Yesterday evening, I was at a nice restaurant in Novi, enjoying dinner with my son. I then overheard the party sitting across from us totally bashing the Lions. Okay, they deserve it, right? Well, last year, was the winless season that wasn’t, so I would say hell yeah for 2008. However, this is 2009.
I need to clarify my position here. I am not a huge NFL fan. I prefer college football because the players play with more heart, and it is great rooting for them, and seeing them make that transition into the NFL and do some pretty amazing things, in most cases, however, there are some exceptions to the rules, shall we say, Charles Rogers, Joey Harrington?
The problem here is that this playful group of ten were from Pittsburgh and they had driven down to cheer for the Steelers and a comment that came from one of the gentlemen, was that they were here to watch the Lions lose. Ouch! A statement made was,”How could they win? They don’t know what that means, look at their owner!”
My goal for this evening was to have a great dinner, and a glass of wine, and just chill. Trust me, that so went out of the window, the chill part, at least! These idiots felt entitled to a win, and pre-celebratory drinks were flowing all over. I want to examine the question that was posed by the Steelers fan because it opens up a dialogue that could ignite something, at least from my prospective.
How can the Detroit Lions win, and I am not talking about just against the Steelers? First, let’s start with their name. According to Webster’s definition, a person who resembles a lion has the strength and ferocity as the animal itself. Sorry to say, but none of the Lion’s players with the exception of Kevin Smith, pop into my mind.
Hey Coach Swartz, can you remind the team of this in meetings? Can you take the players out on a field trip to the Detroit Zoo perhaps, to show them how a real Lion roars, and is feared, and revered because of its character? I would love to see the Lions live up to their name and play with such fierceness that earns them respect, initially for themselves, and I am sure it will trickle down to both the fans and foes.
The symbol of the lion itself, is much like that of the unionized, blue-collar spirit city of Detroit, and the surrounding surburban areas. There is strength, and courage despite hard economic times, that will recover in time, but never at the capacity in which it was in the past. Detroiters (this includes everyone within the tri-county areas) are fierce, and when they fall, they get back up, and find a way to get it done. No excuses!
So, the comment I posted above from the Steelers fan, “How can they win? They don’t know what that means, look at their owner?” My response is the Lions can start from the beginning, by learning what the lion really resembles, other than a team name, and to take pride to have such a name bestowed upon them. Secondly, I hope the Lions don’t look at their owner, Mr. Ford, as motivation for winning. Instead, I hope as they drive down Woodard Avenue viewing the beauty and the apparent blight on their way to Ford Field, that they are motivated by the support of fans of all economic backgrounds who are resilient and in their own personal life, play to win. No excuses! That, my friend is a good start.
The Steeler fans are a passionate group of “folks”, as I would like to use another expletive word, but I will refrain from this, at this time. Besides, some words in my opinion, are better spoken in person, than written, as there is power in the interpretation and delivery that can leave a lasting effect.