As a fan in the Detroit area we are lucky to have two of the most successful franchises in recent memory in both the NBA and NHL. Growing up and spending most of my life in the MIchigan area I've always been a Red Wings and Pistons fan. Recently it seems that people in the area get down on these two teams because they don't win championships every season. I just want to take a step back and appreciate the great ride these two teams have taken us on the past decade. Most cities would love to have one team that consistantly wins, we have two and with the offseason moves of the Tigers, possible a third. Since we are nearing the beginning of the playoffs in both sports I just want to step back and reminisce about a few of my favorite recent Detroit sports moments from these great franchises.
Steve Yzerman's Game 7 2OT Goal:
I don't know any Wings fan that wasn't on the edge of their seat for this one. We had posted the best record in the league and now were facing a game 7 in the second round. I had a big group of friends together and it was silent for most of the overtime. When Stevie Y scored the whole house erupted. I still remember the shot and hearing the puck hitting the metal bar in the back of the net. Then Yzerman jumping up and down as he skated. What a goal!!!
Darren McCarty's Game 4 Goal against the Flyers:
This goal was great because of who scored it. McCarty had always been a grinder and a tough guy. When he made those moves around the two Flyers and goalie he looked like a 50-goal scorer. That goal pretty much clinched the Cup for the Wings and ended 42 years of waiting.
Game 3: Stars vs. Wings 1998
This is one of the rare tear jerker moments in sports. This was the first time Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Mnatsakanov returned to the Joe since their accident. When they showed those two I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. Moments like that put sports in perspective and show just how fragile life can be. Here was a top athlete in his prime now confined to a wheel chair.
Pistons return to Red, White, and Blue
As a Pistons fan and now season ticket holder, there was nothing more embarrassing than the teal unis and the teal court. The "Bad Boys" had been successful in the Red, White, and Blue and now that they were gone and the team struggling they changed colors to probably help jersey sales. It didn't even seem like the Pistons at that point. When Joe D. brought back the old colors with an updated look it was like the franchise was reborn again. Thanks again Joe Dumars for ending the "teal era"
Game 6: Pistons vs. Pacers
2004 was the first year I had season tickets for the Pistons. I know everyone remembers "the Block" that Tayshaun had on Reggie Miller in game two but being at game 6 of that series was awesome. To this day it is still the loudest I ever heard the palace, even louder than in the next series when we would win the title against the Lakers. The Pistons trailed the entire game until about 3 minutes to go. Rip and Rasheed and worked them into a 4 point lead and then with about 20 seconds to go, Tayshaun hit a baseline jumper and the place exploded. The Piston had finally gotten back to the Finals. I would love to see them put a box set of the 2004 Pistons title run together. A lot of people didn't like the low scoring easter conference finals that year but those two teams played one of the toughest 6 games series I've witnessed as a fan.
Well, those are some of my favorite Wings and Pistons moments. I would love to hear other people's favorites. There are far too many to name at one time. Also I just want to say thanks again to the Red Wings and Pistons. Good luck come playoff time, the city of Detroit is ready for another exciting playoff season.