What do you do when your heart has been ripped out and all around you there is nothing but smoke and fire? Well, I’ll tell you. You replace your heart with that smoke and fire and you let it burn inside of you and then you unleash hell on everyone dumb enough to get in your way.
I’m not happy. I’m pissed off, I’m ornery and it will be hard to take joy in whatever happens this weekend. I want to see the Lions obliterate the Bills and if they do so, I will watch with grim satisfaction and bloodlust in my soul and I will grit my teeth and I will snarl at both the television and Fate itself.
Matthew Stafford is dead. Shaun Hill is wounded, the hyenas have begun chattering on the dark, terrible horizon and the vultures are flying overhead. The world has rolled its eyes at us and said “Same Ol’ Lions.” The Buffalo Bills are 0-8 and are favored by those degenerates in Vegas. No one believes in anything other than pain and we are left gibbering to ourselves about curses and Fate and the despicable unfairness of a world that obviously hates us.
Well, fuck all that. On Sunday, the Detroit Lions, my favorite professional football team, will descend upon Buffalo will furious vengeance in their hearts. They will devour the souls of the living and gnaw upon the bones of the wicked dead. There is no joy in any of this, no beautiful glimpse of the future. The future is irrelevant. So is the past. There is only now, there is only today, and today there is no choice but to win, to crush, kill, destroy.
People will laugh at you for still believing in this team. They will pat you on the head like an idiot dog and they will pity you and they will patronize you and you will be expected to laugh about it with them and admit that you are a goddamn fool with no hope. But once upon a time, I told a story about getting knocked stupid over and over and over again by a friend, and I told you about getting up again and again and again even though there was no point to any of it all other than it was something that I had to do for myself. I gritted my teeth against the world even though my teeth were covered in my own blood and I staggered forward and I called everyone and everything a coward and dared the world to hit me again. In the absence of Reason, in the absence of Hope, all that is left is Pride, dull, stupid and unyielding.
I don’t give a shit about the Bills. I don’t give a shit that the Lions are 2-6 and the season has been declared dead. I mourned. I gibbered on about the darkness and I swallowed my own tongue and then I passed out. When I awoke, all I wanted was vengeance, and I looked at the schedule and with grim satisfaction, I mentally firebombed Buffalo and I said to myself “Yes. Yes, this will do.”
This preview is short and brutal. Words are without meaning in a world such as ours. Today, we are animals, and animals do not care about anything other than the moment. Animals stalk The Fear and then rip his throat out with their teeth.
The Buffalo Bills are a terrible football team. Their run defense is abysmal, last in the league, and this week, they are without the services of Andra Davis, their starting inside linebacker. If there is anyone in the NFL who the Lions can run on, it’s this collection of invalids and water-brained fools.
Shaun Hill has a broken arm. So what? I have a broken heart. There is no room for pity here. He is expected to be fully functional in Sunday’s game. He may experience pain. This is okay. We all experience pain. This makes him one of us. But his throwing arm is healthy, and St. Calvin and Brandon Pettigrew and Nate Burleson and Tony Scheffler are all still here and the Bills secondary has not intercepted a pass during their winless journey to hell (sound familiar?) They are pathetic, they are helpless and they must be beaten without mercy, savagely and definitively.
Buffalo’s offense isn’t any better. Their quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a Harvard grad who has been nothing more than a fringe NFL quarterback throughout his career. He has thrown it around some lately, but he is facing a defensive line which has eaten people alive this season, and a secondary which has made big play after big play. He is basically Shaun Hill, and I would not like Shaun Hill’s chances against our defense, which will make you hurt, and which, according to Bart Scott, the Jets linebacker, is as dirty as they come. This is a point of pride.
The Bills have also struggled to run the ball. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are both averaging only 3.8 yards per carry. The Lions defense should be able to punch them in the mouth all day long, especially because the Bills are without slot receiver Roscoe Parrish, who has been Fitzpatrick’s safety blanket all season long. This mean that the Lions should be able to attack with confidence and all the bloodlust in their heart.
The Buffalo Bills are favored this week. This is because the world is stupid and does not respect us. We must earn their respect and if the only way to do that is to savage the people of Buffalo like we’re some sort of fucked up hybrid of Godzilla and Pol Pot then so be it. The world is not bright and filled with sunshine. It is dark and it is mean and it is cruel. There is a monster here and he breathes fire and he hates the living. This is no time for fluttery words about hope. This is a time for destruction and chaos and burning the world because it burns you. This is a time for grim destruction, for walking away from Buffalo with blood on our teeth and vicious pride in our hearts. Pride is dull, stupid and unyielding. It is also powerful and unbeatable. It is a terrible monster and it will stand up even after it’s been killed and it will spit blood at the world and call everyone and everything a coward and it will dare the world to hit it again until finally the world bows its head in respect and old streaks die and the past is just a word, the future is not yet written and today there is only victory.
FIVE NO DOUBT TERRIBLE PREDICTIONS
1. Shaun Hill will be a little rusty thanks to his layoff, but he will recover well enough to complete 22 of 38 passes for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns to go with 1 interception.
2. Jahvid Best will explode for 155 yards on 24 carries and 2 touchdowns.
3. St. Calvin will have a relatively modest day, catching 5 passes for 65 yards and 1 touchdown.
4. The streets of Buffalo will run red with the blood of the wicked and The Great Willie Young will stalk his victims through these streets, naked and without pity, and 100 years from now, the great, great grandchildren of his victims will only be able to whisper his name in their own hearts and they will shudder and this will radiate back through time to provide our own wounded souls with nourishment.
5. I will be secretly dosed with large amounts of lithium immediately after I am finished writing this.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: LIONS 31, BILLS 6.