Sunday, December 14, 2008


The new poll asks the question: Do you REALLY want to see the Detroit Lions go winless?
Outside of the Motor City, most of you are probably getting your popcorn ready for this potentially historic achievement.

With two games remaining on the docket – the home finale against New Orleans and the season finale in Green Bay – it’s possible that we will witness the first 0-16 team in NFL history and the first winless squad since the 0-14 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Doesn’t the city of Detroit have enough on its plate?

From the Big Three automakers and the Union of Auto Workers trying to save their industry to the Kwame Kilpatrick disaster and so much in between, it’s been a hell of a year for a city (and state of Michigan) that has endured quite a bit over the past decade. Foreign automakers denting the domestic share, jobs migrated or outright eliminated because companies wanted tax shelters and cheaper production, less urban renewal compared to other cities across the country

Sports may not be the most important factor in all of our lives. Plus, having the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, a contending NBA franchise in the Pistons and the always exciting college hockey scene is the envy of many cities and towns around the country. Yet, the Lions are like the pre-2004 Boston Red Sox or the current Chicago Cubs.

Except that no one outside of their home city cares about them.

It may be a great punch line for a few days to see a team not win a game, even a year after watching the New England Patriots fall a few plays short of eclipsing the 1972 Miami Dolphins last year. It may be the cherry on top of what has been one of the best calendar years in American sports as the history books have seemingly been rewritten every week. Yet, these guys aren’t out there just collecting checks, contrary to what many may believe.

The NFL is a brutal sport and if there is one thing that psychologically makes the grind and pains of the game easy is adding a number to the win column. What is must feel like to not enjoy a victory at any point this season has got to feel like being run over by a Mack truck over and over again for four months.

Or like a GM executive driving a Hyundai to work.

So in some aspects, it’ll be hard to see a team finish the season winless. The Lions, especially after flirting with the postseason a year ago, have been impressive in their collective futility. Defensive players unable to get turnovers, an offense that has started everyone under center short of William Clay Ford himself and fans are probably paying people to take their tickets away to avoid the horrors of losing.

Sports shouldn’t be like this, right?

Yet, in one way, I do hope this team finished without a win. Nothing against the players, as despite what you see, can be productive, if not spectacular players on other rosters around the NFL. However, this is a franchise that is so poorly run that they actually make the Pittsburgh Pirates brain trust look like they know what they’re doing. The fans themselves that continue to fork up the money for season tickets or turn on the TV are only adding to the Lions’ revenues, despite how mismanaged it is. Just as discussed last year in regards to a fan’s mutiny against the Baltimore Orioles, the fans themselves need to stop supporting a team that they invest so much time and money into without respectable returns.

Maybe when that donut appears in the team annals, Ford and the rest of the team executives will finally have the motivation to right the ship.



Kerry said...

Do I want to see them go 0-16? No. Because it's sad. Do they deserve to go 0-16? Yes, because even when they have a chance at a win, they find a way to lose it. Their players hate on their fans because they feel unsupported. Are you kidding me? Those people drag themselves out to those games at God knows what time to tailgate, and pay God knows what kind of money to see said games. You want to talk support? How about a team that supports its fans by giving them something worth cheering for? It's hard to drum up sympathy for a bunch of bitching millionaires. Criticism is a part of the package. You get paid to play, shut up and play.

Jason Clinkscales said...

Something to ponder.