Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 at 8:32 AM

State of the (Detroit Sports) Union Address.

Well it has been an interesting few months in the sports world of Detroit, hasn't it? We had the Lions fooling everyone at 4-2, the Tigers having hope early and now missing some free agents, the Pistons sleeping, and the Red Wings - WHO? So, let us take a brief moment and look at each one, shall we?

The Lions - typical Detroit Lion football folks, plain and simple. They looked pretty good at 4-2 early, but are 1-6 since for a grand total of 5-8. In all honestly there are bright spots, and even early on I predicted a 7-9 season. There are a lot of reasons to look to next season, I think they will make the playoffs, but in order to do that Joey has to go. The future looks bright in Kevin Jones, the offensive line is young and seems to finally be getting it, the receivers - Williams and Rogers - will be promising when they finally play a full season together and have someone throwing to them that actually knows what they are doing. The defense is fairly young and will only get better when Boss Bailey returns next year and Jason Hanson is as solid as they come. The Coach, Mooch, once he gets a damn QB people will see how good of a coach he is and that is all I have to say about that. My Lions assessment - with a new QB in the offseason, letting McMahon go and forcing Joey to be a back up where he belongs, there will be playoffs in the future.

The Tigers - there is still hope people, have no fear. Remember, Pudge came in at the last second last year, so don't be surprised if something like that happens again this year. I like Dombrowski, he is smart and knows what the hell he is doing, so he isn't going to just throw money around for the sake of signing someone. It is nice to finally have an educated baseball man in the front office, you know? All I am asking for is a starting pitcher, that is it! Second on my wish list would be another bat, but that is not the main thing they need. I think their offense is good enough to compete if they just add one more starter, the bullpen is done. My Tigers assessment - get a starting pitcher first, concentrate there, and worry about another big bat later. Do that and the Tigers will flirt with the division lead / wild card next year, I guarantee it!

The Pistons - well, we stand at 10-10, what can you say? If you ask me, there is no reason to panic, that is the truth. I think there is the brawl that still bothers them a little, there is the fact that they really haven't had a full, consistent team yet. Whether it be a suspension, an injury, whatever - their roster really has not been at full strength yet this year night in and night out. Lastly, I think there is the "post championship hangover", meaning that these guys just didn't expect every team to come at them like this, night in and night out. They really are just being blind sided from being last years "Cinderella" to this years team with the bullseye on their back. I still think they will win 50 to 60 games, I still think they will win the division ( Cleveland will collapse, mark my words! ) and I still think they will make it to the Finals. My Pistons assessment - they are on the brink of a big winning streak, similar to last years 13 in a row. It will happen soon, and then all this silliness will be put aside and all will again be well in Piston town.

The Red Wings - WHO!?!? That is all I have to say about them. Does anyone actually miss hockey? 8 out of 10 people will tell you no, I promise you that! Now, take away any of the other major sports for this long - baseball, basketball or football ( especially football ) - and you would have riots and mass chaos! That is the problem with hockey, no one gives a shit. The bottom line is the players need to stop being so damn greedy and give in to the salary cap. Without that cap there is no hockey, and that is as about as honest as I can be. My Red Wings assessment - the only reason I miss hockey is because it gave me something to put on the TV at night to help me fall asleep. It has got to be, by far, the most boring thing in the world to watch, plain and simple. I don't miss it and I look forward to the replacement players next year because the owners are right and the players are bitches - done!

Well, that is all for now, later still the Rose Bowl talk and whatever else comes to mind. Until then keep smiling, it is the holiday season after all! The Sports Dude!

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