Forget The Turkey, Patriots Feast On Lions

A new attitude, a new logo, a new coach and a semi-new stadium still aren’t enough for the Detroit Lions to overcome their curse of losing and looking like idiots on national TV.  For those who follow the Lions, at least they offered a glimmer of hope during the first half of their annual Thanksgiving Day game against the New England Patriots.  For those who don’t follow them (and keep their sanity intact each week) it was just another “nice try, you’re still not an NFL-caliber team” kind of performance.

The Lions actually looked impressive and were somewhat entertaining through the first two quarters of the game but you could sense the collapse coming as time wound down to halftime.  All I kept thinking to myself was, stop getting excited – they’ve broken your heart too many times before.  Of course I was right.  I have followed the Lions since I was a kid growing up in the Detroit area.  I worked in the restaurant at the Pontiac Silverdome where they used to play so my life revolved around the team from fall through winter for several years.  But back then they had the likes of Barry Sanders who could change a game on any given play.  Even with the greatest running back of all time the Lions usually finished each season at .500 but at least they were entertaining to watch.

Since Barry’s sudden retirement the team has spiralled down a bottomless rat hole with the help of Matt Millen who had as much expertise in running a football program as I do teaching law at Harvard.  Several no-name coaches have come and gone, each with the promise of turning the team into a winner.  Several number one draft picks have laid their claim to the turf at Ford Field only to prove there are just as many busts on the Lions team as busts outside the stadium doors on Woodward Avenue.  The Lions are where coaches come to end their career and players come to sink into oblivion and have their playing careers ruined by the ignorance of owner William Clay Ford.

The one bright spot in this debacle was Ndamukong Suh, the Lions defensive tackle.  He showed the Lions actually did their homework before drafting him in the first round last year.  This kid has some serious upside and was all over the field during the first half, applying pressure on Tom Brady and wreaking havoc against New England’s offensive line.  But as with the other Lions, he crawled into a hole and disappeared during the second half of the game.  Maybe he was thinking about his turkey dinner or maybe, as a Lion, he is already conditioned to not show up in the second half of the game because the outcome is always inevitable.

The Lions keep “coming close” game after game.  They have lost several games over the past three seasons by fewer than 7 points.  They have lost 26 consecutive road games, an NFL record.  One has to wonder, as they do in Detroit, how much longer the league will put up with this joke of a franchise until they finally decide enough is enough and sit William Clay Ford down and offer him something that will make him at least consider selling the team.  Maybe a couple of Johnsons like Magic or Dwayne (The Rock) would be interested in buying the franchise and infusing some pride into it.  Mike Illitch is still trying to extend his sports/everything monopoly by purchasing the Pistons, but wow, he could really do something with the Lions if he could get them under his winning umbrella.

I think the bottom line is look, Detroit, you’re becoming in danger of losing your football franchise.  I know the football fan in Detroit is passionate about their football just like they are in New England.  I know Detroit deserves a football franchise.  But to keep their franchise, the Lions need more than a “new” attitude, a cutesy logo and a nice stadium.  They need an ownership that cares about the product they put on the field each week.  They need an ownership that will take the bull by the horns, hire a proven coaching staff and have an attitude of excellence that exists throughout the organization.  In short, William Clay Ford needs to sell the franchise to someone who gives a damn whether the team wins or loses.  The people of Detroit and Michigan have suffered enough through years of losing, economic woes and those darn asian carp that are choking the Great Lakes.

With the logo change came artwork on the Lion that shows a crotch instead of a one-dimensional, outdated Lion.  Unfortunately, the Lions, from top to bottom, have no balls to occupy that spiffy new crotch.

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5 Comments

  1. I am a die hard Lions fan, along with my father. My father has had season tickets for as long as I could remember. I have sat through, and endured the terrible 0-16 season. I don’t know how old this blog is, but I seen you latest blog post on ESPN streak for the cash in the messenger group. We all know the Lions have always struggled over the years, and had far from few seasons with Playoff berths. The Lions finished there best season ” ever =( ” in 1st at 12-4 in 1991. Defeating the (Cowboys) 38-6 in the Wildcard, and losing in the NFC Championship Game to the (Redskins) 41-10. The Lions finished 1st 10-6 in 1993, and lost the Wildcard game 24-28 to (Packers), finished 10-6 in 1995, lost the Wildcard game 37-58 (Eagles), and finished 3rd 8-8 in 1999, losing the game Wildcard 13-27 (Redskins). After inheriting an 0-16 team, Schwartz’s finished with a 2-14 record in his first season as head coach with with the lions. Now It was Jim Schwartz’s second season as head coach, and the Lions spent most of the season at the bottom of their division. Lions were 2-9 and eliminated from playoff contention after their Thanksgiving Day loss to the Patriots 45-24, extending their postseason drought to 11 seasons. With 4 games remaining and the lions at 2-10, it looked like yet another disappointing season. But then out of nowhere this team you call ” A Joke of a Franchise” put together a string of very important franchise victories, and finished there season off on a high note, with a 4 game winning streak which included two divisional wins. The first being a 7–3 victory over the eventual Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay Packers, that snapped a 19-game losing streak against the division opponent. A victory in Tampa Bay that ended their long-running record, the 26-game road losing streak. The Lions then won a 2nd straight road game at Miami in comeback fashion. The Lions finished there season off beating Minnesota, and knocking the viking into the depths of the NFC North. It was a very important final 4 games, because it gave the team the courage, and pride that it once had, and brought them out the bottom into 3rd in the NFC North. To start of the 2011 preseason, the team you called ” A Joke of a Franchise” stayed undefeated in the preseason, and with blowout fashion, knocked off the New England Patriots 34-10 on National Television. The Detroit Lions season went on and they continued to flourish under Schwartz’s system. The lions extended there winning streak to 9 straight, after the lions opened the 2011 Season with a 5-0 record. In Week 5 the Lions defeated the Chicago Bears 24-12 during its first Monday Night Football National Televised Game since 1999. With a regular season record of 10–6, the team improved on its 6–10 record from 2010, which is their third consecutive improved season “2009: 2-14 / 2010: 6-10”. It was the Lions’ first winning season since 2000, and first 10 win season since 1995. The Lions’ 5–0 start was their best since 1956. With their win over the San Diego Chargers on December 24, the Lions clinched an NFC Wildcard spot in the postseason. After their loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 17, it was determined the Lions would play the New Orleans Saints in the Wildcard round. The Lions eventually lost to the Saints in the Wildcard, with a very encouraging season under there belts. Matthew Stafford has become only the fourth quarterback to pass for 5,000 yards in a season “2011”, and his 5,038 yards passing are 5th-most in NFL history (though only 3rd in the 2011 NFL season). The 474 points that the Lions scored in 2011 are the most in franchise history, and only the second time that the team had scored 400+ points in a season. I look forward to next years season, and the first 5 games are all nationally televised. Including another National Televised preseason game against Baltimore. The Lions are no longer the laughing stock of the NFL, and if your from Michigan you should be proud of your Detroit Lions!!!

    Reply
    • KDawg

       /  May 27, 2012

      Vernon,

      Thank you for leaving your comment. Good stuff! Yes, my wife and I are from Michigan and we are both very excited about what the immediate future holds for our Lions! It’s great to see them coming back strong. My wife and I ran into Barry Sanders the night before he announced his retirement – we have his autographed jersey in a plexiglass case on a wall with other Lions stuff. Our fans no longer have to wear bags over their heads! Good luck to you, and we can’t wait for the upcoming Lions season!

      Reply
  2. Mink

     /  November 26, 2010

    I too am a Lions fan who continues to face heartbreak after heartbreak. They come so close then each week find a new way to lose. The Ford family needs to stick to cars and stop trying to pretend they can run a football franchise. Please, someone, end the misery of Lions fans and find a way to get this team away from the Fords and into the hands of someone who gives a damn!

    Reply
  3. KDawg

     /  November 26, 2010

    Dear Blisters,

    I would think that if the Lions were to move to Alaska, you might see a new trend that the NHL, under Gary Bettman’s astute leadership, would follow and create a new NHL franchise there. Maybe if they would move the Carolina Hurricanes there, the Red Wings can rightfully shift to playing in the Eastern Conference.

    Reply
  4. Blisters On Fingers

     /  November 26, 2010

    Yes sir, I have to wonder how much longer Detroit will keep it’s football franchise. Maybe they need a shakeup like Cleveland or Baltimore. Someone should buy them and move them to LA. Maybe Sarah Palin can buy them and move them to Alaska?

    Reply

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