Some people are fans of the Detroit Lions. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Detroit Lions. This 2009 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group.
1. Do we really need to go through this exercise with this team? Even Detroit fans will tell you the Lions suck. It's not something that needs to be proven in the least. The Lions' suckiness is out in the open for all to see, undeniable. Their suckiness stretches out from Michigan and rolls far across the open plains. From West Cost to East, from the top of the Rocky Mountains to bottom of the Florida swamps, the inherent shittiness of the Detroit Lions is one of the few great American certainties. It is an eternal fixture of our existence. The Detroit Lions exist in a permanent, everlasting state of suck. You see Lions fans in the bars from time to time, and you see them wearing their Barry Sanders jerseys, with their stubbly black goatees, and you can see in their eyes the hope that they might one day finally muster the courage to grow indifferent to this team and all the horrible ways it fucks them in the ass every fall. They WANT to not give a shit, their steadfast devotion to the team not a sign of loyalty and integrity, but rather a glaring weakness, a spineless willingness to take shovelful after shovelful of freshly laid shit right in the fucking mouth. That said…
2. I'm not sure we really gave 0-16 its rightful due. When the Lions bowed out to the Packers 31-21 to close out last season, the loss merited a typical game recap on NFL Countdown, along with Big Fat Asshole Berman noting the 0-16 and saying, "Well, no one wanted to see it happen." Then he moved on. WHAT A CROCK. This was fucking history in the making and it got sloughed off like it was no big deal. Oh, it was a big goddamn deal, I say. You know how many historically shitty teams there were in NFL history that still managed to NOT go 0-16? Think of Kotite's Jets. Think of Rod Rust's Patriots. Or Cam Cameron's Dolphins. Those were all brutally bad teams, yet all of them managed to scrape out one win somewhere along the line. Not only did the Lions go 0-16, but they only had two games (Week 6 at the Vikings, Week 9 at the Bears) where they had a legitimate shot of coming anywhere close to winning. They lost their home games by an average of 21.4 points. They lost by ten or more points ten times, 20 or more points five times. They gave up the second most points in NFL history. Their offense was 30th in the league overall, their defense 32nd. Imagine if a pro baseball team or a basketball team ever went through an entire year without winning a game. You'd be fucking blown away by that, wouldn't you? No one could lose 82 or 162 straight games. Well, I'm telling you, if last year's Lions had been a basketball team, they would have gone 0-82. They represented one of the lowest levels of achievement ever in the realm of professionally staged athletics. Movies should be made. HBO specials should be produced. Books should be written. If the Pats had gone 19-0 in 2007, would you rather have read a book about their triumph, or read a book about the Lions wallowing in the gutter last year? It's no contest. Losing on that scale is fucking FASCINATING.
3. $41 million buys you Fun Boy up there. I'm glad the Lions drafted someone with a big arm to throw Megatron's way. But apart from physical skills, is there anything about Matt Stafford that gives you hope? He was never all that great at Georgia, and he doesn't come close to keeping the sort of low profile someone like Matt Ryan did before entering the league. For $41 million, the guy needs to be perfect AND give you a free handjob after every game. I'm not seeing it. You people are screwed.
4. More stories of racism! I went to Michigan for a semester once. This was just when the Fab Five had left and five new recruits had come in. One kid down the hall and I were playing NHL '94 one day when we got to talking about the team's propects.
Me: They could be good this year.
Guy: I don't know. I think they just play nigger ball.
Guy: Oh, I'm not racist. I'm just saying they play nigger ball, that's all.
Me: (stunned, horrified, loses innocence)
Keep in mind this guy had a BRUTAL Michigan accent (people with bad Michigan accents sound like Charlie Brown's fucking teacher). Horrible racism isn't half as charming coming with a Michigan accent attached.
Wanna be part of the Deadspin NFL previews? It's simple. Just email me here and give me some reasons why the team you hate most sucks. If it's because you dated a fan of the team and she turned out to be some crazy bitch who keyed your car, all the better. I'll throw any good material into the post and give you proper credit.