After the conclusion of the Lions’ Week 12 game against the Vikings, I was given the most difficult task of choosing a song that could put the events of yesterday’s Thanksgiving Day game into rhythmic sounds and words. After some thought, I found a winner:
Lions-Vikings Song of the Game: “Next Time” by Gang Starr
Detroit had everything on the line in this one. With sole control of the NFC North on the line and the entire turkey-eating collective of America watching, the Lions had a chance to make a statement. They did it on their own terms, the way they’ve come to win football games all season long. Did you really not think these Lions would step up to the challenge?
Yo, I do what I have to do to master you and capture you
Until you recognize, what my rapture can do
You thought I wouldn't step up, to keep my rep up?
By 1998, Gang Starr wasn’t going to drastically reinvent their sound to align themselves with the direction mainstream hip hop was heading. Their formula for success was predictable: DJ Premier chopping up all sorts of delectable samples and the King of Monotone Guru just relentlessly attacking the beat with limitless stamina. But that didn’t make any Gang Starr cut any less enjoyable.
At its core, this game wasn’t all that different from any of the other Lions’ victories this season. They follow a pretty consistent pattern: the offense starts hot, runs dry, the team is trailing at some point in the fourth quarter, Stafford performs magic, the defense seals a victory with a huge turnover. The games have been anything but calculus, but just because you’ve come to expect this formula for success doesn’t mean each and every game seems even more enjoyable, and even more exhilarating than the last.
Straight like that, straight out the gate
Cause it's never too late, to set this fuckin’ record straight
But it is too late, for you and your crew son
Stafford and the offense always come correct. They always come straight out the gate, ready to tear shit up and set the world ablaze with their offense that cuts through defenses like butter. I don’t think there’s a team in the league that does a better job of scripting their first five plays of offense for each game. And hey, even though they eventually fall behind, it’s never too late for this team to set the record straight before the clock hits zeros, but remember this: they’re never... ever gonna leave you and your team enough time to snatch back a victory.
Before we get out of here though, Vikings fans, a message from Matthew Stafford:
You had the audacity to come against me, the gifted one?
And Primo with the tracks, to inspire my next line
You've got no wins here, so better luck next time
Here’s an updated version of our season-long soundtrack to the Lions’ 2016 season: