Detroit had the losingest year in the history of American sports in 2019

January 09, 2020
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions

Rey Del Rio

Blindfold yourself. Spin around three times. Point to a random spot on a map of America's saddest sports towns. Buffalo. Cleveland. Minneapolis. Flushing, Queens. All worthy contenders, if that's where your finger lands. But none—not even the heartbreaking hamlet of Cincinnati—can compete with the grandaddy, the godfather, the big kahuna of hopelessness that is Detroit, Michigan. For decades, the Lions have reigned as America's most inept sports franchise, standing as just one of four NFL franchises to never make the Super Bowl. The Tigers, short of a mid-aughts blip, haven't been much better. Historically, the Pistons and Red Wings have done just enough to make getting out of bed each day tolerable for Detroit sports heads, but in 2019, with both franchises in free fall, things took a turn for unprecedented levels of worse.

How bad, you ask? Try the worst year in the history of professional American sports. Period.

226 losses in 365 days. That's an average of about .62 losses per day for the poor put-upons of Motor City. It's not only the worst 12-month sports stretch in the city's history—bad enough on its own, given the reputation—but also America's. How did they get there? Well, just take a look at the numbers (if you have the stomach for it, that is.)

Detroit Red Wings: 32-40

Detroit Tigers: 47-114

Detroit Pistons: 41-41

Detroit Lions: 3-12-1

In the immortal words of Kevin McCallister: Buzz, your girlfriend, woof.

The good news is that once you hit rock bottom, there's no way to go but up, and this sure as hell feels like rock bottom. Recent happenings have done little inspire confidence, however. Blake Griffin is out indefinitely following knee surgery, Matt Patricia will back in 2020, the Red Wings sit dead last in the Atlantic behind even the Senators, and the Tigers are still paying karmic dues for Ty Cobb. In other words, 227 seems like an achievable goal this year. After all, if you set your mind to it, anything is possible.