Detroit Red Wings: Could the Rise of the Lions Mean the Fall of the Red Wings?

Jordan MatthewsAnalyst IIIAugust 15, 2011

For the better part of the last 20 years, the Detroit Red Wings have dominated the audience throughout Michigan. You can attribute that to their great success as well as the failures of Detroit's other pro sports teams.

In the last 20 years, Detroit sports organizations have brought home five championships. Four of those were won by the Red Wings, and only one came from the other three: the Pistons' NBA championship in 2004.

On those championships are the names of many stellar players. Steve Yzerman. Nicklas Lidstrom. Pavel Datsyuk. Henrik Zetterberg. The Red Wings are certainly leaving a great legacy behind them.

In contrast, the Lions have been particularly awful in the last decade, going as low as having the first and only winless season in NFL history.

So what would it mean to the Red Wings' placement in Detroit sports if and when the Lions become a Super Bowl contender? Many already believe the Lions will make the playoffs this year, and if they do, it would be for the first time since 1999.

You know, since Bill Clinton was president, since Justin Timberlake was 'N SYNC and not "In Time," since Tom Hanks stopped making good movies and since wrestling was cool.

You get the point, right?

The Lions making the playoffs alone would be a big deal in Detroit, but if they won the Super Bowl it would be gigantic. Many in Detroit would take it as symbolism of a team that hit rock bottom before rising to the top.

And would all of that have the momentum to derail the Red Wings' spot at the top? Could the Red Wings no longer be the most popular franchise in Detroit?

On one hand you could bring up the Detroit Tigers' run to the World Series, albeit unsuccessful, in 2006. Despite the Tigers' success and everybody running around like chickens with their heads cut off saying they were a "Team of Destiny," the Red Wings have still remained on their throne since that time.

On the other hand, you could point out that the NFL is much more popular than MLB (and any other sports league, really) in the United States to support why the Lions will take over.

It's certainly an interesting thing to think about.

Could a Lions takeover be good for Detroit, bad for Detroit? Would it hurt for the Red Wings, or would it just make a difference in the placement of priorities?

The idea of the Lions becoming successful certainly does pose a lot of questions, and you can tell me what you think by answering the poll or leaving a comment below.

Jordan Matthews is an avid hockey fan and a writer for the Detroit Red Wings and the NHL. You can follow Jordan's coverage by becoming a fan on Bleacher Report or follow him on Twitter by clicking the button below.