Quite often throughout a baseball season, you’ll hear an announcer say something to the effect of, “That’s why you come to the ballpark, because you just might see something you haven’t before.” And technically, that’s true. That gets harder and harder to do as time goes on and we see more and more things. But there are still frontiers to be uncovered, diamonds to be unearthed, etc.
You have to truly appreciate the Detroit Lions on the same level. Because while there are many teams in all sports who just can’t seem to unfuck themselves, the Lions are the only ones trying to break new ground. Sure, the Pirates haven’t won the division in eons, but they’re just bad with an evil owner keeping them so. That’s rote. The Coyotes may occasionally get grifted by hockey’s Theranos family and constantly have a battle with local townships about staying in Arizona, but honestly we’ve seen all that before. The Clippers have at least risen from the muck here and there to be contenders who break hearts in the playoffs. But that’s an oft-heard tale.
The Lions however, are determined to stand out. Yesterday it was a field goal from Lansing that had never been made before. That would be enough, to lose on a record-breaker, but the gods saw fit to have it bang in off the crossbar just for the extra spice. It’s not enough without it. Any yard not gained on that last drive by the Ravens, just three feet, and the Lions win. You can touch that, if you’re a Lions fan. It’s not even victory that was dangled in front of the Lions and teased with that ball crunching into the crossbar and falling in, because a win in Week 3 will just get lost in the sands of time. It was that there might be a chance the Lions wouldn’t live on as having yet another historic indignity thrust upon them. For just one fleeting second, when leather hit metal, Lions fans thought, “Ok, we’ve ducked this one. We’re not going to lose on something that hadn’t been done before.” And then they did.
I’m sure when Ravens kicker Justin Tucker lined up before the snap every Lions fan thought he would make it. Years and years of conditioning would have brought them to that conclusion. If it had just sailed over and through, it would have just been confirmation. To be greeted with an understanding if not dejected nod. But to give them even just a half-glimpse of avoiding their fate, their latest trip to stooge-ville, but yanking it away before they even realized what was happening...there simply has to be a higher power. And it long ago gave up on doing anything meaningful or beneficial to humankind, because why would it? It’s just hellbent on entertaining itself. Which I think we can all understand.