I don't know what in the fuck this is. All I know is I GISed (that's Google Image Searched, not a weird spelling of "jizzed" you perverts) "Lion fighting a bear", and this is just what popped up. When I saw it, I almost made it the new blog logo.
I hate the Bears.
Really, I could just write that and then “fuck them” and leave it at that but I have never been a man of few words, as you well know and so what the hell, let’s talk, shall we?
Anyway, yeah, I hate the Bears. I have hated them ever since I was a little kid and started paying attention to this stupid sport. I hated their asshole head coach, Mike Ditka, I hated Neal Anderson and his heretically spelled first name (I am slightly too young to remember Walter Payton’s effeminate ass, although if he were playing today I’d probably be making poorly conceived AIDS jokes and offending everybody so perhaps that is for the best.), I hated their defense, I hated their fans, their stadium, and even their colors. Okay, that’s not true, I kinda liked their colors but everything else about them was offensive to me? Why? I don’t know, I was a little boy. Probably because I was born into the sad life of a Lions fan and they were the kings of shit mountain back in those days and the natural rebel in me has always hated authority and those in power.
And I have hated them ever since. I have hated how every time we take the depressing trip to Soldier Field that something terrible and unforgivable seems to happen. I hated that they hired Rod Marinelli and gave him new life rather than letting him sink to the bowels of the ocean where he would then be swallowed up by the earth and sucked down into hell where he would be cornholed for all eternity by those weird freaky demons from Hellraiser, which is what he deserved after leading us down the Trail of Unnumbered Tears. And then I learned to hate them more after they were the recipients of a mighty gift from Sheriff Goodell and his minion, the Minister of Propaganda, the lizard-tongued Pereira. I hated them as they celebrated a game which was rightfully ours, a game which was supposed to be the springboard into a brave new world, one in which Matthew Stafford and Jim Schwartz would lead us to glory but instead served as yet another black day in the hearts of our collective consciousness, with Stafford lying broken on the field and St. Calvin staring incredulously to the heavens, asking why his father had forsaken him. Hate, hate, hate.
So yes, I really, really want the Lions to win this game. Not because it fits into some grand vision of the future or because it matters in the early (way too fucking early) playoff picture, but because fuck the Bears. Really, is there a more noble reason?
Indeed. Passions of the heart know nothing of records or playoff seeds or any bigger picture other than themselves. Beating the Bears is a beautiful thing for its own reasons and should not be tainted by anything else. This is not about a future that may or may not actually exist but about sating some wild lust that hides in our fan hearts and cackles with glee whenever Jay Cutler gets concussed and Bears fans descend into their own land of sadness. This is about sticking the knife in their ugly hearts and twisting, twisting, twisting until we are bloody up to our wrists and for some reason we are erect and . . . too far? Fine.
Before the season started there was a lot of heated talk about who was going to be better, the Lions or the Bears and so far . . . well, let’s not discuss such things, okay? The larger point is that for the last couple of years these two teams have been warring with one another for the same spot. Only one can hold it, only one can claim that spot and everything that goes with it. It is a spot that defines both the winner and the loser. The winner gets to be a playoff team, a team on the rise, a team that belongs to the future and every wild dream that lives within it. The loser is nothing.
It really couldn’t be simpler than that. This is a game that is about identity. It was last year, it was before this season started and right now, no matter how much the Lions have struggled this year, it still is. I know, I know, that kind of goes against my whole “This game matters for its own reasons and not for anything else” mumbo jumbo I shat out of my word hole earlier but what the hell, I can’t help myself, you know? Because here’s the thing – if the Lions do win this game, on Monday Night, on the road, in a place where they never seem to win and where the reigning football gods obviously hate them, then suddenly, after all the noise, all the heartache, all the OH GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING PLEASE SOMEBODY FETCH MY ETHER RAG caterwauling of the first third of the season, the Lions will be 3-3, and they will be right in the middle of the NFC North race again. And even though my soul is critically damaged and lies wounded, bleeding and dying on a battlefield of my dreams, it still crawls towards something – call it a wish, call it an oasis, call it a fool’s hope, call it anything you want, but it still crawls towards it because goddammit, dying is just so 2008.
The question, of course, is can the Lions actually pull this off? Well, as I’ve said a number of times already, I think this is a team that can win every game it plays and it can lose every game it plays. I think I have made my peace with that – for now anyway and so I will do what I did last week, shrug, and say the hell if I know. The Bears are 4-1, but they’re not a particularly impressive 4-1. Their offensive line is still a piece of shit, resembling something that the French would have built to keep the Germans out in the 1930s. None of the teams they have beaten are actually any good, although to be fair they did just beat the shit out of the Jaguars, 41-3 so . . . I don’t know?
Yeah, that is lame as hell, but I really don’t know. All of their wins have been by double digits but all of them have been against shit teams. The Packers terrorized them though and I think if the Lions can get pressure, which they did last week and which they memorably did last season when they ganged up on Jay Cutler and abused him like [insert whatever horrible and tasteless simile lies in your deranged hearts], then I think we have a good shot here.
So . . . the question then becomes can the Lions actually get that pressure? If you would have asked me that a week ago, I would have shaken my magic eight-ball (and by that I mean I would have done a bunch of cocaine in the bathroom and then tried to wrestle an actual bear) and told you “Outlook not so fuckin’ good.” But then they went into Philadelphia and murder death killed Michael Vick so hey sure, why not? The key might actually be Louis Delmas. I think it’s clear now, both from what went down at the end of last season, and what’s happened so far this season, that his presence in the lineup changes the defense from the inside out. When he’s in there, the defense looks completely different. It’s crazy. The line gets consistent pressure – the sort which was the heart of our collective dream world of the soul – and I’m not entirely sure why. I would say that it’s because he shores things up well enough on the back-end coverage to force the QB to hold the ball a half-second longer but honestly, Michael Vick was getting the ball out of his hand at ludicrous speed, it’s just that the line was breaking through like, well, like the Germans slamdancing their way through Belgium on the way to Gay Paree. (Yes, I know it’s “Gay Paris” but for stylistic reasons I chose Paree instead of Paris. I am not an illiterate fool.) The increased pressure seemed to me to be the line simply playing worldbeaters again and not the effect of some otherworldly pass coverage. So . . . what in the hell would Delmas have to do with that? Fuck if I know. Voodoo magic? That’s what I’m going with. Louis Delmas’ voodoo magic is the reason.
Offensively, we just have to hope that Matthew Stafford rediscovers his inner Snake, slits the throat of the Aboriginal spirit which is keeping him imprisoned in his walkabout, ceremonially burns his power bracelet or whatever weird shit we’re telling ourselves in a desperate attempt to convince our own enfeebled minds that everything is gonna be alright. If that fighter pilot smile shows up then we’ll know we’re in business. And if that happens AND the Delmas Voodoo Murder Gang hits the field then the Lions are gonna be pretty goddamn tough to beat.
This is a game I am allowing myself to get invested in on two levels – one, the Eagles game allowed me to crack open the door to my wounded heart one more time and a win here would cause me to kick it open and start babbling about Hope and Faith again like a fuckin’ televangelist on angel dust, and two, I just really, really want to beat these fuckin’ guys, okay?
There is every chance that on Tuesday morning I will be snorting laundry detergent and giving myself a Drano enema while listening to old country music and slow dancing with a depressed St. Bernard in my living room before my neighbors call the cops and they come and have me put down both for my own sake and society’s, but maybe, just maybe Monday Night will be like a certain Monday Night last year, and maybe, just maybe, this whole thing has been cooked up by the football gods to remind me of that hoary old phrase I wore the fuck out of the last year and a half or so – the ol’ Symmetry of Fate. I don’t know. I am just babbling now, allowing myself to get caught up in the manic frenzy of that deluded part of my soul that refuses to give in. Oh Lord, I don’t know how It happened but I am feeling the music and my soul is starting to shimmy and shake and it’s rising off of the field of the dead and dying and now it’s dancing towards a light and maybe that light is just the light of heaven and I am already dead but I don’t care because maybe it’s actually the light of my dreams and here we go again. Here we go again.
Lions . . . win? Sure, why not?