I started off my day with a cold cup of Joe. I had my wife make it last night because I knew I would need a jolt to get me going this morning and the icy stuff always works faster. I am physically, mentally and emotionally drained and it’s not because of any alcohol I had to drink the day before.
It’s also not because of me chasing my kid around the house all day or running errands around town from dusk until dawn. No, none of that. I am hungover from a force that is stronger than all of those things combined.
I watched the entirety of the Detroit Lions game yesterday.
You read that correctly and if you are a Lions fan and did the same, then I’m sure you can relate with what I’m getting at.
Being a fan of the Detroit Lions has got to be hazardous to your physical and mental health.
Now, for the last seven years, I have been fortunate enough to serve my country as a soldier in the United States Army and in that time, I saw action in two combat tours overseas. As you can imagine, I have had my share of adrenaline rushes and anxiety storms in that time.
However, when Lions kicker Matt Prater randomly missed an extra point to go up a solid seven points late in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts yesterday afternoon, the roller coaster ride that my mind and body would go through the last four minutes of that game could possibly stand toe to toe with some of my more memorable days in Afghanistan.
And here’s the kicker that every Lions fan from here to Muskegon can attest to: it’s almost a weekly occurrence! As a matter of fact, just to estimate, that may have been the 50th Detroit Lions roller coaster I’ve been on since I’ve been an adult fan (cause it doesn’t truly start killing you until then) and I’m only 26! So just imagine, my fellow millennials, our parent’s generation and the damage that this team has done to them!
It’s unfathomable and scary.
Let me be the first to tell you guys that this is going to be a loonnngggg season. This Lions team is good but not great and there’s something about them that screams believe but don’t trust.
There’s a problem with believing in the Lions. They tend to break more hearts than two dozen Krispy Kremes after a Marathon.
But we’re Lions fans and we do Lions fans things like drinking the Honolulu blue Kool-Aid when we know damn well know it nearly killed us last Autumn.
By the way, this article will be the inaugural piece of a new weekly DSN feature entitled “Monday morning Lions hangover” or MMLH for short. I will give a morning-after reaction to the Lions most recent performance but for the first installment this week, I just needed to make sure the fans of the Detroit Lions and even the non-Lions fans reading this were aware that there’s a major health risk in choosing to be the most loyal fans in sports (which we are).
Quickly, about the game. Umm. Wow. I absolutely LOVE and HATE Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s new offensive attack. With Calvin Johnson out of the picture, it seems he is utilizing the multiple open-space playmakers that Lions have by throwing them quick passes in the open field in order to utilize their talents. Guys like Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are perfect fits for this type of scheme.
What I don’t like about it…. when it’s 3rd and whatever long and Jim Bob decides to call a conservative three-yard screen or quick slant. The funny part is that they don’t start the game off like that. The Lions offense waits until they are up a couple touchdowns and then they squirm up into little Lion shells and wait for the other team to come back so the Lions fans watching at home can all develop severe anxiety and almost go into cardiac arrest during an attempted comeback bid.
That has to change. The foot needs to stay on the pedal. The offensive line played OKAY. Stafford only got sacked once but he was under pressure a lot which will probably be pretty common, hence Jim Bob’s quick passing attack plan.
Defensively, the Lions need to be better. A lot better. The defensive line (except some guy named Kerry Hyder) didn’t get near enough pressure on Andrew Luck, especially against a sub-par offensive line. I was definitely disappointed in that. Tahir Whitehead needs to be better in coverage. DeAndre Levy needs to not get taunting penalties on third downs and Darius Slay needs to stop falling down while covering deep routes. We won’t win many more games giving up that many points, but I do expect that side of the ball to be better going forward, especially the front seven.
To conclude, if I had to recommend to young children to either grow up and become Detroit Lions fans or grow up and smoke two packs a day… I would definitely tell them to choose the
Marlboros Lions (of course) but only at the avail of their own health and well-being. Looking ahead to the Lions schedule, optimism abounds. The Titans visit Ford Field next week and they looked not so great against Shaun Hill and the Vikings yesterday so, yeah. I’m still seeing the Lions as an NFC contender as long as they’re healthy. Too many weapons for Stafford – who should be seen as a dark horse MVP candidate.
So until next week, my fellow Lions fans. I hope I was able to bring some enlightenment and humor into your day as you try to shake off the after effects that is the Monday morning Lions hangover.