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Let’s Hear It for Motor City

Detroit is the very heart of American culture. From music to manufacturing to its unique way of making pizza, Detroit is a proud city. Hundreds of thousands of sports fans call Detroit home, cheering on the Lions, the Pistons, the Tigers, and the Red Wings. With four pro-teams going year-round, there’s never a dull moment when it comes to rooting for the home team.

Detroit Sports Culture 

Detroit is home to some of the oldest teams in the country; all four of their major franchises were founded before 1950. The oldest of the four is the Tigers, who joined the minor leagues in 1894, then the majors in 1901. The Red Wings have been going for hat tricks since 1926 and are one of the six original NHL teams playing their early games at the legendary Olympia Stadium. Just three years later, the Lions came to be in Portsmouth, Ohio. The team would relocate to Detroit in 1934. Last but certainly not least, the Detroit Pistons joined the National Basketball League in 1941. That league would eventually merge with the NBA in 1949.

How’s that for history?

Together, the teams have won 22 championships, with the Red Wings doing some serious heavy lifting. The team has held the Stanley Cup 11 times, making them the third most decorated squad in the NHL. Detroit powers through a pretty bitter winter out there in Michigan, so it’s no surprise that the city can cut some ice.

The Ghost Teams of Detroit’s Past 

Speaking of ice, more than a few teams have found themselves iced out of Detroit’s sports legacies.

Soccer, in particular, has failed to find its (excuse the pun) footing in Detroit. The city has been home to the Detroit Cougars of the ’60s, the Rockers of the ’90s, and the Safari of the, well, later ’90s. The teams competed in three different leagues, emblematic of some of the difficulties major league soccer has faced in gaining national attention and financial momentum. 

There was also the Detroit Drive of the Arena Football League. Despite their short lifespan, they achieved some incredible things, quickly becoming the AFL’s most successful team.

Sure, some teams have come and gone, but there’s one thing we know for sure despite losses and setbacks: No one can rally like Detroit. Check out our full collection of t-shirts for more Detroit pride.