Let's get one thing clear: I love me some Michigan sports. And I am loyal to these teams to the end. Now when I die I wouldn't go putting myself in a casket with my team's logo plastered all over it, that's just pathetic. (And why does it not surprise me at all that it is Red Sox fans who are heading this ridiculous movement? But I guess since they torture us in this life, why not continue to torture us in the afterlife?) But I AM loyal. And I AM an optimist. But even I have my limits. And you better believe that bumbling to 0-16 in an NFL season goes beyond any reasonable man's limits. So I promise to focus on the positive in the future, but I'm sorry, I have to "exercise the demons". So without further ado, here is my list of the 10 members of the Lions organization whom I would most like to step into the ring with so I could drop them like a bad habit:
10. Barry Sanders
This selection probably surprises you. Yes, he's a Hall-of-Famer. Yes, he's the greatest football player to ever don the honolulu blue and silver. Yes, he is the greatest pure runner in the history of the NFL. Yes, he ran for over 15,000 yards and was all-pro in all 10 of his seasons as a Detroit Lion. For those reasons, he is #10 on the list. However, he is on the list nonetheless because it was his premature retirement that led to the deterioration of the franchise that has lasted almost an entire decade now. He retired in 1999 at the age of 31 when he was playing as well as he ever had, and was debatably running better than he ever had (as evidenced by the fact that he was no longer being run down from behind.) He retired with 4 years left on his contract, and he retired by faxing a letter... to a newspaper in Kansas. And he retired in July just before training camp was set to start. If Barry had played at least through the end of his contract, the Lions would have never had to endure watching a rookie kicker from MSU knock them out of the playoff picture with a 54 yard field goal with 2 seconds left of the season finale at the Silverdome in 2000. And you know how the rest of that story plays out.
9. Roy Williams
This guys' act became so tiresome by the end of his stint with the Lions, I couldn't wait for him to "get a one way bus ticket out of town", as ol' Bobby Ross would have said. Roy was all talk, no walk. The silly pre-season and pre-game predictions. The shameless first down signals even when we were down 35 points and 2-10 on the year. The constant talk about how much he loves Texas. Give it a rest, Roy, no one cares. And who brags about being so embarrassingly cheap when you earn several million dollars a year? All I can say is good riddance to bad rubbish, and at least we got a few draft picks for this cancer. Nice trade, Jerry Jones, have fun with this chump as your go-to receiver.
8. Charles Rogers
This menace to society missed time early in his career at Michigan State because his "boo" stabbed him in the back with a steak knife and collapsed his lung. That alone would keep me from drafting this guy with a #2 pick. But two fractured collarbones, about 2,000 bong tokes, and and an arrest for domestic assault and battery later, and Chuckie was out of the league in no time.
7. Monte Clark and Darryl Rogers
These impotent losers don't deserve their own spot, so I'll lump them together at #7. Which is fitting, because their combined efforts collectively ruined my experience going to Lions games in my formidable years in the 1980's, and caused my Dad to sell his season tickets (right before the Lions drafted the guy at #10 on my list... the Lions will always get you, one way or another.) I don't know what was worse at those Clark/Rogers era games, the horrendous product on the field, or having to desperately try to avoid being fondled by the weird guy with the eyepatch who sat next to my Dad and was constantly asking to have me "sit on his lap", right up until when I was, like, in high school. Which is a nice metaphor, come to think of it, for what the Lions have done to me my entire life. They whisper in my ear and make promises they can't keep, then when I let my guard down and open my arms to them, they jab their finger up my bum as hard as they can. If you're wondering why I don't have a picture of Rogers up, it's because the very sight of him conjures images of Andre Ware under center in my mind and my gag reflex is triggered violently.
6. Rod Marinelli
This bald asshole was 28 games under .500... in just three seasons as the Detroit Lions coach! His winning percentage was just above the mendoza line at .208. You can count on Bradon Inge for a better success rate than that. He brought in re-treads from bad Tampa Bay teams to lead his defense. He was a part of draft day blunders. The only good thing he did was get the annoying Rob Parker to resign and pack his bags. Thanks, Rod!
Change of plans. 5 to 1 will have to follow later... I'm feeling sick to my stomach and need to find a toilet ASAP.