Sunday, September 21, 2008
How do you go back and analyze a game that was so thoroughly one sided that the final score could have been 70-13 instead of 31-13? How do you look for signs of life from a team who, with every play, look more and more like they have already checked out, like at any moment they might just wander off the field and roam aimlessly in traffic until they are hit by a bus? How do you continue as a fan when it is blindingly obvious that there is absolutely no chance that not only will your team not come anywhere close to the playoffs but that they will likely not be competitive against even the worst teams in the league?
Well, the answer to the first two questions is simple. You don't. You can't go back and pick apart what was essentially legalized rape and murder. You just have to accept that it happened and try to move on without looking back. The horror of the flaming wreckage of today's game is just too great, too ridiculous, to ponder seriously. It happened, lives were ruined, bodies were mutilated, war crimes occurred, and that's that.
But the answer to the last question is not so simple. It's one that I've had to ask myself year after year after agonizing year. Why in the hell do I even give the tiniest of shits about this godforsaken team? And the truth is I can't give you a reason. There is nothing logical about it, nothing I can point to and say "There, that's why I follow this team." There are no players, no coaches, no proud history to look back on, nothing but utter failure and a stink that never quite washes off. And, as a Lions fan, you are always marked with that stink. Tell someone you are a Lions fans and they will either offer their condolences or they will laugh. In the hierarchy of football fandom, to be a Lions fan is to be the village idiot or a bum on the street wallowing in his own piss and shit. It is embarrassing. So why put myself through that? Because it's always been there, that's why.
There was never a time that I sat down, watched a game and thought "You know what? I kinda like this team. I think I'm going to cheer for them from now on." No. Instead, the Lions are in my blood. They are like some degenerate diseased relative. You can pretend all you want that they don't exist, you can laugh about them, bitch about them, get angry with them, and in the end hate yourself for still loving them. But you can't ever leave them, can't just cast them aside and wash your hands of them, because in the end they're still your family. They'll still be there when you show up for Christmas. They'll still talk to you at weddings and at funerals. They're always there because they're in your blood. You love them and you hate them. You hope that they will somehow get better one moment and in the next you curse them. They are a complete fucking bane to your very existence but you know that you can't give them up. You just can't, because they've always been there, and one way or another, when someone mentions their name or you see them on the street you feel something, maybe sometimes it's love, maybe sometimes it's hate, but you still always feel something. Indifference is the only way to break free of them, but indifference is not something that you can try to attain. It's either there or it isn't.
To be a Lions fan is to be cursed. To be a Lions fan is to be miserable. But I am a Lions fan and so be it. I hate these horrible fuckers, but put them up against your team and I will hope every time that they kill your boys. My name is Neil and I am a Lions fan.