Late on Wednesday night, the Houston Astros won the World Series. While the Tigers were far from contention this year, most Detroiters were pulling for the Astros in the hopes that Justin Verlander—long-time Tigers pitcher—would finally get the championship his play warranted.
Verlander raising the Commissioner’s Trophy over his head was a win by proxy for the Tigers and their fans:
For someone who has earned several honors over his career, we know this one is special. Congrats @JustinVerlander.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) November 2, 2017
WE LOVE YOU TOO JV! CONGRATULATIONS! https://t.co/RtpM8JKbH1— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) November 2, 2017
The Detroit Lions have had their share of extremely talented players that weren’t as lucky as Verlander. So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which former Lions player, past or present, would you have liked to see raise the Lombardi trophy?
My answer: Barry Sanders is the easy and obvious answer. The Hall of Fame running back endured over a decade of frustration and mistreatment and, until the end, he remained quiet and hard at work. I would have never wanted the Lions to trade him and it probably would have stung a bit to see him win somewhere else, but in the end, I would have rather him retired a champion than the ugly way things ended in Detroit.
And despite the recent ugliness, I wish Calvin Johnson had a ring. He lived through 0-16. He played through weeks and weeks of mangled fingers and ankle injuries so severe he couldn’t walk at times. The Lions couldn’t even get him a playoff win. He was a generational talent and he served his time in Detroit. I know he has millions of dollars to help him sleep at night, but there’s a huge difference between financial success and the fulfillment of a championship.