Monday, November 27, 2006

Have the Lions hit rock bottom?

"Rock bottom"

It's a quite descriptive term. We all know what it means. You just don't always know it when you see it. The Lions have had several points in our lifetimes where we thought they had hit the proverbial "Rock bottom."

We've seen Russ Thomas pissing off players, coaches, and fans alike, never doing anything but ensuring the Lions made a profit, yet still keeping his GM job for decades. Don McCafferty passing away, the Lions job literally killing him. Gary Danielson and Joe Reed both knocked out for the season in the same exhibition game, ensuring a no-talent, never-will-be, nobody rookie named Jeff Komlo would QB the Lions to their worst record ever.

We've seen Darryl Rogers, knowing he was a lame duck, spending his remaining time as Lions head coach not giving a shit. The patron saint of this blog, Wayne Fontes, burning through seemingly dozens of quarterbacks and coordinators, keeping William Clay Ford just confused enough to keep his job 3 years too long. Bobby Ross going for 2. Then Ross becoming so fed up with the poisonous Lions atmosphere, that he walked away from a playoff caliber team midseason. Marty taking the wind. Mooch letting the inmates run the asylum. Matt Millen taking wide receivers number one in three consecutive drafts.

Then came the bad joke that was Thanksgiving Day 2006.

The Lions embarrassed themselves not only as a team, but as an organization as a whole. It's one thing to be a bad football team. But it's all together something else to turn a big time franchise into a bush league laughingstock. Yet, the Lions managed to do so.

Where do you start? The afternoon was painful to witness, from start to finish. You had an entire organization doing more than attempting to outright embarrass Joey Harrington, but attacking him personally. Between playing "Piano Man," announcing his name even though he wasn't being introduced, and Joey Blue Skies being continually shown on the scoreboard big screen in attempts to get the crowd to boo him, it all was nothing but pure vindictiveness.

When you cause SI's normally mild mannered Peter King to stop writing about coffee and the Patriots, and go off on the actions of your team, things are rotten, from the inside out.

I think there are bush-league things that happen in this league, and then there's what happened at Ford Field on Thanksgiving with former Lions quarterback Joey Harrington. The Miami defense was introduced before the game to the tune of "Piano Man,'' a snide reminder of Harrington's skill at playing the piano. Then, after the final Miami defender got introduced, the PA man introduced Harrington -- to tremendous boos. You either introduce the defense or the offense, and not both, and when Harrington was introduced, the PA guy was introducing a guy who wasn't there to be introduced. Obviously it was done to whip the home crowd into a frenzy against a guy who tried as hard as he could in his four Detroit years and just failed miserably. What a bullying, crass and bush-league stunt. Stupid, classless, and very, very small.

For a (So-called) NFL franchise to treat their former starting QB as a carnival sideshow? Firing him, and his teammates, up all the more? With national media in attendance? On the one day the Lions are paid attention to by the entire nation? Just another show of the Lions' absolute stupidity at it's most shortsighted. It was an amazing show of collective idiocy.

The attack on Harrington, no matter how badly he played with the Lions, (And he was damn awful) was undeserved, uncalled for, and unprofessional.

Speaking of unprofessional...

The play on the field was just as bad as the actions off of it. Jon Kitna spent the majority of the game either running for his life, or on his back. With Kevin Jones out, combined with the Lions' shocking lack of depth, there was literally NO running game. Not that Mike Martz would ever call a running play, even if his life depended on it. The Lions couldn't get their one elite level player, Roy Williams, the ball after the 1st quarter. The defense couldn't stop a Pop Warner team, let alone the Fish. Harrington riddled the secondary at will, the same secondary which Millen has spent ungodly amounts of free agent dollars and numerous draft picks upon.

To be honest, none of that was unexpected, as it's just more of the same.

After the game was just as damning to the Lions. Harrington's biggest and loudest critic, Dre' Bly, was nowhere to be found. The Lions biggest talker had nothing to say. The architect of the Lions, incompetent boob Matt Millen, was incommunicado, as he has been all season. The Fords? Out of the state, hopefully in exile. The only person with something to say, Sgt. Marinelli, continued to spew his worn out platitudes, saying plenty, but really saying nothing at all.

If I hear Marinelli say "We have to continue to pound the rock," and "I'm going to teach" one more time... The Lions are getting worse by the week, with no sign of getting better. At this point, results are speaking volumes over words. I doubt Marinelli's platitudes aren't reaching anyone other than Millen, when he's not distracted by shiny things and jangling car keys.

So... Have the Lions hit rock bottom? Definitely.

To put it simply, the entire Thanksgiving debacle was a clueless show of ineptitude by a classless team run by an incompetent boob owned by a senile blueblood elitist. In other words, it's the Detroit Lions in a nutshell.


  1. You know, I hadn't really considered the pregame thing as part of your "rock bottom" description, but I think I agree, Al.

    It was very classless, no doubt. I wasn't aware of the introducing him after the defense thing, either. I did know about the "Piano Man" thing, though.

    The funny thing is, that could have been considered a sign of endearment ("Piano Man") from most franchises, especially if the player in question had been revered in the former city. But it clearly, in this case, was a show of derision.

    Shame on them, all the way around.

  2. I don't even have a problem with Piano Man for the pregame introductions UNTIL they introduced Harrington. If you don't introduce Harrington, it's clever. If you do, it's classless.