My boy Jay usually shows up at the gym wearing shorts and a t-shirt with a motivational message to get through his work out.
For instance he wore a t-shirt the other day that said that pain is the bodies way to release weakness.
Three weeks ago, he walked into the gym decked out in all Detroit Lion gear. He thought the team was going places after a 3-1 start and wore Lion shorts, a t-shirt and even worked out in a Lions cap. He wanted everybody to know that he was on the band wagon.
I of course told him he was silly and that the Lions have been teasing fans for decades. I also question why Lion fans fall for the fake every time this team displays a slight pulse of revival that quickly disappears.
After the Lions third straight loss, a 20-15 defeat to Pittsburgh on Sunday night, I asked Jay where was all his Lions gear?
“Man I burned all of that stuff,” he said.
The Lions do it to you all the time. They tease and dangle promise in front of you only to have Lucy jerk the football back as you try to kick it down field. Let me remind you that this is just one of a handful of NFL teams that has never appeared in a Super Bowl and has just one playoff win since 1957. That came in 1991 when the Lions demolished a rebuilding Dallas Cowboys team that actually reached greatness.
I was in the dressing room on Nov. 4, 2007 when receiver Mike Furry screamed “Hey media you can kiss my ass”, after the Lions pounded Denver 44-7 to begin the season 6–2. The rest of the league proceeded to kick their ass as the Lions won one game the rest of the way and failed to make the playoffs.
The Lions have not hosted a playoff game since Ford Field opened in 2002 and that won’t happen this year either.
Their two best players, Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, simply walked away in the prime of their careers with millions of dollars on the table. That should tell you something right there.
The Lions could have beaten the Steelers because Pittsburgh gave less than its best effort. But coach Jim Caldwell elected to go for it on fourth down when a chip shot field goal would have given them the lead. And then he kicks a field goal when a touchdown was the only way to win.
I run into people all the time who say I am too rough on the team. My response is what have the Lions done to earn our respect and call me when they win a playoff game.
When that happens I know my boy Jay will be decked out in his all Lions gear again. I just can’t tell you when that might happen.