Monday, January 9, 2012

The Morning After...

The end of the football season is always a somber moment. Football has the longest offseason of all the major sports, and while there are events like the draft, free agency and OTAs to keep fans buzzing all year, none of those come close to the thrill of actual football.

In the past decade, the end of the Lions season hasn't been particularly rough. While it's always disappointing to see your team for the last time in eight months, in a way it was relieving. The constant losing made the end of week 17 a release of frustration; an end to tortuous Sundays. Then, we could look to next year where optimism was infinite. Perhaps most comforting was the fact that we knew when the season was ending. We knew the Lions weren't making the playoffs, and we knew what would be their last snap of the season. We could mentally prepare ourselves for the awfulness that is "draft talk" and all of the other offseason blues.

But when you make the postseason, you aren't awarded that luxury. In one moment, you're at halftime, letting the tiniest thoughts of Lambeau Field creep into your head. An hour later, your team is just as dead as the other 20 that couldn't even make the playoffs. That's what is so painful this morning. In a manner of minutes, the Lions went from being ever so close to Green Bay and one step closer to the Super Bowl to, BAM, no more Lions until fall.

And that's why I found myself feeling an unfamiliar emotion after the game. Of course, I went through my typical stage of madness immediately post-game: cussing out linebackers, safeties and infuriating, unnecessary bombs to Titus Young. But it wasn't soon after that this fury morphed into depression. I know how ridiculous it sounds to say that depression was a new emotion for a Lions fan, but this was a different strain of depression. I wasn't depressed that the Lions let me down, or that they weren't as good as I thought they were (THEY ARE WHO I THOUGHT THEY WERE). I was depressed the ride was over. No more Matthew Stafford bombs. No more Megatron snatching the ball from the heavens. No more Cliff Avril burning the tackle and stripping the quarterback bare.

No more 20-point comebacks, no utter destructions of Tebow (not by the Lions, at least). No more Tony Scheffler Dances or Alphonso Smith pick-sixes. No more Nate Burleson inspirational speeches, no more Schwartz fist pumps. NO MORE FIST PUMPS!

It was all taken from us in one half. One terrible, terrible half. Now we're left with nothing for the next eight months. People get excited for the draft, but even that is over four months away. And at this point, the draft is no longer the Lions' Super Bowl. It no longer has the importance that it did only three years ago. The Lions have fewer holes to be filled, and they have fewer options picking 23rd overall. The draft is a minor footnote in the Lions' story, and at this moment, I don't care about it. I just want to watch this team play again.

The next eight months are going to suck.

No comments:

Post a Comment