Monday, December 24, 2007

Woody Demonstrates Lions' Skewed View Of NFL Life

Lions guard-tackle Damien Woody summed up, perfectly, the misguided mindset of his team after yesterday's 25-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

"We haven't won in a month and a half," Woody said. "So it (win) came at a good time. Right around the holidays, so I feel good for everybody."

NOW? NOW is a good time for this win?

What about in Arizona? Or at home against the Giants? Or in Minnesota? Or even when Dallas was in town?

All of those, I submit, would have been a better time for the Lions' seventh win of 2007. Not yesterday, the Lions already mathematically and systematically eliminated from playoff contention.

But hey -- it's the holidays so it's great to win.

And that, dear readers, is why the Lions won't ever be successful -- unless there's a complete and total personality transplant.

You wouldn't hear Rasheed Wallace -- or any of his teammates -- utter such a thing, about feeling good to win after a six-game losing streak crippled the team's playoff chances. You couldn't get such a quote from Nick Lidstrom, or Curtis Granderson. Nor from any other player who plays for any other sports franchise that has any sort of culture of winning in its blood.

I'm not dogging Damien Woody for feeling relief after winning for the first time since November 4. But to say that it comes "at a great time" is asking us to suspend disbelief yet again when it comes to the Lions.

Fitting, too, was the play of Shaun Rogers -- who I definitely dogged yesterday. Fitting that he should burst out and leap from the side of a milk carton and into the fray, when the games are now meaningless. Did his solid play come at a "great time", too?

No, there was nothing great, good, or even tolerable about the timing of win no. 7 this season. It should have come weeks ago, and if just one measly win had been forged since the 44-7 romp over the Denver Broncos, the Lions would probably have something to play for in Green Bay next Sunday other than a .500 record.

Actually, since the Lions never win in Green Bay, probably two victories since the Denver game would have been needed to maybe give the Honolulu Blue a cushion, allowing them to lose to the Packers and still be in the playoffs. But Lucky Seven didn't come until the record was 6-8, and so there you have it.

I even wonder if we wouldn't be talking about a Cal-like win by the Chiefs had their ball carrier not dove into the turf, inexplicably, at the Lions' 30-yard line during the game's final play. A couple more laterals and ... who knows?

The Lions finished 5-3 at home. Whoop-de-do. They started 4-0 at Ford Field, so even their home record is a microcosm of the season at large.

I also know this: there are a whole bunch of chortling fans out there today -- the ones who told us this would happen, even when the Lions sat pretty at 6-2. Sports talk radio was crawling with them.

"7-9! They need to prove more to me!", was a typical call.

Those folks were right.

How about this gem from earlier this season, courtesy of receiver Mike Furrey.

"The Lions are 4-2! Y'all can kiss my ass!"

It was meant for the reporters, yelled in the locker room after the win over Tampa Bay.

OK, Mike. Ready?

The Lions are 7-8! You can plant one between my back pockets, too.

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