Friday, September 28, 2007

Fifty Years Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

It’s amazing, when you think about it, how much the year 1957 is mentioned around these parts.
It’s as if there have been two periods in Detroit sports history - pre-1957 and post-1957.
The Lions weren’t bad before 1957. Actually, they were pretty good. They moved to Detroit in 1934 and won four National Football League championships in 24 years. A title every six years? Not bad, eh?
Of course, there were only 12 teams in the NFL back then. Unless there was a tie for the division championship, there were no playoff games - just the championship game.
I talked to my father a lot of about it. He used to go to Lions games when they played at the University of Detroit. He saw Dutch Clark play. I have older brothers who remember the 1950s and how great the Lions were, and the championships, vividly.
I have seen films of those championship games. They’re not bad. They’re actually in color. I have studied those teams. Can recite the starting lineups by heart. But even given all that, they remain a blur to me - just like most of you.
It was so long ago. Five decades. Subtract 50 years from 1957 and the automobile had essentially just been invented. Don’t know exactly why, but I keep thinking about it in those terms.
Sunday, they will honor the ‘57 NFL champion Lions at halftime of the game vs. the Bears at Ford Field. Many of the players, including defensive back Jim David just recently, have passed. It will be a relatively small group of men who have endured.
Good for them. It will be a much-needed reminder that Detroit once ruled the professional football world. That’s the happy part.
But it was also be a reminder of how long it has been since. And that’s pretty sad.

A Note:
My podcast, "Three-point Stance" is now a regular feature. You can catch my views on why the Tigers should consider trading Jeremy Bonderman at Blog Central at I update it every Monday and Friday around 11 am. If you want to comment on the podcast’s content, you might what it do it here. I still haven’t figured out how to reply to the comments on the podcast.

Random Thoughts

- I admit that when it comes to postseason baseball, I usually adopt a team that I hope wins it all. This year it’s the Phillies and for one reason: Jimmy Rollins. What a great player he has become.

- You must remember, that when it comes to picking games, I am one of the all-time worst, but...
I have a hunch Michigan State is going to upset Wisconsin Saturday, even though the game is in Madison.

- When I first started following the Lions, my favorite player was Pat Studstill. One of my first memories of the Lions was Studstill hauling in a 99-yard touchdown pass from Karl Sweetan vs. Colts. It was in Baltimore. I saw in black and white on TV. The Lions lost that game 31-10.

- I not only believe Gary Sheffield will return next season, but will have a productive year. I am not so sure about Kenny Rogers.


Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, your the only sports guy I will listen to in Detroit when I listen to 1270. I am in a little disagreement with you on this one. But trading Bonderman, you would definitely get a lot for him. I did not get a chance to listen to your podcast on Bonderman. I figure it would take Robertson to get Renteria from the Braves. Bonderman is still a young pitcher, great pitching mechanics beside the elbow thing and will eat up a lot of innings. Bonderman should have started the 03 season in AA not in the majors and where he could have got a chance to work on secondary pitches. Bonderman is very valuable middle rotation guy that can eat up a lot of innings. Bonderman because of his great mechanics could still be pitching ten years from now. Tigers need to push two pitchers next spring training Rodney and Bonderman.
Tigers need to add pitching, thinking more of a reliever(closer or set-up man), as it was pitching that took them to the World Series in 06.
Of the big names out there for free agency, who does Scott Boros have?
Thanks Pat, talk to you later.

11:12 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. I would trade Robertson to Atlanta for Renteria in a heartbeat. Atlanta wouldn't do it, though.

5:42 PM 
Anonymous Danny said...

Pat, very cool on the Podcasts! It had never occurred to me that the Tigers would even consider trading Bonderman, but if they did it might be a good thing for all. He didn't show any indication of reaching his potential here this year.

Trading him for another pitcher is a really fascinating idea. Hudson might be the consistency and stability the Tigers could use in the rotation. It would be fun to throw other names around as well! :-)


12:15 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, I remember my father driving me to Saginaw to watch the 57 NFL Championship game (blacked out in Detroit). I was 9, and remember the glory of that day. 59-14! It gave me bragging rights I still claim. They listed the roster in the paper and I recalled 27 of the 36 players I noticed many rookies on the 57 team formed the core of the great '62 team that lost out to the even greater Green Bay Packers. Who was the GM? & owner before Mr. Ford?, Dave

4:16 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, I agree, roll the dice with Bondo. I think his troubles were illustrated when he blew up in Minnesota last year. When things go against him like an umpires call or a cheap hit fall in, he seems to lose his cool which affects his concentration. Too bad a little of Todd Jones and Kenny Rogers, cool under pressure, doesn't rub off on him, David

4:30 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I like doing the podcasts. Pretty soon we'll have a video segment with myself and Jeff Kuehn and regular blogs from our beat writers. A team would want Bonderman for his youth and upside. The Tigers need somebody with consistency now. They might be able to get a more expense, older - but more consistent - pitcher in exchange for him. Like I said in the podcast, I like value-for-value trades sometimes.

7:56 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Nick Kerbaway, who started out as a pr man at MSU and with the Lions, was the GM. The team was owned by a syndicate that did include William Clay Ford. The strange part is the great players who came to the Lions in 1958. They included Alex Karras, Jim Gibbons and Wayne Walker.

8:02 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

The thing about last year is he did turn it around later in the year and did perform well in the post season. This season, Bonderman was never able to do it. And I agree, though, that Minnesota game last year represented a setback. He hasn't been nearly as consistent since.

8:04 PM 

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