It’s time to push this Soundtrack to the Season in a much different direction. It sounds like we’re putting together the sounds of a funeral procession. In a way, I suppose we were.
Patricia’s finally out and Bevell’s in, so we finally have control of the aux. Let’s have a little fun.
Lions-Bears Song of the Game: “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” by Puff Daddy
I get the feeling sometimes, it make me wonder
Why ya wanna take us under?
There’s no further embodiment of the jiggy-era of hip-hop than when Puff Daddy was absolutely controlling the charts back in the late-90s by remixing hits and turning them into modern day smashes. In fact, let’s take a look at Puff’s dominance over the course of 1997 courtesy of Shea Serrano’s The Rap Yearbook:
The dominance of Puffy: The song that followed “Can’t Hold Me Down” on top of the Billboard’s Hot 100 was “Hypnotize” by the Notorious B.I.G., which is the most perfect example of Bad Boy’s We Have Money, Life Is a Party mission statement. It was there for three weeks. Hanson’s ridiculous “MMMBop” ba-duba-dopped its way to the top for three weeks (Puff did not produce that one, turns out). After that, it was “I’ll Be Missing You,” a tribute song to the Notorious B.I.G. by Puff, Faith Evans, and 112. It was at number one for 11 weeks. “Mo Money Mo Problems” was next (by the Notorious B.I.G., Puff, and Mase). It was there for two weeks. And then “Honey” by Mariah Carey came after. It was there for three weeks. Puff produced that one, too. That’s a stretch of twenty-five out of twenty-eight weeks where Puff Daddy was, in part, responsible for the number-one song in the nation, and he’d spread it over five songs. It had never happened that way before. It hasn’t happened that way since.
Now, you might be wondering how this kind of information has anything to do with the 2020 Detroit Lions. It’s easy: this is the Darrell Bevell show, and Matthew Stafford has officially been unlocked.
Matthew Stafford, Week 9.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) December 7, 2020
Matthew Stafford, Week 13.
(via @NextGenStats) pic.twitter.com/tTNgHAppKT
Much like Puff’s “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”—which was his debut single as a solo artist—Stafford’s Week 13 felt, in ways, like a retread of past week’s performances until it all clicked in the game’s climactic final minutes.
Can’t nobody take my pride
Can’t nobody hold me down... Oh no
I got to keep on movin’
The Lions schedule down the stretch is absolutely brutal. In fact, according to ESPN’s Mike Clay, it’s the toughest schedule in all of football.
NFL Rest-of-Season Strength of Schedule (green = easiest)#clayprojections pic.twitter.com/LnJ0dtWOPO— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) December 9, 2020
Here’s Bevell’s audition, his opportunity to make something out of this daunting conclusion to an uneven season. While many get caught hand-wringing over draft position, if you’ve tuned into any Lions football this season, you know there are plenty of needs to be filled on this team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. And just as there are plenty of needs, there are just as many players to fill those needs that can be found in the first round of the draft. Detroit’s playing for pride at this point, seeing as the playoffs are but a mere imaginary place considering their schedule and that aforementioned defense.
And for interim head coach Darrell Bevell, this is his chance to prove nobody can hold him—or Matthew Stafford—down.
Each week, we’ll be providing a Song of the Game to create a full-season playlist. You can listen to previous year’s soundtracks right here: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019