Lions fans, after the game
Shortly after the Lions lost in the 11,689th performance of The Passion of the Roary, I did the idiotic thing and headed to Twitter where of course everyone was freaking out and beating each other about the heads with spiked bats laced with the tears of the fallen. While I was there, I noticed this tweet from Jim Schwartz earlier in the day:
Hey, that’s what you get for falling in love.
It’s hard to know what else to say in the wake of that fiasco, which somehow made the previous fiascos this year look like orderly and happy parades through the streets, with children laughing and waving from high atop floats rather than the screaming firetrucks down a burning main street with half-naked firemen hanging off the back wailing and telling everyone to run for their lives that they have felt like. No, somehow this one managed to be even worse, which is a hell of a trick to pull off and yet here we are. I guess in this scenario the firetruck also blew up right in front of a school and all those laughing and waving children are on fire and hey look, now they’re dead.
Right now, all anyone wants to do is parse through the rubble, the broken bodies, the ashes of the dead and look for clues and evidence and argue and argue and argue and ARGLE BARGLE ARGLE BARGLE! The camps have armed themselves and are going to war and now I find myself galloping away back into the woods where I once roamed in solitude, alone with my own insanity, leaving behind the cookfires and both the happy people with their grand dreams and the sad people with their hairshirts and prayers to the drowned god, where I will live in a shack and shoot anyone who trespasses on my land.
The Lions are 4-8 and they have gotten to that point in ways both awful and hilarious. In other words they are not just 4-8 but a true Lions 4-8. Our good pal @Geekized tweeted me after the game and asked me what the hell happened and I told her the only thing I could: at the end of the game the Lions went Full Lion. She understood exactly what that meant and I’m sure all you do too. The Lions went Full Lion. What else can you say?
Look, it doesn’t really matter why the Lions are 4-8. They just are. There is no one who deserves to be saved from the rabid scorn of Lions fans right now. But everybody has their reasons. Everybody thinks everyone else is an idiot or a charlatan and the tribe has been torn asunder, with one side saying we should string up Jim Schwartz and the boys and let the crows eat their entrails and the sun bake whatever’s left-over of their clearly shrunken brains while the other has taken up arms to defend poor King James and his court, patting him on the back and saying Buck Up There, Lil’ Camper and telling the others that they should be ashamed for speaking against their Lord and Savior and this is why I have retreated to the woods, to this safe-haven known as Armchair Linebacker, where I can sit in my shack and shave my head and beat myself with a club in peace.
I am done arguing and I am done because what the fuck is there to argue about? The Lions are 4-8. Nothing else really matters. I sort of just want to take Calvin Johnson and The Great Willie Young fishing for a weekend where we can sit in peace and quiet in a tiny boat while a giant bulldozer plows over Ford Field and everybody inside and the zombie hordes stalk the streets eating each other’s brains. And then we can come back and make a better world together.
I’m going to say something really awful here but when the Colts were driving at the end and were down to their final handful of plays, a sick, masochistic part of me actually wanted them to score, I think. That is a horrible thing to admit but I think my disdain for this team has gone that far. A part of me – not a big part but it’s there – takes a perverse sort of satisfaction in watching them suffer, because then at least they will have no excuses. At least then they will have to take to their quiet places, where they are alone with their own hearts and souls and admit to themselves that goddammit, they need to change. The horrible truth though is that they won’t do this and instead they will find some crack to squeeze through, some shell-game of the mind that they will play that will make it all okay, that will make it not their fault but the result of some ineffable THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT GOES SOMETIMES madness.
And while yes, that is just the way it goes sometimes, sometimes should not equal fifty years and to just blithely accept that crosses the line from wise serenity to depraved madness. It’s exactly the sort of willful denial I was talking about in my last piece, when I went nuclear on everybody and felt like I needed a cigarette or perhaps a nice fine shot of China White after I was done writing it. But I don’t want to do that again.
Look, I feel horrible and ashamed that even a tiny part of me felt like that, that even a single molecule of my body wished for bad things to happen, but I suppose it’s no different than a beat up woman, aged beyond her years, sitting in a run-down apartment complex secretly hoping that her man gets knifed on the way to the horsetrack by a gang of lowly muggers. This is what it has come to. I don’t have the strength to leave him myself and so I hope Fate will somehow figure my shit out for me.
It’s vaguely cowardly and definitely tragic and yet it is all too real. All too real. I was all set to show up here after the game and sing psalms about the glory of St. Calvin. I even had a title picked out and everything: “Divine Intervention”. Yes, I planned to spend roughly eight billion words fellating St. Calvin but then everyone else went and fucked it all up and, well, here we are, sitting in a run-down apartment complex wondering whether or not we should blame ourselves because our man got knifed by some street thugs who stole his wallet.
The truly tragic part of all this though is that after getting knifed and robbed, that son of a bitch is just going to stagger home and beat our ass and in the end we’ll be lying in the bathtub again, bleeding, eyes swollen shut wondering if that support beam can hold the weight of a body. And meanwhile that son of a bitch is just sitting in the living room, drinking his own pain away, having sloppily stitched himself up, and he’s shouting at us and telling us it’s our own damn fault, that we should’ve done this or done that and that if we only loved him better, loved him harder, that he wouldn’t have to do things like this to us.
But we’ll crawl out of that bathtub and start cooking him his two dollar steak on the hot plate because that is just what we do, and we’ll snuggle up next to him tonight on the pull-out couch with the cigarette burns in it and we’ll feel glad and thankful that at least we have someone and don’t have to wither away all alone like that old biddy who lives next door and smells like cat piss. This is what being a fan of the Detroit Lions means and I have no room to judge anyone because I’m frantically flipping that steak, trying to tell if it’s done or not through these swollen eyes and hoping that he’ll give me a kiss on the cheek and a slap on the ass when I’m done just like everybody else.
This has been a dark and fucked up post but this has been a dark and fucked up season. Don’t blame me, I am but a humble chronicler of the times, just a poor fool living in a shack in the woods, trying to drown out the horrible noises made by the warring tribes with the click-clacking of a keyboard and the screaming of my own shattered soul. The Lions lost today and they lost in a way that was horrible and yet somehow perfect, and I have become death, the destroyer of worlds and one day, a thousand years from now, some poor fool will find these words in a cave and his people will know the faces of both True Evil and True Pain. And somewhere, my soul will still roam the cosmos, desperately awaiting that moment when the Lions, my Lions, fulfill that soul’s long-suffering hopes. This is the sort of thing that religions are founded upon, epic tragedies and wandering souls, and today’s game is but a chapter, a sliver in time, a single stanza in that great dirge, and one day in that far off future people will kill each other over those words found in a cave, shields brandished with Lions logos and old priests will carry wooden crucifixes with a bearded idiot name Neil hanging from them and I can only hope that Pope Willie Young will find a way to end the madness before it consumes us all. But don’t cry for me, friends, for I am already dead. Go Lions.