Detroit is a hockey, baseball, basketball town
These submissions came before the Red Wings won their 11th Stanley Cup.
When it looked like the city was reaching its nadir, so many people older than me reached back to the memory of the '68 Tigers. A year after the race riots left the city in flames, one successful baseball team brought the city together like the National Guard troops who occupied it the summer before could never have dreamed.
And I heard those stories over and over: Detroiters of all descriptions embracing after Willie Horton went deep or after a Mickey Lolich strikeout.
The '84 Tigers brought us together, and almost more so, our reaction to the violent imagery of our celebration. The box score that night (and I was there on the streets): Spontaneous Embraces with Strangers and Screams of Joy 700,999, Moron with Burning Cop Car 1.
In 2004, during the NBA championship before Game 5, the announcers for ABC couldn't even speak to each other because of the loud roars. The Palace of Auburn Hills is one of the toughest places to play in the NBA because the fans make it that way by buying every ticket available, causing record consecutive sellouts and screaming at the top of their lungs for 48 minutes every night.
More Detroit supporters
Papdaddy_44: We can't forget that the Red Wings are one of the Original Six.
annaleighclark: Last fall, we saw M.L. King High School become the first Detroit public school to win a state football title.
BOcephus89: The Lions, well, they had Barry Sanders.
09longk: Before the Super Bowl, the Detroit Lions won four NFL Championships.
The NBA Finals of 2004 was Detroit at its greatest. You couldn't even get within 5 miles of the Palace of Auburn Hills. It was like every person in the stands were a part of the Pistons themselves as they watched our team demolish the Lakers in Game 3.
In 2005 during the NBA Finals, the Detroit Pistons played the greatest sports series I have ever seen in my life. Even though the Pistons lost the series, the NBA Finals came down to the last five minutes of the fourth quarter in Game 7. Even though the series was a disaster in ratings across the U.S., the fans of Detroit were glued to their TV screens for the whole two-week period of the series.
The Pistons in the '80s were championship-hungry and threw down with the best teams in the NBA and never backed down. The greatness of Detroit started to shine in the 1985 playoffs against the Boston Celtics, who were their fierce rivals, then again in 1988 against the L.A. Lakers.
Even the Detroit Shock, our WNBA team, dominates. They have two titles in the past five seasons and lost last year in the WNBA Finals.
But the one thing that makes Detroit TitleTown is the dominance of Detroit during the 1930s. Newspapers across the country called Detroit the "City of Champions." The run in the 1930s resulted in one World Series win, two Stanley Cups and two World Series. Joe Louis, who was from Detroit, won the heavyweight title in 1935.
Pistons: three championships (1989, 1990, 2004) and seven conference titles (1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005)
Shock: two championships (2003, 2006) and three conference titles (2003, 2006, 2007)
Tigers: four World Series wins (1984, 1968, 1945, 1935) and 10 AL pennants (2006, 1984, 1968, 1945, 1940, 1935, 1934, 1909, 1908, 1907)
Red Wings: 10 Stanley Cups (1935-36, 1936-37, 1942-43, 1949-50, 1951-52, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02) and four conference titles (1994-95, 1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02)
Metro Detroit boasts some of the strongest high school athletes in the nation, such as Chris Douglas-Roberts in basketball, Kate Markgraf (formerly Sobrero) in women's soccer, Jerome Bettis in football and Mike Modano in hockey. A preps hotbed is an understatement.
Detroit is a city torn apart by race, class struggles, and poverty. It is also run by a corrupt public official who possibly lied under oath to then entire city. Since the terrible riots in the middle-to-late 1960s, Detroit has seen some of the best sports teams to ever rise into the national spotlight.
The 1968 and 1984 world-champion Tigers baseball clubs come to mind first. The '84 squad, who started 35-5 could arguably be the most underrated baseball team ever assembled, with Jack Morris, Dan Petry and Aurelio Lopez on the hill, and legends such as the beloved mittens Kirk Gibson, Sweet Lou Whitaker and Lance Parrish touching them all, all season long.
A few years later, basketball took center stage as the 1989 and 1990 Pistons defeated Michigan's own Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the high-and-mighty L.A. Lakers.
With Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and the rest of the Bad Boys, Detroit entered one of the most dominating sports eras of all time, rivaling that of the mid-century Yankees and Celtics.
The Detroit Red Wings started a dynasty in the 1991-92 season and haven't looked back since, finishing either first or second in the Central Division and making the playoffs in every subsequent season.
The Pistons, led by the Wallaces, Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince, won the NBA title in 2004.
The Lions, although in the midst of a Cubs-like curse, have just as strong a fan base as they ever have, selling out nearly every game. Ashamed the die-hards may be, united they stand.
All of these accomplishments are all in the past 50 years. Previously the Ty Cobb Tigers, Bobby Layne Lions and Gordie Howe Red Wings all saw not only championship seasons but also domination in their respective leagues.
As the new century rolls on, Detroit has seen the Ryder Cup, Stanley Cup playoffs, NBA Finals, Super Bowl, MLB All-Star Game and World Series come to town.
The real reason Detroit is TitleTown USA, however, is because sports are the central establishment citizens can turn to. Consistently being named one of the nation's worst cities, the public has become much more than fans. They have become passionate. In attendance at a Detroit sporting event, you're either the good guy or the bad guy. Either for us or against us. There is no black. There is no white. There is no Arab, Asian, Indian, Australian, Martian. There is no religion. There is no lower class, middle class, upper class. There is no violence. There is no corrupt mayor. There is no drugs. There is no terrorism. There is a people united by an emotion, win or lose. There are fans that celebrate the good times and bite the bullet through the bad times. There are Detroiters. And that's all there is.
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South Bend has golden dreams
List of TitleTown USA nominees