It's a fair question: When was the last time Detroit actually had three professional teams in first place ... or at least very capable of finishing on top?
I believe you have to go back to 1987 to find that much prosperity in Motown.
That was the year the Detroit Tigers rode imported pitcher Doyle Alexander to a division crown. The year the Detroit Pistons of "Bad Boys" fame began assembling the cast that would win two straight NBA championships just a year later.
And the Red Wings - the most reliable of all Detroit teams in recent years - won the Norris Division that season with a 41-28-11 record behind a young Steve Yzerman.
The 1987 Lions were a bedraggled outfit that went 4-12, and were still two years away from drafting the spectacular Barry Sanders.
Now, Detroit fans have a American League Central Division winner in the Tigers plus a Lions team that is 2-0 in the early going, but looking like a bunch that intends to stick around all season, and, although the season has yet to begin, a Red Wings team that is a very good bet to compete for yet another Stanley Cup.
It's been a long time coming for long-suffering fans in Michigan.
But let's take a closer look at this current streak of success by our favorites.
The Tigers got on a roll in September and appear capable of doing some big things in the postseason.
The late season trades by Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski that brought pitcher Doug Fister, outfielder Delmon Young and infielder Wilson Betemit to the club were strokes of genius, almost enough to make us forget that ex-Tiger Curtis Granderson is having a MVP-caliber year for the New York Yankees.
But with sure-fire Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and the reliable Fister on the mound, the Tigers have as good a 1-2 hurling duo as any team in the running.
And their day-to-day lineup sparked by four .300 hitters is a match for just about anyone else.
The wild factor could be whether manager Jim Leyland stays with the lineup that brought the team this far ... or decides to play some of those strange combinations that kept the team from sweeping away a mediocre AL Central long before the last few weeks.
The Lions are a less certain bet to win any division titles, mainly because the Green Bay Packers are still the team to beat.
But with quarterback Matthew Stafford throwing accurate fastballs like a young Brett Favre, this is a team that can win any game on their schedule.
Even the NFL experts who deluge us daily with constant information are nearly unanimous in agreeing that the Lions are the trendy pick to reverse their fortunes in 2011.
They point to an offense that can score points in a hurry with Stafford, All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson and tailback Jahvid Best.
The Silver Rush defense has the ability to dominate, helped out by free agent linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who is a tackling machine.
Of course, the dreams of the Lions could come crashing down with one or two key injuries. Losing either Stafford or Johnson would be costly.
Still, this is a team that could gain a wild card spot and cause some real headaches in the playoffs.
The Red Wings are still smarting from their dismissal from the playoffs by San Jose, but are still a veteran club capable of contending. There's solid young goaltending and a seasoned defense - two ingredients required.
As for the Pistons, there's considerable question whether there will even be a NBA season because of labor strife.
And judging by all those empty seats at The Palace last season, maybe not too many people in Michigan care.