Plenty of Teams in Detroit, But Which Ones Can Add to the Title Town Moniker
Detroit Motor City does not have the glamor and glitz of many of its fellow major league cities, but Detroit boasts some unique strengths as a sports host. Detroit is one of only four North American cities all of whose major league teams play within the city proper. Baseball’s Tigers were a charter member of the American League (and predated it). Hockey’s Red Wings were an Original Six franchise.
Basketball’s Pistons played their opening few years in Fort Wayne before settling in Detroit. Similarly, football’s Lions spent only a few years in Portsmouth, Ohio. Unlike most major metropolises, whose history books are littered with past and defunct teams, no major league franchises moved out of Detroit, folded, or passed through on journeys west.
The Relatively Recent Success of Both the Pistons and Red Wings
The Red Wings own the most recent championship title in the city, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008 behind Niklas Lindstrom and Henrik Zetterberg. This championship was the fourth in 11 years for the team, led for more than two decades and three titles by team captain and now general manager Steve Yzerman. Alongside Yerman, the Red Wings featured the Russian Five, a quintet of USSR defectors who played a powerful brand of hockey in the NHL, often on the ice together for Scotty Bowman: Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, Igor Larionov and Vladimir Konstatinov.
Prior to the mid-90s cups, the Red Wings had gone more than 40 years without hoisting Lord Stanley’s chalice. The Gordie Howe era Wings of the mid 1950s with Alex Delvecchio, Ted Lindsay, and goalie Terry Sawchuck won four Stanley Cups in six years. In all the Red Wings have won eleven NHL championships, including the Title Town trophy in 1935-36.
Having missed the playoffs for three straight years, the Red Wings are in line to extend that mark, sitting in the cellar of the entire league, trailing the penultimate team by ten points in the standings. They rank last in scoring and in goals against.
Rebuild does not seem to fit the team, which is older the NHL average, with almost half the roster over 30. Forwards Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Lakin have been the best scorers for the team, along with Anthony Mantha, recently sidelined with an injury. The Wings entered season with a championship money line at + 10000, but that has now taken off to +25000.
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The More Recent Failures of the Pistons and Red Wings
The current fortune of the Pistons is not much rosier. With 40 percent of the NBA season in the books, the Pistons are well below .500, sitting in fourth place in their division and tenth in the conference, outside of the playoff picture looking in. Center Andre Drummond has been the lone star for a team that looks to find an identity. The Pistons have missed the playoffs eight of the last ten years, and did not make it out of the first round in their last three appearances.
The Pistons took some time to find their championship swagger. After losing in the NBA finals twice in the mid 1950s, the team took more than three decades to return to center stage. Chuck Daley’s team of the late 80s took over league from the Magic-Larry Lakers-Celtics. Similar to the teams of that championship rivalry and the ascendant Bulls and Rockets, the Bad Boys Pistons were a complete and loaded team, with Isaiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson, Joe Dumars, and John Salley.
They appeared in three straight NBA Finals, winning the trophy in the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons. The team reloaded a decade later, winning again with Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace in 2003-04. The odds of a 2019-20 Detroit Pistons NBA championship are +25000.
The Tigers and Lions Recent Run of… Woof
The Detroit Tigers appeared in and lost three of the first six World Series played in the opening years of the twentieth century, and they would have to wait thirty years to claim their first trophy,
that in the Title Town year of 1935. They captured the trophy again in 1945 behind Hank Greenberg, Rudy York, and Hal Newhouser. Denny McClain became the major’s most recent 30-game winner in 1968 at 31-6, leading the Tigers with Mickey Lolich to the title. Kirk Gibson, Allen Trammel, Sweet Lou Whittaker, and Jack Morris brought the team their last championship in 1984.
Both the 2006 and 2012 teams had playoff success, but lost the Series. Leading the AL Central for the early part of the decade, the Tigers have fallen off, missing the postseason for five straight years and losing 114 games last season. The team is rebuilding and retains slugger Miguel Cabrera as their sole marquee player. The money line odds for a 2020 Detroit Tigers World Series championships are +10000.
The Lions have the unique distinction of being the only non-expansion team never to have appeared in a Super Bowl. The franchise won four titles in the pre-Super Bowl NFL, in the Title Town championship season of 1935 and thrice in six years in the 1950s behind quarterback Bobby Layne and running back Doak Walker. Through the careers of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, the Lions could never break through. They have not won a division title since 1993 and not won a playoff game since 1991.
Matthew Stafford has set records as the all time leading passer for the franchise that has not been able to put all the pieces together. Eliminated from the postseason, head coach Matt Patricia finds himself on the hot seat. Until next year’s Super Bowl odds are released, they can be considered a long shot at +8000, the same odds with which they opened this past season.
Detroit Title Town Odds Are Long… Like Seriously Long
The best odds of a Title Town double play two-way parlay for Detroit is the Tigers and Lions at +818000.
Adding a third team for Title Town hat trick, either the Red Wings or the Pistons, the odds extend to +205343000.
The odds for a Detroit Title Town grand slam parlay of all four championships are +51541118000.