Some people are fans of the Detroit Lions. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Detroit Lions. This 2012 Deadspin NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read the other Why Your Team Sucks 2012 previews here.
1. Nice timing! I can't think of anything more appropriate than the Detroit Lions finally turning into a decent team a mere three decades after the team's hometown has been economically buried and left for dead by the rest of America. I went to Michigan a couple months ago. There are weeds growing out of weeds there. Nature has already fully reclaimed the state. It looks like The World Without Us. The only people who can afford decent Lions tickets are six mildly competent car executives living in Grosse Pointe, and five of them are from Italy.
The fact that Detroit still has four major sports teams is almost a cruel taunt, an evil trick designed by city officials to convince local residents that their town isn't extinct. It's like a Hollywood set where you see the outside of a prosperous-looking building and then walk behind the facade to see nothing but two wooden planks holding it all up. Every loyal Lions fan has had to flee the area to go live in a Florida shipping container. And NOW the Lions finally have the balls to be good? What a dick move. Seriously. What prayer does a Michigan resident have of enjoying your success when the repo man has already come to claim his last can of soup?
2. Awwww, they think they're contenders! I watched the Lions play the Saints in the divisional round, and it was almost sad to see the Lions trick themselves into believing they had any prayer of competing against real teams. They weren't as good as the Saints. They still aren't. This defense gave up 1,612 passing yards in the final four games of the season (Matt Flynn says thank you for the signing bonus!), and they still suck. Jahvid Best's brain scan looks like the surface of a distant moon. The elite teams of the NFC are still much better than the Lions, and they will go on being better after Matt Stafford tears his labrum in 30 places and Calvin Johnson falls victim to the Madden Curse. Remember: THESE ARE THE LIONS. God doesn't allow the Lions to be very good for very long.
3. Cheap shot motherfuckers. It's never a good idea to follow the Raiders' blueprint of penalty accumulation. The strategy of DURRRR IF I GET LOTS OF LATE HITS THE OTHER TEAM WILL FEAR ME DURRRR hasn't worked in ages, so it'll be fun to watch the Lions blow game after game because Ndamukong Suh got flagged for stomping a replacement ref to death during a third-and-11 incompletion. You don't even need a bounty system to get the Lions to behave like idiots. It just comes naturally to them to hit the Fox sound guy out of bounds.
4. Michigan people are horrible. They are racist. They made Fat Drew cry. And the accent. My God, the accent. I don't know how Wisconsin and Minnesota people get pegged for having unbearable accents when Michigan people have accents that are just as bad, if not worse. I remember playing NHL '94 with this kid from Michigan (same racist kid as the story in the link), and every time he cross checked my Alexander Mogilny, he would say, "Oh, you just gaaaaat haaaaaaammerd." Like he was talking out of his goddamn nose.
I want you to listen to something: This is conservative pundit Debbie Schlussel. She's from Michigan.
Forget your political affiliations and just listens to this war harpy's voice. EVERYONE IN MICHIGAN SOUNDS LIKE THIS. It's fucking unbearable. I wanna fill my ears with mercury after hearing this accent. Stay the fuck away from Michigan if you can (and it should prove easy since no one ever has a good reason to go to Michigan).
5. Hear it from Lions fans!
They can't run the ball and they can't play defense that does not involve egregious personal fouls at horribly inopportune times. I am pretty sure this year they will be within seconds of sealing a huge victory against a respectable opponent when someone will commit the single most idiotic penalty you have ever seen. The Lions convinced everyone they were good last year because they went 10-6 thanks to complete meltdown by the opposing teams. They barely beat the Vikings (twice), Cowboys, Raiders and Panthers and were only asshairs away from being 5-11, even though our precious QB threw for 5,000 yards. That kind of dumb luck doesn't repeat itself.
In five years 95% of their salary cap will be dedicated to paying Stafford, Suh and Megatron and therefore they will be forced to field a roster consisting of three good players and 50 dicktards claimed from the Browns and Jaguars practice squad. This is ostensibly how a Lions contract negotiation is conducted:
Lions: "Okay, why don't you tell us how much you think you should get paid?
3rd string guard who will be cut at the end of the season: "$44 million."
99% Lions fans have goatees; don't ask why, they just do. Far too many of them still wear Joey Harrington jerseys because they are too poor to afford anything else and too stupid to find a job. The Lions have won one playoff game in sixty years, which is a staggering amount of complete and utter incompetence.
The Lions employed Matt fucking Millen and paid him $50 million to run the organization for an entire goddamn decade. That's pretty much the beginning and end of any conversation about why the Lions suck.
We finally have a season to look forward to, and 3/4 of our defensive backfield goes and gets arrested. Which isn't really that big of a deal to me, except for the fact that this is the same defensive backfield that gave up 480 yards to motherfucking Matt Flynn. Now I have nothing wrong with watching high scoring entertaining games, but against Matt Flynn? This man sat behind Jamarcus Russell's chunky ass for 3 years at LSU.
Oh and the player that brought Lions fans the most joy every game this past fall? EA Sports had to go and put him on the cover for Madden. Fuck you EA Sports. And anyone who voted for CJ.
We are easily the stupidest fans alive. We root for a team that every year takes a half-step forward and six steps back.
Draft a highly-rated QB Matt Stafford? There's a constant threat of a torn rotator cuff when he's waving to the fans.
One of the best young DTs in on the roster? Suh stomps out opposing players on the day where you're supposed to be thankful.
The Lions are going to get a prime wildcard spot in the playoffs by just beat Packers who had a broken down defense and using backup QB? Instead, they give up 45 points and allowed a backup with a stupid beard secure a Lambeau record.
New Coach instills a fiery spirit in the defense? Players in the secondary can't go to the supermarket without getting arrested for assault.
Being a Lions fan is like hearing Lindsay Lohan's name in the press — it's always going to be followed by something pathetic.
Everyone celebrated when Matt Millen was FINALLY fired, it was the beginning of a new era, right? NOPE! The asshats in charge now? They were all Millen's underlings. The basically fired the CEO of ENRON and promoted his 2nd in command.
Second, this team still drafts like morons. They traded up into the 1st round to take Jahvid "pudding brain" Best. Undersized RB that had this happen in college:
Then there is this quote from our head coach on draft day:
"Some people watch adult videos on their computer, I go to YouTube and watch Jahvid Best highlight clips. That's what gets me going."
So he beats off to football highlights. We have our next Jon Gruden (minus the Super Bowl rings). Guess Schwartz missed the Jahvid Best snuff film I just mentioned above.
Oh, and fuck Matt Stafford, he sucks. My sweaty balls could have a good QB rating tossing up jump balls to Megatron all day.
They play in Detroit, which shed more than 20% of its population in a decade (and is still dropping)
· They play in Detroit, which has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation for (major) cities
· They play in Detroit, which doesn't even have a 7-11 franchise in its city limits
· They play in Detroit, whose ex-mayor created a $9 million liability for the city for firing police officers who found out he was sleeping with his chief of staff, and who is currently under indictment for racketeering
· They play in Detroit, which characterizes itself as a "sports city" which rioted after the '84 WS, had Malice at the Palace take place in 2005. There were also riots when MSU went to the Final Four and lost, but almost all of the rioters were white and were very unlikely to have been from Detroit
· They play in Detroit, which claims Insane Clown Posse, Kid Rock, and Eminem as its current most highly visible musical acts
· They play in the region of Metro Detroit, which is one of the most racially and economically segregated regions in the country
· They play at Ford Field, the lighting of which is as charming and conducive to a sporting event as the lighting of an Aldi (which is the only chain supermarket in Detroit)
· In 2008, their quintessential franchise player was Jason Hanson, now a 40+ year old place kicker
· Rod Marinelli got a Gatorade bath after a victory which put the Lions at 5-2 in 2007. They finished the year 7-9 and then 0-16 in 2008 before Marinelli was fired
· The headline for the preseason finish in 2008 for the Detroit Free Press when the Lions went 4-0 was "Perfection!" There wasn't a headline at the end of the 2008 season that had read "The Total, Utter, Annihilating Opposite of The Headline We Published in August!"
· Do you own a Roy Williams jersey? I know it keeps you warm at night, because it's clothing and that's the function of clothing.
· Their players have never heard of cab rides
· Without Matthew Stafford or Calvin Johnson, the team is an ersatz Cleveland Browns squad. And the Browns are horrible. Shaun Hill was a good backup QB. And he'll never lead the Lions into the playoffs.
· I like Coneys fine, but a hot dog with chili, mustard, and onions is not an inventive signature food. It's a chili dog with mustard and onions.
· Detroit's signature cheap beer was Stroh's before it was purchased by Pabst and moved to Wisconsin. One of its legacy native food products, Vernors, is now made in Texas
· Also, they play in Detroit.
Usually I'm of the opinion that Lions fans have suffered enough and deserve a few years of free passes for their indiscretions. But then someone posts a picture of that train station. That fucking train station. We get it. You're on your yearly trip downtown for Slow's BBQ with a side of cliche Instagrams. Stop. The fact that that building still stands should perfectly explain why Matt Millen was allowed languish for so long. A city that loves ruin porn this much deserves the Lions.
We are a cursed franchise for a reason. Mostly from William Clay Ford's incompetence as an owner but karma ain't been friendly neither. We're the only team in NFL history that's actually had a friggen player die right on the field during a game. Since then we've had Mike Utley and Reggie Brown put into various forms of paralysis, oh and Eric Andolsek got killed by a car...while working in his garden. How the fuck does that even happen?
We had the greatest RB in NFL history on our roster, but he decided that even though he was about 1500 yards short of the all-time rushing record, he'd rather go back home to Kansas and collect tumbleweeds than endure another season as a Lion. We then went and hired Matt Millen for a decade. who skull-fucked our corpse into oblivion, and we're now just emerging as something other than a bad MAC conference team.
Given that history it's easy to see that this year the Lions will go back to a 5-11 record and general ineptitude. You can already see it starting with our off-season arrest sheet making the Bengals envious. Matthew Stafford's knee will explode in Week 2 as Jeff "the human turnstyle" Backus whiffs on yet another blitzing DE. Megatron will develop Nintendo thumb from playing too much Madden and will become Roy Williams. Jim Schwartz will get arrested after losing a game of canasta while visiting a retirement home and pushing an 80 year old woman out a window for shaking his hand too hard.
You just know every time the Lions play on national TV they'll get some shitstain like Mitch Albon to come on the air during halftime and read a bleeding heart essay about the collapse of the auto industry. They'll inevitably play Eminem or Kid Rock as the background music montage to grainy black-and-white clips of sad hobos (black guys... they'll never show a white homeless person) in front of run-down buildings and proud-looking white guys (it has to be white guys) working on the assembly line.
"This is our city," Albom will insist. "And we're on the rebound. The Lions are doing this for us."
Oh, you're all going to hate us. You think you hate Michigan fans, guys? We're going to be like that. Only less educated. You're welcome.
Basically, the Lions boil down to three players — Stafford, Johnson, and Suh. That might work in the NBA and sometimes not even there. Last season was the first that Stafford went uninjured. Suh can go full Charlie Sheen at any moment in a game and get a little goodbye note from the Commish. Johnson — well, everybody's luck runs out eventually. Any one of those three go down and the team might as well start booking post-season Caribbean golfing trips — except for the team members who are just going to spend the off-season getting arrested.
This the only NFL team to ever finish a season 0-16. Literally a team of double amputee geriatric midgets could finish no worse than the 2008 Lions.
Dear Lord, is this team's running game a piece of work or what?
First, we have Jahvid Best, who is one decent hit from a punter away from being crippled for life. Then we trot out Kevin Smith, a man that has been watching Lions football for the last two years on his couch with his two robotic legs, and watch him get annihilated after one career game. By Week 6 we will be fishing for literally any free agent that has ever taken a hand off.
And then we have Mikel LeShore, who fans are expecting to be the second coming of Barry Sanders.
Which brings me to a question: have you ever seen a fan base so desperate/excited to see a pot-smoking second round running back from Illinois with two leg injuries before his NFL career has ever started?
No, you haven't? Well you probably would if Stefan Logan was your team's slated starting running back for Week 1.
We have more problems with running than Fat Albert, period.
When Scott Mitchell holds actual passing records for your team, that's not saying much. And don't even get us started on Barry Sanders retiring at his peak (we still think he could throw on some pads and rush for 1000 yards if he decided to come back tomorrow.) But the all time worst thing that we have to put up with every season is the feigned pity heaped on the city by sports broadcasters. Newsflash: the Lions winning a game won't revitalize that crackhouse two blocks down the street from Ford Field. "HURRR that's Stafford's second TD of the game, and you can see the life being pumped back into this once great city." SHUT UP. Tell you what, Kenny Albert, why don't you and Mitch Albom (this has been his shtick for years) try walking around downtown Detroit after a big win and see if you can feel the radiating warmth. My guess is you'll only feel a methface stabbing you in the pancreas because all he sees is the devil.
We're happy for a winning team after going through so much. But don't play it off like wins are going to make us forget that we live in a real life "Escape from Detroit" scenario.
Detroit is the most racist northern city, even more so than Boston and Chicago. Detroit is terminally cornholed because of decades of deplorable and systemic racism. Detroit is also fatter too. And you know this is all a moot point because 99.6% of the fats occupying Ford Field aren't even from Detroit, they're from the cozy, cozy suburbs 20 miles north or south from "THE D." That's right, as they call it, THE MOTHERFUCKING D. The town none of these chodes will visit unless it's to go to a Lions, Tigers, Wings game or a KID ROCK concert or better yet KID ROCK AND BOB SEGER! SEGER WORKED ON AN ASSEMBLY LINE! BLUE COLLAR JUST LIKE US YEEEAAAAH! These are the only occasions suburbanites will put on a Jason Hanson jersey with plaid cargo shorts and waddle down to the big black scary city where their virgin step-daughters are at-risk of being accosted by Mikel Leshore in a rented Escalade.
These assholes claim to be proud of and from THE D because of embarrassments like Kid Rock which makes sense because this fan base has become a total shit show. Deadspin has featured this shit show at Tigers games on Opening Day and this past weekend when a fan got hauled off for pissing himself. He is the embodiment of the Detroit "fandom" or rather an excuse to get blind drunk in public and be distracted from a miserable life by big shiny scoreboards. Lions fans—Detroit fans in general are too stupid to cheer unless the scoreboard literally tells them too. It didn't used to be this bad. I blame popularization of light beer.
"THE D" stands for DURRRRRR.
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