There comes a point in every season for the Detroit Lions when a wave of relief hits. Unfortunately, it isn’t the kind of relief that successful teams experience. There is no “Whew, we’ve locked the division up by Week 15, let’s rest our starters and get healthy for the divisional round.” Nor is it the feeling that everything is finally clicking and the team can go on a run in December.
No, it’s the feeling that nothing matters anymore. The Lions won’t make the playoffs in 2019, and that means the emotional investment in this year’s team is gone. The NFL is a place where dreams can die on pretty much any week of the season, which can exhaust a fanbase before the first snow even falls.
But when that warm embrace of certain failure comes calling, you welcome it with open arms. The Lions can’t hurt you anymore, because they don’t matter anymore.
Lions - Cowboys Week 11 Song of the Game: ‘The Importance of Being Idle’ by Oasis
I lost my faith in the summertime
’Cause it don’t stop raining
The signs were there from the beginning. They’re always there when you look back with hindsight.
The Lions were beat up in training camp. Trey Flowers on the PUP. Mike Daniels missed the first few weeks. Da’Shawn Hand went down with an elbow injury early and rookie Austin Bryant soon followed.
We liked what we saw from Danny Amendola and T.J. Hockenson in August, but we shrugged off concerns of the players covering them. It was pouring outside, but we convinced ourselves it was the air in between the raindrops that was the true weather.
I sold my soul for the second time
The Lions got off to a 2-0-1 start, and all of the team’s offseason hype seemed warranted. The Lions were shutting down good quarterbacks, Justin Coleman quickly shed a troubling preseason and became fumble-forcing machine. Hockenson was the best draft pick the Lions had in some time, and Matthew Stafford had recaptured his magic under Detroit’s new savior: offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
But it was all short-lived. The shoe we secretly hoped would never come eventually dropped, as it always does. The Lions defense quickly lost their mojo, and the franchise lost their best player to yet another broken back.
The sky all day is as black as night
But I’m not complaining
Normally at this time of year, I would lament the end of important football and bemoan the start of draft talk. Call it maturation or fatigue, but I just don’t feel that way anymore. It’s not worth fighting it anymore. The Lions are bad, and that means I don’t need to hold my breath or clutch my chest every time Detroit sends a failing three-man rush on third-and-9.
We’ve been given a gift. We can goof around now. We can experiment with silly stories or fantasize about brighter days. We can say the f-word a bunch.
While teams like the Raiders or Rams will spend the next month and a half calculating playoff odds and scouring tiebreakers for their mediocre, but ultimately hopeless, teams, we get to do whatever the hell we want. We’re free from the shackles of a game that only rewards one set of fans every year. You can’t torment us anymore, football. We’re free.
I don’t mind
As long as there’s a bed beneath the stars that shine
I’ll be fine
So shove this 2019 season in casket already, because I’m done with it, and I don’t mind. And as long as there’s another season on the horizon, I’ll be fine.
Song of the Game is an opportunity for our staff to express their weekly feelings of being a Lions fan, but through the art of song. Each week, we’ll provide a song that perfectly encapsulates the Lions’ game and how we experienced it. By the end of the year, we’ll have a full Spotify playlist telling the story of the 2019 Detroit Lions season.