Sunday, November 20, 2005

No Joy In Motown -- Our Mighty Teams Have Struck Out (Go Lions!)

Let’s see....another Saturday filled with sports, and with choices.

U-M playing Ohio State. Must see TV. Michigan State playing Penn State later on. Could have bowl implications -- for Blue and for Sparty. Red Wings on the tube in the evening, ready to sing the Blues to St. Louis. Pistons on even later, 8-0 and looking invincible.

But this was Black Saturday. Blame it on the curse of The Brawl, which was one year ago Saturday. U-M loses, blowing a fourth quarter lead. MSU clocked, never really in the game. Red Wings get caught with their pants down, losing to an inferior Blues team. Pistons torched in Dallas by a bunch of Mavericks.

It’s not often all four of our major teams are playing on the same day, and even less so when they all get sent to the woodshed. But it happened yesterday, and that means we are only left with the Lions to be the salve for our wounds. May as well pour salt into them.

As for U-M, they blew it, plain and simple, fair and square, and they will have to gnash their teeth over it for 365 days. The seniors bow out with a three-game losing streak to the Buckeyes, which they can’t do anything about in 2006. Coach Lloyd Carr didn’t silence any critics, and in fact may have gained a few. How could they do that, you wonder, against Ohio State, and at home? But it happened.

MSU fought the good fight, but their season has been careening out of control for weeks. It’d be interesting to find out what really happened in East Lansing after the 4-0 start, if someone in the know would ever reveal it. But I smell a rat, and you wonder how much more time coach John L. Smith has, now that the "L" in his name stands for second half loser. The Spartans have collapsed like houses of cards in the last three seasons after mid-October, and something has to be done to get rid of this nasty taste that sits in their mouths from November to August.

The Red Wings figured, as did everyone in the free world who give’s a rat’s you-know-what about hockey, that the game with the woeful Blues was a "gimme." The boys from St. Louie were suppsed to be just what the doctor ordered after a three-game losing streak. Wrong. The Blues scored twice in the third period, and it was "Katie bar the door," as Mickey Redmond would say.

The Pistons? Well, maybe their hot start caught up to them, along with playing a decent team in the Mavs, and on the road on the second of back-to-back games in Texas. They had to lose sometime, I suppose. May as well get your butts kicked good and thorough in the process.

Speaking of Dallas, that’s exactly where the Lions find themselves, looking to salvage something from the weekend for the Detroit/Michigan sports fan. Any holding of breath is done at your own risk.

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