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Which Season Was More Painful in Detroit?

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At Ball Star, our buddy Sam Mellinger asks his Kansas City readership a question that could also be posed to Detroit sports fans:

So what we'd like to do here in this little corner of the internets is ask you a simple question: is it worse to watch and root for a miserable football team or a miserable baseball team?

I realize that just because you're a Tigers fan doesn't mean you support all Detroit sports teams. After baseball season ended, many in the BYB community scattered to follow other football teams besides the Lions, and thus didn't endure 0-16. But you suffered through 74-88. (Unless you checked out around, say, August. Or even before then.)

But I'm curious how you'd answer Sam's question. I'd say it was worse - much worse - to watch the Tigers this year. That was an day-by-day slog through losing, carried throughout a long, hot summer. Of course, I was admittedly obliged to follow the team every day as a consequence of authoring this blog. If I was "just a fan," maybe I would've checked out, too.

And that's not even factoring in the expectations that the Tigers carried into the 2008 season. The losing was so much more painful, the disappointment that much more acute because of the championship hopes and aspirations.

Yet the Tigers also managed to pull us back in throughout the season, tantalizing us with the possibility that they might actually get it together and make the competitive run we expected.

Compare that to the Lions, for whom nothing was expected this year. Especially after that Week 1 stomping by an Atlanta Falcons team that was (mistakenly, as it turned out) thought to be equally inferior, if not worse. It was easy to write them off. The Lions only played once a week. Go do yard work instead. Go to a movie. Read a book. Hell, watch a different football game with more competent teams.

To me, it's a comparison between taking a slow roll down a mountainside covered in broken glass and getting blown up by dynamite. Either way, you're screwed but one is probably going to be much more torturous and painful than the other.

Nice thought to go into the New Year with, eh?