Festivus, the holiday created in Seinfeld as an alternative to Christmas, is today. One of the main parts of celebrating Festivus is the "Airing of Grievances," which kicks off the holiday. You're supposed to tell everybody gathered around the table how they've disappointed you in the past year, so I figured I would invite some Detroit sports-related people/things to our virtual table and let them have it.
Jim Joyce - While I applaud Jim Joyce for the way he handled his massive screw-up that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game, the fact remains that his bad call cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game. I respect his actions after the game, but man, that was not the time to blow a call at first base.
Gene Steratore - In Week 1 of the NFL season, despite having their backup in the game, the Lions appeared to score a last-minute touchdown that likely would have given them a win over the now-NFC North champion Chicago Bears. The pass to Calvin Johnson was ruled incomplete by Gene Steratore and his crew, however, costing the Lions a victory. One can only speculate how different the season would have turned out had the call been different, but it really killed the Lions' shot of having any early momentum this season. Steratore can take a seat next to Joyce at the bad calls table.
Matt Millen - Matt Millen has a seat reserved at the table every year for what he did to the Lions. This year, though, there are two specific things that would have given him a seat anyway: 1) Him announcing the Michigan-Michigan State game, forcing the state of Michigan as a whole to listen to him for the biggest local game of the college football season; and 2) him verbally fellating Rod Marinelli on NFL Network during a Bears game. Millen described Marinelli, the man who coached the Lions to a 0-16 season, as one of the best coaches he has ever been around. For that and his inability to just leave the state of Michigan alone, he deserves a seat at the table during the airing of grievances.
Lions quarterback-hating god - Over on mgoblog, there is a running joke about the existence of a Michigan defensive back-hating god since so many Wolverine DBs went down with injuries or transferred this year. For the Lions, I'm thinking there has to be a quarterback-hating god out there. Matthew Stafford has injured his right shoulder twice this season after injuring his left shoulder and knee a year ago. Shaun Hill has broken his arm and a finger on his throwing hand. And finally, Drew Stanton injured his left shoulder this past Sunday against the Buccaneers. I'm not sure if it's bad luck or what, but it sure seems like a Lions quarterback-hating god exists.
BCS - If a team finishes the season with one loss and wins its conference, you would think it would have a chance to compete for a national championship in the postseason. That is not the case in college football, however, thanks to the awful system that is the BCS. Not only does the BCS continue to suck every year for not being a playoff, but this year it shut the 11-1 Michigan State Spartans out all together for having a rule allowing a maximum of only two teams per conference. Despite the fact that MSU beat Wisconsin, which is going to play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, and didn't lose to Ohio State, which is in the Sugar Bowl, the Spartans are headed to Orlando to play in the Capital One Bowl for the second time in three years.
Greg Robinson - Greg Robinson doesn't deserve all of the blame for Michigan's absolutely terrible defense considering Rich Rodriguez is the one who likes the 3-3-5 and Tony Gibson may be the most incompetent defensive backs coach in the country, but this landed him on the list for obvious reasons:
Jim Delany - I commend the Big Ten's commissioner for adding Nebraska to the conference and bolstering future revenue opportunities, but what the hell was he thinking when he approved the new logo and division names? Leaders & Legends is just about the dumbest thing out there for a conference's divisions, and the new logo isn't much better. I do like that these division names aren't set in stone because they are so bad, but then again, they never should have been approved in the first place.
Rich Rodriguez - It may surprise you, but Rich Rodriguez isn't on this list for making a 7-5 record a good season at Michigan. As odd as that may seem, he is on here for making Michigan an embarrassment off the field. Now, he's not getting DUIs or anything like that and he obviously means well, but c'mon man, you don't need to blast Josh Groban at your football banquet. Some things in life are better kept to yourself, especially when your actions can cause the entire next day to be spent mocking you and your football program.
Pistons - Just a few years ago the Pistons were competing for championships. Now they're a team nine games under .500 that is filled with players that are becoming more and more unlikeable by the day. Coach John Kuester doesn't seem to even have control over his team on many nights, and his players can be very annoying at times. To say the least, the drama surrounding this team is beyond unnecessary considering how bad their record is, and the only direction they're going in as a franchise is south. The on-court product is bad, and the sale to Mike Ilitch hit a major stumbling block because the Pistons inflated their revenue numbers. As a franchise, I've got a lot of problems with the Pistons right now.