Sunday Notes: Fan Day Observations

  • Before getting into my observations on Saturday's fan day, it should be noted that the Lions were off today and didn't have practice.  They will return to the practice field on Monday.
  • Moving on to Black and Blue Fan Day, as they called it, it was nice for fans to get a chance to watch the Lions' practice.  Although the team does open up practices to the public, their start times aren't exactly convenient for many, so a weekend event was nice for everyone.
  • The Lions' estimate of over 1500 fans in attendance does sound about right.  All of the stands they had were filled, and fans were also lined against the fences to get a look at the team.
  • The setup the Lions have at their outdoor practice field isn't made for fans to watch, that's for sure.  The bleachers area is quite a ways away from the field itself, and with so many people at the event, sight lines were bad in the first few rows of the stands unless you stood up.
  • Even though the views weren't all that great, it was definitely a cool experience to see Lions players sort of up close.  You at least got a look at them, and if you were lucky, a player would come over to sign autographs every once in a while.  (Players did sign autographs after practice was over for those that stuck around.)
  • When Rod Marinelli first came out he went over to the fans and signed autographs for five minutes or so.  Throughout practice Jon Kitna did the same thing when he wasn't doing anything on the field.
  • Prizes were given away before the practice started, and 97.1 FM The Ticket was in attendance.  Also in attendance was Lions radio play-by-play announcer Dan Miller, and no offense to him, but his commentary during practice wasn't needed.  There were more than a few "captain obvious" moments where it seemed like he was actually explaining the game of football, which got annoying after a while.
  • The scrimmage they had really wasn't an actual scrimmage.  Instead, there was a specific scenario set up and the Lions ran a few plays.  That was repeated quite a few times, but there was no flow at all.  
  • Kitna ran the first-team offense and Dan Orlovsky ran the second-team.  Drew Stanton didn't get on the field at all until towards the end of practice, but he did look surprisingly good when he did play.
  • Specifically, Stanton threw a couple TD passes and was hitting his targets.  The same sadly can't be said for Jon Kitna.  Although he had a couple TD passes as well, there were moments when I just shook my head as his throws went sailing by in the wrong direction.  Dan Orlovsky looked pretty good as well.
  • Speaking of Stanton, he doesn't understand why Mike Martz changed his mechanics so much.
  • William Clay Ford was at the practice riding around in a Mustang golf cart, as seen in this photo.
  • After visiting the Lions earlier this week, Pat Kirwan came away thinking this team could go 7-9 or even 9-7 if everything goes right.
  • Roy Williams was "frustrated" with something yesterday.
  • On an unrelated note, the Madden NFL 09 demo came out recently, and my initial impression is that it seems to be a solid game.  You get to set your skill level at the very start of the demo by going through a few different drills, and then you're put in this year's Super Bowl with less than two minutes to go.  It's called a "Madden Moment," and you have to score a TD with the Giants to go ahead of the Patriots.

    I would have liked to get more in-game time than what was given in the demo, but I have to say that it is a much better game than NCAA 09.  Some may say that you can't come to that conclusion based on a demo, but I disagree.  NCAA 09 came out with broken features and a countless number of glitches and bugs.  Although EA is going to release two patches to fix many of the issues, that should have been taken care of before the game came out.

    Mind you, Madden could come out and have serious glitches and bugs as well, but I highly doubt they would be as bad as the ones in NCAA anyways.  I probably should withhold full judgment until the game comes out (a week from Tuesday), but so far so good as far as I'm concerned.
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