I’ll have you know that I spent an embarrassing amount of time searching through breakup songs to find this week’s Song of the Game. Breakups are hard to capture lyrically, even though so many of us turn to music when our hearts are broken. Everyone experiences love and heartbreak in different ways, and no two relationships are alike.
This particular endeavor proved even harder for me, because what Matthew Stafford meant to this team—and his divorce from the franchise—mixed far too many emotions to be captured by a single song. Watching him live his better life in LA while we tried our damndest to prove we’re fine after the breakup (even if we’re not), is still a weird thing to process. “You Oughta Know” was far too spiteful. “Missing (I Miss You Like the Deserts Miss the Rain)” is too sad and stalkery. And an overwhelming amount of breakup songs are too sexual for things not to get awkward in the next few paragraphs.
The needle I’m looking to thread here is a one part “I’m happy for you,” two parts “I’m not doing fine, but I’m getting better” and one part “Watching you succeed is very much a mixed emotion experience.”
Lions vs. Rams Week 7 Song of the Game: “The Show Must Go On” by Queen
“The Show Must Go on” starts with feeling of despair and helplessness. When Matthew Stafford approached the Detroit Lions for a trade back in January, it was hard to know where this franchise was headed. There was no general manager, no head coach and now no leader behind center. All we had was blind faith in a new owner who shared the name of the previous two owners who had failed us.
Does anybody know what we are looking for?
Another hero, another mindless crime
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime
Hold the line
Does anybody want to take it anymore?
The parting with Matthew Stafford was understandable, but painful nonetheless. It was undoubtedly the best move for the quarterback, and Detroit did well to honor his wishes and get a king’s ransom in return to kickstart a rebuild. However, that didn’t completely erase the feeling of rejection from Stafford, even though he continues to sing the city’s praises from a country away.
Sunday’s game felt like an opportunity for closure. Like happening upon an ex at the local coffee shop, the Detroit Lions tried to put on their best face and show Stafford they’re doing fine without him. Look at all these trick plays we have! Hey, look, we finally got a running game! Our coach isn’t an asshole anymore, too!
The show must go on!
The show must go on!
Inside my heart is breaking
My makeup may be flaking
But my smile, still, stays on
As the song reaches its chorus, Freddie Mercury stops feeling sorry for itself. Sure, the pain is still there, but it’s time to hold your head up high and move forward. Stafford may still be kicking ass—and at this very moment, your ass—but we’re officially in a post-Stafford career now. With Sunday’s game finally over, we can all move on with our lives, as Stafford eloquently put after the game.
“Just glad to have this one over with. Can put the storylines away and just go out and play football the rest of the year and just enjoy.”
While it’s going to be hard to put the Stafford era behind us—especially with a winless team and a struggling quarterback—Dan Campbell is doing his best to heal the wounds. The Lions, despite their lack of talent (or a win), are still fun to watch. They’re giving just about every team they face hell, they’ve got a young cast of characters who’ve got a mean streak are playing confidently. The Lions, for the first time in a while, have hope.
I guess I’m learning
I must be warmer now
I’ll soon be turning, round the corner now
Outside the dawn is breaking
There will be setbacks in our healing. Finding a true Stafford replacement won’t be easy, and if he goes on to lift a Lombardi or two, it will certainly test just how “over” we are with this heartache. But, for now, it’s time to focus inward. There will be brighter days ahead.
You can find the 2021 playlist here (or below):