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Wednesday open thread: Are you rooting for the Detroit Lions to tank?

Would you rather see the team compete in the final month or position themselves with a better draft pick?

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

It’s a debate Detroit Lions fans have been used to for years. After Thanksgiving, the Lions have typically made it clear they won’t be contending for a Super Bowl that specific year and the stakes in December tend to be much lower than in the fall. The games get less entertaining and the hype for the draft slowly starts to emerge.

Thankfully, for the past few years, the “tanking” debate had waited until at least Week 16 or 17 to rear its ugly head, but with the team taking a significant step back this year, it’s time to address it right here and now. The Lions’ ceiling is at 9-7, and while that may slide them into a Wild Card spot, seeing this team rattle off five straight wins is beyond a pipe dream at this point. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Are you rooting for the Lions to tank in the final five weeks of the season?

My answer: No. Never.

I’m never going to tell someone how to be a fan or the “right” way to be a football fan. I know that those rooting for tanking have their heads in the right place. They simply want what’s best for the team in the long-term. A higher draft pick probably improves the team’s ability to compete in the future.

However, given the randomness and unpredictability of the draft, I think the improvement is nearly negligible. A team that is truly going to compete for championships isn’t going to do so based on one top-five pick. They have to do it with a string of solid drafts and free agency moves. So if general manager Bob Quinn is the right man for the job, he should be able to turn around the franchise whether he’s picking fourth or if he’s picking 14th.

So what small improvement the Lions get from a slightly higher draft pick based on “tanking” is not worth it to me. It’s not worth it to root for the Lions to lose, because losing is painful no matter what the scenario. When the Lions lose, we spend a week talking about sending a franchise quarterback away and putting the team in salary cap hell. When the Lions lose, we scream about firing a head coach 10 months into the job and hitting the reset button yet again. When the Lions lose, we see Alex Trebek dunk on the Lions for no good reason. When the Lions lose, we see Bears fan setting celebration dances to “Africa,” and that is NOT okay.

We only get 16 of these games every year, and so I like to make the most of them. I like to see small improvements throughout the year to see signs that the Lions’ future may actually indeed be bright. Tanking is just rooting for more darkness in the hopes a bright future is behind it. Haven’t we had enough darkness already?

Your turn.

Poll

Are you rooting for the Detroit Lions to tank?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Yes
    (401 votes)
  • 55%
    No
    (508 votes)
909 votes total Vote Now

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