The day is finally here. After a work week that seemed to drag on forever, Saturday is finally here. Game day. Hardly an hour went by, this week, without me thinking about today.
I thought about writing a pump-up article for today (and maybe that's what this is), but I ran into two problems. First, I'm not very good at that. I've always been more of a "lead by example" kind of guy more so than a vocal leader. A little strange for someone who blogs, I'll admit, but it's the truth. Secondly, anything I would've come up with would've been bested by two of the best Lions bloggers out there: Nate Washuta of Holy Schwartz! and Neil MadeUpLastName at Armchair Linebacker.
Nate wrote an epic comparison of the Lions/Saints matchup to the Rocky Balboa/Ivan Drago fight in Rocky IV.
But you know what? I believe that the Lions will prove that the Saints are human ["You see? He's not a machine! He'a a man!"] and I’m betting the Saints will be surprised by just how tough this Lions team is.My favorite part is where he compares New Orleans to Russia.
And, Neil. My man, Neil. His preview is so good that there hasn't been a word invented to accurately describe it's awesomeness. I suggest you read it, then read it again right before kickoff. In fact, if Nate Burleson himself read it to the team right before they took the field, I would be 100% sure the Lions would win the game. Here's just a snippet of it's beauty [NSFW language, in case you get in trouble for reading naughty words at work, in which case you should probably quit your job, especially if you're working today]:
This is not about respect. Not anymore. The Lions are in the playoffs. They don’t need your fucking respect, ESPN. They don’t need your fucking respect, New Orleans. No. This is about winning. That’s it.Chills. And there are about 300 more paragraphs like that in his article. Please read it.
Alright, this is the part where I try to gather all my thoughts and bring it home:
Today is the day we have been dreaming of for 12 years. For many of us, it will be the first time experiencing the Lions in a win-or-go-home situation. I was 13 the last time the Lions were in the playoffs, so technically I've been through this before. But when I was 13, I also listened to Limp Bizkit and thought "Austin Powers" was the greatest film franchise ever made. Outside of my Lions faith, the man that I am today has no resemblance to the stupid kid I was then. My only memory of that playoff game was the fact that my dad and I considered flying to D.C. to catch the game, but when the Lions lost, we were relieved that we had decided otherwise. In other words, 12 years ago, I was dumb, had no taste in anything and couldn't appreciate the good things in life. But now, I'm ready. Ready for everything today has to offer.
In about 13 hours, we will know our fate. I will either be an inconsolable mess or experiencing a type of euphoria I cannot even fathom right now. But this is what we've been asking for. This is what we've wanted. For the past 11 seasons, we've spent each weekend of the playoffs watching games with little-to-no emotional investment. We'd watch the games and the jubilation of the crowd with a sigh. We'd see quarterbacks stand on podiums with confetti raining down upon them, and we'd daydream. But not this year. This year, we get to be a part of it all. We get to feel the desperation of needing a win to survive, the pain of every turnover and the bliss of every Lions touchdown. We get to fill out playoff brackets that could conceivably have the Lions in the Super Bowl. We get to see the National Media give the Lions their full attention. We get to put the NFL Draft on hold while we have better things to do. We get to see our Detroit Lions in the freakin' playoffs. And even if that ends in a terrible tragedy, we get to experience it. And I'll take that any day over passively watching a meaningless game.
Go Detroit Lions!