Monday, October 08, 2007

5 stages of Detroit Lions fandom

We all know the "5 Stages of Grief."

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

As Detroit Lions fans, we go through a similar physiological process every NFL season. That being the "5 Stages of Detroit Lions Fandom."

Hope - This is the stage where we ignore the past, while deluding ourselves into thinking that this season will be different! Before the NFL season starts, we tend to forget the previous season(s) of ineptitude. We hope that Matt Millen didn't blow the draft...Again We hope that Rod Marinelli has learned from his mistakes. We hope that William Clay Ford will sell the team. We hope for a winning record. We hope for a .500 record. We hope the Lions don't become a laughingstock. More than anything, we just hope for the best. Normally, we fans remain in this stage till halftime of the 1st game of the regular season. In 2007, we were able to remain in this blissfully ignorant stage until the 1st quarter of the Philadelphia Eagles game debacle. During that loss though, our hope quickly turned into...

Rage - The Eagles game woke us from our happily deluded stupor, and pissed us off royally! The rage kicks in when we take off our Honolulu blue and silver colored glasses for the 1st time, and see the Lions as they truly are. A badly flawed team run by an inexperienced head coach that is woefully short on talent. We rage at the inexplicable coaching decisions. A defense that can't get a 3rd down stop if their lives depended on it. An offense that moves between the 20's at will, but can't convert in the red zone. Special teams gaffes. False starts. Dropped passes. Sacks. Missed tackles. Look out blocks. Blown challenges. Embarrassing losses. Wasted opportunities. But rage can only last for so long, as it's so exhausting. Once the rage peters out after a few games, it leads to...

Depression - The "Woe is me" stage of fandom, where you mentally beat yourself up for allowing yourself to fall into the Lions vortex of suck over and over and over, season after season. You think that nothing, absolutely nothing, will ever change when it comes to the Lions. You'd rather take a long walk off a short pier than subject yourself to watching another torturous Lions loss. You see fans of other teams enjoying their success, and you wonder, "Why that can't be us?" This painful stage normally lasts up to the midpoint of the season, when you finally realize that the Lions aren't worth all the angst. Thus we enter the stage that the Lions organization fears most...

Apathy - The "Who gives a shit about the Lions" stage. All hope of a successful season is long gone by this point, so why get yourself all riled up over a lousy football team? If the Lions do happen to win? That's nice, but the occasional win is not going to lead to anything, so there's no reason to get excited. If the Lions lose? No big deal, it's not as if they weren't already out of the playoffs anyway. It's just another loss, what game is on the tube next? Have tickets? You sell them to some poor sap who hasn't yet become apathetic. You've moved on, not allowing yourself to become emotionally involved. You'll go shopping with the significant instead of watching the game. You'd rather watch another game, one that has meaning between 2 good teams, than watch the latest Lions debacle. You've been hurt so many times before by the Lions, it's easier to say "Fuck it, I'm done! See ya next season!" To get yourself through the few remaining games of the season, you move on to the final stage...

Hilarity - You find humor, instead of dread, in the Lions foibles. Sarcasm abounds when talking about the latest loss. Jokes about the Lions become all the rage. Remember the 2001 season? you couldn't avoid hearing jokes about the Lions ineptitude. It's open mike night in regard to the Detroit Lions.

The average American will travel 100 miles this Thanksgiving, except the Detroit Lions...They cant even go ten yards.

What is the smallest room at Ford Field? The trophy room

What's the difference between the Detroit Lions the Taliban? The Taliban have a running game.

Oldies but goodies, but as the losses pile up, laughter is the best medicine. Poking fun at ourselves and the Lions is the final stage of accepting our fate as Lions fans.

After the season comes to a merciful end, the circle of Lions fandom begins anew, starting with the NFL draft. Hope, as always, springs eternal...

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