Prior to and following the game against the Chargers on Christmas Eve, I gibbered like a fool on peyote about new worlds and made the courageous argument that the world was, in fact, round, thus probably incurring the wrath of the Vatican, but what the hell, I have The Great Willie Young by my side and his priests drink blood and eat their own dead so I’m not afraid. Yes, dudes and lady dudes, I have a feeling that it’s going to be that kind of a post so come, swallow these weird berries with me and let’s take a fantastic voyage into the delicate corners of our souls where we nurture our wildest dreams and believe in a thing called love.
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah . . . anyway, I spent way too much time blathering about new worlds which means that this is where my mind still lives and as extended metaphors go, stretching one out over the course of a full week may seem preposterous but if it does then you probably haven’t been reading for very long because brother, I can drag out a metaphor over the course of a full year, or two, or three or however fucking long I’ve been writing about the Lions for Armchair Linebacker. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty direct and to the point (well, as direct and to the point as I can be and for me that means that I have kept my posts under a billion words) and that’s probably served me well in terms of keeping people’s attention but I’m in a mood, and this mood means that I am going to be rambling and strange and if you’re new, well, this is where the madness lies, brother. (No, I don’t know why I’m talking like Hulk Hogan on mescaline, but what the hell . . .)
The truth is, I think, is that I am still kind of in a dazed, dreamy state of mind following the Lions triumphant first steps on the beach of this new world, and this state of mind is conducive to outright goofiness. I would ask forgiveness, but nobody needs to ask forgiveness for how they’re feeling right now. We’re in a festive mood as a people. There are half naked freaks cavorting on the sands, pure animal lust in their eyes and wild, inhuman joy in their bursting hearts. Ernie Sims’ monkey is playing the banjo from his perch in a palm tree, dudes are open mouthed kissing one another and somewhere I think Roary is stoned in the midst of a sea of beach grass, being attended to by his own personal harem. We’re all in a celebratory mood, a blissful mood, a mood without end or care, a mood in which time seems to have stopped and the natural order of things has yet to be written, for this is the new world, not the old, and everything and anything is possible.
I am being ridiculous, but so what? Somewhere beyond this beach, we know that there are savage tribes waiting to scalp us and gnaw on our bones, but that can wait a while. For now we just want to . . . wait, what’s that? It’s time to start exploring this new world? Well, okay then. Somebody make sure Roary can walk while I try to coax Ernie Sims’ monkey out of that tree without him pelting me with coconuts and feces.
Yes, as fun as this past week has been as a Lions fan, we can’t stop here. We can’t just lounge around like shiftless monkeys, hooting and masturbating like animals. Like I said, there are people out to get us and they are vicious bastards and I, for one, haven’t come all this way just to see my scalp tied to the belt of some heathen while a bunch of his tribesmen get high on the spirits and play my skull like a fucking bongo drum. No, I intend to live in this new world for a long time and if that means I must make war, then so be it.
Besides, I can hear dragons screeching in the distance and although I will admit that may be the drugs talking, I can see them taking shape on the horizon, all decked out in ugly ass green and yellow, like a bumblebee just jizzed on Oscar the Grouch. And as I see them taking shape, I remember why we came here in the first place and suddenly my head is clear and goddammit, my dudes and lady dudes, it’s time to kill us some fucking dragons.
Indeed. It’s been 20 years since our team last beat those despicable Packers in Green Bay, on the frozen, Chris Berman semen encrusted tundra of Lambeau Field. Too goddamn long. And while some would say this game is essentially meaningless, and that only the upcoming playoffs matter, those people forget that we have spent those twenty years getting cornholed by that terrible dragon and now that we have a sword in our hand, it’s time for some fucking retribution.
I don’t care that the Packers won’t be taking this game as seriously as we probably will. I don’t care who plays. I don’t care if it’s Aaron Rodgers’ meth-head face, the same one that gives poor Raven Mack flashbacks to the fool who sullied his sister and almost destroyed her, or if it’s the sacrificial lamb named Matt Flynn playing quarterback, I want to beat these sons of bitches and I want to beat them badly. This is not about sending a message – after all, whatever message we can possibly send will be immediately dismissed as meaningless given the circumstances of the game, much like the Lions take no prisoners shitkicking of the Patriots back in August. No, this game is about slaying dragons, about our own pride, our own hearts and souls. We have come a long way, and that old world is dead and gone, but we still have our memories, and in this new world, I will not sit back and cower in the face of the dragon that is that memory.
There is nothing substantive about this preview. There are too many moving parts, too many variables, too many questions about who is or isn’t going to play, to be able to forecast this game with any sort of accuracy or intelligence. Instead, there is only the beating of my heart and the thunder of my soul, the flapping of dragon’s wings and the sword in my hand. This game is a reckoning, without meaning other than as a facing down of wounded memories, of days when we sobbed in dark corners and made love to shame. It’s not even about killing the beast, although that would be nice, so much as it's about just standing there and fighting, teeth bared, covered with blood, laughing at the sheer thunderous glory of battle under the sun of this new world, where nothing is written and everything is ahead of us, soaring into a horizon that never ends.
I’m hungry for this, for victory, for the obliteration of a dragon which has deviled our souls for far too long. Once again, this isn’t about the past, but about the here and the now, about standing up for ourselves in a new world so that it doesn’t become the old world. This is not a statement to the rest of the world, or even to the dragon, but a statement made to our own hearts, to a place where only we can hear, only we can understand and only we can cherish.
I actually anticipated that this post would be longer, a rambling, shambling mess devoid of a point, filled with nonsensical gibberish and to an extent, I suppose that is has been at that, but in another sense, I think that I surprise even myself because I now see the world laid out before me and I am eager to march into these savage jungles and I am eager to war with dragons and feast on their black hearts so that mine may live and at the heart of all this dumb gibberish is a certain direct sharpness, a definitive belief in this journey we are on and for as much as I promised digression and madness, it is a calm sort of madness, digression with purpose, and in that I feel as if I am mirroring my beloved Lions. It no longer takes a million weary words or a million broken plays and broken hearts to try to explain where we’ve been and where we’re going. There is only this, the celebration of the here, the now. It is not confused nor is it afraid. It is a lion, hunting in the jungle, chasing down dragons and ripping out their throats. It is the fevered hunt of the new world, the explosive release of the soul’s most long cherished and hidden dreams, and in this hunt, in this release, details don’t matter and these are all just words and inside of them lives this one fundamental truth: anything and everything is possible and in this world, even dragons can die, and lions can rule the earth and, as a fan, that’s all I ever wanted.
Predicted Final Score: Lions 28, Packers 24