Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings or Pistons? Predicting who wins title first

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Jan. 12, 2019 marked 1,000 days since a Detroit pro sports team won a playoff game, the worst such stretch of futility since 1978-84.
Detroit Free Press

It has been well documented that the Detroit sports scene is experiencing a down turn. It has been more than 1,000 days since the last postseason win by the Detroit Lions, Pistons, Red Wings or Tigers.

And based on those four teams’ and their varying degrees of rebuilding, playoff success around these parts seem far off.

But how far? We asked our writers to rank each team’s chances of winning their respective league’s title next.

Dave Birkett

1. Tigers

2. Red Wings

3. Lions

4. Pistons

None of these teams seems particularly close to winning anything, let alone a championship, but the path to the World Series – through a complete tear-down, strong drafting and some timely free-agent signings – seems to offer more hope for the Tigers than any of the tracks the other teams are on.

More: Tigers may look great in spring training. But they’ll lose in 2019

Vince Ellis

1. Red Wings

2. Tigers

3. Lions

4. Pistons

Not a fan of these exercises because they give in to the notion the only reason to consume sports is the pursuit of titles, but unpredictability of NHL and MLB postseasons makes this an easy call.

More: Lions feel far as ever from winning Super Bowl

Anthony Fenech

T-1. Lions

T-1. Pistons

T-1. Red Wings

T-1. Tigers

This was an incredibly tough and depressing exercise and whoever thought of it should feel bad. All four teams are tied for last.

More: Tigers aren’t thinking rebuild, they’re thinking World Series

Carlos Monarrez

1. Red Wings: Recent championship pedigree, coupled with a rebuild that’s already happening, plus the possible return of Steve Yzerman means the Stanley Cup could be back home to Hockeytown within five years.

2. Pistons: Dwane Casey is a good coach, Blake Griffin is a great player and if he gets a decent supporting cast it wouldn’t be crazy to see the Pistons taking out the Lakers and an aging LeBron James in the Finals.

3. Tigers: Al Avila promises a really slow rebuild and without Mike Ilitch’s passion and open wallet it’s hard to know what kind of team the Tigers are going to be over the next decade.

4. Lions: I guarantee the current regime will not be the one leading the Lions to a Super Bowl title, which means that task will fall to a future head coach like Kellen Moore or, more likely, Sean McVay’s unborn son.

Jeff Seidel

1. Red Wings: If these prospects develop and contribute, if they can get to the playoffs, any team can get hot and win the Stanley Cup.

2. Tigers: The Tigers won’t have a chance to be competitive for four or five years.

3. Lions: Until Matt Patricia shows he can take this team forward, I won’t believe it.

4. Pistons: They are stuck in worst situation possible for any professional team – stuck in the middle.

More from Seidel: It’s now-or-never for Bob Quinn to turn around Lions

Helene St. James

1. Red Wings: Dylan Larkin headlines a solid rebuilding core which will add another high-end draft pick this summer.

2. Lions: Add a good draft pick to elite QB Matthew Stafford and who knows what could happen? Lions’ odds have to come in one of these years.

3. Pistons: Blake Griffin needs a better cast around him.

4. Tigers: I hear so much about how they will struggle this season, seems like a long and painful road ahead.

More: Inside the rebuild: A check on Red Wings top-5 prospects

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