By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) - S.O. L.
Outside of Detroit, the abbreviation stands for the phrase “s— outta luck.”
In Detroit, well, it has a special double meaning. In sports radio circles, S.O.L. means “same old Lions,” the declaration of which basically means that the fans – hoping that this year is different, that the mindless mistakes disappear and the team realizes its potential – well, the fans are S.O.L. too.
Now an NFL commentator after many years of playing and coaching, Tony Dungy used the phrase on NBC following the Lions’ loss to Arizona. Growing up in Michigan, Dungy professes to be a fan of the Lions, and head coach Jim Schwartz said that while he is glad Dungy is a fan, his opinions mean about as much to the Lions as that of any fan.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was not quite that curt, but his response was similar.
“I don’t really listen to it too much, honestly, and don’t pay too much attention to it,” Stafford said. “Tony Dungy’s a great coach, been a great coach in this league for a long time, well respected member of the NFL, but his job now is to talk about it, and we understand that, and we’re doing everything we can to play as clean of football as we possibly can and make as little mistakes as we can. Don’t really have too much time to be paying attention to what everybody says. If I did that, I wouldn’t be getting ready every week.”
Center Dominic Raiola also said Dungy is entitled to his opinion, but he outright refuted the idea that the Lions are indeed the same old Lions.
“We know what’s in here,” Raiola said. “That’s the most important part. The guys in this locker room know what we have in here. Guys in this locker room know we’re in a different place. If [Dungy] wants to say that, that’s fine. That’s his opinion.”
Part of the stigma of S.O.L. is being a team that defeats itself, namely with penalties. The Lions racked up 88 yards on 11 penalties in week one and 101 yards on eight penalties in week two. While Schwartz does not seem overly interested in the number of penalties – except when one negates a big play, as penalties tend to do – the players seem fed up with their image as an undisciplined team.
“We’re going to eliminate the mental errors, the penalties,” Bell said. “That’s one thing that really hurt us last game, and we have to just get rid of that. That’s just flat-out, period. It can hurt you. We can’t beat ourselves up.”
As usual, only time will tell if the Lions – and their fans – are really S.O.L. this season.