Whoa, where does the time seem to be going lately? I sincerely apologize to all of you reading for my mysterious absence last week but sometimes real life can get a bit out of hand, and you lose the time to sit down and hammer an article out. It sucks, and it’s only going to get more difficult in the coming weeks, as I am a retail store manager, and we are obviously approaching our busiest time of the year. I will do my absolute best to keep up with the world of sports, as it is still a passion of mine, and sit down every week to share with you my thoughts on the stories not being covered as much by the mainstream sports media world.
I would just like to throw out a personal note, about how much this next part is going to hurt me.
The Big News: The San Francisco Giants are once again World Series Champs. After coming back from a 3-1 series deficit against last year’s World Series Champion the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants swept the Detroit Tigers who had a nearly week layoff after themselves sweeping the New York Yankees in the ALCS. I want to congratulate the Giants, who looked to be eliminated so many times in the NLDS as well as the NLCS, and absolutely taking care of work against the Detroit Tigers. Plus dudes with as epic of beards as Brian Wilson and Sergio Romo deserve to have rings. Come back soon Brian, we miss your antics.
Now let’s get on to more pressing matters, starting with more awful news out of Detroit…
Football: The Detroit Lions are broken and nobody has any idea of how to fix them. The Lions are basically being held together with fishing wire and glue at this point, as currently they have just a ridiculous number of starters and depth guys hurt. Cliff Avril, Louis Delmas, Calvin Johnson, Mikel Lashoure, Amari Spievey, and Kyle Vanden Bosch all did not participate in the team’s most recent practice, and a host of other players had limited contact at practice. The woes for the Lions will likely continue with their top wide receiving target in Johnson not playing up to the lofty standards (Madden Curse, anyone?) and their top players in the secondary also going down, which is a huge problem as the Lions’ secondary isn’t exactly top notch. Also, let us not forget the Lions near complete lack of a run game. Add to this Matthew Stafford’s less than stellar play when compared to last year’s numbers, it isn’t hard to see why the Lions are currently sitting last in their division (though to be fair, their division is all sorts of wacky this year) at a less than stellar 3-4. Were the Lions and their fans lucky to get a good year out of their team last year, or will the team be able to make a comeback after this first half that has been disappointing when looking at their much more impressive start last year? There are a lot of people in Detroit currently throwing up their hands shouting “Same old Lions,” but the possibility exists that if they can shake off their injuries, the arm of Matthew Stafford can keep the team relevant.
Baseball: This next bit is directed toward my fellow Metro Detroiters who blindly support the Tigers, and maybe this isn’t the appropriate place for this, but it’s my column and I want to get it off my chest: If you think the Tigers had a good year, you’ve obviously not watched the regular season in baseball, and you piss me off. The Tigers started last season as the favorite to win the World Series. Yeah, they made it to the World Series, but by losing it, it makes them the first loser. The Tigers won their division by 15 games last year, which is a good number considering the atrocious division in which they play. This year, the only won it by 3 games. 3. And that is only because the Chicago White Sox LOST it. The Tigers won a few games they needed to, but make no mistake, the White Sox lost the division more than the Tigers won it. The Tigers won a measly 88 games this season. Out of 162. They have one of the highest payrolls in baseball, and out of the Top 10 highest payrolls, they are one of the few teams who don’t have a ring. To make matters worse, you bring back Leyland and his entire coaching staff, and some of you applaud this decision. This is yet another boneheaded move by Tigers management, and it will only serve to bite them in the ass. And in hopes of Victor Martinez returning to help kick the lineup in the butt, the Tigers allow Delmon Young to become a free agent, the sole spark of hitting for the Tigers all postseason, yeah, good move if V-Mart isn’t 100% after an entire year off from injury. This team has a lot to live up to next year, and I’m accepting nothing short of a World Series Championship, or I’m done with them.
Basketball: Do you remember when everyone kind of scratched their heads when the Houston Rockets submitted a ridiculous offer to Jeremy Lin? Well it was apparently the first step in creating chaos in the state of Texas in regards to basketball, as the Rockets traded for, and subsequently signed James Harden (formerly of the Okalahoma City Thunder) to a five-year deal. And what happened? Well, Harden, in his first game with his new team, only put up 37 points and 12 rebounds against the Detroit Pistons (seriously, can anything go right in Detroit for sports?!) There is currently a poll up on nba.com asking if fans like the Rockets’ chances of making the playoffs with the addition of Harden, and it’s overwhelmingly positive. I’d really keep an eye on them this season as they look to be making some waves in the West this year, after almost 20 years since their last NBA Championship.
Hockey: Let’s just go for the Grand Slam, shall we? The NHL is moving ever closer to ending the entire season, which would mean cancelling the NHL Winter Classic, which was set to take place at The Big House (Michigan Stadium) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Seriously, nothing is going right with Detroit sports lately. But since this isn’t really news by itself, I’ll add something else, but somewhat more positive about Detroit. Former Red Wing star Sergei Fedorov is now running a team in the KHL, CSKA Moscow. In a stunning move, he was able to land current Red Wing superstar Pavel Datsyuk, who now has 16 points in 13 games. He’s having a lot of fun playing in his home country, but does state that he misses Detroit, and I can speak for HockeyTown when I say, “we miss you too, Pav, hopefully you’re home soon,” and this lockout nonsense can come to an end.
I do call this the Friday Five for a reason…
MMA: Oh look, another section of MMA news! So back at the event that never was, Jon Jones was scheduled to face Dan Henderson. Hollywood had to pull out of the fight with a knee injury, and we all know what happened after that. Chael Sonnen, the greatest American to ever live, offered to step up to fight Jones, and did his typical hilarious Chael thing when Jones refused, and now we are staring down the inevitable fight as Jones and Sonnen are coaches on the Ultimate Fighter. This has been discussed before, but now there is a new dynamic. Dan Henderson, who stated his disapproval of getting pushed aside for the title shot he earned with his freaking amazing win over Shogun Rua, has been announced as an assistant coach for Team Sonnen on the upcoming season of the Ultimate Fighter. So on one side you’ve got the current champ, Jonny Jones, and on the other, the man who has shit-talked his way into a title fight, Chael Sonnen, and the original guy set to face Jones when all this went down, Danny Henderson. And Vince McMahon is trying to say that MMA isn’t in competition with the WWE because of their entertainment differences. Puh-leez. This is better storyline writing than WWE has had since before they got the F out. This is a dream tag match, and one has to wonder who Bones will get to help him in those tag matches before the big PPV showdown. Perhaps an enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend deal with Lyoto Machida, who now has to defeat Hendo to get another crack at the belt? Seriously. Better than pro-wrestling, folks!
I hate to be boring and wrap this thing up without any sort of cherries or sprinkles on top, but hopefully I can make it up to all of you next week. In fact, I promise I will make it up to all of you who read this next week. Just leave me a comment below and tell me what sort of nonsense you’d like to see pop up in the column and I will see to it that it happens. I’m a man of the people! See you next week!