Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Saturday, December 31, 2005

On a good note

Okay, I'd like to be positive for the last day of 2005. I feel like I've been something of a Negative Norm lately, getting down on the Lions and Tigers, Michigan football, and even Monday Night Football. So on New Year's Eve, let's talk about one of the good things in sports, especially in this area: the Detroit Pistons.

Unfortunately, while writing this, the Pistons lost to the Cleveland LeBrons, 97-84. But I'm staying positive here. In the past week, they've beaten San Antonio and Miami, arguably their two biggest competitors for the NBA championship. They're entitled to a lose a game. But a loss hardly takes away from how impressively this team has started the 2005-06 season. Right now, the Pistons' record is 24-4.

Detroit has many more games to go before they can match the 95-96 Chicago Bulls, who began their season with a 41-3 record. But many fans are thinking (expecting?) that the Pistons could win 70 games, just like those Bulls did. That'd be nice, especially since the Pistons' previous championship teams never seem to get mentioned in the same sentence with the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, and even the Rockets. But I'd like to keep this within the context of Detroit sports history for now.

Earlier this week, in response to Greg Eno's post about how Chuck Daly would've handled a potential 70-win team, I asked if it was time for the Pistons' streak to join the Tigers' 35-5 beginning to the 1984 season on the hallowed mantle reserved for Detroit's sports legends.

Bear with me here, because my math skills are strongly suited for blogging. After playing roughly 25% of the regular season schedule, the Tigers won 88% of their games. The Pistons have played almost 35% of their schedule, and have won 86% of those games. What does that mean? Honestly, I have no idea. But it sounded like I was onto something there, didn't it?

The Tigers went on to win 69 more games (a .750 winning percentage) on the way to a World Series championship. The Pistons have 53 more games and the postseason remaining. Maybe comparing baseball to football is like comparing pizza to Chinese food. They could both be placed in the same category (sports, food), but they're ultimately different. A Major League Baseball team plays virtually every night. An NBA team plays approximately 3-4 times a week. MLB, 162 games. NBA, 82 games. Who's to say which is more grueling or more demanding? We could empty many, many pitchers arguing that point.

Let's end by acknowledging the greatness that we've been able to witness, and appreciating the fine play and memorable moments these teams have given us. I raise my glass of champagne (I'm just, uh, testing it out for tonight) to these Pistons, the best thing going in the past year of Detroit sports. May it continue into 2006.

Happy New Year, everyone. Take care of yourselves, and thank you so much for reading.



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