By: Dan Leach
A horribly beat up offensive line, check, losers of nine straight, check, what many NFL analysts are calling one of the worst starting QB’s in recent NFL history, check….That was the Arizona Cardinals coming into their game against the Lions on Sunday. On paper this game should have been over before halftime right? Well if that was your thought process then you simply must not be a Lions fan. I will believe in this team till my dying day, yet most of the time am always let down. What happened on Sunday though was inexcusable.
The Lions had a chance over their final three games to gain some momentum towards next year, to get a good taste back into their mouth after the unbelievable disappointment that was their season. Instead of taking hold of an opportunity to show their fans, but more importantly themselves that they have fight in them, that they are a team that took that should be taken seriously, just when you think things can’t get any worse, the Lions decided to simply embarrass themselves.
I still believe this year will be an aberration. Still believe that last year was not smoke and mirrors, still have belief that there is talent on this team and there is a coach here who knows what he is doing even when it is hard to show reason that he does. But when you come into a game against a team that literally got sand-blasted the week before and was one of the few teams in the NFL on a worse slide then you, and you look listless! That is beyond a major problem. It has gotten me to start questioning if this really is a team that is overrated, a team that simply just does not know how to win. A team that doesn’t have enough pride to fight when they are out of contention to honor those who love them so much. How can a team that made such strides the year before look so lost just a season later?
I know many will call for Jim Schwartz’s head and I understand that, there must be accountability, but believe me that is not the answer. If Schwartz gets fired this team if you can imagine it will be even further away from success. What needs to happen is that each and every player on this roster and each and every member of the organization needs to be evaluated. We need to know that they truly want to be here and compete and fight until the last. That they will take their role as a Detroit Lion seriously and gratefully and not think that getting in trouble with the law isn’t a big deal. To think that acting with sportsmanship always is what matters. To think that not using every bit of their heart and soul on every play is not only the most important thing, but is the only thing.
The Lions are a team that are tied to so many hard working and loyal fans that will love them ill their last breath. There is a connection with this team even though for most of their fans lives they have been a study in disappointment and dismay. I am one of those who in all my 35 years on this Earth have loved and cheered for them like they were my own. If the Lions only played, studied, focused, believed, even half as much at times as most of their fans, this team could do some special things. It is not easy to win in the NFL, we all know that, but barely even showing up is absolutely inexcusable. At what point does the phrase we hear way too much, “Same Old Lions” change? Will it ever? After days like today even one of its most passionate lifetime supporters has to sadly really wonder.