Monday, September 14, 2009

Death From Above 2009

uh, we were the other guys

I said in my little game preview that I thought the game between the Lions and the Saints would be a shootout. And when the game started, that's exactly how it looked - that is if one of the gunmen was crippled, in a wheelchair, and didn't, you know, have a gun. That's a familiar sight for Lions fans, familiar and terrible, and if it was last season, we would have fallen out of the wheelchair and then been riddled with bullets while everyone laughed and held their noses at the same time. This time though was different. This time, we were blown out of the chair and instead of just lying there and getting shot to death, we crawled to our knees, grabbed a gun and fired back. It was a noble effort. Of course, our bullets were largely off target and then we were just shot to death anyway, but what the hell, it's better to be shot to death on your knees than to be shot lying face down in a pool of your own piss and vomit, right? Maybe one of these days we will actually get to stand there and get shot like men, in an honest to goodness duel. Or maybe, just maybe, we'll get to shoot some terrible motherfucker first and actually ride off into the sunset with all the town's whiskey and whores in tow, and then hire ourselves out as mercenaries, maybe do some cattle rustling, and . . . okay, perhaps I have gotten carried away with this whole old west shootout theme.

Drew Brees was awesome. That was expected. Maybe not six touchdowns worth of awesome, but we knew we were probably going to be in for a day of bombs dropping and women and children screaming in the face of the horror of it all. I predicted around 400 yards and 4 touchdowns for Brees, so clearly, I wasn't all that optimistic about the Lions ability to stop him. I'm not that upset, really I'm not, because honestly, it could have been worse.

I know that sounds absurd, but last year, too many times we saw our team get the shit kicked out of it within moments of the opening kickoff and then our guys said fuck it and went home. At least this time they kept fighting, kept trying to win. Every time the Saints would put it away, the Lions would try like hell to try to get back into the damn thing. Not very well, but come on, you have to look at these dudes like a gang of retarded kids. They will try their dumb little hearts out and you can't really get mad at them. At least no one shit their pants or lost their asthma inhaler or flipped out and ran amok like little mini hulks. That's something, I guess.

Okay, look, I'm trying really hard here to be optimistic and positive and all that shit, but you know, 6 touchdown passes. 6 TOUCHDOWN PASSES. I mean, it's nice to have hope for the future, and I do, and it's nice to be positive and support your team no matter what, but man, at some point you have to have a little self respect and say you know what, I kind of look like a chump right now. Because this game sucked. Maybe not on the level of last season, but we can't continue to use that as some sort of horrible barometer for the future. If we do, we're pretty much doomed. I mean, that is not a high bar to jump over, or low bar to scoot under or some other bullshit involving a bar. I don't know, I forgot halfway through that sentence whether I was going for a hurdle reference or tying to make you picture a limbo pole. Fuck it, you get the point.

Last season sucked. It did. But it has to stand on its own. Sure, we can look at it and say that's why we're still so fucking bad, and I've done plenty of that. But we can't just sit back and say well, at least it went better than last year, because, well, no shit. The point is, is that we're still lying there in the dirt, shot to death while the other dude celebrates. It's a terrible place to be, no matter how you got there. Is there a certain pride in showing a little more fight? Of course. But in the end, that's a dangerous slope to go slip sliding around on, and pretty soon you are in Marinelliville gibbering on about the right way to play the game and all that bullshit.

You win or you lose. That's it. It's stark and it's unfair, but that's still it. Are there good signs for the future? Sure. The kick return game looked like it had life for the first time since Eddie Drummond was thrown out of town, and the defense, while still absurdly shitty, actually produced a couple of turnovers. The offense was mostly disappointing though. The run game was terrible. It's not Kevin Smith's fault. There were usually dudes waiting to tackle him before he even got the damn ball. Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford was, well, Matthew Stafford was a rookie starting his first game in the NFL for a team that is still pretty damn bad.

He made mistakes, killer mistakes really, but the truth is that the Lions were going to lose this game no matter who started at quarterback. And that's the sad reality we face this year. We are going to suck this year, and if we are, we might as well get our future golden boy a shot at reading NFL defenses instead of reading the contents of a clipboard. Did Stafford suck? Yeah, pretty much. Was it kind of a disappointment? Yeah, it was. Do I want Daunte Culpepper to start? Fuck you for even asking that question. Wait, who am I talking to? Talking to yourself is either a sign of insanity or genius, perhaps both. I'll leave it for you to decide. And by you I mean the reader, not the other me who I'm apparently talking to. What?

Okay, okay. I'm not going to get into fake arguments with imagined inquisitors over this Stafford issue every week. He's the guy, I want him to be the guy, and that's that. I've written a gazillion words on the subject already, and fuck it, I hate the subject already.

So, where do we go from here? We lost, again, and it's possible that we're going to keep losing. Honestly, we don't look that much better, and that's, uh, discouraging, but there was enough fight there, enough little things that were different that let me know that this shit will get turned around eventually. It's just going to take a while. For this season, I think there's enough there to scrape together a few wins. I mean, we're not going to be facing the New Orleans offense with perhaps our top cover corner out for the game and a rookie starting his first game for us at quarterback again. That's probably as bad as it will get. Hopefully.(OH GOD IT BETTER BE)And so we will likely have to make do with mere sorrowful ineptitude, which is a step up from apocalyptic hell I suppose. Again, I am trying to stay positive here, you know?

This post is probably an unfortunate glimpse into what you're going to get from me this season, a bunch of schizophrenic gibberish that is at times self contradictory, but these are terrible times, and they do terrible things to a man. 0-16 has long lasting repercussions, and as much as I might not want to accept that, they are there, for me and for all Lions fans, just like they are there for this team, and until we win at least one stinking game, they're going to hang there like a horrible hangover fart in a hot tool shed. It will be awful. But we all should have known that coming in, and it is our own damn fault for trying to pretend like it would all just magically go away. Just like a fucking hangover. There is no magic pill. Just time. Who knows, maybe all the time we need is one more week. Then again, maybe it will last all season long. But again, we are optimists and champions and gentlemen in our hearts and we will not think that way. Vaya con dios.

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