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Notes: Which moment from Lions history runs through your mind on repeat?

For one writer at Defector, it’s a picked up penalty flag.

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NFL: JAN 04 NFC Wild-Card - Lions at Cowboys Photo by Ray Carlin/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lauren Theisen is a writer at Defector, a great website with articles about sports but also general pop culture, food, and weird but cool stuff. Thiesen typically writes about hockey, but she also puts out articles about various Michigan-related sports (and other) topics because she happens to be from Michigan. In a series of articles on Defector called “Infinite Replay,” the writers of the site delve into their own pasts for the one sporting event they cannot forget. For Thiesen, it turns out to be a Detroit Lions memory from the 2014 postseason that “celebrated” its seventh-year anniversary this week. You know where this is going.

It’s a game that all Lions fans have thought about at great length, including the staff at Pride of Detroit. Our fearless leader tortured himself with metagaming out what could have happened if the Detroit Lions got that penalty. Mike Payton got excruciating details from Dean Blandino about what happened and the fallout in the offseason. Yes, that Dean Blandino! The picked up flag is the one play that Ryan Mathews would want to change if he had the power.

Anybody who’s been a Lions fan for any sustained amount of time has experienced some pretty awful calls. You don’t need to go very far back to find some really horrible stuff. What makes the playoff loss to the Cowboys stand out from the rest? An interesting point made in Lauren Theisen's article is that it had none of the usual SOL nonsense: “the Cowboys loss is uniquely painful and memorable, both because of how well the team played to get to that position and because none of the typical screwy Lions bullshit entered into play until the whistle that wasn’t.”

If you feel like reliving the frustration and despair, give Theisen's article a read. It’s a good one, and she knows what she’s talking about. I mean, just look at this paragraph:

Like potato chips, Lions heartbreak comes in every conceivable flavor, and the sheer number of them I’ve consumed in my life is probably pretty unhealthy. In 2002, short-lived head coach Marty Mornhinweg took the wind instead of the ball in an overtime loss to the Bears. In 2004, a botched extra point after a would-be game-tying TD drive led to a 28-27 loss. In 2008, Dan Orlovsky ran out of the back of the end zone for a safety in a game the Lions lost 12-10. In 2010, they lost to the Bears after Calvin Johnson did not maintain control through the entire process of the catch. In 2015, the Lions lost on Monday night to the Seahawks because of a missed illegal batting call. Later that year, Aaron Rodgers completed a 20-point comeback in Motown on a miraculous Hail Mary after a phony face mask flag. And in 2021, a missed delay of game helped allow Justin Tucker to steal one from the Lions with the longest field goal in NFL history.

She’s legit. Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • The guest this week for a quick interview with Fox 2’s Dan Miller was our favorite NFL anime-obsessed running back: Jamaal Williams. You can watch the recording on the station’s web site.

  • The team’s official Twitter account posted a thread showing seven charities receiving funding from the Detroit Lions Inspire Change initiative. Each charity is identified and described in a separate reply in the thread:

  • Chris Burke and Nick Baumgartner from The Athletic made their picks for the (almost) end-of-season awards for the Detroit Lions (subscription required).

  • Episode 12 of the team’s Women in Football segment is up:

  • Pro Football Focus posted an article yesterday updating the top 75 players expected to enter free agency in 2022. Former Lions guard Laken Tomlinson is the 28th player in the article and former Lions safety Quandre Diggs is ranked 55th. No current players on the Detroit Lions roster made the list.

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