What's in Store for the 2009 Detroit Lions?
Hey, you can't win them all, can you? On the other hand, you could lose them all if you're the Detroit Lions.
The 2008 Detroit Lions will forever be mentioned as one of the worst teams of all-time. But hey, there's light at the end of every tunnel, and you can look at some of the other lackluster NFL teams and how they have come back.
Take the Atlanta Falcons, for example. Many predicted the Falcons would go 2-14 and be the worst team in the NFL. But it's funny how winning 11 games can put you in a totally different position. They are now known as the class of the AFC South and one of the NFL's elite teams. Okay, maybe I'm being a little too generous.
However, you don't even have to look at the present to see some great turnarounds. The St. Louis Rams went from a 4-12 team to a 13-3 Super Bowl champion back in 1999. Then the New England Patriots went 11-5 and won the Super Bowl just one year after going 5-11.
If you look at these great NFL teams that have made turnarounds, you realize something. Each one had a great quarterback. The Pats had Tom Brady, the Indianapolis Colts had Peyton Manning and the Rams had Kurt Warner.
The Lions have...?
Well, everybody can dream, can't they?
The only team that had ever gone winless in an entire season was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They had an excuse. They were an expansion team and they only had 14 games instead of 16.
The Lions don't have an excuse. They have made the playoffs just once in 50 years. That is just pathetic, you have to try to be that bad.
The Matt Millen era is finally over after eight merciful seasons. The Lions went 31-97 in that span. He keeps on saying that things can get worse. Actually, Matt, they really can't.
But look on the bright side. The Miami Dolphins went from 1-15 to 11-5. It looked impossible at first, but the Dolphins managed to pull out a miracle and beat out the Patriots to make the playoffs.
Then there is another good part of not being able to do any worse. In any sports town that makes the economy look strong, because there is absolutely nowhere to go but up. Maybe that's why former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was so antsy to get the job way back in January. Even if you go 1-15, your season is considered a success.
Here come the Lions marching along. They look like they are in the same position as the Miami Dolphins were, just with one win less. Even after the 2009 Miami miracle, the Lions look like an even longer shot to repeat.
In fact, a titanic leap to 1-15 would be so huge, it couldn't even be measured in percentage.
At least Atlanta and Miami had some nice tools to work with. Atlanta had Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and a relatively decent defense. The Dolphins had Chad Pennington, Ronnie Brown and Joey Porter. The Lions don't have a proven quarterback, the defense has definitely seen better days and pretty much everything else doesn't reveal any hint they can contend in 2009.
There is one exception here. Calvin Johnson is one of the best receivers in the game right now. But when you have an unproven rookie quarterback (Matthew Stafford) and a veteran past his prime (Daunte Culpepper), you have to wonder if either quarterback can actually get him the ball.
If anybody is still a Lions fan in Detroit, then I give him/her a round of applause. Unless people are all of a sudden willing to pay for overpriced tickets in the worst economy in the world, to watch an 0-16 team, then the money you're making looks pretty slim.
Fewer fans means less merchandise sales, less team support, less TV coverage, less media attention and most importantly, less money.
If all this is true, then there will likely be more games blacked out, which means a decrease in player salaries. That basically means you can't play players and your team is just going to get worse. Should the front office resort to (gasp!), lower prices?
The 2009 Detroit Lions have a brand new logo, a brand new franchise quarterback and a brand new head coach. But ultimately the front office is just polishing a turd.
But where's the fun in watching the team struggle? Everybody get on Lions' bandwagon! There are plenty of seats still available!
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