Can't Detroit ever win?

Last week, both TIME and Fortune put Detroit on their covers. For some cities, cover stories are the icing on their civic pride cake, but for Detroit, any attention is better than no attention, even when the stories are full of bad PR.

The Detroit Tigers' 6-5 loss in a one-game playoff Tuesday to the Minnesota Twins seems symbolic of the city that never catch es a break. But it's not just on the playing field where Detroit's Tigers or Lions or Red Wings seem to lose in the end.

Take the Wall Street Journal's recent list of the "hot" cities for new graduates, with Washington and Seattle at the top. Detroit wasn't even mentioned.

Or take this month's Case Shiller report: Detroit home prices fell by 0.8 percent, while Minneapolis home prices were up 4.6 percent. Even Cleveland's home prices were up 4.2 percent! Only Las Vegas had a worse showing.

As native son Dan Okrent notes in his TIME article, Detroit has shrunk from America's fourth biggest city to its eleventh largest. But while New Orleans seems to be bouncing back after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Detroit is taking one step forward and two steps back.