We are all Prometheus. Also, you'd be surprised at how hard it is to find a picture where it doesn't look like the bird is blowing him.
I don’t know. I just don’t know.
I know you want more from me than that but I’m broken. I dared to dream and have been viciously smacked back down by the universe and now I am naked and bleeding, wandering in the desert with no water under a hell sun, suffering from delusions and conversing with a talking cartoon rabbit who I’m expecting to grow fangs any second from now, jump me and start gnawing at my liver while I try to cry tears that won’t come because even my tear ducts have abandoned me and left me to wither and desiccate in this fan hell where yesterday and tomorrow look an awful lot alike and today the sand just reaches up and chokes me while the devil laughs.
Right. Welcome back, friends, to . . . to . . . sigh. Even when things were at their worst we could look to the future, see that things would change, that they would have to change, and in that change we could dare to dream of something, anything, even if we weren’t sure what it was. But now? Now, I don’t know what to believe in. I don’t know what to hope for. Do I hope that somehow, someway, this team miraculously figures out how to actually play football like grown ass men and not like a bunch of simpering little boys? I guess but then I might as well hope for my elderly neighbor to somehow morph into Jessica Alba with beer spouts for nipples.
I’m sure there at least isolated pockets that are raggedly and doggedly hanging onto their delusions, insisting that “Well, if only this wouldn’t have happened then . . .” but no. Just no. When it’s always something, that’s everything. That’s football. There will always be things that go wrong and you can’t make excuses for them, can’t say that somehow they don’t matter because they won’t happen again because even if they don’t, something else will. I know that sounds suspiciously like some weird Yogi Berra like gibberish but I don’t give a fuck. You’re lucky I’m even vaguely coherent right now and not just mashing the keyboard wildly and moaning into some computerized voice translation program that would just give up and commit suicide two paragraphs into this thing.
Right about now I imagine Danny Crossman is being escorted out of Ford Field with all his shit in a box while Stan Kwan watches from the box he’s been living in across the street. Jim Schwartz is probably hearing voices echoing in his office and the ghost of Wayne Fontes is probably whispering breathy come-ons into his ear while he contemplates hiding under his desk and weeping. Gunther Cunningham is probably thinking “I’m too old for this shit” and the defense is probably wondering how in the hell the Lions can lose a game in which it doesn’t allow a touchdown but surprise, motherfuckers! This is what happens when you dance with the Failure Demons.
The Lions lost and they lost in a heinous way that ripped open the dreams we had all been clinging too, eviscerated the delusions and exposed this team for everything that it truly is in stark, naked clarity. Truth was exploded like a supernova, and even the blind can see it now and they are all weeping tears that they can’t see but that they can feel and oh Jesus, it never ends. It never ends.
I’m not sure if there is one obvious thing that is wrong here and that’s a big part of the problem. There are a million little things wrong and when that’s the case it’s almost impossible to fix. A big deal has been made the last few season about Jim Schwartz changing the culture of the Lions and he did. They are no longer the downtrodden, the talent-deprived, the lesser. But in the process, a new culture was created, a culture of rampant stupidity that at first seemed like something of a quaint Boys Will Be Boys thing that we thought they would grow out of into something that threatened to become a real problem, popping up at horrible times, costing us games last year, and then into this, this festering turd which has become the center of our team. Our team’s identity is synonymous with stupidity because it was never checked, never controlled. Everyone just stood by and watched helplessly while it became the new culture. It is not the old one but in some ways it is more despicable, a reckless pissing away of talent that most teams would kill for, a wastrel degenerate that will never change no matter how much we love them, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves that one day they will grow out of it. Because now, we look up and our rambunctious child is a goddamn adult and he just got arrested again for something stupid, like vagrancy or mopery, and he just called, half-drunk and begged us to come bail his ass out of jail again and . . . AAAAAAARRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
This asshole just isn’t going to change. I just told UpHere that it feels kind of like watching a junkie family member, one who’s been sober – or at least tried to be – for a couple of years, shoot up again. Instead of being angry, I just feel beaten. All I can do is sigh, shake my head, disgusted and hope he doesn’t steal some more of my stuff, or in this case, my heart, to finance his fool ways.
Where do we go from here? I don’t know. I just don’t know. This team is still the team from last year and it can get hot and maybe it will put together a run but that run will blow up and then we will all die and right now it feels like the best – the very best – that we can hope for, both for now and for the foreseeable future, is that this team becomes sorta like the Wayne Fontes era Lions, too stupid to truly live but too goddamn talented to ever be completely counted out. There is a certain excitement in that I suppose but there is not satisfaction. No. No, there is not.
I had a friend tell me that this team has peaked and the thought seemed ridiculous and made me immeasurably sad at the same time because there is a good chance that it is true, at least for this team with these coaches and these players. They went 9-0 over a stretch beginning in 2010 and lasting into 2011. Before and after that stretch they have been just another Lions team, and if that 9-0 stretch is all I get then goddammit, that’s just not fair. That is cruel, in a way that nobody but Lions fans can understand. To be given such a small taste only to have it ripped away again and replaced with sand and shit in our mouths is just . . . it’s just fuckin’ mean.
I don’t want to say that they’ve peaked, that they can still move forward with this but it’s awfully hard to make that argument right now. This is a team that has already seemed to regress, to fold in on itself and now the weight of it all, of the past, of the failure, of the expectations, of our own dreams as they fade, fade, fade into a panicked oblivion, is pressing down on us all and it’s kind of hard to breathe down here and oh Jesus, oh God, is this it? Is this really all we get?
The stark, naked horror of this is enough to make even the most stalwart among us go mad. I don’t know what to do with myself as a fan. I don’t know what to believe in, what to hope for. There is a part of me right now that just feels . . . gone. As if all there is left to do is detach, to just watch from some ghostly realm while the Failure Demons eat what’s left of me as a fan. I just sort of sneered as Matthew Stafford stumbled, looking like a clumsy donkey, and then was sacked to end the game today and the worst part of it all was that it felt so familiar, that sneering sort of disgust and the sickening horror of that is that the familiarity is one that I vowed I would never feel again as a fan and yet here I am, sneering, disgusted and what happened? Oh Lord, what happened?
Last week, the great Lions wave in my heart crested and broke somewhere in Tennessee, and now all there is left to do is try, somehow, not to drown as the wave collapses back on me. That is, I fear, all that I have left to look forward to for a while as a fan, just trying to survive, just trying to make sure that my bloated fan corpse won’t show up on some distant beach, beaten beyond recognition, lungs filled with water, unrecognizable, just another forgotten body, something that used to be a person, that used to have feelings and hopes and dreams.
This has become maudlin and vaguely ridiculous but I don’t care. Fuck you. I am broken and there are no instructions on how to put myself back together again. There are just pieces and parts and there are vultures picking at them in this, the desert of the damned and Oh God. Oh God.