Column: 40 Years of Dedication

Despite all the hard ships that the fans of Detroit have gone through, the Lion faithful remain strong. Currently, there are 8,000 available seats for Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That means, despite the 0-7 record, 72,000 people have still purchased tickets to go watch the Lions play, a number that would constitute a sell out in almost every other NFL stadium.

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Paul Wezner - LionsFans.com

Despite 40-plus years of losing and frustrating performances, the one thing that has never wavered is the support from the fans.

The Lions have come to be known as one of the most storied franchises in the history of the NFL. Not because of their success like the San Francisco 49ers or the Dallas Cowboys, but because of their constant mediocrity. Unlike some teams that were known for their outstanding units like the Steelers' Steel Curtain defense, the Lions are best known for their astounding amount of first round playoff losses.

Unlike almost every other team, the Lions haven't been able to talk about a franchise Quarterback under the team. Not since Bobby Layne has there been a Lion Quarterback that has been renowned as a world-class Quarterback. And the lack of a good Quarterback isn't due to the Lions not trying. But instead of drafting that franchise Quarterback, they ended up with the likes of Chuck Long, Andre Ware and Charlie Batch.

However, possibly the worst has yet to be realized until this season, as the Lions are 0-7 and playing some of the worst football ever witnessed by Detroit fans. Basically the same core group of Lions went 9-7 last year, and were a missed 54-yard Field Goal away from a double-digit win season and the playoffs. And yet, with the same group, the Lions have become the worst team in the league and are quickly becoming the butt of the jokes around the NFL.

And yet, despite all of these hard ships that the fans of Detroit have gone through, the Lion faithful remain strong. Currently, there are 8,000 seats remaining for this Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That means, despite the 0-7 record, 72,000 people have still purchased tickets to go watch the Lions play, a number that would constitute a sell out in almost every other NFL stadium.

And while most fans from the other 30 franchises (soon to be 31) would be turned away from the team with a start like this, the Lions faithful remains strong, continuing to be one of the most active forums on TheInsiders.com pro football network. And fans are not just talking about what is going to happen in the NFL draft, but what is wrong with the coaches and what players need to start doing.

So, while the football team continues to struggle, this week we reward the fans for their constant dedication. Unlike any other team in the league, the Lions' fans might never be happy, but they'll always be loyal to the team, no matter how hard the team tries to push the fans away.


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