COLUMN: Bad football does not start and end with the Detroit PSL

Branden Hunter, Senior writer
Michigan Preps

So what if Detroit King was putting a whooping on Renaissance 53-6 at halftime in yesterday's game. And Cass Tech only played a half against Northwestern that ended in the Technicians winning 35-0, or that a team forfeited against a much better East English Village Prep the day of the game. Yes, there is some bad football in the Detroit Public School League, and its top three team, King, Cass Tech, and EEVP have blowout wins every week, but it does not start and end there.

There are bad leagues all across the state, where games are over before the first half even ends, and running clocks are implemented. Belleville is a top five team in the state, and they have been running through Western Wayne Athletic Conference competition like a 16-year-old playing in little league. Their last four game finals look like this: 55-6, 53-0, 62-0, and 58-0 last night.

Muskegon may be the top team in the state, and its last three games against Ottawa-Kent Conference teams read like a basketball score, except the other team did not show up: 68-0, 63-14, and 61-0. Same thing goes for Mona Shores, or a team like Saline, that runs through the competition in the Ann Arbor area. This is not to single these teams out, or hate on them, but they face the same problem week in and week out that the best in the PSL do: inferior competition. And whether you want to blame it on Xs and Os, or Jimmy and Joes, it is a part of the game.

In a perfect world, fans would love to see King play Cass Tech every week, or see King and EEVP battle for best on the east side, but the PSL consists of 14 other teams who they each have to play at some point during the season. Even if it turns out to be ugly. The PSL may not have quantity in the league from top to bottom, but the quality is certainly there. King and Cass Tech are two of the top programs in the entire Midwest, EEVP has been one of the best programs in the state under Rod Oden, and Central, Mumford, and Denby are quality teams.

There are bad teams in the Macomb Area Conference, in the Oakland Activities Association, in the Catholic League, and others conferences around Michigan. So why is it that the PSL is always picked on for its lack of quality football? People questioning its authority figure every year, Alvin Ward, and saying anything bad that can come out of their mouths about the league. Easy targets, I would say. The inner-city has always been the topic of discussion when it comes to the issue. Just look on Facebook every Friday night. You can go through every league in the state and find good teams and bad teams, good coaching and bad coaching, good administration, and bad administration. Not just in Detroit.

There are leagues that have superior divisions that put out a great product on Friday nights, like the Catholic League Central, MAC-Red, and OAA-Red, but not everyone is able to put together a strong schedule like they can within their own league. Which is why PSL teams like King, Cass Tech, and EEVP scheduled games against out-of-state teams, each playing a game in Ohio this season. And they had a record of 3-2 in those games. All is not bad in the PSL, that is just the perception that people want to put out there when it comes to the blowout games, when in fact, there are blowouts every Friday night, in every league.

Maybe there should be some realignment in the PSL, but they do that every year, trying to appease to the fans and programs, leaving someone left out and upset. You will not, and cannot please everyone. The PSL is not the only league that needs a solution for its lack of quality teams every week. Yet people like to make them the poster child. So before you get ready to make your posts every Friday blasting the league, take a look at scores statewide and keep the conversation consistent and fair.

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