Dr. Kim Playfoot walked into my hospital room like a breath of fresh air. She was tall and blonde, full of jokes but was no nonsense at the same time. She introduced herself and sat at the end of my uncomfortable hospital bed. “You are lucky,” she said. “You have suffered what we call a minor stroke, but in my mind there is no such thing as a minor stroke. A stroke is a stroke. Here is what we’re going to do. We are going to take care of you and I know you are going to do everything you can to get better. I know you will. I believe in you. This is a team effort. Our joy is going to be the day you walk out of here and go home to your family.” She then turned to my wife Abs. “I know you are worried about him. I know you are strong. But I need a favor from you. No looking back. Do not rehash what he did or did not do in the past. We are looking at today and toward the future.” I loved this woman. I wasn’t being lectured by a doctor. I thought I was getting a game plan from Vince Lombardi. So I gave her the nickname “Coach.” I suffered an ischemic stroke which restricted blood flow to the brain. It is similar to a heart attack. In fact back in the day they called strokes brain attacks. She said it was a close call between life and death. She showed me a 3-D image of all the vessels and veins inside my brain. They were all healthy and free flowing, sort of like the Lodge at three in the morning. But there was a weak broken down vein on the left side. The blood flow in this vein became sluggish like I-94 during rush hour. I lost my ability to speak and my fine motor skills which made it difficult to type or wash myself. This vein has probably been like this since childhood. It was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. Here is where luck came in. If that vein became clogged instead of sluggish I’d be dead or paralyzed. A few days ago we suffered a horrific loss in sports media world when Jamie Samuelsen died at the tender age of 48 of colon cancer. Jamie sent a message to all. Get a colonoscopy. It is not that bad. I come with a message also. Watch your sodium or salt intake. That is what landed me in the hospital. Read the labels at the super market. If something has 800 milligrams or 1,000 milligrams of sodium you should probably leave it in the store. Order the small fries instead of the jumbo fries. Or ask the restaurant to lightly salt your fries. Sometimes we ask for no seasoning. I have a new side chick. Her name is Ms. Dash – a no salt seasoning that I put on chicken, beef and vegetables. I even found a low sodium Memphis style rub when I smoke ribs or pulled pork. I found it at the Eastern Market and it is just as delicious. I used to believe that most strokes were caused by high stress. That is not true. Sodium is the main culprit. So watch it. Do you know what one of the more dangerous meals are? Soup. Soup is loaded with sodium. Coach also told me I needed to lose weight. She said people who walk around with big bellies are more prone to sickness. I lost 46 pounds. I do not have a wash board stomach but it went from puffy to a little pouch. So let’s lose the stomachs too gang. Coach got up to continue her rounds. There were other patients to see. She’d be back the next day to check up on me and monitor my treatment. Thank you Coach.
Welcome to the second episode of Boombayey Podcast with Terry Foster. Joining Terry for this show is Ryan, E.Lund, and special guests Rhonda Moss, and Rico Beard.
Segment 1: Too hot for radio storytime with Terry. Why are you not watching ESPN? Do play by play crews add anything to the game?
Segment 2: Michigan and MSU seasons so far and where they’re headed.
Bonus segment: Mt. Rushmore of professional wrestling
Another podcast coming Thursday!
My name is Terry Foster and I am the guy that used to write for the news paper in Detroit and did sports talk radio.
My life was on a roll until I suffered a stroke last year and my life has changed. I blame myself for not monitoring my blood pressure better. A doctor has since told me that I may have been dealt a bad set of veins inside my brain and they were ticking time bombs ready to clog up.
I was lucky. The veins became sluggish, but not clogged. So I lived another day.
I am a new man and I want to share my thoughts with old friends in this blog and through podcasting. I will talk about my new life, my old life, Detroit sports, or whatever else crosses my mind. It will be personal at times. And I will rap on real life and real issues.
In other words I want to be a voice, no matter how small it may be now.
I also need your help. I want to pay the people helping me and donate to charities I’ve worked with. Heart to Hart passes out food, blankets, clothing and personal items to the homeless while the Enchanted Barn saves and houses mistreated animals and has inner city kids come out and learn to take care of them.
My pal Melissa runs the Enchanted Barn and needs our help.
I got involved with Heart to Hart after seeing people huddle near steam pipes on cold winter days after leaving Lion games at night. My heart sank seeing this.
Selfishly I still want to get my word out and entertain even though I am retired. And why not tryet to help those that help others?
I will continue my blog also. I plan to peck out a few words that I hope entertain you, and move you to action, tears or laughter. If you don’t care what I have to say I won’t be offended. Move on. Nothing to see here.
I will try to help you lose weight.
I will try to help you get healthy.
And I will do the impossible. I will try to get you to understand the Detroit Lions.
And I will eventually pick up a note pad and try to break a story or two. I need to talk to my league people first.
I hope you enjoy. I do believe there is room to praise me or rip me. Go ahead. We are friends.
I will not comment about Donald Trump because pro Trump and anti Trump people are like roaches. They never go away and they keep barking the same nonsense for weeks at a time.
How am I feeling since quitting radio? Good but not great. Doctors say I won’t fully recover until the fall. But I no longer get evening headaches and am not exhausted at the end of the day.
Thanks for dropping by. I hope you return again.
Tears filled my eyes as I tried to convince grand mom that I needed a pair of Chuck Taylor basketball shoes to enhance my grade school game.
I was 12 years old and a victim of inflation. The price of Chucks went up from $11.95 to $12.95 and grand ma said that was “too damn much money” to pay for a pair of basketball shoes. It was PF Flyers for me.
Today we received a charge of $521 for one damn pair of gym shoes. Now I know how grand mom felt that day. That is too damn much money to pay for a pair of shoes. The charge came from an online basketball shoe outlet in California and the wife and I are launching a full investigation with my daughter Celine and son Brandon before cutting up my credit card.
Brandon is our main target, but denies the charges. We allow him to get two pair of shoes a year and they are rarely below $200. That’s too damn much money to pay for a pair of basketball shoes, but I go along with it.
Celine does not care about high price sneakers. She is an Adidas girl and her purchases are always between $45-$60 when we spring for her shoes.
Pardon me for allowing old guy to take over. But who in their right mind spends $521 for a pair of shoes? And what kind of shoes are they?
When I was younger I wanted the most expensive, brightest basketball shoes I could find. Then I got a job and the money came out of my bank account. That is when I implemented my $100 rule. No pair of sneakers would cost more than 100 bucks.
Believe it or not it is still possible to do. I scouted out new walking shoes the other day at Dick’s Sporting Goods for $79. I broke that $100 rule once. And I felt swindled and betrayed.
I saw an orange pair of Nikes for $89 at Dick’s, grabbed them and walked toward the counter. Before getting to the counter I saw the same pair of shoes in white with a cool pattern on the bottom. The woman rang them up for $119 at the counter, but I didn’t say anything.
I’d circle back to the shoe department and tell her she made a mistake. But I went back to the shoe department and it was clear as day. The orange Nikes were $79 and the whites with the cool patterned sole $119. I felt violated but kept the shoes. I still wear them today for my walks around Union Lake.
If you want to see my cool $30 pattern ,just ask and I will show you the bottom of my shoes.
A few years ago I stopped in the Prada men’s shoe store in New York City before covering a Pistons-Knicks game. I fell in love with a pair of brown dress shoes. I loved the design, the rich thick leather. I even loved the thick shoe strings.
I even convinced myself to spend $200 for them.
One problem though. These puppies cost $800.
I tried them on, glanced in the mirrors, and thought I looked kind of fly. I usually don’t like dress shoes because they hurt my feet. However, my feet felt like they were wrapped in love with these shoes.
I could not pull the trigger. Those shoes stayed in the Prada men’s shoe store. And if one of my kids spent $521 on a pair of gym shoes, they are going back too. Or maybe I could start a Go Fund Me page. Or better yet, dispute the charges and cut up my credit card.
It better not be one of my kids. Or they are out of the will.
I remained outraged that Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police. However, it is not as cut and dry as who to direct that anger toward.
The easy answer is the Louisville Police Department. That is why protesters have over run the streets in Louisville, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit and other cities. But should some of my anger should be directed at Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker who fired the first shot striking Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly in the leg. Walker believed Taylor’s apartment was being broken into by thieves. Police then had the right to fire back.
Their mistake was blindly firing into an apartment. Bullets struck other tenant’s apartments and five bullets hit Taylor, killing her within five minutes of the first bullet fired by Walker.
Perhaps my anger should be directed at Judge Mary Shaw who signed the no-knock warrant, a directive that has since been outlawed in Louisville and can no longer be served in the city and may be outlawed in the entire state of Kentucky.
Even before the warrant police believed Taylor’s apartment to be a soft target and did not believe drugs would be found. So why was this apartment even targeted with a no-knock warrant by plain clothes officers after midnight?
Why did detective Joshua Jaynes insist on obtaining a warrant? Perhaps we should be angry at him.
Much of our anger was fueled by misinformation and speculation. For instance we were told that Breonna Taylor was killed while asleep in her bedroom. That is not true. She was standing next to Walker.
We were told that Taylor was involved with drugs and that Walker was a drug dealer. That is also not true.
We were also told that Taylor’s ex boyfriend, who was the real target of police, had been arrested hours earlier. That appears not to be true. According to police record he was arrested minutes prior to Taylor’s death during a subsequent raid.
Here’s what we don’t know. Did police announce themselves as police officers before pounding down the door? Did Walker fire at them before or after they caved the front door in?
Police and one witness said they identified themselves as police. Walker said he did not hear the police say that. Several other witnesses said they believe police did not identify themselves.
Let me put you in that situation. You are chilling, half sleep while watching a movie after midnight. Your front door explodes with loud pounding. What do you do?
We were also told that the police were at the wrong apartment. Wrong again. The warrant had Taylor’s name on it, her street address and apartment number. The door that police broke down was photographed as a target.
In conclusion, Breonna Taylor should be alive today. That angers me. Who is to blame? That is the question.
My daughter Celine was so excited for home coming night her senior year in high school.
She had a big job. She was in charge of organizing the West Bloomfield High School homecoming parade and she took her job seriously. Her friends scrambled making her orders come to life. It was the first time I saw the bossy side of my daughter.
Now I see how she became Class President at Stanford University and why she meets with the school president every few weeks.
I was very proud of her. I tried to stay out of the way and not be a parent hovering over his child. But Celine included me in some of the decision making and she came up with the bright idea of having me ride in the parade.
So I hopped in a convertible near the end of the parade and waved at people as a woman slowly drove me to the West Bloomfield High School parking lot. Later that night I watched from the sidelines as Celine shivered on the field as a member of the homecoming court. She didn’t win, but it did not matter to me. I got to see her in action as a leader.
I walked off the field a proud poppa. But my glee didn’t last for long.
I felt my right arm go numb in the cold and I began to clutch it and baby it. First I thought it was the chill of the night settling into my old bones. But my wife Abs knew something was wrong. She said one side of my face was drooping.
The worst was happening. I had my second stroke on a football field while watching my daughter parade around on the homecoming court. I rushed home without saying good bye. I did not want to spoil the evening for Celine who went out for pizza that night with friends.
The first stroke scared me the most because I never had one. But this was the one that knocked me out of the box. It zapped me of my personality and energy. Abs took me to the emergency room that night where I ran into the same doctors and nurses that took care of me six weeks earlier.
“Hey mister,” one of the doctors joked. “We did not expect to see you back this soon. You must like us.”
I did not understand this one. I was doing everything right. I took my meds. I ate fish, grill chicken and steamed vegetables. I downed water by the buckets. Yet, I was spending three more nights in the hospital.
A transporter wheeled me back to the stroke unit. The same nurses that took care of me the first time were on duty. They looked like they saw a ghost.
Why was I back?
I drew the same room as before. I could see a defeated and sad look on Abs’ face. What was I putting this woman through? I wanted our golden years to be joyous, not transporting me to the hospital every 30 seconds.
Nurse Amy came by my room that night. She woke me up every two hours to make sure I had died that night. And she asked me the same questions to test my mental state. Where was I born? Who was running for president? What city was I in? Name one of my childhood friends.
“You know there are a lot of shocked people in my unit,” she said. “You were the last person we expected to see in here. We heard you were doing so well, exercising and eating right. What happened?”
I don’t know. Someone surmised that my body was out of sync because it was the second stage of bad news. During the course of two months I’d have two strokes, two seizures and an episode where the room spun around like I’d been trapped in a giant dryer. That was the scariest episode, but doctors said it was the least dangerous.
While the room spun out of control I tried walking to the bathroom, but kept banging into the walls while collapsing to the floor. I could not take this any more. For a third time I asked Abs to take me to the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.
Doctors treated me for stomach flu and luckily I did not have to spend another day in the hospital. I went home that night afraid to leave the comfort of my bed. I did not want the room to spin again.
One day I sat on the couch in the living room with my lap top cradled on my lap. My son Brandon was upstairs when he heard the laptop crash to the floor. He rushed downstairs to find me motionless with the computer by my side on the floor.
I don’t remember any of this. The only thing I remember of this day was my neighbors Joe and Nancy walking me to another damn ambulance that idled in my driveway.
Guess where I was going.
During my series of medical collapse I never felt pain. But I felt a lot of guilt. What was I putting my family through? I hated the looks on their face. They were concerned for dad. Would I make it out of this alive?
I was used to being the bread winner and taking care of of my family. Now they were watching over me.
I did not like the feeling.
On Monday’s during the mid 1990s Detroit Lions defensive line coach John Teerlinck placed glue and tape on paper cut outs of NFL quarterbacks and had clubhouse attendants paste mug shots over the dressing stall of any player that recorded a sack during the previous day’s game.
Teerlinck might have done it himself but it is dangerous for a 300-pound guy to balance himself on a ladder or stool.
Players were thrilled to see the mug shots of Brett Favre, Warren Moon or any other quarterback that they brought down the previous day.
That was his way to motivate players to attack the quarterback and remain aggressive on defense. In 1995 the Lions recorded 42 sacks and 32 the next year even as the Wayne Fontes era unraveled.
Teelinck believed that defenses needed to attack quarterbacks, hurry up their thought process and get off the field as quickly as possible. It is the exact opposite of current head coach Matt Patricia, whose bend but don’t break passive defensive schemes are getting eaten alive by opposing quarterbacks. Even bad quarterbacks look good against the Lions who are marred in an 11 game losing streak and crippling 0-2 start to 2020.
The defensive guru from New England has been a disaster in Detroit, mostly because his defense looks lethargic and players sometimes look less than enthused to run his scheme. Now mental mistakes are more prevalent, especially late in games.
“Some guys it’s really hard to get there,” said Lions defensive coordinator Corey Undlin. “And the emphasis for that quarterback is not necessarily to blitz him or hit him. You obviously want to put pressure on him, put the clock on him.”
The Lions have two sacks in two games. Last year the Lions recorded 28 sacks. Only the Miami Dolphins (23) ranked lower. The Lions are giving up 27.8 points a game during this 11 game losing streak and are the kings of fourth quarter melt downs as the defense unravels and the offense stalls.
This problem began as soon as Patricia stepped foot in town and it appears as if he and his staff have not learned how to fix this. There is no hope for this team playing this type defense. Players grow weary and the coaches become frustrated with the lack of production.
The Lions do not believe in throwing many blitz packages. Why not? What have you got to lose? This way is not working.
Per Pro Football Focus Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers worked within a clean pocket on 93 percent of his throws. That is football suicide. The last thing you want to see in the NFL is a quarterback patting the football while observing the field. More than likely he will destroy you. The Packers might have scored more than 42 points if not from dropped balls from a less talented receiving core.
Even Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky rallied his team from 18 down in the fourth quarter to record a win against the fading Lions defense.
So this is not a new problem. Patricia is not the only defensive mind to come in here with a passive defensive package. Defense coordinators have been hired with grandiose plans to install an aggressive defensive system. Then they get here, look at their talent, and implement more zone blitzes and other passive schemes.
Players grow frustrated. They want coaches to believe in them and allow them to pin their ears back and go after it. Add Patricia to a long list of Lions coaches who does not believe in his personnel.
The Lions could use a man like John Teerlinck in their coaching room. Unfortunately, the original died earlier this year at age 69.
Where is the motivation?
Where is the belief?
Where is the aggressive play?
It’s not in Detroit. That’s why the Lions are doom to fail — again.
During his final years with The Detroit Lions I often stopped by the dressing stall of defensive end Robert Porcher to talk.
We did not talk football. We talked escape. Porcher is one of the best defensive players in Lions history. He is the team’s all-time leader in sacks (95.5) and made three Pro Bowls.
He jumped offsides a few times too many, but for the most part was a hard worker and a menace on the field.
I respected his game and respected his brilliance as a person. He deserved to play for something. Play for a championship, a division title. Win another playoff game.
Porcher used to get agitated with me when I told him the Lions reminded me of the Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day.” The same stuff kept happening over and over again.
During the twilight of his career this man deserved to play for something. It was not going to happen here because he was stuck on the set of “Groundhog Day.”
But Porcher loved it here. He proudly played for the Lions, became a big shot in the community and laid the foundation for business interests in Detroit. He did not like my Groundhog Day reference because he loved the Lions and believed in the team.
One day Porcher motioned me over to his dressing stall. The Lions were stuck in another losing streak and the man looked beaten.
“You are right,” an exhasperated Porcher said. “It is Groundhog Day around here.”
Sadly, I must welcome you to the set of Groundhog Day II. The set has moved from the Pontiac Silverdome to Ford Field. And the new lead actor is quarterback Matthew Stafford. It is time for him to leave and seek greener pastures before its too late to get assets for him.
The Lions lost their 11th game in a row during a 42-21 meltdown in Green Bay on Sunday and have dropped 14 of 15 games. It doesn’t matter if Stafford plays or patrols the sidelines with a bad back, the Lions lose.
This team needs a enema or at least a few U-Haul trucks. It’s time to ship Stafford off to greener pastures. And during this election year the Lions should hope at the end of the year they are in a position to pull the lever for Trevor and draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Maybe the brass Lawrence provides a shot in the arm to a sluggish franchise. Maybe the Lions can acquire more cap relief by removing Stafford’s salary from the books. I know what some of you are saying. You don’t win with a rookie quarterback. The Lions obviously don’t win with a veteran quarterback either.
Stafford deserves to play for something. If he played for any other team he’d have multiple playoff wins. He has zero with the Lions and it looks like it will stay that way.
And isn’t it time to pull the plug on coach Matt Patricia? Matt Millen posted an NFL record low .270 win percentage for a general manager during eight dismal seasons. Patricia’s .279 win percentage isn’t much better.
Remember folks. 9-7 is not good enough. If that’s the case then 9-24-1 should get you run out of town with the woman from Game of Thrones ringing her bell chanting “Shame. Shame. Shame.”
Predictably players said Patricia is not the problem. Players always say the coach is not the problem when approached for on the record comments from the media. They are just trying to not rock the boat and put up a supportive public front.
Certainly, they must know that change is needed and change is demanded.
If they don’t realize that privately, then shame, shame, shame.
What do you do now when you are watching a Tigers or Lions game with your friends and the home team does something well?
Do you hug now during Covid-19 like you used to? Do you dish out high fives like you used to? Or do you do something else?
We are supposed to social distance to help flatten the curve. But it is difficult to ask sports fans to remain apart when they are watching a game they care about.
Do not ask me to give you a hug when the Lions score a touchdown. I won’t do it and it has nothing to do with Covid-19. Do not throw your hand in the air waiting for a high five for me if the Lions score a touchdown. I think high fives are stupid. I won’t do it but once again this has nothing to do with Covid-19.
Once upon a time I was a sports writer in this town and our edict of not cheering in the press box remains strong in my retirement. I tell people my job was to record history, not root for it.
I go to games with friends and sit there like a bump on a log no matter what happens. They sometimes look at me as if I am a visitor from Mars.
“Give me something,” they say inside. “Show me that you care.”
I don’t. I never get nervous before games because I don’t care enough to make myself nervous. I simply want to appreciate the athletic prowess on the field and may the best team win.
It’s a tough way to go through life.
I’d sit in the Lions press box next to Drew Sharp as a team official reminded us there is no cheering in the press box. And sometimes me or Boodini would shout.
“Is laughing allowed?”
We’d laugh like a couple drunken hyenas at our stupid joke.
Do not become another me because of the pandemic. Enjoy your games. Wear a mask while with your buddies and you should be OK.
The year 2020 has been a strange ride on the Wild Mouse.
We’ve braced ourselves through Covid and carnage, wild fires, wild debates about masks, more than 100 days of wild protests and arrests, George Floyd, a parade of hurricanes, attacks on our elections, misinformation, lies and mistrust of our government officials.
When does this ride stop?
Maybe it didn’t stop last weekend. But didn’t the world almost feel normal with the return of the NFL? Didn’t it feel like 2019 again as Detroit fans bitched about the Detroit Lions blowing another game under Matty Patty and New England continuing to win with a new quarterback?
Didn’t it feel good to see your blood boil and have thousands of others come to your rescue? The NFL might be different this season, but it has made us sane.
There are few if any fans in the stands. Tom Brady is in Tampa and Cam Newton in New England. Ndamukong Suh is with his fourth team and Adrian Peterson his fifth in Detroit of all places. Washington has a team with no name. And Lions fans are calling their teams names that cannot be printed in a family newspaper.
But I can mention them here.
However, Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers still looks good, the Kansas City Chiefs look dominate and the New York Jets look like one of the worst teams in NFL history.
The game is back. The games look normal. Our betting slips are being padded again. And life feels normal again — almost.
They are playing basketball and hockey in bubbles. And an abbreviated baseball season winds down. But there is nothing like the NFL being back.
College football is back. But Texas State and UTSA do not make the blood boil. For college football to resonate you need the bands booming and the cheer leaders prancing and fans cheering.
The NFL simply needs a football, two goal posts and 11 on 11 to work.
You also need the big boys playing in college football. There is no Big Ten just yet which means no Ohio State, Michigan or Michigan State. Heck, we don’t even get Iowa (And I hope the great Alan Lee is not reading this) or even Purdue.
This isn’t to say the NFL is the straw that stirs the drink. However, it goes a long way in making our cocktails potent and delicious. Life is a little bit more like life when we hear the Monday Night Football theme music, the cracking of pads and the annual refrain of Same Ol’ Lions.
I am usually not an advocate of telling someone how to spend their money. However, I am in agreement with Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva who challenged Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James to match the $100,000 reward for the capture of the person who shot two LA County Deputies last weekend.
To make matters worse, some supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement showed up to the hospital where the officers were given life saving surgery, chanting for the officers to die. Those are two despicable actions and are more examples of this country being an embarrassment. We are also locked in a civil war that will produce no winners.
We need an enema.
The officers — a 31 year old police woman and 24 year old man — underwent surgery Saturday night to treat multiple gun wounds to the head. They are expected to recover.
Meanwhile, the suspect remains at large after firing several shots into the police cruiser — a crime that was caught on video outside the MLK Transit Center in Compton.
People want equal justice for black people in this country. I get it. I want it too. However, ambushing the police does no good. An eye for a eye mentality won’t get a majority of Americans on your side. The BLM movement is losing me because of the violence and rioting.
The movement is being hijacked by young people who have no concept of the big picture. A few years ago a BLM sympathizer shot up downtown Dallas and targeted the police. The local BLM chapter issued a statement condemning the shootings and asking for peace.
Will these young people who have hijacked the movement call for peace this time? Will they be as outraged about this shooting as they were of the George Floyd lynching or the Jacob Blake shooting?
It took an old head to make sense of this. The Rev Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, said he is praying for the two officers along with the family of George Floyd and Jacob Blake who was shot by the police several times in the back while walking away from them toward his car.
“We are saying that police should not be wrongfully shooting or killing civilians, particularly in the black community,” Rev Sharpton said. “And for people to try to associate us with murder and ambushing and death is doing more to hurt the cause than anything.”
During this civil war we justify shootings. We root for death in the same way we root for the home team at a football game? That’s not right. We are not right. Some of us are sick in the head.
We need an action or a person to bridge the great divide and end this civil war that has pit black vs white, black vs blue, young vs old, left vs right. It is a civil war of misinformation and one that lacks basic education. I’m sick of it.
Maybe James can help end it contributing to the reward to bring the LA Police shooter to justice.
I don’t know. I’ve run out of answers.
When Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift dropped that potentially game-winning pass in the end zone during Sunday’s stunning 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears I immediately felt badly for the young man.
My mistake that day was writing about it on Twitter. I was immediately attacked for showing compassion for a professional athlete.
What is wrong with us? I understand you were angry with the outcome. I understand that some of you want coach Matt Patricia fired after a 9-23-1 beginning to his head coaching career in Detroit.
But you are not allowed to show compassion for someone who failed? Is our relationship with Detroit athletes that simple? If you win I shall celebrate with you. If you lose I shall abandon you and want nothing to do with you.
We can criticize the Lions for this mammoth collapse. We can criticize Swift for not making the big catch. That’s OK. But am I not allowed to say “poor guy that was a tough break?”
Is that it? Swift dropped that ball on an effort play. He did not do it on purpose. You don’t have to like the outcome.
So why is wrong to say “poor guy?’Is it the money? Is it the fame?
Sometimes we forget that pro athletes are human beings. They bleed like the rest of us and they hurt like the rest of us. The difference is their stage is bigger and their paycheck is fatter.
Patricia walked Swift off the field and threw an arm around him. He wanted to sooth his rookie running back and explain to him that he did not lose that game by himself. Patricia was also being a human being, something some of us have forgotten how to be.
Swift did not blow that 23-6 fourth quarter lead by himself. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a key interception. Kicker Matt Prater hit the goal post. Adrian Peterson and the offensive line failed to convert a third and one.
During a 1994 Western Conference quarterfinals series between the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks 21 year old rookie goalie Chris Osgood sent an errant pass along the boards that led to the game-winning goal in Game 7. His game 7 miscue stunned a town and left Osgood an emotional mess.
I spent time with him that night and he talked about how he believed he let his teammates down along with the entire city. How could you not feel sorry for the guy? Yep, he made a huge mistake, just as Swift did.
In the 1988 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Isiah Thomas made one of the most infamous blunders in NBA history. With the Pistons up a point in the waning seconds, he fired a pass toward Bill Laimbeer near the basket that Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird stole and passed to Dennis Johnson for the game-winning basket. This town mourned, but how could you not feel compassion for Thomas who was devastated after the game?
Swift found himself on the big stage at Ford Field and failed. He wanted to catch that ball as badly as anybody. I’m assuming the guy is heart broken because the Lions did not make him available after the game on Sunday. Two days later I still don’t see Swift quotes.
So will you embrace him only after he makes you happy? Is that how it works?