City's Best: Detroit's Top Five Athletes
Find your city's top five: ATL | BOS | CHA | CHI | CIN | CLE | DAL | DC | DEN | DET | HOU | IND | LA | MIA | MIL | MIN | NO | NY | SF | PHI | PHO | PIT | SD | SEA | STL
Fans in metro Detroit are blessed when it comes to sports -- every team (with the exception of the Lions, of course) ranks near the top of its respective league. Choosing just five athletes is tough, but here's one Detroiter's opinion ...
5. Nicklas Lidstrom: He's more than halfway through his second decade with the Wings and still on top of his game -- he just won the Norris Trophy for the fifth time in his career.
4. Justin Verlander: His no-hitter last week probably helped him leapfrog a couple of positions on this list, but he was a fan favorite the moment he put on a jersey thanks to his triple-digit heater. His Rookie of the Year campaign last year coincided with the Tigers' long-awaited return to glory, which has made him a poster boy for the team's continued success.
3. Mike Hart: As hard as it may be for Lions fans to admit, everyone in metro Detroit knows the best football in town is played on Saturday. And despite being smaller than your accountant, Hart is an absolute workhorse in the Wolverine backfield capable of bringing the Heisman buzz back to Ann Arbor.
2. Chauncey Billups: Billups is the Pistons: cool, confident and rarely rattled -- sometimes even to a fault. He's a free agent, but unlike in Ben Wallace's situation last year, the Pistons are prepared to pay whatever it takes to keep him in town.
1. Magglio Ordonez: The best player on the Tigers has been one of the best players in the game, quietly posting MVP-worthy numbers. He rarely has much to say to the media, but he's a cult figure nonetheless for his dreamy locks as much as his clutch hitting.
Had the list gone to ten, I would have included:
6. Pudge Rodriguez -- HOF shoe-in.
7. Rasheed Wallace -- Polarizing but iconic.
8. Curtis Granderson -- He's always smiling.
9. Mario Manningham -- Everyone pays attention when the ball is thrown his way.
10. Roy Williams -- One of the few reasons to watch football on Sunday.
Others of note: Henrik Zetterberg, Chris Chelios, Jeremy Bonderman, Calvin Johnson (yes, even though he's yet to play a game), Joel Zumaya, Dominik Hasek, Chad Henne.