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.