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2015 Lions Festivus: The airing of grievances is here

A time-honored tradition makes its way to Pride Of Detroit.

Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

On Dec. 23, many in the United States and around the world celebrate Festivus, a holiday of which I know little except it's from a television show a lot of y'all seem to really like, and of which I can't seem to find funny no matter how hard I try. Nevertheless, Festivus has many important traditions, and for the sake of expediency, we're going to skip the feats of strength and all the rest and get right on to the airing of grievances.

There was a lot in 2015 to feel grief about when it came to the Detroit Lions -- the players, the coaching staff, the organization, the fans, the media, and perhaps some other looming spectre that haunts the team. We took grievances from some members of the POD staff. We present them to you now in the time-honored tradition of Festivus:

Chris Tomke

"My grievance concerns the number of Lions beat writers who tried to propagate the myth that the Mayhew/Lewand firings somehow galvanized the team. It made for a month of unbearable interviews, even by football standards."

Jerry Mallory

"In full Seinfeld mode, my grievance about the Lions organization are their grievances with fans and media having grievances about the team. The media is labeled the Dungeon of Doom. The whole fiasco with 97.1. Their perplexing wonderment and disappointment when fans complain or boo poor play. Meanwhile the Packers lose a few games in a row and all of Lambeau Field is booing, yet the Packers seem to get it. I will never end any thought on a positive comment about the Packers so...I hate the Packers. Goodbye!"

John Cherette

John didn't send a grievance, but rather a very late Christmas wish list:

"This year, my list is short, but listen to what I've got
I'd like more Riddick touches, and less Ebron Drops.
More catches by catchers. More runners running.
More consistency. Teryl Austin to stay, and losses less stunning.
Thank you Santa, I'll see you next year
When I find myself again 5-9 and in tears."

Ryan Mathews

"The Festivus for the rest of us. Well, there will be no Festivus, or even a Festivus Maximus for us Lions' faithful, as Brian Billick, potential head coaching candidate for the 2016 Detroit Lions, famously used as a code for the playoffs and Super Bowl during the 2000 season. Instead, we find ourselves here on the 23rd of December, mad as hell that the Detroit Lions are, once again, not invited to the playoffs. As Festivus tradition calls for, I would like to air my grievances with this 2015 campaign.

Hey, everybody who is clamoring for a new quarterback: kick rocks. You know just the kind of dweeb I'm talking about. "Trade Stafford, acquire draft picks, if not that, cut him and eat the money..." Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseam, year in, year out. Riddle me this, LiOnSuPerFAN1, who is walking through that door in May for OTAs that makes this team more capable than it is now? The talent is there, we've seen it be successful. Hell, we've seen it put up points in bunches this year on more than a few occasions. For my sanity, and your blood pressure, be thankful the Lions don't have Matt Ryan, or another impostor masquerading as an NFL quarterback. Be grateful that the Lions aren't embroiled in weekly quarterback controversy. Matthew Stafford is here, and he's here to stay. Dance on the haters, Matt. Dance on 'em."

Andrew Keating

"In the spirit of Festivus and the Holiday Season, I'd like to share a special holiday-themed grievance/story. The last time I attended a Lions game in person was in late 2013. We were playing against the Giants in week 16. I was home for the holidays, so I attended the game with my dad and my brother. A 23-20 overtime loss, this game would be the last home contest in the Jim Schwartz era. My grievance is not about the loss -- €”there was plenty of that going around at the time. My grievance is about the guy behind me, arguably the most obnoxious fan I have ever met at a sporting event. He sat a row above us, sipping a beer that clearly wasn't his first. Now, I have no issue with people getting drunk at sporting events. In fact, I encourage it. But this guy was talking during every play, and he was being loud about it. Since I spend most fall Saturdays in the Michigan student section, I've grown used to this sort of thing. But, again, this guy was loud. It made it incredibly hard to pay attention to the game. He also spilled some of his beer on me at one point. The cherry on top of all of this was that at some point -- and I don't remember why he did this -- €”he showed everyone around him the police badge on his wallet. This drunken a-hole sitting behind me was a police officer. I don't mean to say this guy was a typical representation of a Lions fan or of a Metro Detroit law enforcement professional, but this guy made think just a little bit less of both groups.

Alex Reno

Alex sent in an excerpt of the script to what I believe is A Christmas Story 3: Christmas with a Vengeance:

DUNGEON OF DOOM: "Hey Coach, what are your plans for Christmas this year?"
DUNGEON: "What?"
CALDWELL: "Well, you know... we're not thinking ahead, we're thinking about what's going on right now and things of that nature."
DUNGEON: "Coach, this is off record. I'm just trying to small talk here."
CALDWELL: "We're thinking about Festivus."

Chris Perfett

"First things first: fuck you, Bobby Layne. I've been lighting saint candles every night and praying to the apostles and the Virgin Mother and Saint Timothy and Baron Samedi and whoever else has the gumption to listen to my beleaguered prayers that we will one day be rid of your curse. It lingers like a stale fart in a wine cellar that was immediately sealed after the deed was done.

Now, I got a lot of problems with you people and you're gonna hear about it. To the media, and the fans: I want you to stop fawning over Lions who have left the team the way you do. That's enough. I don't see anyone else exercise the same kind of separation anxiety that Lions fans have over players who couldn't stay on the roster. Y'all went nuts tuning in for Kellen Moore to come in for Brandon Weeden. Kellen Moore! Christ! I still see beat reporters talking about Joseph Fauria and guys who are at nearly five teams removed from the Lions and all people can do is mope about how he's not in blue and silver. God help us if the Lions waive a player and he's picked up by the Patriots, because everyone has to have a collective shit fit then, even if it never actually pans out the way you think it will. Give it up. They're gone. It's fine to remember the guys who were fantastic, but the neurotic obsession only continues to feed the bogus narrative that the Lions can't hold on to talent to save their lives. Chill out. Seriously."

Jeremy Reisman

"My grievance is with Jim Caldwell. But this isn't about the Hail Mary or some minor quibble about timeout usage or poor challenges. No, my grievance is with how he has gotten this team to perform over the past two months. We are finally seeing flashes of a Lions team that can play competitively with almost anyone, and it has come far too late. The team is about to be blown up; Martha Ford assured us of that when she pushed the Big Red Button back in early November. Now as we can only watch the Nuke slowly begin its decent onto Allen Park. But Caldwell had to come in with a last ditch Jack Bauer-ish effort to save the world. But it's too late, Jim. There's no unflipping this switch. The Lions will likely be hiring a new general manager, and that puts into question the employment of every person under the Lions organization, players and coaches alike. Your early season diddling likely cost the jobs of promising coaches like Jim Bob Cooter, Teryl Austin and, least of all, yourself.

But, worst of all, your meaningless, late-season rally gave the fan base a short, painful "WAIT, NO!" before the 2015 Detroit Lions were incinerated forever."

Now it's your turn, Pride Of Detroit. Air your grievances. We're here* for you.

*Not me. I'm gonna go get drunk now. Merry Christmas you filthy animals.

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