Caught in the trap...again
After watching the Detroit Lions turn out pathetic regular season after pathetic regular season, I promised myself this past year that I would never let the hype get to me again. But that’s precisely what I did, again, this season.
Like many Michiganders, having been a Lions fan ever since I can remember, at the start of every football season I can’t help but hope the Lions can return to their form of the 90’s –winning seasons and playoff appearances almost every year.
But after the remarkable let-down that was the ‘07 season, going 1-7 in the last eight games, I had made up my mind to never count on this team again until they had proven to be a good team. And what do you know? That’s exactly what I let myself do. Fall right back in the trap, and that’s what this particular team/organization is – a big trap. Success just seems to elude them no matter what precautions they take.
After bringing in what I felt were some pretty good free agents (Kelly, Bodden, Smith, and Darby among others), filling some voids in the draft (Kevin Smith and Gosdar Cherilus) and running through a perfect preseason, I couldn’t help but get excited and stick my neck on the line, predicting great things from this team, most notably an 11-5 record. What a mess.
Anxiously awaiting the season opener against Atlanta, what seemed like a “can’t lose” game, I told everyone that this was a different team. They weren’t the same pitiful Lions they were in the past. They had it figured out this year. No way this team could be as miserable as seasons past.
Almost on queue, this team tied me up, pummeled those words right back in my mouth, kicked me in the stomach, threw me in a bag, tied it to a hitch, drug me to the Zilwaukee Bridge and threw me over the edge. At least that’s what it felt like.
And what’s more, after making a 21-point comeback this past Sunday to take a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, they give up 24 unanswered points to lose the game in a fashion that made everyone that calls themselves a Lions’ fan puke.
Now don’t get me wrong, 0-2 doesn’t mean the end of the world. The ’07 – ’08 Super Bowl Champion New York Giants were 0-2 to begin last season (please, no one take this as another prediction from me). They simply have to look inside themselves at this point and ask themselves what kind of men they are, if they’re willing to put forth the effort to make something happen. No one can do it for them. Believe me, I’ve tried my best by yelling at them through the TV these first two weeks.
As for me, I will keep watching, clinging to the past successes I’ve witnessed in my lifetime, and hoping for that triumphant turnaround that will have Detroit and the rest of Michigan grinning from ear-to-ear.
But as for you, I can understand why you’ll be watching NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup or a different NFL team for the rest of your Sunday’s for a while.