Friday, September 21, 2007

Beware of the Detroit Lions, and their fast starts - Remember "Another One Bites the Dust?"

What in the Hell is going on in this town?! Most EVERYONE is picking the Lions to beat the Eagles. How short are the memories in Detroit?

Locally, as is their wont, they are buying into a pair of wins that could easily be mirages. The Vikings and Raiders may be the 2 worst teams in football, and the Lions struggled to beat both. That's not stopping the local MSM from jumping on the rapidly filling bandwagon, though.

On Fridays, the local fishwraps have their "Experts" pick the NFL games, and the predictions are stunning, considering most picked the Lions to lose 10 games before the season started.

The Killer? Lions will win. The Little Fella, The Big 10 Hater, and Cotsonika? Lions, Lions, and Lions. At the News, they still haven't quite bought into the Lions fast start, with only Terry Foster is calling for a Lions win, as O'Hara, the functionally retarded hack, and Wojo are picking the Eagles.

Even a few of the national pundits are joining the party. Peter King? Lions. Bill Simmons picks against the spread. The Eagles are +6.5, yet he says take the Lions and the points.

Doesn't anyone remember the Lions' historical tendency to buy into their own hype?

When it comes to the Lions, one thing has always been true over the years. The Detroit Lions can't handle prosperity. Never have, never will. Go back through the years, and the Lions always manage to lay an embarrassing egg after a good performance. Even as recently as last year, when the Lions followed up a solid, though a losing, effort against the Seahawks, with a blowout loss against the Bears that exposed them for what they were. Awful.

Fans are hoping against hope that this season's fast start is the harbinger of good things to come. One good, and one average performance has many fans, desperate for a winning season, expecting, at the very least, a .500 season. The Lions' fanbase is thinking, "This time, it's going to be different!" As you have seen above, the MSM is falling into the same trap. Thing is, I've seen it all before. In my mind, it's "Here we go again."

Let's go back to the long ago days of 1980. The Lions lucked into drafting the great Billy Sims after their horrendous 2-14 1979 season. Sims immediately became one of, if not the best, running back in the NFL. Sims exploded on the scene, with a 140+ yards rushing, and 3 TD's, leading the Lions to a blowout win over the defending NFC champions, the Los Angeles Rams.

With Sims rampaging through the league (He ended the season with over 1900 total yards, and 16 TD's. I still mourn the day Sims tore up his knee, prematurely ending what would have been a hall of fame career), he led the Lions to a 4-0 start. The Lions became the talk of the nation.

This was heady territory for the Lions, and they didn't handle it well, as it led to...Something they soon came to regret.

"Another One Bites the Dust."

Once Jimmy "Spiderman" Allen's tune hit the streets, the 4-0 Lions quickly became the 4-1 Lions, losing in blowout fashion to the Atlanta Falcons. 4-1 soon became 7-7, and even winning their last 2 games could not get Detroit into the playoffs. They lost the division to the God damn Vikings, while the Rams and Eagles took the wild card berths. The 1980 season turned into a HUGE disappointment.

From that point on, the Lions developed, and deservedly kept, the reputation that they were a team that couldn't finish what they started.

After looking at the Lions from a historical perspective, and living through past fiascoes, you can see why I'm not yet ready to dive headfirst into that rapidly filling bandwagon. The Detroit Lions of past seasons have proved true the old adage, if you don't learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. The Lions have continually repeated history...

Sunday will tell us if Rod Marinelli is well on his way to changing the Lions' traditional proclivity for believing their own press clippings. To be honest, I'm deathly afraid that Sunday night we will see history repeat itself, and we'll be saying, "It's the same old Lions. Why did I think this season would be any different?"

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you, brother. I've been thinking the exact same thing. And most of these writers are about our age, so they should have the exact same memories.

    I think this is a different team than what we're used to seeing. But I also think that we're not there yet. Next year, or the year after (depending on what happens in Martz' career track) we'll be deep into the playoffs. Assuming we find a QB/Leader like Kitna, or if he's healthy.