Sunday, December 26, 2010

The End Of Yesterday And The Beginning Of Tomorrow

Detroit Sunrise

Things like that don’t happen to the Detroit Lions. They just don’t. We know this better than anybody and so as the game clock wound down to zero and the Dolphins all looked around for a ball that wasn’t there, you’ll forgive me if I was behaving like some coked up getaway driver after a heist. “Get in the damn car and let’s get the fuck out of here!” Indeed. The Lions flat out stole that game. Like I said, things like that just don’t happen to us and so that part of my brain which has known unfathomable horror raced with ridiculous possibilities while the rest of me furiously tried to fight off the demons. Sure, both teams were on the field and the coaches were shaking hands and to every reasonable eye out there the game was over, but my brain envisioned Mike Pereira appearing in a puff of black, acrid smoke with orders from Sheriff Goodell to give the Dolphins one more play from the Lions five yard line after assessing some random arcane penalty found in the NFL’s Necronomicon. Obviously, that is ridiculous, but again, things like what happened at the end of the game just don’t happen to the Lions and so I had no idea how to process it. Actually, let me rephrase that. Things like that do happen to the Lions. All the damn time. The echoes of our horrible wails throughout the years are still reverberating through time and will probably be heard until the year 4868 when Emperor Zygork of the Lizard People has enslaved all mankind. We have known tremendous pain and we are intimately familiar with the awful concepts of pain and failure at the ends of games. And by intimately familiar, I mean we have been fucked in the ass over and over and over again. It’s just that things like that don’t happen for the Lions. That is a wholly unfamiliar concept and feeling and so you’ll forgive me if I have no idea how to react.

But it’s over now. Over an hour has gone by and they are still saying that the Lions won the game and so I guess I can exhale and celebrate whatever . . . well, whatever the fuck that was. It is weird to get all the breaks like that as a Lions fan. It doesn’t make any damn sense. It is like the Earth’s polarity has changed and now everything is backwards and pretty soon some Morlock will dig through the ground and tell me that he has come to eat me because the surface belongs to him now. I have very little idea what I am babbling about, but to hell with all that, the Lions won, and . . . wait, the Lions won?

Yes. Yes they did. I have to keep reminding myself of this because, yet again, things like that just do not happen to the Detroit Lions. I shouldn’t be groping around blindly like this because this is what I envisioned. Well, not exactly this, but I predicted a win and I said that Fate had turned in our favor and that everything was different and I blathered on about symmetry and how this was the perfect resolution to our years and years of pain and sadness. This is how the arc gets closed, how Fate becomes a circle and how the story ends before a new, happier, glorious story can begin. I wrote all of this and yet, I still can’t quite believe it. The Lions won and they did so with the help of Fate.

It had to happen like this. I keep saying that and yet I am surprised whenever it plays out the way that it does. Of course all of our defensive backs had to die horrible deaths and Chris Houston had to get his face stepped on and the idea of a functional secondary had to be ludicrous and ugly and mean because that’s what needed to happen in order for the Lions to come up with two critical interceptions late in the 4th quarter and for Nathan Vasher to be alive and somehow on the field so he could powerslam Ronnie Brown to effectively end the game. We had to be brought low and have hope stripped away from us. We had to die before we could rise again. Of course. That is the story of this whole fucked up, crazy season.

St. Calvin had to be martyred and had to float up to heaven so Brian Clark (Who?) could drop a pass on third down which forced the Lions to kick the game tying field goal which set up the Dolphins drive which led to a pick six by DeAndre Levy. The world and Fate are bizarre and unfathomable and quirky and mischievous and this is just the way these things work. Wait, hang on a second . . . okay, good. I was just checking to make sure the Lions had still won the game.

People will laugh at me. The Lions are still only 5-10, going nowhere, and much of this season has felt like a complete disaster. But fuck them. The Lions have won 3 in a row for the first time in 6 years, they just won their second straight game on the road after not having won one in approximately a billion games over a span of a billion years, the three teams that they beat were all .500 or better teams and the arc is coming to a close. I can see the end. I can the see resolution to this terrible story and it is playing out exactly like it needed to. I wrote about this in my post previewing the game and it’s actually happening. Our pain, our misery, is being reflected by these teams. We can see our own pain, our own tortured history in their failure and this is what needed to happen in order for us to be able to move on.

We are leaving our past behind us with each week, with each win, and we are forcing other teams to take it and keep it as their own. This is the only way to move on. Our pain, our past, cannot ever die. It cannot truly ever go away. It will always be here. But that doesn’t mean we have to let it burden us. Let it fuck up the lives of some other shitbird team. We have carried this burden for long enough.

I can’t finish this up without thanking Chad Henne. For whatever reason, that dude decided to climb up on that pyre and light that fucker while thousands of Dolphins fans stared in slackjawed horror at the utter lunacy on display. His spectacular self-immolation was brutal and it would have been hard to watch, but again, this is what needed to happen in order for us to move on. In hindsight, it makes such perfect sense that it almost makes me start laughing like a man who’s utterly lost his mind, finally broken by the hilarious quirkiness of Fate. This had to happen to Chad Henne because this is what we have had to put up with as Lions fans for 50 fucking years. He had to meltdown in such spectacular fashion because it was the only way for us to be rid of whatever disease, whatever terrible curse, has been following around our quarterbacks for all this time. I like to think that the drunken spirit of Bobby Layne staggered out of Shaun Hill and passed into the body of Chad Henne sometime in the fourth quarter. Ridiculous? Of course, but fuck it, I don’t care. Let Bobby Layne and his curses haunt someone else. Chad Henne, I’m sorry it had to be you. I really am. You’re my boy from way back. But your sacrifice was necessary. These are strange and terrible times and I’m afraid these things must happen. It will not be forgotten and I’ll even watch Youtube videos of your comebacks against Michigan St. in ’04 and ’07 in your honor.

The Lions won. The Lions won. The Lions won. They played like shit for most of the game and they won. They didn’t deserve to win but they won. And really, that’s all bullshit because who honestly deserves this more than us? I don’t give a shit that the Lions didn’t play well and completely stole that game from the Dolphins. We deserve it. This is some straight up Robin Hood shit. Steal from the rich to give to the poor. Well, nobody’s been poorer than us and we aren’t going to apologize for splashing around in a huge pile of the rich man’s gold.

There is one game left to play this season and I am already giddy at the thought of Ndamukong Suh ceremonially butchering Brett Favre and ending two long stories at the same time. One week from today, we will be celebrating the end of our own tragic story of woe and the end of Favre’s ridiculous story. They are two stories with roots that are almost twenty years old. In 1992, the Lions were expecting to rule the world after blowing the Cowboys away in the playoffs in 1991 and the Packers were preparing to turn to an unknown wild man with a strange last name. 18 years later – the lifespan of a man who can go to war for his country – those twin stories, divergent for so long, will finally come to an end, together, inside of Ford Field. I know I am getting ahead of myself, but this is bigger than me, bigger than you, bigger than Favre, bigger than the Detroit Lions. This is about Fate. This is about all the things that just don’t happen for us. This is about resolution and moving on. This is about the end of yesterday and the beginning of tomorrow.

The Detroit Lions beat the Miami Dolphins in Miami. It happened. I watched it happen. And that part of my brain that is ruled by The Fear and which has slept in The Void and which has known The Desolation has been told to shut the fuck up and I believe. Things like that just don’t happen to the Detroit Lions. Well, they do now.


HSOMGF said...

"But that doesn’t mean we have to let it burden us. Let it fuck up the lives of some other shitbird team."

Happening as we speak, in Green Bay. Fucking Giants. *sigh*

Great post and congrats Lions!

Neil said...

Thank you, HSOMGF and I'm sorry you have to watch this happen to your Giants. Just brutal.

HSOMGF said...

Luckily, it's not on TV here; I'm listening on the Net. But not seeing it isn't making it less painful. Bastards.

UpHere said...

Not sure I could love a sports team more than this one. The secondary is made up of hobos, the unknown and the reviled but they played their asses off. Poor DeAndre Levy can't walk Mondays, his groin is so bad, and he makes the game winning play. Not for glory, there's no play-offs, but because he gives a fuck. Hill, Pettigrew, Best, Burleson's blocking, there's a ton of good shit on offense, too.

We've spent so much time complaining that we're cursed to be Lions fans, but I wouldnt have it any other way going in to next year.

Also can't wait for The King this week.

UpHere said...

Condolences to HSOMGF. It's getting, ummm, not pretty at Lambeau.

Neil said...

Yeah, I love being a Lions fan right now. The stars feel like they are lining up in our favor and all the bitching, all the misery, is just going to make it that much sweeter when this thing finally explodes. Yeah, yeah, I know, false hopes, lololol Neil quit being an idiot, etc., but fuck all that. It's happening.

DarkStar said...

I am confused.

Not that the Lions won, although that is certainly a disorienting feeling. It's this emotion that I have for the Dolphins and their fans, something i haven't felt since....

Is it pity?

No, rather, it's empathy. I can recognize the confused pain on the faces of Chad Henne, Tony Sparano, and the thousands of Miami fans in the stands today. We have lived this horrible existence that the Dolphins are just now tasting. We have lived the bitter pain of losing in so many fucked up ways, ever since the Millen came to Detroit and brought the darkness with him. One cannot watch the creeping horror of what is happening to Miami and not identify with it, the slow suffocation when the black tentacles of the Fear reach up and drag you down into the pit.

I have nothing against the Miami Dolphins. They are just a team that got in the way and had to be swept aside like so much refuse. Hell, how can you hate a team that has the world's biggest hashhead playing at RB?

The fact is, the Dolphins are done in this incarnation. Sparano will be sacked and the roster will be gutted when the promising new caoch brings in "his guys" (sound familiar?). there will be a rebuilding phase that may or may not be successful, although to reach a Lions level of futility the rebuilding phase has to be repeated at least 20 or so times without success.

I guess the most amazing thing in all of this is that now I can see. The Lions have a direction, an identity, and a goal. They are marching steadfastly towards that goal, and even though there have been losses and setbacks, they still march towards that goal with a clear eye. The Dolphins have lost their way, and it is truly sad to watch them blindly groping as the Lions once did.

So i do feel empathy for the Dolphins. But not for the Vikings and their hilbilly fucktard QB, who must be broken and cast into the darkness.

Neil said...

Yeah, it all goes back to what I have been saying about how the Lions are the Angel of Death and all that gibberish. They almost fatally wounded the Packers, killed the Bucs playoff hopes, and they just destroyed the Dolphins coaches, their QB and any little drops of faith the Dolphins fans had in their team. I would like to say that I feel bad, but . . . no mercy. This is just the way things must be.

My bloodthirsty and vicious desire to see Brett Favre utterly destroyed and for the Vikings to disintegrate completely and be forced to move to LA in the wake of a massacre at Ford Field is going to be shocking this week. I am going to be a crazy person, but this is only because I can taste it, you know? It's the perfect end, the perfect resolution and I have already worked myself into a frenzy of otherworldly hate and insane vengeance.

HillHeeb said...

Just a thought, Neil. What if the Lions go 10-6 next year? Will ACLB even exist? How will you write if the Lions are winning the games they got fucked out of this year?

Neil said...

Well, my noble Mountain Hebrew, I'd like to believe that I can channel my talents (lololol) into something positive. I mean, I'd like to think I've been doing pretty well the past few weeks. I am sick of the loser narrative and I wish to write tales of glory.

DarkStar said...

Reading the monday morning articles and (not surprisingly I guess) there is little to no mention of the Lions accomplishments anywhere in the national media. Not that I expected a parade of anything, but a quick shout out to Schwartz and Co. would have been nice.

I guess the only way the Lions are going to get any respect in NFL circles is the way the germanic tribes did in Rome; by burning the fucking place down, salting their fields, and raping their women.

P.S. Dumbass quote of the week from Vontae Davis, Dolphins CB: "There is no way that the Lions should come in here and beat us. We have way more talent than that team."

Um, right now, I'd take Drew Stanton over Chad Henne, and Nate Vasher over Davis's talent-challenged ass. Just sayin'.

Neil said...

Perceptions change from the inside out. It starts with the coaches and the players, moves to the hardcore obsessives (Why, hello there...), then to the more casual fans who eventually notice "Hey, these guys ain't so fuckin' bad", and on and on and on before the national media, all the way in their remote outpost in Siberia gets the message and starts changing their narrative. This is also why the national media is so irritating and beats the shit out of the same dead horses, because by the time they get to them, the poor horse is already crippled and blind and ready to gallop towards the light of the glue factory.

Anonymous said...

Yep, we've won some games, broken some streaks.

The team has battled all year. Now, both the offence and defence has gelled. Football is not won by one or two; it is won by all 53. It is won doing the little things that don't always show up on a highlight reel.

This is good coaching. They are doing something with an injury-depleted roster.

They need to continue gelling. They need Stafford to stay healthy, but I am encouraged by what a good TEAM this is.

Something has happened, and I think that something is good coaching.

Go Lions! Looking forward to 2011!

Neil said...

Yeah, there was a point (hell, a lot of points) this season when the team could have just spiraled out of control and we were almost there but Schwartz refused to let it happen. The difference in mood between now and a month ago is so incredibly extreme that it's hard to really explain. It's the ultimate expression of the schizophrenic madness of this season. It's absolutely amazing that we are here, right now, filled with hope given the way this season was going. And really, that's because of Schwartz and his ability to get these dudes moving in a meaningful direction when they could have just cannibalized each other, taken their paychecks and then fled like rats to other teams next season. This whole thing could have fallen apart, but it didn't and Jim Schwartz is probably the biggest reason why. Well that and the defensive line eating people.

JP said...

I certainly hope that you're right about this next game, because for the first time in close to twenty years I will be going to a Lions game! I'm so jacked up about it that I can't even wrap my head around it.

I guess that my family got the hint that my Fanhood has hit epic proportions, because for christmas my girl got me Lions pajamas and an authentic, personalized Lions jersey. And the icing on the cake was my Dad getting tickets for the season finale.

I don't want to get too high on the possibilities, but I really hope that Favre laces 'em up one last time, just to have the last flicker of his football career snuffed out by our mighty defensive line. Fuck that feels good to say.

Neil said...

Oh man, that's awesome. Hopefully, you will be able to tell people you were there the day that everything changed and they will know exactly what you're talking about. The final shaming and maiming of the evil Favre and the resurrection of the noble Detroit Lions.

HSOMGF said...

"And really, that's because of Schwartz and his ability to get these dudes moving in a meaningful direction.."

Absolutely! One thing I've noticed in the highlight vids is how, no matter where they're playing, the Lions hold their heads up and sometimes even have fun during the game. They believe in themselves again. It's a really good thing to see.

@ UpHere: Thanks for the condolences. The Giants just do it to themselves, though.

@ JP: Heh, yeah it would be great to see the Lions D take Favre out. It looks doubtful he's going to play, but you never know with him, being such a dumbass and all..