Monday, November 21, 2005

On Most Given Sundays......

The NFL likes for its devotees to use the phrase, "On any given Sunday....."

You know, "On any given Sunday, Team A, the underdog, can catch Team B napping or looking ahead to its next game, and, well...WIN."

But the truth is, with the Lions, the phrase that best describes them is, "On MOST given Sundays."

On most given Sundays, the Lions will walk into an opponents’ stadium as an underdog.

On most given Sundays, the Lions will lose that game.

On most given Sundays, the Lions will attack feebly on offense, throwing flair passes for no gains and handing the ball off on 3rd and 15.

On most given Sundays the Lions will be the tonic for teams who have had problems running the football previously.

On most given Sundays the Lions will create ways to lose that they haven’t tapped into for quite some time.

On most given Sundays the Lions will have you believe they are just a few "plays" short of being a winner.

On most given Sundays the Lions will perform poorly in 3rd down situations, on both side of the ball.

On most given Sundays, we’ll all talk about why this was a typical Sunday for the Lions.

On most given Sundays.....
this stuff happens to the Lions

The Lions went down rather meekly to the Cowboys, 20-7, yesterday, in a game where even when the score was just 10-7 Dallas, you got the feeling this was going to be no picnic. The Lions seemed, in fact, to be TKO’d the moment Billy Cudiff’s 56-yard field goal dropped over the crossbar at the end of the first half, mainly because of how the Cowboys were able to be in a position to attempt such a kick in the first place. The Lions helped them along with a couple of encroachment/offsides penalties, which conveniently moved the ball closer. In fact, the Lions were so riddled with penalties, referee Ed Hochuli got almost as much airtime as Fox Sports’ Dick Stockton, which, frankly, isn’t a bad thing.

Hardly anyone thought the Lions would beat the Cowboys in Dallas on Sunday, despite the "On any given Sunday" stuff. But what is so wrong about putting a scare into them, at least? Do these road games as underdogs have to be so formulaic? Even the worst TV shows make some sort of effort to throw some drama or conflict in there to spice things up, even though the outcome may be pre-determined. But watching the Lions in these sort of affairs is wonderful for those with high blood pressure, stomach problems, or a heart condition. None of these ailments will act up, because the Lions provide no flair for the dramatic.

What does it say when I, no football defensive guru, can correctly predict a handoff to Shawn Bryson on 3rd-and-long? What does it say when my non-football defensive guru mind can anticipate a flair pass when Joey Harrington goes back to throw?

The Lions flew to Texas, got off the plane, took a bus to their hotel, had their meetings, bused to the stadium, put on their uniforms and pads, got taped up, got introduced, and ran through the tunnel, prepared to play the Cowboys. But why did they go through all that, really? I mean, they didn’t do anything that would have seriously challenged the prognosticated final outcome. Seems like a lot of travel planning and pregame effort for not a lot of...anything, if you ask me.

So where do the Lions go from here? To their annual Thanksgiving Day game, that’s where, and a date with the 6-4 Atlanta Falcons, grumpy after blowing a game to Tampa Bay, at home. Be prepared for the usually lame quotes like, "We have a chance to show the country we’re not as bad as our record," and "It’s a great chance to perform on national TV and show everyone how good of a team we can be," and so on. Blecch.

On the positive side, coach Steve Mariucci only has a few days to thrill us with his secretive starting quarterback posturing. And it’s going to be bad enough, considering Joey Harrington didn’t do anything to put a stranglehold on the job, just one week after looking decent against the Cardinals. Of course, the last three words of the previous sentence should tell me why there was a change in performance against the Cowboys. By the way, Pal Joey spoke bravely in the papers about throwing deep against the Dallas secondary, explaining that their rather aggressive blitzing packages might be susceptible to the long ball. It was all lip service; the Lions threw deep once, I believe.

On most given Sundays, the Lions will prove themselves Liars, to boot.


Sports Litter said...

It must be hard to be a lions fan, but don't be too hard on yourself. Sadly, the Lions are still in it. Sure they will likely need to win out, but in the NFC 8 or 9 wins could get them in.

I don't follow the lions at all, but I imagine their owner doesn't know what the hell he's doing.

the sports dude said...

On any given Sunday... the Detroit sports community would rather do laundry than watch the Lions wash out.

On any given Sunday... the Detroit sports community will be thankful that there was college football the previous Saturday (except for maybe this weekend!).

On any given Sunday... the Detroit sports community will at least be thankful there are the Pistons and Red Wings to watch.