What’s Worse than a Pandemic? A Pandemic while Being a Fan of Detroit Sports Teams!

Thanks to Covid, 2020 will go down in history as one of the worst years in a century. For Detroit Sports’ fans, that would be true even without the pandemic. Look at these sad facts:

The Red Wings had their third worst record in their history. Their HISTORY!!! This past season they were the worst team in the National Hockey League by far. I need a bumper sticker that says, “Go Red Wings… and take the Pistons with you!”

The Pistons were so bad that the new General Manager got rid of all but four players from last year’s team. Only Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Sekou Doumbouya and Svi Mykhailiuk are holdovers from last year. The GM probably would have gotten rid Blake Griffin if not for his ginormous salary and probably would have traded Sekou Doumbouya and Svi Mykhailiuk if anyone could have pronounced their names.

The Tigers had the third worst record in the Major League Baseball. Their pitching was atrocious. I expected a call from Al Avila (the Tigers’ General Manager) asking me to suit up and join the team. I’m 57, haven’t pitched since little league and still have a better arm than some Tigers.

The Lions? The Lions always stink. They have won exactly one playoff football game in my lifetime. One! Did I mention that I’m 57? They haven’t won a championship since the Eisenhower administration. Now they have fired their coach and general manager. Next year begins yet another “rebuilding year.”

I can’t discuss the Michigan Wolverines without sobbing uncontrollably. This week Kirk Herbstreit, a former Buckeye quarterback and ESPN sports announcer, suggested that the Michigan Wolverines will fake having a Covid outbreak to not play Ohio State. The “fake sick trick” got me out of a 10th grade chemistry exam, but is Coach Harbaugh using it for the Michigan vs Ohio State game? That loud noise you just heard was Bo Schembechler rolling over in his grave. Aaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

2020 has been bad for all of us, but for the Detroit sports’ fan, our favorite teams have made this bad year even worse.

Why tell you my woes? Listen, I’m as big of a sports fan as they come. Glance in my office. I have an Al Kaline signed jersey and all sorts of sports memorabilia. If Karla would have allowed it, our boys would be named “Isaiah” and “Thomas” after the Pistons’ Hall of Famer. I proudly wear my teams’ gear—even when they stink. Once when living in Kansas City, I was wearing a Lions t-shirt at the supermarket and the snot-nosed sophomore bagging my groceries said, “You’re probably the only guy in Kansas City wearing that t-shirt.”  I said, “Listen, kid, I’d be the only one wearing a Lions t-shirt in Detroit too.” I’m a die-hard!

But sports are sports. They are just games. It gives us something to talk about other than politics and the weather around the water cooler. There’s always next year. New players. More games. Life is much more important than sports. Paul (using a sports analogy) sums up my point. He wrote:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Let’s keep life in perspective. In a rough, pandemic filled year—keep striving after Jesus. Determine that 2021, in all the ways in which you can help it, will be better. Don’t sweat the crowns of this earth that don’t last, compete to get the prize that will last forever. How do we do that? Love God. Love People! If you consistently are loving God and people, it won’t help your favorite teams to win any more games, but you’ll be the winner.

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