Over the last year and a half, the Lions have been forced to carry the burden of an oh and sixteen season. Virtually every reference to the Lions in any media story or any discussion includes some reference to that travesty. Some, especially Drew Sharp, like to go back a little further and include the one and seven finish in 2007. Other signposts or milestones that Lions fans will be familiar with are;
The Matt Millen Era 2001 to 2008
Last Playoff Win 1991
Last NFL Championship 1957
And of course, the only non expansion team never to play in the Super Bowl.
We all know this stuff, and many fans, posters, and media types love to repeat it ad nauseum. It colours a lot of the discussions we have on this site between ourselves and fans of other teams. I am sure the current Lions hear it on an ongoing basis too, even though many of them, over 75% by my count, were not here in 2008. And that does not include an almost complete turnover of the coaching staff. The Lions roster has turned over 50% just from 2009, so they are nowhere near the team they were last year, that went two and fourteen.
I am just wondering what purpose it serves by bringing up the past failures of this organization. Is this information helpful in charting a course into the future? ie. avoid repeating the same mistakes. Does it make us feel better about our current situation? Is it serving as some sort of inspiration to the current Lions to do better and create their own history?
My personal take on this is that it is history, and it belongs in the past. Like a good Cornerback or Quarterback, it is important to forget past failures and beats, and go back on the field with confidence and line up to stop that pass or throw that TD. Obsessing over what went wrong in the past is not healthy and certainly not constructive. Yes, you review it to figure out what mistake you think you might have made, if any, but never brood over it. Past performance is not always repeatable, especially when we are talking about the NFL. Change can happen virtually overnight for a player, coach, unit, or an entire team. Sometimes, change takes longer......much longer.
So, this rant is not meant as a shot or as an attempt to muzzle any criticism of the current Lions, but as a question for all Lions fans on this site; What will it take to cleanse the Lions history?