What Do They Know? Bandwagon Fandom and Arm Chair Coaching – Super Bowl 49

I watched this year’s NFC Championship Game with my brother and even with my new-found appreciation for Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers, I stood tall rooting for the Seattle Seahawks. My brother was rooting for the Packers and Oliva Munn’s boyfriend. The Packers took a 16-7 lead into the fourth quarter of a game where the Seahawks, uncharacteristically, had more turnovers than your neighborhood bakery shop. Regardless, I told my brother—with Richard Sherman-esque confidence—that the Seahawks were going to win the game. And when a perfectly gift-wrapped pigskin express package landed into Jermaine Kearse’s mitts to seal an overtime win, I looked at my brother and said the phrase that every younger brother lives for: “Toldja so.” JOINING THE BANDWAGON I don’t think I’ve held such care for an NFL team not called the Lions as I have for the Seahawks, and I can’t shy away from my ever-growing… Read More…

35 Years of Lions Draft-Butchery (including 10 Missed Super Bowl QBs): A Masochistic NFL Draft-Day Guide

* 4/30/15:  A year later, but still relevant as the Lions celebrate the one-year anniversary of drafting a (so-far) underwhelming tight-end in the first round.  Let’s hope they actually address needs over the next few days!  –Kevin The last time the Lions won a title I was  just a few months past my negative-seventh birthday.  Sure, it would be unfair to point out that there has been only one playoff win for our sad NFL franchise since 1957–against the 1991 Dallas Cowboys who had an injured Troy Aikmann. So instead, I’m going to celebrate on the best day of a Lions fan’s year–NFL Draft Day.  But to be fair, I’m not going to analyze their ineptitude identifying talent since the Eisenhower years–again, that would be cruel.  I’m just going to start when I began following this incredibly consistent team. Two teams that didn’t exist until 1976 have since won Super… Read More…

Welcome to the Lions Den, Coach Caldwell: Challenges Facing the Future Ex-Coach

Sadly, 20 months later, Coach Caldwell is ready to become the latest Ford recall… (11/3/15) Today, the Lions announced their latest casualty–Jim Caldwell. And one happy man, Ken Whisenhunt, is now in the employment of a far less-talented team but a far more talented owner. “Congratulations, Ken, you’re not a Lion” Whisenhunt was the chosen one.  He was the reason we all were rooting for the Chargers to lose on Sunday to Peyton Manning.  But as luck (and Lions lore) would have it, Peyton did win a rare playoff game but Kenny chose the Titans over working for his former teammate and current Lions GM, Martin Mayhew. **You may also enjoy Kevin’s “35 Years of Lions Draft Butchery”** Very wise choice, KW.  No Lions coach has ever been a head coach after his tenure with this franchise.  It’s really an incredible run.  Even the Bengals have been to the Super… Read More…

“Gobble Gobble!” Thanksgiving, Northern Michigan and Family

Perhaps Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it’s front-loaded.  All the work is done on the first day and the rest of the weekend is comprised of football, avoiding the mall and general digestion. Throughout the late 1970s and into the early 1990s,when the above couch wasn’t full of random cousins it served as my bed.  In 1984, I was a college sophomore, stressed out completely, and couldn’t wait to drive with my family five hours north to my Aunt Joan and Uncle Bill’s cottage on Oden Island, just north of Petoskey, Michigan. We’d load up the station wagon, pray for no icy roads on Wednesday evening and get going on I-75, along with a couple thousand other travelers–some, like us, not wearing hunting orange and plaid. It was one of those fatigued moments of joy when we’d drive across the steep bridge to the island and down the road… Read More…

Detroit Sports Masochism: Big Papi, Crazy Uncle Jim Leyland and Neanderthal Man

I learned long ago that my garage is never more organized than it is on autumn Sunday afternoons.  When the Lions are on, something positive has to happen by 4 PM.  So, to the embarrassment of my wife, I buried a coaxial cable under the ground and ran it to the garage so I could keep half an eye on my latest garbage-picked 32″ television  while I fold paint tarps, sort screws, clean bike chains or set mousetraps. I have been a Lions fan since the mid 1970’s.  I have seen the Dallas Cowboys and 49ers go from bad, to great, to bad again, then great again.  And since turning negative-seven years-old, the Lions have amassed exactly one playoff victory–in 1991 against the Cowboys without injured Troy Aikman.  For me, Wayne Fontes is the good old days.  No Lions head-coach has ever been a head-coach anywhere else. Last night, I… Read More…