We keep sacred that most holy secular day of Festivus, to which we give all tiding and cheer. What was once a joke of a sitcom nobody actually ever saw—it sprung forth, fully formed, and was immediately placed in endless reruns—has now taken perch here at Pride of Detroit, where we have semi-regularly kept up with Festivus traditions like no other.
Detroit Lions fans share a lot in common with Frank Costanza—idiosyncratic, cantankerous and probably fond of meatloaf. So we begin the Festivus, as always, with the airing of grievances.
You know the line: “I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!”
Chris Perfett: I got a problem with Jared Goff, and the strange weird cult of what’s come of his play. It’s a terrible thing that Goff is neither gob-smacking good nor agonizingly average; he fits in that “second tier” of quarterback that’s come of late in the NFL. He’s the sort of guy who can have a really good game now and then, a good game by box score metrics often and then drops a real stinker here and there when he’s off his game. At any point in the future, that game could fall off a cliff. It’s not something anyone’s really figured out the worth on: the kind of quarterback that if pressed, fans of another team wouldn’t want him. Nevertheless, the Lions are doing well with him.
But you people. Oh, you PEOPLE. You can’t heart this kind of nuance. It’s on or off. Bring up critical situations and decision-making and fans will screech about he’s got a really good game just look at [[THE BOX SCORE]]. Picking at elements of his game makes you a [[HATER]]. You’d think I’m talking about Joe Montana or something here. I urge instead, the following: CHILL.
Morgan Cannon: STOP DOING THE WAVE WHEN THE LIONS ARE ON OFFENSE. I BEG OF YOU.
Alright, now that is out of the way, to those of you who wrote off Jeff Okudah after dealing with the previous regime and two major injuries in consecutive years—shame on you. If Darius Slay wasn’t an example of a rookie needing time to get up to speed, then hopefully Okudah will help sear that fact into peoples’ minds.
Not to sound like your grouchy Uncle who you try to avoid during the holidays, but sometimes, good things take time.
Jeremy Reisman: I got a problem—albeit a petty one—with Lions fans. Booing T.J. Hockenson at Ford Field in Detroit’s win over Minnesota was ridiculous and uncalled for. Hockenson was nothing but respectable during his time in Detroit, and gave it nothing but his all. He had a close relationship with Jared Goff, and played some pretty good football here. Was he worth the eighth overall pick? Probably not, but this is not a situation like Eric Ebron. Hockenson wasn’t plagued by drops. Hockenson wasn’t getting into spats with fans on Twitter.
Most people were perturbed by comments he made in his introductory press conference as a new member of the Vikings. Let’s revisit those quickly:
“That’s really what we’re here to do, is go somewhere, win some games. That’s kind of the first time that I’ve been able to say that. So I’m pretty excited about that. I really am.”
GASP! WHAT A MONSTER!
With the Lions, Hockenson saw the Lions go a collective 12-42-2. He joined a team that was 6-1. Who wouldn’t be excited about that? He wasn’t gratuitiously taking a shot at the Lions, he was showing genuine excitement. He was never in a position to regularly win games or make a playoff run in Detroit, and now he does! Sure, it’s an ironic twist that the Lions are now in the midst of a hot streak and playoff push, but that has nothing to do with Hockenson nor does it make his comments look foolish.
PLUS, IT WAS THE LIONS WHO DECIDED TO TRADE HIM, NOT HOCKENSON HIMSELF.
Ryan Mathews: Every single fan that gave up on DJ Chark should write an apology letter and send it to Allen Park on their own dime. Why the hell were you writing off a player that played less than three games full games? He caught four passes for 52 yards and a touchdown in the season opener for crying out loud, but because he suffered an ankle injury we had people out here calling his signing a “waste of money”? Since returning to a full workload on Thanksgiving, he has 14 catches for 226 yards and two touchdowns in four games.
Yeah, so much for not seeing enough from Chark in his first four games and saying things like “he hasn’t been good even when healthy.” Here’s your Festivus gift:
Erik Schlitt: POD readers, you’re great. But my goodness, stop complaining when I write a Game Ball article after a loss. Look, I get it that historically a “game ball” is only given after winning a football game, but we’re not playing football here, we are writing weekly, reoccurring articles about football for entertainment purposes. At its core, the article is designed to be positive, fun, and optimistic, so please don’t suck the joy out of it by complaining about something silly.
Mike Payton: I’m going to take the Andy Dufresne approach to my complaint. When he wanted to get funds for the prison library, he wrote the state senate once a week. I’m not going to do that, but I am going to re-up on last years grievance. I want the old Lions logo back on some merch. I don’t know why this team is hiding from the logo they had from 1970 to 2008, but I wish they would stop. I want some throwback stuff that has that logo on it. I’m tired of looking for stuff and finding the logo from 1961 to 1969 on it. It’s infuriating and that logo is ugly. Give me what I want, dammit! I am fully prepared to bitch about this next year. You know what, I’m going to have my mom write a stern letter to your mother.
Hamza Baccouche: For the love of everything Honolulu Blue, I would love to know what some of you think the Lions are supposed to do on offense on third-and-15+. “Why are you running the ball!” “A screen is not going to get 23 yards!” What do you want them to do? Drop back Jared Goff into four verticals with the defense in their own NASCAR package so he can stare down a receiver and throw a duck that goes for a 15-yard arm punt? I get that it’s not a fun feeling to almost give up on a drive, but in most cases like these the alternative is vertical routes that if you know are coming, then the defense most definitely knows are coming.