Sunday, December 1, 2013

How the Detroit Lions Saved the World

Heroes (via FOX's broadcast)

At halftime of the Detroit Lions' Thanksgiving game against the Green Bay Packers, their doomsday clock was at 11:59 and 30 seconds, and I was the man with the trembly finger over the big red button. Though they led 17-10 at the break, their execution left a lot to be desired. Three turnovers, a missed 31-yard field goal, and just a seven point lead despite complete dominance in every non-turnover aspect of the game.

The Lions were just as we left them against Tampa, a wildly superior team that couldn't get out of their own way. It started to take a toll on me. As the second quarter continued the game's unbelievably frustrating momentum of blunders and gaffes, I started to lose it. My eyes may have been directed towards the television, but all I saw was what this team was doing to me. I saw myself 10 years in the future, corrupted by the years of wasted opportunities and myriad of hilariously awful moments. I was a sad, pathetic man. Watching Lions games only to smugly denounce the team at every opportunity I got. I watched each game shirtlessly by myself -- my friends having abandoned me after several failed attempts to get me help. The words "Same Ole' Lions" tattooed over my rotund abdomen.

As the hallucination briefly wore off and I, through my glassy eyes, witnessed Stafford's first interception of the game (and the Lions third turnover), I time-traveled 20 years ahead. I was a monster. My eyes were now forcibly sewn shut. My ears were mere nubs with drums resembling spoiled deli meats. My gruesome face was lit only by two objects: a monitor displaying a Lions game and a glass vial of some glowing, radioactive substance. My face wore a sadistic smile, but I said nothing, my tongue having been cut out years ago. My mangled fingers furiously scribbled down my final manifesto on cracked floorboards; mostly nonsensical ramblings about an obese dolt only identified as "M***en."

Just as I was lowering the vial into some sort of warhead, I snapped out of it as Ndamukong Suh was laying Matt Flynn to sleep in the endzone in a way that was frighteningly similar to Wayne Brady setting down a slain cop in the middle of the street. From there, the Lions dominated the Packers with no turnover or penalty caveats. In all three phases of the game, Detroit forced their will and beat Green Bay into submission...then beat them some more. No asterisks, no "almost blew its." They won in a manner so decisive that, in a moment of complete disgust, Aaron Rodgers disposed of his contract with the Packers.

With Chicago losing to Minnesota on Sunday, the Lions have now taken a commanding lead of the division. They are in prime position, and anything less than a division title at this point would be a huge letdown. But most importantly, they saved a soul like me. The last two weeks of countless foot-shooting and face palming would be enough to break a normal NFL franchise's fan. But we Detroiters have developed an amazingly high tolerance for incompetence. Still, another half of that against Green Bay, with division hopes on the line, in front of a national audience, with Joe Buck reading the Lions' obituary, would have likely been the end of me -- and all of you. And that's how the Detroit Lions saved the world.

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I'll have more on this game later in the week.

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