To sum up the year in sports, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator John U. Bacon said this: “If you like mediocrity, I mean really like it, Motown is the place for you.”
He sat down with Stateside host Cynthia Canty to explain.
Listen to Bacon’s full year in review above, or read highlights below.
The Red Wings in 2017
CYNTHIA CANTY: "Performance-wise, how would you characterize this year for [the Red Wings]?"
JOHN U. BACON: “Mediocre, as kind of expected."
“They have no identity, no style that I can see. This was my complaint last year, of course, and it’s not gotten better.
“And they are staying away in droves, as the phrase goes. So despite the new fancy stadium – the new arena – they are not filling that place or anywhere near it.”
The Tigers in 2017
CANTY: “When we think of the Tigers, so many marquee names have been traded away -- is all of that going to pay off, do you think, in rebuilding for the future?”
BACON: “Nope. I don’t think [Al] Avila knows what he’s doing. He’s the general manager, and I am not impressed by his moves so far.
“They’ve not done a good job on almost any front that I can see, and I think Tiger fans are headed for three or four years of mediocrity.”
The Lions in 2017
BACON: “Still more mediocrity. If you like mediocrity, I mean really like it, Motown is the place for you.”
CANTY: “Why? What’s not working for them?”
BACON: “[Jim] Caldwell – the coach. He’s a mediocre coach.
“I said it before, I’ll say it again -- Caldwell’s a mediocre coach. He’s a deer in the headlights. He’s not calling any plays. I don’t know what he does on the sidelines, and they are a mediocre team.
“Now, they’re also missing a few players. They’re 8-6 right now. They’ve got to win the last two games. They could still make the playoffs, it’s possible – about 25% chance or so.
“But, it’s an average team.”
The one team diverging from mediocrity – the Pistons in 2017
CANTY: "How do you feel [the Pistons] fared in 2017?"
BACON: “Incredibly, of all the teams… I’d have ranked these guys pretty low on the list, and Stan Van Gundy – one heck of a coach... they’re above average.
“They’ve got… a real shot at a playoff spot. They are playing tough, intelligent, defensive basketball.
“This is the one team out of the four that’s got an identity. And you don’t want to play them. They’re not immensely talented, but they’re tough.”
Listen to the full conversation above. You’ll hear Bacon’s take on some college sports this year (including the news out of MSU, and how it compares with Penn State and Jerry Sandusky), Mike Ilitch’s legacy, and some new Hall of Famers from Detroit.