Sure, our Detroit Lions are 4-9 and are technically playing for nothing more than draft position. Does that mean we are supposed to give up? Just stop watching their games, and stop caring? No. Hell no. Especially considering the Lions were already blown out of the water in one national game of the year (45-10 against the Kansas City Chiefs in London), this is a chance at continued redemption. Remember how exciting it was to watch the Lions absolutely decimate the Philadelphia Eagles in front of the world on Thanksgiving Day? That’s the stuff that gets me hyped up about these spotlight games. The possibilities of what could happen.
At the most, this team can still win seven games. Yes, a lot of people will say that they should just lose out to get an optimal draft pick, but where is the pride in that? Where is the sense of accomplishment in losing games to get a higher draft pick? Simply put, there is none.
Believe it or not, this is actually a very talented team. Ziggy Ansah is tied for the second most sacks in football. Matthew Stafford reached 25,000 passing yards faster than any quarterback in the history of football. Calvin Johnson is… well, Calvin Johnson.
There have been a fair share of exciting moments this year. The Lions won at Lambeau Field for the first time since 1991. They rattled off a three-game winning streak. Rookie running back Ameer Abdullah ran for a 24-yard touchdown on his first career NFL run, and also had a 104-yard kickoff return (he didn’t score on it, but it was exciting) at Lambeau. Calvin is 19 yards short of his 6th consecutive 1,000-yard season. See?
Tonight, we get another taste of Monday Night Football. This isn’t a game in London that is played on Sunday along with 15 other games for people to talk about. This is Monday Night Football. Sure, their first Monday game this season was marred by a head-scratching, game-ending call in the back of the end zone (13-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks), but this is a new opportunity. It’s the only game on the slate today. It’s the game that Chris Berman is talking about on ESPN. The game that the world talks about, as they do every Monday. Not only is this a game that is played in front of the world, it’s a chance to show that maybe, just maybe, this team has more to offer than they showed in their first opportunity.
I challenge you, Lions fan. I challenge you to get excited for this game. Get excited! This is the team that I have spent countless hours of my life following, keeping track of roster moves, training camp battles, and watching on Sundays. Tonight we get a chance to watch them, along with the rest of the world, on Monday. Does this game mean anything? Not in the standings, no. But, it should to the fans of the team. The people who spend their money on Lions jerseys. On Lions memorabilia. On Lions tickets. And yes, in some cases, large quantities of beer. It’s about something a lot more important than whether or not your team wins every week. It’s about pride, and I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of pride.
It’s Monday night. Are you ready for some football?!