Column: Let's Go Red Wings

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Let's Go Red Wings!

Paul Wezner -

Let's Go Red Wings! So was the chant of the sold out Silverdome crowd on Monday night as the Lions fell, and fell badly, to the St. Louis Rams 35-0.

After enduring six horrific months of Tiger baseball, and a month of some of the worst Lion football this town has witnessed in years, about the only thing the city of Detroit has to cheer about are the Red Wings, Detroit's National Hockey League franchise. And even the Red Wings don't come without questions, as many of the players are already card-carrying members of the AARP.

But, as far as the Lions are concerned, this season is quickly deteriorating into one that will make fans wonder what this new attitude has done for the team. Bobby Ross didn't spend millions on ad campaigns around the metro area, but at the same time Bobby's Boys never played this bad in the 3 and ½ years he was Head Coach of the Lions. Lions President Matt Millen has tried to bring a new philosophy to the team, but it looks like things are going to get worse before they get better.

Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg already has appeared to lose control of his team, and has shown this by completely mishandling the Quarterback situation. Charlie Batch started the season, performed terribly and looked even worse, and so after only one game Batch was pulled in favor of Ty Detmer. Detmer then proceeded to throw 7 interceptions in the very next game, and then received the endorsement of Mornhinweg. Detmer returns and has a solid first half against a tough St. Louis defense with the exception of one pass, and is pulled for Batch. So now, there is no precedence set and neither Quarterback has any idea of what could be considered a "good" performance.

After only 3 games, this is quickly becoming a wasted season. Furthermore, it is painfully obvious that neither Batch or Detmer is the long-term answer at Quarterback. The two will probably finish out the season sharing time, but more than likely neither will return to the club next year. However, with a lackluster free agent class, it will be almost impossible to find the replacement via free agency. That leaves either untested 3rd-stringer Mike McMahon or a rookie that could be selected in the upcoming draft.

Regardless, there are two obvious things about the Lions future Quarterback situation as well as the entire team: 1) The current solution isn't currently playing on this team – Quarterback or a number of other positions, and 2) These replacements will not come over night. Which spells out only one sign: We need to draft Defensive End Julius Peppers from North Carolina with the 2nd overall pick! Note: The Houston Texans have the first overall pick.


  • Am I the only one that has found it pretty classless that over the past few weeks ESPN's announcers have been talking about the upcoming contest while the national anthem has been playing in the background? Honestly, can't Joe Theismann's thoughts on Jeff Garcia against the San Francisco defense wait a few seconds?
  • Not to criticize one of the all-time greats of the football front office world in former Packer GM Ron Wolf, but you have to wonder about his last draft as head man for the Packers when the team Rookie of the Year is probably going to be backup Tight End David Martin.
  • Why does everyone constantly get on Aaron Gibson? The questions about his ability to stay on the field are well-founded, but when he's in the game he's easily the Lions best Offensive Lineman. If you don't believe me, watch the tapes. In the parts of two seasons he has played for the Lions, he has allowed all of 1 sack. That's a pretty good stat considering the amount of sacks the Lions give up as well as the fact that he's a better run blocker than pass blocker.
  • If there's a more entertaining columnist than ESPN's Page 2's Bill Simmons, I have yet to find him.
  • Most have said the most physically demanding thing is trying to recover from an accident that leaves you paralyzed. However, if there's one guy that has the will power to be able to walk again, it's Mike Utley.

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