I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about for today. I had considered doing a Willie Young piece, but everything changed over the weekend. I had just finished watching Michigan get waxed by Ohio St. and was busy preparing a noose when I heard a loud crack of what sounded like thunder. I looked outside and noticed that the street was on fire and there was a silver DeLorean in my driveway. A moment later, a crazy old man with white hair jumped out, ran to my door and began screaming and pounding on it. I considered knifing him and then dumping his body in Lake Michigan so I could sell the DeLorean, but I opened the door when I hear him say “Marty! I just returned from a time where the Lions are 11-0!”
I peered closer at the old man, and said “Shit, Doc Brown, is that you?” He looked terrible, like Iggy Pop’s grandfather, a strung out old mess who smelled like old piss and failure. His teeth were damn near rotten and he had huge, heavy purple bags under his eyes. I invited him inside where he explained to me that he had developed a serious heroin addiction after traveling to late 19th century China. I asked him what happened to his wife Clara, and he got all sad and wouldn’t speak for the next hour. I made him some tea, and finally he just sighed and asked if he could use my bathroom.
After about fifteen minutes, I began to grow concerned. I asked him if everything was alright and he said “Of course, Marty,” but he sounded strange. I could hear the hissing of what sounded like a crack torch and I decided that enough was enough. I tried to open the door, but it was locked. Finally, I had to kick it in, and I found Doc Brown smoking meth in my bathroom. He offered to share and I considered taking a hit, but I was too intrigued by his gibberish about the Lions being 11-0 and so I declined and then slapped him in the face.
“Jesus Christ, Marty!” he spat. “I’m 105 years old!”
“Get your shit together, old man,” I said. “I don’t care if you OD in a dumpster, but this is my bathroom and I don’t want to have to explain that shit to the pigs. Besides, you said something about the Lions being 11-0 and Goddammit, Doc, I need some good news in my life.”
Doc eyed me warily, and then spat on my floor. I slapped him again and he began weeping, which turned into sobbing - terrible, uncontrollable sobbing. “I’m sorry, Marty!” he managed in between deep, ugly sobs filled with snot and despair. I just shook my head in disgust and demanded that he take me to this place where the Lions were 11-0.
“When is it? 1957?”
Doc just kept on bawling, so I was forced to slap him again. He finally calmed down enough, but he was still hyperventilating, and so I agreed to let him do a line of coke just so he could get his shit together. Doc did his line, sighed deeply and then told me that he had rigged the DeLorean so that it not only was capable of time travel, but also of inter-dimensional travel. He told me he got the idea from watching Fringe and then spent the next ten minutes spewing coked out nonsense about the show. The highlight of this deranged rant was him calling Walter Bishop a cocksucker and a fraud. I was forced to slap him yet again, and this seemed to refocus him. He then proceeded to tell me that he had traveled to an alternate reality of this season, one in which the Lions were 11-0. I immediately began to sweat, and not just because Doc had tricked me into taking a meth hit. This was the answer that I had been searching for. A world, just like ours, only one in which the Lions were 11-0! Well, fuck this shitty ass world, I thought, and before I knew it, I was hustling Doc out to the DeLorean and demanding that he take me both back to this world and three months back into the past so I could watch it all unfold. I agreed to let Doc sleep on my couch once we arrived in this new world and I killed the other version of myself, and off we went.
We arrived on the Saturday night before the Lions season opener against the Bears and after [redacted on the advice of my attorneys] . . . which I don’t have to tell you was messy as hell and . . . [redacted on the advice of my attorneys]. When we awoke, it was almost time for the game to start. I kicked Doc awake and after he vomited, we sat down to watch the game. For brevity’s sake, here is a quick account of just how the Lions 11-0 dream season unfolded in that beautiful alternate reality:
Week 1: The Lions beat the Bears 21-19 after Calvin Johnson caught a last minute touchdown pass. The refs in this world were not complete imbeciles and so no one said anything about the validity of the catch. It stood and so the Lions were 1-0 to start the season. On a sad note, Matthew Stafford’s shoulder was still murdered in this dimension. When I asked Doc about it, he just shrugged and said “Marty, some things are just inevitable,” and then he mumbled something about fate and man’s inability to change his own destiny and then he began weeping before vomiting all over my couch.
Week 2: Against the Eagles, the Lions recovered an onside kick late in the fourth quarter and Shaun Hill led a last minute drive, which culminated in a touchdown pass to Brandon Pettigrew and a 39-35 Lions victory. The Lions were 2-0 but Doc was determined to bring me down, as he spent the whole game whining about how his wife, Clara, left him for a Chinese pimp named Wu Pei while he was wasting his time in an opium den in 19th century Shanghai. I told him to shut the fuck up and let me enjoy the Lions success but he just said “Marty, what is the point of any of it all when my Clara is busy sucking off some old Chinaman in an alley in Shanghai for five cents a pop?” I was shocked by how little she was selling that ass for, and I recalled Doc’s wife was pretty fine for an older lady and I briefly considered making him take me back to 19th century China. I figured that I could negotiate Wu Pei down to a cool penny since I knew his friend, The Great Willie Young, but the Lions were 2-0, damn it, and I just couldn’t walk away from that.
Week 3: The Lions went into Minnesota, and found the Vikings reeling from scandal and infighting. It would seem that Brett Favre had contracted dick rot after double teaming a prostitute with Brad Childress. Brett’s play suffered and Childress went on the run after the prostitute went missing and they found her bloody teeth inside of Childress’ windowless van. With no coach and an ailing QB, the Vikings started the season 0-2, and things unraveled only further when pictures of Brett’s junk showed up online and on the front pages on the New York Times, revealing him to be hung like a 9 year old midget. Brett hastily called a press conference to announce his retirement before moving to a shack in the woods of Mississippi. The Vikings immediately signed Daunte Culpepper to replace him and he threw six interceptions as the Lions cruised to a 45-7 victory and a 3-0 start. Doc went missing this week and I didn’t see him for almost a month. I assumed he had died in some dark alley somewhere, but fuck it, the Lions were 3-0 and I had a DeLorean.
Week 4: The Lions went into Green Bay, where Shaun Hill led a fourth quarter drive that ended with a Jason Hanson field goal to give the Lions a 29-28 lead. The Packers then failed on a last minute drive when an irate and drunken Raven Mack stormed the field and beat the shit out of Aaron Rodgers for what Rodgers did to Raven’s sister. The final score was 29-28 Lions and somehow, the Lions were sitting pretty at 4-0.
Week 5: A triumphant Lions team destroyed the Rams 44-6 and Alphonso Smith delighted a nation when he busted out The Carlton following an interception return for a touchdown. The Lions were now 5-0 and were fast becoming the darlings of the sports world.
Week 6: The Lions went into New York and found themselves staring down defeat against the Giants. Shaun Hill broke his arm and I groaned as Ol’ Plucky ran out onto the field to take his place. But just before he reached the huddle, Ol’ Plucky tripped on a pile of grit and broke his ankle. The Lions were forced to turn to emergency quarterback Matthew Stafford, who led a valiant comeback. After a touchdown and a two point conversion tied up the game at 28 late in the 4th quarter, Stafford tossed a touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson in overtime and the Lions escaped from New York with a 34-28 victory and a glittering 6-0 record.
Bye Week: Doc Brown returned, naked and covered in mysterious bruises. His hair was an unkempt mess and both of his eyes were severely blackened and nearly swollen shut. I didn’t even ask where he had been and he just spent the week mumbling gibberish to himself and vomiting. He shit all over my bathroom floor and I was forced to rub his nose in it like a dog. I made him sleep in the shed for two nights before I reluctantly let him back into the house after he begged and promised me that he was just going through withdrawal and that the worst of it had already passed. I almost changed my mind when he offered to suck my dick but I felt so bad for him. He looked so pathetic with his big brown puppy dog eyes, and so I allowed him to sleep on my couch once again. He thanked me by stealing a bottle of Night Train from the liquor store, which he gave to me. We then stayed up all night getting shitfaced before he started to cry. I just sighed and asked him “Now what’s the matter?” He slurred that he loved me and that he had always loved me, ever since I rolled by his house on my skateboard in 1985. His exact words were “Marty, it’s always been you. I jus’ . . . I jus’ wanted to let you know that I love you, Marty. I can’t tell you, Marty, how many times I jacked off to that scene of you in your underwear in your mom’s room after you went back to 1955, and . . .” He then passed out, although he buried his face in my lap when he did so. I quietly slipped away back to my bedroom and the next morning neither one of us said anything. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I wasn’t Marty and he didn’t seem to remember our drunken conversation.
Week 8: The Lions roared out of the bye week with a healthy Matthew Stafford and dismantled the Redskins, winning 37-25. The highlight of the game was the Lions defensive line, which absolutely beat the shit out of Donovan McNabb, humiliating him to the point that Mike Shanahan pulled him in favor of Rex Grossman. Unbelievable! I explained to Doc, who knew staggeringly little about football, that Grossman’s nickname was the Sex Cannon, but I was forced to leave when Doc became visibly aroused. The next day, Doc told me that I was his little Sex Cannon and he spent the next week calling me Sex Cannon, which was okay because I was getting tired of him calling me Marty all the time.
Week 9: The New York Jets came to town to play the 7-0 Detroit Lions, and were humiliated 27-10 as the Lions now dominant defense completely shut down Mark Sanchez while Matthew Stafford played a brilliant game. Sadly, Stafford’s shoulder was again murdered, and Doc again began to mutter about man’s impossible fight against fate. I told him to shut the fuck up and he began to weep. I felt bad and cheered him up by pointing out that Clara was just a cheap whore and he was better off without her. He placed his hand on my thigh and I let him leave it there because it made him happy, and besides, I was in a good mood since the Lions were now 8-0 and Rex Ryan had suffered a massive heart attack at halftime and Joe Namath was caught finger banging Mark Sanchez’s girlfriend in the stands during the 4th quarter.
Week 10: The Lions turned to Shaun Hill once again, whose arm had miraculously healed after a visit to a Hindu faith healer atop a mountain in the Hindu Kush. Doc claimed that it was just a matter of the mind tricking itself into believing that the arm was fixed, while I chose to believe in magic and faith and told him that I thought the arm was legitimately healed by the old Hindu. Doc and I got into a vicious argument that culminated in him screaming “Fuck you, Marty, you tease! Do you know how often I lie awake at night, just thinking of you? Oh, how I wish you would just leave your bedroom night after night and climb into the couch and just snuggle with me. That’s all I want, Marty. I just want to feel your body pressed up against mine. I want to feel your warmth, but no, Marty, all I feel from you is that you are a cold hearted bitch! Just like Clara!” He then stomped out of the house and I didn’t see him again for two days, but I didn’t mind. After all, the Lions destroyed the overmatched and hapless Bills 30-13 behind a healthy Hill and were sitting at 9-0. Yes sir, this world seemed okay to me.
Week 11: The Lions traveled to Dallas to face a Cowboys team in disarray. They had just fired their head coach, Wade Phillips, and Jerry Jones was arrested on charges that he was kidnapping virgins and sacrificing them to his new stadium’s scoreboard, which he had begun to worship like a god. Michael Irvin added more fuel to the fire when he laughed and said “I don’t think Mr. Jones is guilty. After all, everyone know there ain’t no virgins in Big D. Not after me and Big Nate and the boys finished with ‘em anyway.” The Lions destroyed a listless Cowboys team 42-10 in a game which was marred by an ugly fistfight between Roy Williams and Jon Kitna. Kitna, bleeding from his bald scalp, openly wept after the game and demanded a trade back to Detroit. The Cowboys, however, had no one to authorize such a trade with Jones locked up and besides, the Lions front office just laughed when they heard about Kitna’s demand. Two days later, the Dallas Cowboys were disbanded and Troy Aikman was arrested for getting shitfaced and viciously beating a naked Joe Buck with a belt in a seedy motel room just outside of Fort Worth. 10-0 baby!
Week 12: Thanksgiving with the Lions. It was a happy Thanksgiving. Doc sobered up long enough to cook us a nice dinner, which we enjoyed peacefully as we watched the Lions beat the Patriots 34-31 in a thrilling game featuring two of the NFL’s best teams. Doc was right. The Lions were 11-0 and they seemed like they were on their way to the Super Bowl. All seemed right with the world. At least for a couple of days.
On Saturday, as I was getting ready to watch the alternate reality Michigan Wolverines - who were sitting pretty at 11-0, ranked number one behind the explosive Denard Robinson and a surprisingly good defense which had gelled after some struggles early in the year - play Ohio St., Doc came to me one last time and declared his love. Only this time, he had a knife and said he wouldn’t live in a world where I didn’t love him back, and he wouldn’t let me live in it either. I tried to calm him down, and for the first time, I explained to him that my name wasn’t Marty. He refused to believe me and so I was forced to prove to him that Marty was now a middle aged man suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Doc was inconsolable and even inexplicably threatened to kill Muhammad Ali. I calmed Doc down by repeating to him his words about man’s inability to escape fate. He seemed to accept this, but he then quit speaking entirely for the next several days. He just moped around the house, occasionally weeping. The only sounds that came out of his mouth were a string of mournful howls late at night, when he was sleeping. He would just scream the name “Marty” over and over and over again. I was concerned, but the Lions were 11-0 and well, shit, I just couldn’t walk away from that, you know?
I once again considered knifing Doc and dumping his body in Lake Michigan, but I had made him a promise. He had delivered to me a reality in which the Lions were 11-0 and I owed it to him to allow him to stay on my couch. After all, he was an old drug fiend, and he would probably die soon and so I wouldn’t have to worry about it much longer. A few months of his senile ranting and raving was a small price to pay for my Lions being 11-0 and headed for championship glory.
That all changed on a Wednesday evening. I was getting excited for the Lions upcoming game against the second place Bears. If the Lions won, they would officially clinch the NFC North title. But, sadly, I would never get to see that game. Doc and I had eaten dinner in peace. He still wasn’t speaking much, but he had ceased to cry and scream, and so everything was cool as far as I was concerned. It was obvious that he was mired in a mild depression, but so what? The old bastard needed to deal with reality. It wasn’t my fault that he was hung up on a middle aged man with Parkinson’s. After dinner, Doc quietly told me that he was going into town for a little while. I didn’t care. I told him he could do what he wanted. I also told him to make sure he picked up some more toilet paper, since we were almost out.
Several hours passed, and I was getting ready to go to bed when Doc crashed the DeLorean through the front of the house. He jumped out, his eyes wild, his teeth grinding and I knew that he had fallen back off the wagon. He tossed a half used roll of toilet paper at me and then began to holler at me to get my things. I told him to calm the fuck down and I slapped him several times. It had no effect. I suspected that he had taken PCP but when I questioned him about it, he just screamed at me, bellowing “Marty! This world is no good! No fucking good at all! Muhammad Ali poisoned you, Marty! We have to leave! We have to go back!” He then ranted for a good 15 minutes straight about Clara and then wept when he finally admitted that he had eaten his dog, Einstein, in a drug fueled frenzy after she had left him. Horrified, I began to plot the old man’s demise, but I was taken by surprise when he lunged at me. He knocked me down, and I was surprised by his iron like strength, although I now realize that this was likely because he had taken some sort of synthetic adrenaline. He pulled off my pants and began pawing at my penis.
“What the fuck are you doing, Doc?” I yelled.
He just shook his head, his white hair wildly whipping from side to side and said “Marty, I rebuilt the flux capacitor so that it runs on garbage and semen! YOUR SEMEN, MARTY!”
“Jesus Christ,” I muttered. This had gotten completely out of hand. The Lions might be 11-0, but it would seem that one nightmare had been replaced with another. I managed to grab a lamp off of my night stand and I smashed it against Doc’s skull. It barely phased him, seeing as how he was so amped up on faux adrenaline, PCP, meth and God only knows what else. But it was enough to allow me to wriggle free. I ran from the room, pantsless and terrified. I could feel Doc bearing down on me, but I had to keep running, had to keep moving.
“Marty!” he kept calling to me. “Marty! Come back here! I love you, Marty! I need to save you! Just let me suck some of that sweet, sweet McFly semen out of you, and . . .” I didn’t hear him finish, as I dove into the open door of the DeLorean and quickly shut it behind me. Doc began to pound on the door, and then moved to the front of the car. It appeared he was trying to open the hood. His eyes were wild and manic and I did the only thing I could do. I mashed my foot into the accelerator and I ran Doc Brown over. I backed out of the wreckage of the home of the now deceased alternate reality version of me, and I raced away from the scene. I looked in the rear view mirror one last time, only to see Doc crawling to his feet. I jammed my foot on my accelerator until it hit 88 miles per hour and after a flash of lightning and a crack of thunder I found myself cruising down my street. I looked at the DeLorean’s clock and saw that I had returned to this universe, and that it was Sunday, November 28, 2010. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was home.
I am heartbroken that I will not be able to see the Lions of that other universe build upon their 11-0 start, but I keep telling myself that those Lions are not my Lions. My Lions are 2-9 and I need to accept that. I need to embrace them as my team and stop chasing ghosts, stop facing fantasies until I turn out like poor Doc Brown, wild eyed and deranged, chasing a dream that was never real to begin with. He will never find love with Marty and these Lions will never be 11-0. Oh well. After all, a man cannot fight fate, as Doc Brown so often told me. I see now that those were the only moments of clarity the poor, senile old fool had during our adventure. I live in fear every day that today will be the day he shows up at my door again in a rebuilt time machine, but I can only hope that he will remain trapped in that alternate universe and that he dies before he can complete his time machine of vengeance. In that universe the Lions are 11-0, but he also haunts that terrible dimension. In this world, the Lions are 2-9, but at least I don’t have to worry about Doc Brown trying to suck my dick, and I guess that’s something, right? RIGHT???