By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Fans didn’t take it too kindly when Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall took potshots at Detroit — both the city and the football franchise — using the infamous “little brother” against the Detroit Lions and disparaging the city’s financial condition.
What did the Lions think?
The views varied, but new Lions running back Reggie Bush, who joined the team this summer, said Marshall is a good friend of his. And he seemed to take the tirade in stride.
“It doesn’t bother me one bit, and I don’t think the fans of Detroit should be bothered at all either,” Bush said. “We’re moving forward. We’ll worry about the Pittsburgh Steelers this week.”
Bush also talked about how he loved Detroit and that, financial situation aside, Detroit is a great city with hard-working people. Bush also hinted that the tables are turning as far as the “big brother, little brother” talk from Chicago.
“You know what’s funny is I have a little brother,” Bush said. “Growing up I was always the older brother, kind of pushing him around a little bit, and now he’s 6-7. There’s no more pushing him around anymore. He can hang with me.
“At some point in time,” Bush added, “the little brother always grows up and ends up being the bigger brother.”
A survey of his teammates found one answer in common. None of them were surprised by Marshall’s chirping.
The Lions defeated the Bears in both games this season, but the chatty Marshall went on the radio and talked smack anyway, criticizing the Lions as a team and taking a shot at the city’s financial problems. All the Lions players dismissed Marshall’s talk, but some responded more strongly than others.
Lions guard Rob Sims said making fun of the city constituted a cheap shot.
“If you want to go after somebody, we’re standing right here. We ain’t running from nobody,” Sims said. “The city and what it’s going through right now, there’s no reason to attack that. That’s a different situation. A lot of people are hurting off of that, so there’s no reason for him to come at that. But that’s football, you know what I mean? Whatever.”
Detroit center Dominic Raiola, in his 13th season in the NFL and with the Lions, pointed to Marshall’s reputation as the first reason to brush off the unflattering remarks.
“You’ve just got to look who it’s coming from,” Raiola said. “Everybody’s got their own track record, but he’s got a track record of hi own. Just got to look at the person who it’s coming from. Whatever. I know Detroit’s making a comeback of their own. We’re on the right track. We’re just the football team here. He’s talking about the economic, whatever, financial situation of the city. It has nothing to do with us as a football team. Us as a football team is a reflection of how we are as a city, and we’ve got the city’s back, and that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”
Mostly, everyone simply shrugged off Marshall’s insults and gloried in the fact the Bears are 0-2 against the Lions this season.
“We got them both times this year,” Sims said. “You’ve got to say something, you’ve got to hang onto something I guess. I’m not too worried about that. More excited about the W, and nothing you can really say to take that away from us.”
Linebacker Ashlee Palmer attributed the talk to other teams always expecting to beat the Lions. Now, though, Detroit is working to alter that perception, and part of the change is not getting worked up about trash talk from opponents.
“We’ve come a long way and we’ve put a lot of our negative behind us, and we don’t want to fall back into that,” Palmer said. “We’re moving onto Pittsburgh, and [Marshall] can continue to talk about whatever he wants to talk about.”
“We don’t try to play into none of that stuff,” Palmer added. “We got what we wanted out of Chicago, and now we’re back on Pittsburgh.”