Monday, October 10, 2011

The Detroit Lions

Who are these guys?

There is 7:30 left in the game and the Lions are leading the Chicago Bears 21-10.  They look dominant.

Dominant?  The Detroit Lions?  Are you kidding me?  They have had the worst record in the NFL for the past ten years.

I am watching Monday Night Football.  The Detroit Lions are playing the Chicago Bears.  The Lions are 4-0 and there has been a lot of buzz around and about this team.  This is their best start since the early 1980s.  If they win tonight, 5-0 will be their best start since 1956. 1956!  They are on the cover of magazines.  This is the first time they are on Monday Night Football since 2001.

I am not fully sold on the buzz and hype.  Why not?

Why not indeed?  I am very leery of buying in too deeply.  The Detroit Lions and I have a dismal and agonizing history of me buying in, wanting them to do well, and them letting me down... horribly.   Every year, hope sprung eternal in August as the NFL season was about to start only to be crushed and ground into the dirt almost as soon as the season began. 

It is like Honolulu Blue and Silver were cursed colors.  To me they were.  I got all my football joy from the Michigan Wolverines.  They were winners; the Lions were losers... every year after agonizing year. 

There were moments of hope.  They had recruited Nick Eddy, a Heisman Trophy Winner from Notre Dame in the 1960's.  There was a lot of hype about Nick joining the Lions.  I do believe that Nick Eddy twisted his knee getting off the bus in Detroit.  Maybe it happened in the preseason of his rookie year.  He was never what they had recruited him to be after the injury.  Nick Eddy never panned out.  He was the first in a long line of Lion personnel disappointments.  In his first game on his first play as a Lion quarterback, Chuck Long, the famed Iowa star, threw a bomb for a touchdown.  Yes!  We finally have a quarterback (go ahead name a famous Lion quarterback since Bobby Layne?  I dare you).   That was the highlight of Long's career with the Lions.

They recruited the famous Barry Sanders in 1989.  He was one of the most explosive, artistic, and entertaining runners in NFL history.  I bought in, again.  Who wouldn't have?.  Barry Sanders did not let me or anyone else down.  He was brilliant.  He was electrifying.  I was so sure the Lions would build a team around him and go to a Super Bowl just like the Chicago Bears did around Walter Payton.  They sadly, painfully, agonizingly (why do I keep using this word to describe my relationship with this team) did not.  It was the curse of the Honolulu Blue and Silver. 

When I moved to New York in 1990, the New York Giants had a great season.  The won the Super Bowl.  For me, it was like... cool beans.  I had no problem becoming a Giant fan.  I did not leave the Lions behind, well maybe a little;  I just added the Giants.  Then in 2006 when I moved to Chicago, the Bears went to the Super Bowl.  Double cool. I added the Bears to my favorites.  Heck, I thought I had some kind of special mojo that by simply moving to a town, their football team would go to the Super Bowl.  I even thought about moving back to Detroit just to help out the hapless Lions.

Lions:  what a great name for a team.  Lions are powerful, majestic, and if I am not mistaken often referred to as the King of the Beasts.  The Detroit Lions?  Not so much.

I grew up following the Lions, Pistons, and Red Wings.  The Tigers won few World Series for me, they were more than OK with me.  The Pistons finally won a few championships in the 1990s.  The Red Wings followed suit and have taken a few Stanley Cups in the 1990s and 2000s.  Only the Lions continued to disappoint. 

The game just ended and the Lions won 24-13.  The headline on an ESPN website was "Roaring Lions."  Finally.  I hope it lasts.

There are only two undefeated teams in the NFL:  The Detroit Lions and The Green Bay Packers.  Wow.  Five games into the season and the Detroit Lions are one of two undefeated teams.  Go figure.  I sure hope it continues.  The D could sure use it.

I am in Michigan this coming weekend to go to the Michigan vs. Michigan State game on Saturday.  I just may have to invest in a Lions t-shirt and hat.

I might look good in Honolulu Blue and Silver.


  1. I understand as even now it is hard to buy into the Texas Rangers as they were so terrible for so long. Same with the Mavericks this year as I kept thinking they would lose in the next round. Give the Lions a chance and they might surprise you.

  2. Check out some other commentary related to the Lions surgence (it has been too long to call it a re-surgence LOL);_ylt=AiabvhvH1Ro4dmG77qqRak9DubYF?slug=dw-wetzel_detroit_lions_ford_field_bears_mnf101011

  3. Since posting this, the Detroit Lions have lost 2 games in a row....