Landon: A Fan's Role columnist Landon Smith offers up a stunning revelation in a fan's role with an NFL team. Smith discusses the intricacies and possibilities involved with being a diehard fan of the Detroit Lions.

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Landon Smith -

The NFL off-season is over, and now that the teams have done their jobs of getting prepared throughout training camp, it is time for the fan to assume his role as the "make or break" of the franchise's season. Fans across the country have now had several months to relax: they have finally had the privilege of washing the pair of underwear that won that game for the team in week nine, they have been able to eat something on Saturday nights other than the chili-cheese, tuna hot dogs that the team needs the fan to indulge upon, and they have had the opportunity to drive down streets not having to worry about whether the street's name includes a letter found in the name of next week's opponent.

The intricacies of being a fan take a while to learn, but out-fan-ing the fans of other teams can win and lose games, and yes, even make or break seasons.

This year Lions fans will have an especially hard time as we have switched systems. Most of you are aware that while last year fans ran the very predictable "jump and root", this year we will be running the more complex "best boast" style of fanship. It is important for us to remember that while there are some major differences, a great deal of the change is simply the terminology. For instance, in last year's jump and root, a common goal line play was the "hold your breath" where one would not breath for the duration of the snap count or the play itself. If Lions fans let out more air combined than opponents' fans, the Lions of course had problems. Under this year's best boast style, this same play will be known as "do not breath." This is vital to remember because this year "hold your breath" will mean that the fan is to not speak when Hanson is going through his routine, similar to last year's "shut up for the next few seconds." A mix up here would be fatal as Hanson's routine depends solely upon the cooperation of the fans running the right play, and breathing at the goal line will gust the opponents into the endzone. note: no play will be known as "shut up for the next few seconds" this year.

One problem that we as Lions fans must improve upon this year is keeping our players from injury. Players getting injured can happen for a number of reasons: I am ashamed to say that I must take personal blame for the Westbrook injury as I chomped on a piece of ice from my coke during that play. We must vow to be careful and keep the players' safety top priority. That means no blinking when a player jumps off the ground, and ABSOLUTELY no chewing, biting, and heaven forbid eating of animal crackers in the form of a Lion.

What we did well last year and need to continue is our turnovers. The best way to ensure a turnover is to change your position during the middle of every defensive play. For instance, if you are standing up at the snap of the ball, sit down after the handoff or when the pass is in the air. If we all do this, there will be a definite turn over occur. However, we must be careful to not move a muscle during offensive plays. Under this year's system, this will be known as the "don't stand up, don't sit down, don't fight fight fight" play.

Another thing we need to work on is the big play. This one is quite simple, really. Between every play, change everything about your current state. Change your position, your hat, your pants, your underwear, even your bra. Then, during the play, run the "don't stand up, don't sit down, don't fight fight fight". Eventually, the Lions will make a big play. At this point, you do not wash a single thing you are wearing for the rest of the year, and you get a memory photograph of your current state of being. This is how you should be for the remainder of the season. Transversely, if a big play is made against the Lions, do not touch anything in your near vicinity ever again.

What we really must remember is that it comes down to beating our opponents. For example, if they decide to improve their speed at the cornerback position by eating a record number of hot dogs in a minute, then we must refrain from eating a single hot dog during that minute. This will obviously cause their cornerback to over-pursue, and our receiver will be wide open. If we are able to out think our opponent, beating them in ever aspect of the game (food, clothing, position, bodily movement, thoughts, actions throughout the week) then we will win the Superbowl. Otherwise, we will be like the Bengals, who's fans have failed to master a winning season in over a decade.

The Lions have done their parts by going to training camp (which is really just trivial, but they like to think they have something to do with it), and now the rest is up to us.

Other Columns By Landon Smith:
- Important Information About Opening Day

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