Archive for September, 2020

On the Sad Sorry State of the Detroit Lions…

Posted in Grumblings on September 13, 2020 by chemiclord

Yep… I’m breaking my silence to talk sports. To my six readers or so, sorry.

The Detroit Lions, or as Homer Simpson would put it, “The sorriest bunch of sucks who ever sucked.” A team who on any given Sunday will add another example to the definition of “futility.”

There’s no real analogy I can make to describe this team outside of the realm of sports; because in no other field could anyone or anything be allowed to fail so utterly for so long before the rest of the industry simply refused to have anything to do with such an absolute disaster.

The closest examples I can think of would be if you’re a movie buff to picture Ed Wood. Try and wrap your brain around his filmmaking career. Now have that career go twice as long as it did.

Even other sports examples really don’t quite capture just how awful of depths this franchise has sunk to. You can cite the Chicago Cubs or Boston Red Sox or the Cleveland Browns or Liverpool (if you’re fans of the English Premier League), but those teams actually had moments during their trips in the wilderness where they actually got your hopes up, like there was a chance. They had stretches of competence that just for one reason or another didn’t end with a championship.

Not the Lions. This is a team that has been perennially awful for over sixty years. They have yet to even see their league’s championship game. Hell, they’ve only seen their league’s semi-final once. And it doesn’t look like this season is going to end that wandering through the wilderness either with another opening day that ended in the same agonizing fashion as so many games did the last two years… jumping out to an early lead, and unable to close the deal, eventually losing just before the end in spectacular fashion.

The problem, at least on the field, is two fold. Firstly, they have a defense that simply can’t stop anyone if they don’t stop themselves (if I follow up on this, I’ll delve into the systemic ineptitude of the franchise’s management and ownership). I say that quite literally; the Lions have routinely had one of the worst, if not the worst, defensive teams in their league for the last three years.

In this most recent game, the Lions defense gave up three consecutive scores in the last quarter of play to go from a solid lead to losing. To futbol fans, it would be roughly analogous to a side giving up three consecutive goals in the final twenty minutes.

This puts constant pressure on the Lions offense to keep scoring points, rather than play a more conservative game plan that limits mistakes that would give an opponent new life. Unfortunately, the Lions try to play more conservatively anyway… then go into panic mode when that proves foolhardy, and eventually making the sort of mistakes in their panic that they were trying to avoid making in the first place.

And thus, you have a consistent recipe for failure that has happened with almost eerie regularity, almost like they are reading from a script. The National Football League only plays 16 games a season, and this particular script has played out 11 times for the Lions in the last two seasons and now one game.

I’d argue the root cause of this repeated, catastrophic failure is arrogant pride on the part of Matt Patricia, the Lions current head coach. He is a man whose entire career has been on the defensive side of the game. He has to trust in his defense to shut down the opponent, and refuses to suffer the idea that the defense he has is simply incapable of doing that.

It’s the sort of pigheaded stubbornness you have to settle for when you’re a neophyte General Manager without any real connections, and thus the number of people you know is dreadfully small…

Okay. I’m not mentally ready to dive down that rabbit hole. I’m just gonna stop now. Sorry for rambling.