It's the cornerstone of a good team, the rock everything is built upon.
In the NFL it conjures images of Peyton Manning making an audible at the line, of Polamalu zeroing in on a crossing route, of Ray Lewis standing over an opponent. Nicknames like "The Greatest Show on Turf" and "The Steel Curtain." We all know who they are/were.
In recent history the Lions have only had Barry Sanders and paper bags over their heads. Cornbread and kool-aid. What do we have now? What should our identity become?
I believe the Lions may finally be headed in the right direction. I will of course remain skeptical, as the last 50 years have taught me to be, but to me, things are going much better than I expected. The leading coaching candidates are defensive coordinators or other defensive coaches.
I know, Rod Marinelli. One of the big differences is they are interviewing, then having a second interview, a meeting with Ford, and still not naming a coach. It appears as though they are taking their time and trying to find the right candidate.
To me, the ol' saying "Play good defense and run the ball" should be our "rock." It seems so simple and so easy to understand, but in reality it is not the blueprint many teams seem to go by.
In the NFC, the "Black and Blue" division, in a town where toughness and hard work are the cornerstones of the city, it seems only appropriate our football team would take the identity and go with it.
A group of guys with their hard hats on, rough around the edges, a mean streak, full of pride. Even the name "Lions" should bring the thought of pride. Not flashy, not sexy. Hard-nosed and a little ugly.
I envision a team that pounds the opposing defense until they give up. A team that runs over the opposition. A defense that plays downhill, pushing back the offense, and putting the opposing quarterback and running backs on their backsides. A team opponents fear because, win or lose, they know they are going to be in a fight.
We are at rock bottom. What better time to look around and find the "rock" we want to stand on?