King of the ring: How Detroit's sports scene uppercuts the competition.

Author:Poole, Steve
Position:Sports
 
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Southeast Michigan is the greatest sports region in America. That notion was confirmed by Sporting News, which named Detroit the best sports city in the nation in 2007. Yes, the recent success of the Red Wings and the awards Detroit has received from national sports media are excellent for the region's reputation, but there are many other reasons why Detroit - and Michigan for that matter - stand out as a mecca for athletics.

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Reason #1 (and most obvious): Dertroit's professional sports teams

After winning their fourth Stanley Cup in the last 11 years, the Detroit Red Wings are reason enough for Michigan to celebrate. When you add in the Pistons title in 2004 and their six straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, it's easy for any local sports fan to get used to success.

Sure, the Lions are a disaster and won't show signs of life anytime soon, but the Tigers are just two years removed from a World Series appearance, and the Detroit Shock have been flying under the radar for years.

The Shock are arguably the best team in the young WNBA, boasting a roster full of all-stars who led them to two championships ('03 and '06) in the first 11 years of the league's existence. Watch out for the Shock this summer, as they look poised to make another run at a third WNBA championship come playoff time in September.

Reason #2: college athletics

The University of Michigan's football program is the most successful team in NCAA history. The Wolverines have recorded more wins than any other program, totaling approximately 870 wins, 11 national championships and 42 conference titles in 129 seasons of work. Those numbers are staggering, but don't forget that Michigan State and the rest of our state's universities have been successful in their own right. Check out the championship box at the right.

Reason #3: recreational sports and activities

When evaluating what makes an exceptional sports region, you must consider more than the professional and collegiate teams calling the area home. For instance, just in Southeast Michigan alone, professional and collegiate learns are not your only options for sports. There are numerous ways to partake in a plethora of recreational and extreme sports, like...

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