Friday, October 5, 2012

The Detroit Lions Revisited

      Last year on October 10, the Detroit Lions were on Monday Night Football. They were playing the Chicago Bears.  The game was in Detroit and the Lions won that game  24-13.  They looked awesome doing so.  As a result of that win, they stared the seasons at 5-0.  There was a lot of buzz about this team.  People began to believe that the Detroit Lions may have finally and fully turned the corner and were an elite NFL team. I had written two very short sentences in the piece.

      "Finally.  I hope it lasts."

      I am not so sure it has.  Since then they have played 15 games and they have won only 6 of them.  That record includes the remainder of the 2011 season and this season to date.  This year they are 1-3.
Am I shocked?  Am I disappointed?  Are Lions' fans shocked or disappointed?  Probably not.  This is what being a Lions' fan has been since I was old enough, circa 1960, to like the team.  We are given glimmers of hope, a moment of potential greatness, then that hope is dashed as the team slides back to the point where we are, all again, wishing for them to be at least mediocre.
      We are all feeling like the silver and honolulu blue may have just done it to us again.  How long could a team be bad?  Even awful teams should get their day in the sun even if it is purely random.  A year agoThey were 5-0.  It was their best start since 1956.  That is a long stretch.  Not only were fans were excited, but the entire sports world was psyched by this start.  Maybe this was the beginning of something special.  Maybe the Lions, dare we say it, might actually go to the Super Bowl.
     The Lions then proceeded to lose the next two games.  They did win enough to end the 2011 season with 10 wins and six losses.  They won enough to make the play-offs which they lost in the first round.  That's OK.  It was the third year of improved records in a row.  2011 was their first winning season since 2000.  It was their first 10 win season since 1995.  There was reason to be optimistic.  All Lion fans were looking forward to the next season.  We were excited by this hard hitting, gritty, team.   The city needed this rough and tough team to succeed.
      This season so far, they are 1 and 3:  one win and three losses.  Next in line, they play the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chicago Bears ad the seattle Seahawks.  They will not be favored to win at least two of these games.  They could be 2 and 5 or 1 and 6 and thus back to their old ways that have effectively frustrated generation after generation of their fans.
      This season is only four games old.  They could still make something of it.  Time will tell.  But, I am back to the skeptical Lions fan I have always been appreciating a team that wins 30% of the time the best that I can.  One thing I know for certain is that the Detroit Lions will not lose this week... they have a bye.

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