We’ve reached that classic point in the season for a non-playoff team. It’s the time of the year that splits the fanbase in half.
Is it your civic duty as a Detroit Lions fan to root for the team to win, no matter the circumstance? Or is it better to have the team’s long-term interests in mind and root for a better draft spot, no matter how small the difference?
As the Lions face off against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, each Lions fan must battle that internal debate. There’s no right answer. There isn’t one way a “true fan” must act. I’ve talked to people on both sides of the debate, and both believe they’re the rational side. I’m not here two declare a winner of either side, but I’m simply interested in the data.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Are you rooting for a Lions win or a better draft position vs. the Packers?
My answer: I can’t root against the Lions. It’s not in my DNA. It’s not something I would ever enjoy doing. It’s not something I think I could physically force myself to do. Earlier in the season, it was in the Lions’ best interest to root for the Packers in a game Panthers. It took at least three quarters to train my brain that I was supposed to root for the Packers.
That all being said, I completely understand that the Lions benefit more in the long-run from a loss on Sunday. It may not be much, but it’s undeniable that picking (for example) 16th overall would be better than picking 19th. And, who knows, that may be the difference between getting a guy like Vita Vea or never having a chance.
But this is the Packers we’re talking about. I would feel much, much worse about where this Lions team is right now if they weren’t able to beat a Green Bay team that will be without Aaron Rodgers and sitting some of their best talent on both sides of the ball.
If the Lions—who appear to be planning on playing all of their starters—aren’t able to beat that Packers team in the comfort of Ford Field, I would really question the talent on this rostser. Losing to Green Bay in this situation would cause way too much short-term disappointment for it to be offset by a few spots in the draft order.
All that being said, I have no animosity towards those quietly hoping for a loss (as long as you don’t phrase it as “rooting for the Packers”). In fact, I envy you a bit. I’d love to be able to remove my emotional self from the game and look at this from a purely rational long-term point of view. It would probably make the entire season a lot less stressful.
But at the same time, the reason I love football so much is the ability to throw my emotions at the mercy of the Lions. Even in games that “don’t matter” I’m still thrilled with every big play and devastated by every big loss. I’m a competitive fan. I always want to win, and I hate losing, but either way, I’m down for the roller coaster rid.
So let’s sweep the dang Packers for the first time since I was five years old.
What are you rooting for on Sunday?
This poll is closed
A Lions win
A better draft pick