Saturday, August 11, 2007

Detroit Named Top Sports Town

It seems that the boys over at The Sporting News (TSN) feel that Detroit is the best sports city in the United States. The city of Detroit -- which was largely viewed as just "Hockeytown" over the past 15 or so years -- was voted the Best Sports City of 2007 in a recent poll conducted by the Sporting News. TSN based its judgment on 11 different criteria, including attendance figures and won-loss records. This is the second time that Detroit has won the honor (previously taking the crown in 1998) and, even for non-Detroit fans, it would be difficult to dispute the Motor City as its choice. With the Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers all advancing deep into their respective league's playoffs, Motown sports has never been better. Assuming that the Lions actually meet some of their high expectations for this year and make the playoffs, it would be hard to find another city's major sports franchises matching the success of these squads.

Of course many may scoff at hopes that the Lions do, in fact, have the capability of actually achieving a winning record, but we need to look no farther than the Detroit Tigers of last season. Previously the laughingstock of baseball, the Tigers exceeded all expectations last year and advanced to the World Series. It is most likely the Tigers success (along with the continued winning ways of the the Wings and Pistons) that locked up the top spot on TSN's vote. Now I'm not predicting a Lions Super Bowl run this year, but I don't think a 10 win season and a playoff berth is out of the question. I don't think the Lions' record of 2006 (3-13) truly reflected their talent last year and a 6-7 win jump in '07 is a real possibility.

I think another fun discussion involves nominating the city with the single greatest players to ever don uniforms for its respective major sports teams. For the Detroit squads here are my picks:

- Detroit Tigers - Ty Cobb
- Detroit Red Wings - Gordie Howe
- Detroit Lions - Barry Sanders
- Detroit Pistons - Isiah Thomas

While there are some cities that are certainly involved in the discussion (Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, for example), I don't think anyone can match the representatives of the Detroit Teams. Three of them (Cobb, Howe, and Sanders) are arguably the greatest to ever play their sport (at least the discussion involves them) and Isiah was certainly on of the top players during a great era for the NBA. So what do you think? I know there are fans of other cities out there. Nominate your city's best from each of their major sports franchises and let's see where the discussion leads...

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