There’s crazed seers in the wilds, hobbled over the shin bones of goat, screaming and flinging spittle. They can ordain nasty things, and they’re trying to find the stars just right in some old entrails. The Detroit Lions could still make the playoffs.
It’s possible. It would be hilarious if it happened. Presented with the possibility, you could start scrying yourself until you were dragged screaming to the banks of Lethe.
But a win’s a win’s a win. Your team won, the other guys lost. Good vanquishes evil, it’s just your good at the end of the day that matters. Maybe you’re bummed because you believe in tanking, and a Lions win harms that (that’s okay, some people believe in the tooth fairy too).
So let’s have a classic open thread question for you on this:
Do you feel better, worse or the same about the Lions after Thursday’s loss?
My answer: A bit worse to be honest. This is going to take some explaining. Bear with me.
Let’s try this. You’re a neutral viewer of the NFL. The early slate goes nuts. Patrick Mahomes makes unspeakable throws as the Ravens and Chiefs battle to overtime. Insane fun. In the midst of it, the Dolphins pull off dubious miracles (the only kind accept in the NFL, bucko) and lateral the life out of Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots. Upcoming on the later slate is the Eagles and Cowboys, and the promise of Rams and Bears that night.
Now you switch over to the Lions game for... what?
I like playing a little game sometimes. There are two elements to the rationale to being a fan of a given sports team: you like to watch them win, and you like to watch them because they are fun. There’s few sweet spots where both are true, but quite often in sports there’s one or the other. A team can have a middling record, but maybe they play a “fun” style and it’s exciting to watch—take the Lions 2016 season. On the other side, a team can win all the time but they’re slow, plodding and generally boring unless you have a vested rooting interest—what I generally ascribe to University of Alabama football circa 2013.
I try to find where a given sports team is on this Fun/Winning axis, but let me tell you, the Lions right now are feeling down in both regards.
And why I say I feel worse is the sinking feeling now—this style of football is here to stay.
This is who the Lions are until further notice. Gone is the brazen theatrics of brilliant wideouts, whatever talent Stafford has is muffled and the run game—it must be established—is a brooding beast that seems unsure of itself at times and unwelcome at others. The defense is fine, but nothing I’m watching makes me feel as if it is the best that football defenses can offer, that rare but enticing banditry and marauding.
Boring, to me, is in its own right worse than losing. I’m watching, but I ain’t having fun.
How do you feel after Sunday’s win over the Cardinals?
This poll is closed
A lot better
A little better
A little worse
A lot worse