for the future. We saw Roy Williams and Kevin Jones have awesome rookie seasons. Williams has ended the season weak(mostly due to injury) but he still has 7 touchdowns and he is already the Lions best receiver. Kevin Jones started the season bad but he ended it awesome. He has over 1000 yards rushing and 6 total touchdowns(5 rushing, 1 receiving). He is going to be an alternate in the Pro Bowl. Both of these players will be awesome for years to come....The main story of the Lions season was the play of Joey Harrington. Harrington starting the season very good but he rapidly went down hill after the Lions great 4-2 start. In the last few games he has picked it up a little but there are still a lot of doubters in this guy. I said before this season that it was his do or die year but actually I now think that this upcoming season will be his time to do or die. The success of the Lions rests mainly on his shoulders. If he comes back with a strong season then the Lions should be able to sneak into the wild card spot. His numbers have gotten better each season that he has been in the NFL and that trend should hopefully continue next season.
The Detroit Red Wings had the least happen to them this year because of the NHL lockout. Last season, before the lockout, the Wings were knocked out of the playoffs by the Calgary Flames in 6 games. It was tough to see them lose but they have been Detroit's best sports team in the last 10 years. They won 3 Stanley Cups in 6 years and we can not complain. Hopefully the NHL will resolve this mess and have the players play at least next season. If they do come back next season; the Wings will have to rebuild. They are an older team and they must get some younger players. However, the future of the the Detroit Red Wings and the NHL is unknown.
The Michigan Wolverine football team had a much better season than people probably expected them to have. Coming into this season they were without John Navarre, Chris Perry, and others(all seniors). They started freshman quarterback Chad Henne all season and freshman running back Mike Hart for most of the season. Henne and Hart were awesome all year. Both of them led the Wolverines on offense. We have them for at least 2 more years each and it will be very exciting to watch them get even better. Michigan finished the season with a 9-2 record. They lost to Ohio State in the final game of the season but they still were Big Ten champs. They play 5th ranked Texas in the Rose Bowl on the 1st of January. Michigan is ranked 12th but they still should give Texas a great battle. Look for Michigan to compete for the championship next season or the one after that.
There you have it, that is my take on the year in Detroit Sports. If you have any thoughts on 2004 then leave a comment or email me. It was an up and down year for Detroit Sports but it was an exciting year still the same. I have been writing on this site for almost a year and I hope to run it for years to come. It should be even more fun to cover Detroit Sports in 2005. Happy New Year everyone!