This whole Robert Parker/Rod Marinelli press conference situation has suddenly turned a beleaguered, not-so-good coach into a sympathetic character for the last game of a uniquely pathetic Lions season. It's kind of awesome isn't it?
Parker's awful attempt at humor (and lame, self-serving apology) will hopefully rile up some intensity in the dreadful Lions for the sake of their cuddly coach. It's probably too late to save Marinelli's job, but now that's he's basically gone all angry dad and refused to accept Parker's excuse, it's just made the Packers/Lions game extremely compelling:
"Anytime you attack my daughter, I've got a problem with that ..." Marinelli said. "It was premeditated. I think there's something wrong with that."
Did it cross the line?
"Big time," Marinelli said.
All last minute bluster aside, 1-15 would be a remarkable achievement, given this man's circumstances. He's had four months of opportunities to explode at the dais during his depressing press conferences, but always chose to fire-off a self-help book quote about positivity he probably read on the toilet the night before. His responses were goofy and hokey, and , honestly, something he probably had trouble believing himself 90% of the time, but what were the alternatives? Smashing a microphone, picking fights with reporters, an animated freak-out or passing off blame to the Ford family or Matt Millen would have probably made him more popular and been justified. But, until yesterday, he went the other direction.
The Detroit News has also taken issue with Parker's line of questioning and managing editor Don Nauss suggested that the columnist's job might be in jeopardy. How come? Because Rod Marinelli, for all of his hopelessness as a coach, proved himself to be a good guy, who still cared about his team and his own self-respect throughout this horrendous season. Rob Parker, a sniveling cock of epic proportions, did not. It's karmic justice.
This Sunday's game with the Packers will be a wretched, freezing day in Green Bay pitting two lifeless teams against one another, but it's suddenly been given an infusion of pathos thanks to this whole Parker situation. Wouldn't it be great if the NFL actually went out of its way to flex schedule this game? Let the playoff scenarios settle in the afternoon and let the Lions defend Rod Marinelli's honor in prime time. It won't happen, of course, but it would suddenly give an incredibly bland NFL regular season some melodrama. And remember that Lions team that went 0-12 back in 2001? Well, that was the story line three weeks ago when the Lions were 0-12. Aveion Cason, a member of that Lions team, told the Freep reporter that finally snagging a victory during that pathetic stretch was like "winning the Super Bowl."
Imagine what they'll feel like if they win on Sunday.