Edson: The Frustrating Life of a Detroit Sports Fan

This is a multiple choice quiz.

It isn’t easy being:

  1.    A) Green.
  2.    B) A fan of Detroit sports teams.
  3.    C) A parent of a spring sports athlete (“Brrrr.”)
  4.    D) None of the above.

The answer? Either A, B or C… but especially B, a fan of Detroit sports teams.

This past weekend was a perfect example why. After watching the Detroit Lions pick highly-regarded tight end T.J. Hockenson on Thursday, I started to settle in for the draft on Friday.

When it came to the Lions turn to draft, I looked at all the solid players still left on the board.

“The Detroit Lions select linebacker Jahlani Tavai from Hawaii,” came the announcement from the podium.

ESPN and NFL Network either continued talking about a previous draft choice or cut to commercial. They were as stunned as the rest of us.

Maybe it’s because I’ve followed Lions drafts since the 1960s when GM Russ Thomas would regularly draft unknown players, or maybe it’s because I’m tired of hearing the Lions brass proclaim how smart they are… I suddenly switched off the TV on Friday night.

I have to admit that I am totally frustrated as a Detroit sports fan right now.

The rest of the Lions draft had a few pleasant surprises, but overall it was a dud.

So I figured I’d get my mind off baseball this weekend and watch the Tigers. They had an 8-1 lead when I turned in. What could go wrong?

As it turns out, plenty. They ended up losing the game when a couple of pitchers who should be in the minor leagues got ambushed by the Chicago White Sox hitters.

After they were snowed out on Saturday, the Tigers struck out 20 times Sunday, tying a Major League record, in a 4-1 loss.

And this weekend comes on the heels of an already forgettable April in the “D.”

That is, the Red Wings missed the playoffs for the third straight years and the Pistons were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks. None of the four games were even close.

So now me – a Pollyanna if ever there was one – is looking for a ray of hope in any of our Detroit sports teams.

Maybe, my wife reminded me, I shouldn’t be looking for any hope in Detroit. Maybe I should re-focus on Traverse City and look forward to the new baseball team in town – the Pit Spitters – and their first season.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

No more spoiled weekends because of lousy drafts and horrible hitting.

I hope they sell a patch – like a patch people wear when they are trying to quit smoking – for Detroit sports fans. I think we may need to wean ourselves out of the Motor City.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.