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2020 Detroit Lions Festivus: Airing of Grievances

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

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Seinfeld Photo by Michael Yarish/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Happy Festivus, everybody.

It’s been an arduous year for everyone around the world, and, per usual, Detroit Lions fans were not spared. The team is a pathetic 5-9 with two meaningless games left to go. Coaches are going rogue, COVID is forcing half the staff to work virtually, and all of it won’t matter in two weeks when everyone may be out of the door never to come back.

In other words, we’ve got a lot to be mad about right now. And what better holiday to express that anger than Festivus.

For those that don’t know Festivus is a very, very real holiday that culminates with the “Airing of Grievances.” It’s an opportunity to take all the weight on your shoulder and heave it at the nearest unsuspecting person.

Though we may have skipped out on this tradition in the past couple of years, now is the best time to bring it back.

You can check out our previous airing of grievances here:

Now onto this year’s grievances:

Chris Perfett

It took you long enough, Detroit. It took you half the year—and all those years prior—to realize Matt Patricia was a creep and a loser and a waste of time. The Lions have paid the price for it. Ink was spilled over and over about what a trash heap of a locker room was left in his wake, stats baffling at defensive incoherence, wretched awful things out of space and time, horrible squiggling things that somehow transmuted to hope as Lions fans decided: yes, this is the future of Detroit football.

It was abundantly clear from the jump this guy was no good. But what did we all do? Were we honest with ourselves that this guy had no business in Detroit? No.

What happened instead: horrifying collective madness. We clung to the words of Ricky Jean Francois(!) to assuage doubts that the asshole wasn’t some hard-nosed genius, but just an asshole. We got deep, deep in those augur’s goat entrails, believing that there were signs of the Patriot Way, imminent fortune smiling upon the Lions organization. Doubters were dismissed: you just didn’t get it, man. You don’t know football like this guy does.

It’s the oldest Christmas story in American consumerist hell. You bought a damn lemon and you spent years convincing yourself this was the top-shelf stuff. Your entire family was saying, “No daddy this is hideous, please don’t take it out of storage for the holidays.” You did it anyway.

Next time, just be more honest with yourselves. Don’t drink the kool-aid on a whim.

These uniforms are garbage. Still. Let that be the next thing that gets thrown out.

Kellen Moore’s stint as offensive coordinator has gone about as well as his time as Detroit’s backup quarterback.

Jeremy Reisman

What will it take to for this godforsaken team to finally get a running game in the post-Barry Sanders era? For the past 20 years, we’ve pumped draft pick after draft pick into this and have literally nothing to show for it. Reuben Droughns, Artose Pinner, Kevin Jones, Kevin Smith, Kevin Johnson, Kevin Miller, Kevin Brown, BRIAN CALHOUN, Aaron Brown, Jahvid Best, Theo Riddick, Ameer Abdullah, Kerryon Johnson, and finally, we all convinced ourselves D’Andre Swift would finally be different.

Why would it be different this year? BECAUSE THE LIONS WENT AFTER THE OFFENSIVE LINE, TOO. OOOOOH. Frank Ragnow and Jonah Jackson would lead us to the promised land.

But, nope. This team is still where it has been in every damn year since Barry left home and never came back. The bottom half of the league in rushing yards. The bottom half of the league in yards per carry. The bottom half of the league in DVOA.

Moral of the story: The running game sucks, it will always suck, so stop pumping high draft picks into running backs and just admit this will never work.

Also, Rod Wood. Can you just not?

Andrew Kato

The grievance I have is with delusional people who are unwilling to accept anything less than the next Bill Belichick for the next high-ranking football managerial hire in the Detroit Lions organization. Head coach, general manager, whatever take your pick. The notion that there are truckloads of experienced and proven professionals out there who have grown up with a lifetime of football exposure and learning ready to change the culture of the Lions and build it from nothing is a little out there. For those who aren’t reading between the lines: stop looking for the next Belichick and start looking for the next driven and adaptive professional talent evaluator who has his own funky way of doing things.

Hamza Baccouche

This team is such a joke. We’ve watched so many teams go through the mediocrity cycle and come out the other side - the Raiders, Browns, Bills, hell even the Jaguars were competitive for a bit. I’m so sick of it, man. We’re just in eternal misery. It’s no fun. You think I enjoy rooting for draft position on Sundays only to watch the GM screw up the pick no matter how high? This sucks. As it stands right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets were competitive again before we are.

I can’t do another rebuild, man. Is it too much to ask to just not be a laughingstock? Tease me with the playoffs every other year, sprinkle in a win or two here and there. Okay, maybe that is a lot to ask, but I still want it.

Ryan Mathews

Here’s the deal: I’ve long been over being a fan of this team in the way I used to be. During high school and college, my Sundays were centered on Detroit Lions football in a way I think many of us consume football. Truth be told, it’s been four years since I enjoyed watching Lions football. I’ll maintain that the 2016 season was my favorite year of football. If Detroit was within striking distance in the fourth quarter, the team had a chance. That team had some juice and it had one of my favorite iterations of Matthew Stafford leading the charge.

Now? Now we’re staring at a complete rebuild in the face because Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn set this franchise back to the Stone Age with their roster construction. The defense needs to be completely rebuilt from top to bottom. There isn’t a single player outside of Trey Flowers—who really can’t be moved on from anyway—this team stands sure to benefit from keeping for subsequent seasons. Amani Oruwariye? Nice player. Tracy Walker? A victim of Patricia’s idiocy. Jeff Okudah? I mean, let’s hope he can get healthy and prove this season he was a victim of circumstances.

Notice how I didn’t mention a single linebacker? Jahlani Tavai is an absolute liability on the field and if it wasn’t for Teez Tabor, he’d be Quinn’s worst draft pick. Jarrad Davis is a dog chasing cars. Jamie Collins Sr. is about the only worthwhile name of the bunch and he’ll be 32 next season.

Can the next general manager please care about building a pass rush? Detroit hasn’t had one since that 2014 season, which not so coincidentally happens to be the best Lions team of you and your father’s life—which, yes, includes any team Barry Sanders was a part of.

I guess I just want the Lions to prioritize building an athletic defense at each level. Well, that is if the next GM wants to keep Stafford around and isn’t preoccupied with finding a new franchise quarterback... Ugh. This is bleak and depressing. See how hard it is to be a fan of this team?

Mike Payton

I got a lot of problems with you people and you’re gonna hear about it. First off, can you please stop treating every damn thing like it’s a key piece to Da Vinci Code, and if you were to let any sort of small secret out, a chest would fly open and everyone’s face would melt off. Share stuff with the fan base. Come out and do an interview every now and again. Let fans know you care.

While we’re at it, please stop with the corporate speak. Just come out and say, “Hey we sucked today and we’re probably gonna suck tomorrow.” Instead, we have to listen to three years of, “From that standpoint, we gotta coach better and blah blah blah.” No shit, Matt. Please stop talking about culture. This team’s culture is that is has no culture. Stop placating with the blue collar stuff, too. It’s just patronizing at this point. Just get it right already.

A few small things come to mind, Stop allowing Fox, ESPN and CBS to bring up Clayton Kershaw, bring back the black color rush jerseys, change all the jerseys again so we can forget about this horrible era. Why didn’t you listen to anyone when they said they wanted Toto for Thanksgiving? Why did you erase “Africa” as one of the songs of the game at Ford Field? Why do you keep hurting me? Please pay Calvin his money, and for the love of everything that is holy, please stop trying to be the Patriots.

Also why get rid of the guy with the best haircut in the league?