These Things Take Time
Championships are earned. Success in the world of sports is not an instant thing and therefore a team should have to pay its dues before it reaches the top. Take the Detroit Pistons for example; they’re a prime case of this because they’ve done it twice. In the 1980’s on the way to becoming the Bad Boys and winning back to back championships in ’89 and ’90 the Pistons had to overcome the perennial giant that was the Boston Celtics. Sometimes heartbreak is also necessary for a team to learn, as was the case when Isaiah through the ball away to Larry Bird in the closing seconds of game 5 in 1987. But the Bad Boys eventually overtook the Celtics and the Lakers, the two best teams of the decade, and won two championships. Then they had to hold off the Bulls as they attempted to do the same.
Funny how history repeats itself. The 2000’s version of the Pistons had to slowly learn, advancing one round through the playoffs each year, and finally slaying the New Jersey Nets (their version of the 80’s Celtics) to reach the NBA Finals and beat the Lakers. Now they’re holding off the Bulls and up and coming Cavaliers for Eastern Conference supremacy.
My point is this: You can’t instantly expect your team to start winning one day. They will not magically wake up one morning and go “Eureka, NOW I’ve got it!” These things take time. You have to build a team nucleus and develop some chemistry. You have to be battle tested. Even the ’06 Tigers took it slow by developing their farm system first before making a run. So now the Detroit Lions claim they’re ready but in the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend.” They have the coaching staff in place that they trust. It’s been a long time since they could say that. They are practicing immensely hard and that’s where it starts. The fans are pumped. But this won’t be the year. But don’t be surprised if the Lions…well at least will get to .500 this year. But here’s my guarantee: The Lions are making the playoffs in 2008. You can only take your time for so long.