Monday, October 29, 2007

Above the fold for Monday, 10-29-07

I'm going to be trying some new things with TWFE, one being a daily link dump (I'm calling it "Above the Fold" for the time being, but I'm willing to hear suggestions) that will concentrate on the day's biggest local story from the viewpoint of the Detroit MSM and blogosphere. Some days will have more news and opinions than others, obviously. But I think it'll be a M-F (Or however it ends up shaking out) post that'll fun for you to read, and fun for me to do.

Now, let's move on to the dumpage...

There's only one big story in Detroit today. The Lions' 16-7 victory over the Chicago Bears is the talk of the Motor City. It's bigger locally than the Red Sox winning the most anti-climatic and boring ass World Series in memory, A-Rod opting out of his Yankees contract and looking to become richer than both God and Bill Gates, Michigan winning without Henne and Hart, while making a massive jump in the BCS rankings, Sparty being in the midst of another downward spiral of self destruction, and the most welcome news that Saturday's in-state battle between the Wolverines and Sparty will be televised on ABC, rather than the network that's only a rumor to most fans, the Big 10 Network. (You could hear the sigh of relief all across the state)

Jon Kitna is caught signaling to God how many converts to Christianity he had on Sunday...

The MSM columnists are out in force, and boy howdy, have they changed their tune in regard to the Lions...

In the Freep, Drew Sharp says the "P" word, and it's not "Pumpkin." (Though the Bears looked like an arena league team in their bright orange Halloween worst) Sharp mentions the Lions and playoffs in the same paragraph, and not as a punchline.

They possessed the efficient look of a playoff team, never once flinching as a determined-yet-graying former champion made one last desperate lunge for salvation. They’ve become a contradicting amalgam, a mixture of their quarterback’s wild-eyed idealism blended with their taskmaster’s rock-jawed stoicism.

The Lions re-introduced themselves to the NFL Sunday after six and half seasons of comic irrelevance.

Over at the News, Bob Wojonowski thinks that this might be a "Special" Lions team. Not "Ride the short bus" special, but "Playoffs" (There's that word again) special...

This is how playoff teams develop — I'm guessing. Williams volunteered the P-word, but I must admit, this is getting weird and interesting and impossible to ignore. All 5-2 teams do not make the playoffs. (When the Lions were 5-2 in 2000, they finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs). But they all have a solid shot.

Just as we've made a big deal about the pattern of the Lions' two crushing losses, there's an undeniable pattern to their five victories. They control fourth quarters and make big plays. They don't dominate and probably never will. In the NFL, you don't have to dominate to win more games than you lose.

At Mlive, the Killer sings the praises of one Mr. Pound The Rock, Mr. I Don't Need Your Respect, Lions head coach Rod Marinelli.

Coach Rod Marinelli has been preaching for 18 months to play one snap at a time and to not dwell on what happened the previous play -- whether it was good or bad.

And this team, on both sides of the ball, is really responding to it.

The blogosphere was abuzz over the Leo's as well.

The gang at Fire Millen are "Officially excited about the Lions!" A stunning admission from the most well known anti-dumbass GM site. Understandably, the buffoon running the Lions is excluded from the kudos given...

Congratulations to the Lions from Rod Marinelli on down. No kudos to Millen or Ford since for all the grief they have caused over the years, they deserve nothing but harsh criticism…the only thanks they will get from me is if Millen steps down or Ford sells the team. I’m congratulating the team and the coaches, not the Lions as an organization.

Quo Vadimus still sees plenty of issues to be concerned about, as all Lions fans do, but Scott also admits that "This is not your father's Detroit Lions team."

Now, of course, all was not perfect (I'm a Lions fan, I've been trained to see the negative in even the greatest of starts). Kevin Jones had a fumble, they kicked to Devin Hester once and it cost them a touchdown, and I'm not sure why, up 13-7, the Lions were going for it on 4th and 1 from the 2 yard line (you need to go up two scores there and kick the field goal -- Luckily Chicago jumped off-sides and made the issue moot) but today is not about the negatives. Detroit has swept the NFC Champion Chicago Bears, winning on the road, showing the world they can win on the road. Most importantly though, they proved to them themselves that the Philadelphia and Washington debacles are behind them, and now the team has a lot of confidence going forward.

Sports & Spice
would like some private time with her "Special secret football boyfriend," otherwise known as the 2007 Detroit Lions. Get a room you two!

And doing so without stupid fights in the media, without controversy in the locker room, with a seemingly decent if scary looking QB, a WR who still wants the ball more but talks up his young teammates, an RB that just goes and plays, and on and on. Right now, I'm just kind of enjoying it, and I don't want to jinx it. It's like starting a new relationship - you want to shout from the rooftops how you've found the most fun, most lovely, most outstanding thing in the world - but you don't want to talk about it for fear it'll fall apart.

The Fanhouse calls out the trash talking Bear, Tommie Harris. They are also claiming the Lions are "The second-best team in the NFC behind the Giants." The Giants? I think the Cowboys and Favres may have something to say about that...

Still, it's nice to see the Lions being mentioned with the NFC elite. Though it's like being the smartest kid in special ed, when compared to the fast tracked elite kids in the AFC, but it's a start.
Let's harken back, way back ... to Monday. Tommie Harris:

"Detroit don't come into Chicago and win in our stadium."

Yes ... they do. And for the second-straight week, they eschewed Martzian football for playoff football. In fact, they played the same type of game the Bears rode to the Super Bowl last year (minus one Sex Cannon, of course). Maybe the Bears want to study the game film to learn a few things from Detroit (when was the last time anyone could say that?).

That's "Above the Fold" for Monday, 10-29-07!

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