Monday Notes: Jim Schwartz Throws Out First Pitch at Tigers Game

  • Jim Schwartz threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Sunday's Tigers-Angels game.  Schwartz has now been to a pair of Red Wings playoff games and a Tigers game.  The next event he needs to attend is one of Kid Rock's concerts at Comerica in July.  It'll be before training camp starts, and we all know how Schwartz likes to rock, so I think that would a great experience for him.
  • SI.com's Damon Hack put together a story about this season's "spoiler alerts," which basically is a list of predictions for each division.  For the NFC North, Hack focused on the Lions.

    Expectation: The Detroit Lions won't sniff .500 this season.

    Spoiler alert: New coach Jim Schwartz need only look south to Atlanta to see what a first-year head coach and rookie quarterback can do together. Winning doesn't come easy in the NFL, but it can come quickly. The Lions can't expect Matthew Stafford to mimic Matt Ryan or Flacco (Stafford has to beat out Daunte Culpepper first), but they can feel good about their future and their present. Like the Miami Dolphins after their one-win 2007 season, the Lions have turned over their roster in an attempt to shed the remnants from their winless season. (Heck, they even created a new logo!) Linebacker Julian Peterson and defensive tackle Grady Jackson are instant upgrades. The secondary looks better, too, with Phillip Buchanon, Anthony Henry and Eric King, who played under Schwartz in Tennessee. We're years away from a parade here, but maybe only a few months from respectability.

    I like the optimism from non-fans and national columnists, but this sort of thing happens every summer.  The Lions are picked to win the division by a few writers each summer or are predicted to be a sleeper team, and outside of the great run in the first half of 2007, Detroit has never come close to making those predictions come true.  I'm not saying Hack thinks Detroit will win the division, but this type of optimism isn't anything new on the national scene.  Still, I like that the Lions are getting some love.  It beats the hell out of being a punchline; that's for sure.
  • Apparently Matthew Stafford's "controversial" pictures of a day of partying at Talladega from when he was in college are helping his credibility in the locker room with his teammates.
  • Jim Rome offered Kevin Smith a chance to host his show if the Lions make the playoffs, backing up Smith's prediction for the '09 season.  Smith declined the offer, but that would have been pretty interesting if things play out like Smith hopes.
  • Let's hope Lomas Brown never makes another guarantee that the Lions will win a certain game.
  • There have been lawsuits involving the NCAA and also the NFLPA and retired NFL players over the use of players' likenesses in EA Sports' video games.  The most recent lawsuit involves former Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller, who apparently only recently realized that he didn't like seeing himself in past versions of the NCAA Football series and is causing a stink over it.  Drew Stanton, unlike Keller, has no problem with his likeness being in video games.
    "You take it for what it's worth," Stanton said. "Most people are excited that they're in a video game. It could be the fact that this player found a loophole in the system, but I think the majority of people in the game are happy to be in it. The reason you go to college isn't to be in a video game and get paid for it."
    I like Stanton's approach to this topic.  I can understand being upset over your jersey being sold and not getting to touch the revenue generated by that, but like Stanton said, most people are excited to see themselves in a video game.
  • Could Steven Spielberg's next movie be about the Silverdome.
  • As pointed out in the FanPosts section, offensive tackle George Foster has been signed by the Browns.
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