Monday, December 3, 2012

The Great Drought of 2012

Win or lose, I can't bring myself to write about the Lions on the day of a game. My emotional level is too high, and my mind too cluttered. Without a proper night's sleep, I tend to overreact to a few crucial plays, and overlook the big picture.

So standard procedure for me has been to remove myself from all things Lions once the clock hits 0:00. I turn off my computer, I put my phone away, and I let the game digest in my periphery while I watch the other NFL games. I avoid saying something stupid off-the-cuff, and I ignore the post-game mania on message boards. All the hate, anger and frustration, I internalize. No one else needs to hear the illogical things that run through my brain post-battle.

But this season has killed that part of me. The self-controlled, level-headed man that I used to be is probably in a dumpster somewhere, stabbed to death with his own makeshift shiv, made from the hopes and dreams of his wildest fantasies. That man withered away the moment the red flag left Jim Schwartz's fingertips on Thanksgiving. After three straight fourth quarter meltdowns, I've regrettably joined the panicked masses post-game and spewed my emotionally-charged hate towards anybody and everybody who saw things differently than I. I've been bitten by the mlive commenter and all that's left of me is an over-reactive, rage zombie.

Why is this season the one that has finally released the ugly Kraken inside? When things were worse -- way worse -- everyone was on the same page. We collectively gathered our ire and catapulted it at the House of Millen. When the castle had finally crumbled, we had all survived, together. We had endured tragedy together, and our bond had never been stronger. We all held hands and waited for the brighter days that would follow.

And last year, we finally feasted. For the first time that anyone could clearly remember, the decades of our labor finally bore fruit. It wasn't much, but we devoured the harvest with an insatiable appetite. Our eyes widened as we quickly filled our bellies and envisioned the fruitful feasts ahead. There was plenty of food right around the corner, so why not eat voraciously?

But then the Great Drought of 2012 happened. We looked puzzledly at each other as we waited and waited for our plates to be filled. "ME WANT FOOD!" we grunted at no one in particular as the Lions left Tennessee empty-handed. As the weeks rolled on, the masses grew impatient. On the "day of feasts", it seemed our appetites would finally be whetted, but then the evil Striped Tribe circled our wagons and stripped us bare.

That's when we started turning against ourselves. The hunger weakened our brains and exaggerated our emotions. A youthful warrior named Titus was driven crazy by the drought and his failed attempt at a coup had him banished from our land, likely forever.

But the masses are beginning to turn in his direction. The muddled whispered of discontent are now not only audible, but nearly deafening. There are those trying to fight back with an equal amount of passion behind their hearts. "Droughts happen to everyone!" they scream. "It's the nature of the world we live in."

But the days of the "patient" are clearly numbered.

My Hunger Madness has worn off for now, and I currently stand with the supporters. But I am beginning to suspect they may be suffering from a different strain of madness. The kind of madness that blinds one from the disaster that lay before him. The kind of madness that allows one to stand pat until everything around him is dead and gone.

I stand with the supporters, but my knees are weak and my spirit is cracked. I fear the drought will continue into Lambeau next week (where we haven't feasted in over two decades), and while the body is slowly beginning to adjust to the lack of food, the psyche is fearfully vulnerable.

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