Lions Thanksgiving Leftovers: Heartburn only thing served up for Lions fans

Lions Leftovers is the weekly post-game commentary from Detroit Sports Nation contributor Rob Otto. The opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Detroit Sports Nation.

Most people look forward to their Thanksgiving leftovers, figuring out ingenious ways to re-purpose everything from the turkey to the sweet potato pie. The Lions, however, give their fans nothing but indigestion when we look back at their 30-23 loss to the Vikings on Turkey Day.

Go grab the Pepto, I’ll wait.

The Lions were bad on Thursday. They couldn’t run the ball again; Matthew Stafford could not complete the easiest of passes; they had almost no return game, and even when they did break one, it was called back on penalties; they let the Vikings run on them at will; with very few expectations, they couldn’t get pressure on Case Keenum; they left tight ends wide open on too many occasions; they hurried up when they didn’t have too and slowed down when they should have rushed. At least the special teams blocked a couple kicks and Matt Prater was perfect on the day!

Sound about right?

Lions fans got their hopes up that this was the year they win the division for the first time since before it was known as the NFC North.  The fans SHOULD have been right – Green Bay and Minnesota are playing with backup quarterbacks (in the Vikings’ case, the backup’s backup) and Chicago is playing with a rookie that has proven next to nothing so far. Everything pointed to a division title except one thing: Same Old Lions.

Every year, the Lions find new and tragic ways to crush the hearts of the faithful, and every year those faithful come back begging for more. It is a classic abusive relationship and one that hundreds of thousands of willing men, women, and children return to every year. As well as they should.

Fandom runs deep, and in most cases, it gets paid off. That is what keeps you coming back.

You cannot stop being a Lions’ fan any more than you can stop breathing, but if you want the payoff that almost every other fan base has gotten over the last couple decades, you have to hold the franchise to a higher standard. Stop buying into the hype and force them to prove something before you reinvest every iota of your being in them.

So, I want you to force yourself to look back at the Detroit Sports Nation live Twitter feed that I ran on Thursday (and make sure you follow along in the future @DetSportsNation). Let the day wash over you again, and when that pit in your stomach develops, embrace it and remember how it feels the next time you go into a season saying “THIS is the year they pull it all together.” Because it isn’t. Not as long as mediocrity is the only bar they need to reach to earn your trust.

Written by Rob Otto

Rob Otto is a former broadcaster on Sportsradio 1130 WDFN, WWJ Newsradio 950, 97.1 The Ticket, Fox Sports Detroit and Comcast SportsNet. He is a lifelong Michigander, a graduate of Central Michigan University, and has an opinion on everything.

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