Column: Is it Really Their Fault?

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Landon Smith -

Is it Really Their Fault?

The Lions are a franchise which seems to struggle year after year to make its fans happy. If it's not a first round playoff loss or a player or coach quitting on them, it's a thrill on draft day as they find pleasure in the knowledge that they outperformed last year's outstanding showing in the "best available athlete per pound" category. They would never win a coin toss if it mattered. I have done some thinking, and have figured out the four reasons why the Lions are the Charlie Brown's of the NFL.

First, they have famous screw up fans. As Lions fans, we are not represented by cool rappers and gangsters who can hold their own in the movies, such as other teams can claim. We instead receive the publicized fanship of Tim the Tool Man Taylor in the television show, Home Improvement. This fan of the Lions messes everything up, often harming himself and others. He is shown up repeatedly by a fat man with a tender heart. Furthermore, he would not survive if not for a man so ashamed to know him and be giving him advice, he hides his own face from the world. Another classic example is the once popular movie, Mr. Mom. The title says it all. A man by the name of Mr. Mom takes care of house duties and watches soap operas, all while proudly displaying a Detroit Lions T-shirt representing to the world that he tenderly supports them. This factor of wuss fans has to mess with the minds of the players. They aren't playing for cool, self-respecting people such as the cheeseheads and the hogs, but instead play gently for screw-ups.

Next, the Lions have stupid traditions.

At the forefront of these is the annual preseason game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, a team who's fans have endured more than even Mr. Mom. This franchise could opt to play a team with proven depth and talent to evaluate their own skill gaining poise and experience. They instead looked into the situation and decided to play an annual game against a team who's luck is about as appealing as its look. Unfortunately, the University of William and Mary was not an eligible option. Another dismal tradition is the Flyin' Lion which makes not one, but a few appearances at each home game. Even if the Lions are doing everything right and playing hard, out comes the flyin' Lion to ruin it all. How could you play for that? Put yourself in this scenario. You are playing your heart out. You are a Lion, the king of the jungle. You hear the crowd let out a loud "ROAR" after the fight song. Then, you look up and see this Lion that you are pridefully representing, a blow-up which resembles the likes of Garfield as he lays in his box napping. Now, how could you play for that?

The factors do not stop there. Next is the invariable fact stating that when the Lions get a commercial, it shall be degrading to them. The most recent example of this is the commercial where the Lions are represented by 11 actual, literal Lions on the football field going up against the human version of the Indianapolis Colts. One would think that if a literal Lion had an opportunity to have his way with a Colt, Peyton Manning or Mr. Ed, he'd devour the creature. However, in this commercial, the literal Lions prance along the field in a man to man formation. One of these Lions, after the snap, jumps over the Colt offensive line but not in time. Manning manages to send a spiraling ball right into the hands of Colts' WR Marvin Harrison for the score. The scoreboard pops up stating that the Colts had just beaten the Lions. The writers of this commercial actually believe that the Lions are so bad, that there is no way even a real group of Lions could possibly beat an NFL team. If you want to trace the Lions problems of late, look to this recent creation. It undoubtedly is bad for morale. Older versions of Lions' disgrace on the television screen include a Luther Elliss commercial as he works for the United Way. At the end, he decides to utilize the enjoyment of a playground slide, but while doing so gets himself stuck. This commercial points out to the Lions' players each time they see it that they are not even athletic enough to go down a slide. How, then, can they play football? Another thing for another day pointed out on said commercial is the denial of the entire concept of Lion ineptness, as Elliss yells out "NO I'M NOT!"

The final Factor: the very Lord of all things Himself is against them. The Lord is sure to point out in his Bible that a man by the name of Daniel was thrown into an entire den full of Lions who's mouths are held harmlessly shut. Furthermore, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 In the example here, Satan, the very enemy of the Lord and human beings, is known as a Lion. The only hope this franchise has is for the conversion of the devil himself.

The Lions might be sitting at 0-6. They might have won only one playoff game since the fall of the Roman Empire. So they have worse luck than a mute playing bingo.

Based on these factors, I don't believe it is really within their control.

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