Joe Louis, here with his trainer, was unbeatable in the ring during 1935-36, which is the city's most glorious chapter in sports history. (Detroit News Photo Archive)
Remember this week.
This is a week that could make Detroit the City of Champions again.
The Lions are roaring in training camp and looking to rebound from a 4-12 debacle.
The Pistons got better by acquiring Brandon Jennings.
The Tigers may lose Jhonny Peralta to suspension, but upgraded their roster with a couple of snazzy trades.
The Red Wings are the Red Wings, a perennial playoff contender.
Take all that into account, and all four teams could be in the postseason in the same season.
It could be the best run in Detroit since a 12-month span in 1935-36, when the Tigers, Red Wings and Lions all won titles, and there was a young boxer named Joe Louis who had become the unofficial people’s champion. He beat 14 fighters in 12 months.
Back in 1935 ...
In 1935, Detroit was rocked by the Great Depression. People were out of work. People begged for food on the streets. And the auto industry was in decline.
Fast forward 78 years, and the same things are happening, although not to the extent of the Great Depression.
Back then, sports saved Detroit. And it could happen again.
■ While the Tigers are facing the harsh reality they could be without Peralta for 50 games for his involvement with the Biogenesis drig investigation, general manager Dave Dombrowski pulled off a three-team trade that brought shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox. And this was a day after Dombrowski added reliever Jose Veras from the Astros.
■ The same day Dombrowski was working his magic, Pistons president Joe Dumars sealed up a sign-and-trade for Bucks guard Brandon Jennings. Dumars gave up Brandon Knight and bench players Khris Middleton and Viacheslav Kravtsov. It was a steal for Dumars.
■ The Lions are making news by, well, not making news. When was the last arrest? When was the last time coach Jim Schwartz stood at the podium and said he won’t tolerate any more silly behavior? The talk this year has been of the “team.” “This team is a playoff team, no question about it,” linebacker Stephen Tulloch said.
■ The Red Wings powered up for another Stanley Cup run after falling short last season (lost in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals to the eventual champion Blackhawks). General manager Ken Holland filled a need for a second-line center, signing Stephen Weiss. And even more impressive, snagged longtime Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.
Cheer for colleges
While the pro teams dominate the landscape, let’s not forget Michigan and Michigan State.
The Wolverines football program returned to the national spotlight last season and is poised for a similar run. And the basketball team reached the NCAA final and have reloaded for another shot.
The Spartans, meanwhile, are looking to rebound from a disappointing football season — and likely will — and the basketball team is like the Red Wings: a perennial contender.
This is a great time for Detroit sports.
And the off-field stories this week prove it.