People seem quick to externalize a demented inferiority complex about the Lions and Detroit. If it weren't so disturbing to read, it would almost be comedic. Lions fans have lived with losing, horrible management, and a rotten city for so long that they can't imagine anyone else wanting to build a career in this town with this team.
If Suh, or any professional athlete, wanted out of Detroit these seem to be the common reasons angry people project:
1) go to a winning team
2) get to nicer city
3) better climate
4) more money
So, where in the NFL are you guaranteed a winning season or a direct path to the Super Bowl? New England? Seattle? Green Bay? While Detroit has been one of the most miserable franchises in sports history, having hired an 'effin lineman to be their President and keeping him on for a decade, having never sniffed a Super Bowl outside working the ticket booth when it was played here, only one team wins every year. Why not Detroit? We keep hearing how this team is stacked with talent and simply needs to be coached up to it, right? So why not Detroit? The flame of hope shines the path as brightly for us as it does for any other NFL team.
If winning is what it's all about, then certainly he might increase his odds by directing his agent to NE or NO or SF and try to work a sign-and-trade. Are those teams also staring at Suh's absences at mini-camps and pondering his salary cap hit and calculating whether or not the talent is worth the sideshow? Seems to me that good teams have strong leaders in the front office and coaching staff. Suh's me-first approach to his football team probably wouldn't float.
I have not looked at cap numbers, but if Suh was as maniacally smart as everyone seems to think, he (his agent or the Lions) would have worked the sign-and-trade prior to free agency. Teams like Denver would/could have pitch-forked the cash at Suh prior to signing FAs or RFAs and avoided chasing aging and injured guys like Allen and Peppers. Could that lack of execution be reason Suh switched agents? Maybe GMs gambled that the Millinettes would cap-cut Suh. How much money is out there right now for a premier team to pick up Suh? A lot less than before FA.
Avril got lucky.
Gosder did not.
I'm willing to admit, Detroit is not San Francisco or New York or New Orleans. Detroit is a dump. D U M P. City service are bad. Politicians are corrupt. Dirty. Trees growing on top of buildings. Car jackings. But Detroit is trying to get better. People are hopeful. And players don't have to live in their team's cities off-season and typically live in the suburbs during. Dom lives in Hawaii. Smart guy.
Consider the relationship this city has with it's stars: Trammel, Gibson, the Bad Boys, both Sanders, Porcher, Stevie Why-ZEER-min (as Bill Clinton called him), Federov, Konstantinov... These guys are adored not because they won in this City, but because they simply played here. They suffered while we suffered. We HATE quitters in this town. You give up on this town, our team, you give up on us. FU. GO! I'd argue that Nate Burleson is liked here more for what he tried to do for us than what he actually did on the field. I hear that same kind of sports-love doesn't exist in NYC or LA unless your last name is Jeter. Even then, half of NYC could care less about baseball, sports or the Yankees, and those other artsy folks only know of Jeter because he dates Broadway starlets.
The same garbage that we hate about this City galvanizes all of us. You go to LA, Phoenix, Chicago, Birmingham, Nashville... and a Detroiter sees you with Detroit cap or shirt, and they go out of their way to say hello (and laugh at the Lions).
Ya', there are nicer cities. But there's only one Detroit. And if you are a mega-millionaire you don't have to live here 24-7-365.
People, Detroiters, like to talk about how much nicer it is in warmer states. Been to Phoenix in August? New Orleans? Miami? Been buried by a mud slide lately? How are the earthquakes treating the folks on the West Coast? Suicide rate in Seattle? Sure, our winters have snow, but at least we aren't going to be dropping into a sinkhole, buried by a mountain slope, lighting the inside of our homes like a Christmas tree 9 months of the year or running into the street at 3am waiting for the roof to collapse. Even Dom's got to to worry about volcanoes and box jellies in Hawaii.
What do we worry about? Potholes. DWB. DWW. (Yes, us white guys have been pulled over, too.) When I rake I don't have to worry about rattlesnakes. OK, so the occasional urban coyote will thieve a pug now and then. It's not a cougar. Though a few cougar sitings have been reported in GP, they wear diamond earrings and smell of alcohol.
Money is money. He'll make a lot where ever he makes his career. He's made a fortune already. How much more can he make by switching teams? This simply can't be about money. If you were making $10 million a year and at the top of your craft, living in West Bloomfield or GP or a downtown condo, your attitude about your profession and location would be shaded a bit more green.
If Suh or any player has made management aware of his desire to leave our Lions, then try to accommodate him. If they know he's here for one more year and then gone, oh well. In the mean time, they better use this immensely talented and immensely expensive player for every nickel he's getting paid: all four downs, special teams.
You protect the players who figure in your future. Players without a future are expendable.