Hey ESPN we need you. NFL Films! We need you.
There have been a number of entertaining and informative 30 for 30 documentaries that chronicle the good and bad of sports. It is time now for a 30 for 30 on the Detroit Lions and their fans entitled: “Why we still love them.”
If they can do a documentary on frustrated Chicago Cubs fans and one on the Curse of the Bambino, then the frustrations of Lions fans and the futility of the team they love should be next.
Even Chris Webber is working on a second Fab Five documentary.
One playoff win from 1957 to the present. Three super stars walk away, but fans still stand by them. The only NFC team never to have played in the Super Bowl. New coaches with new promises. The screams of “Same Ol’ Lions.”
There is enough material to fill a 90-minute documentary. But let’s not get greedy. We don’t want to bore America with all our problems, just enough to let the country know that Lions fans are the most angry and loyal in all of sports.
Why do we still love them?
A 30 for 30 could go something like this.
SCENE ONE: ROLL TAPE: Running back Barry Sanders makes a series of spectacular runs, stopping and darting on the Silverdome turf, making opponents look foolish. He runs into a pile of Green Bay Packers defenders, disappears and emerges on the other side to continue his dash for an 80-yard touchdown.
Fade out as Lions fans scream “Barry! Barry! Barry!”
SCENE TWO: Chicago Bears place kicker Paul Edinger lines up for a 54 yard field goal. If he misses the Lions and Bears go into overtime in this pivotal season finale. If he makes it the Lions are booted from the playoffs at 9-7. He makes it.
Down go the Lions. In comes Matt Millen.
Fade to a press conference a the Pontiac Marriott when Millen is introduced as General Manager. Show a cross section of fans who either believe this is a winning move or talk about the desperation of a desperate team.
SCENE THREE: Snippets of Lions coaches begin. Bobby Ross screams “I don’t coach that stuff.” Darryl Rogers proclaims: “What does a guy have to do to get fired around here?” Monte Clark prays on the sidelines for a field goal to be good. Marty Mornhinweg storms off on a motor cycle during practice.
SCENE FOUR: Bumbling and stumbling plays from the 2008 season are strung together. The scores of each loss during a 0-16 season are shown.
SCENE FIVE: Angry Lions fans in orange T-shirts spill into downtown during the infamous Millen Man march because they are upset with the decline of an already terrible franchise as they demand owner William Clay Ford to make changes. Instead Millen is given a five-year contract extension.
Roll tape on the antics of former GM Russ Thomas and his cheap ways which prevented the franchise from taking off.
SCENE SIX: A hot press prints newspapers at a rapid press. Headlines spin and roll off to reveal that Barry Sanders walks away in his prime. Calvin Johnson walks away in his prime. Matthew Stafford said he’s had enough here and gives the team permission to trade him.
Include scenes of Don Shula in a Lions shirts who was allowed to get away and enjoy a Hall of Fame coaching career with the Miami Dolphins.
There is plenty of bonus footage that can be shown along with angry bellows from Lions fans. There is the catch by Calvin Johnson that was ruled a non catch. The Lions finally make the playoffs only to lose 5-0 to the Dallas Cowboys. Frustrating runs by Sanders who runs for -1 yards on 13 carries in a playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.
It should be noted that in four outdoor post season games Sanders only averaged 2.8 yard per carry and never rushed for more than 65 yards.
Sterling Sharp all alone in the secondary for a game-winning touchdown. Aaron Rodgers nails a hail Mary touchdown pass while Lions coach Jim Caldwell looks for that “back and forth kind of thing.”
I’m certain your minds are filled with many more Lions moments. Let’s get this thing rolling. ESPN we need you. And I’m willing to bet you’d get high ratings and win awards with a Lions 30 for 30.Find Terry Foster Podcast here: