Before I'm dead, there are a number of things that I'd like to witness in my life, and most of them seem fairly attainable since I'm not greedy and have never asked for too much.
But there's one that I'm not so sure about.
There's one that is obscured by a persistent black cloud of such opaqueness that even the strongest sunlight might not have the power to burn it away.
There was a shooting star that tried once, and he was the brightest of all time, though even his magnificence could not usher in a wind powerful enough to completely clear the air of the heavy loathsome thing.
It was enough to catch a glimpse of what might lie beyond, shimmering faintly, but the effects were shortly lived, scuttled and burned, eventually adding mass to that which was massive.
And it's weight becomes greater with every passing year.
Now, I'm a relatively young man, with no obvious health concerns, but the thing of which I speak has such inertia that I know it will take nearly the remainder of my time on this earth, if not more, to see it turned around.
Yes...and cats and dogs living to together, and Armageddon, and the cow jumped over the moon.
And before you tell me that this is not the time to be pondering these dilemmas, because the Lions are a young team with a new management and a new coach, I think it appropriate to remind all the Honolulu blue faithful that this might be exactly the time to start thinking about it if you've pushed into your thirties and beyond.
If I remain moderately vital, I probably have a good 40 years left in the tank.
Is that enough?
My god, I think I hear those seconds ticking away, just as surely as I see them thrown away with every interception, penalty, and ridiculous personnel decision.
Before I'm dead, I want to see competence in Detroit.
Before I'm dead, I'd like see the Lions respected as champions rather than dismissed as a laughingstock.
Before I'm dead I'd like the season of the game I love the most to be a joy, rather than a 16-week journey through heartache and hell.
Before I die, I'd like to see the meek inherit the earth.
But I fear that I'm asking too much.
I fear that the Lions are as far away from respectability as they've even been, with the cupboards barren of talent, a young QB eating up a ton of cap space while peppering the field with interceptions, and the team inevitably ruddered toward another cap-disastrous top three pick.
I fear that the Lions are absolutely no better than they were last year when they re-wrote the record books with their abysmal play, a trend that they seem all too happy to continue this year and beyond.
The Lions already broke the record for continuous road losses earlier in the decade over a three year stretch (2001-2003) when they failed to win one road game. That streak ended mercifully at 24 games, but seems to be well within reach of the team again as they currently stand at 15 games and seem unlikely to change their ways with remaining road games at Minnesota, at Cincinnati, at Baltimore, and at San Francisco.
Unbelievably, the Lions have a chance to break this record twice in the same decade, which of course would be another unbelievable record.
And it wouldn't be a record they were "breaking" so much as inventing.
The Lions have major talent deficiencies at most all positions on the field (O line, D line, RB, WR, CB, FS, etc.) and have unanswered question marks at the rest, including the new coaching staff and front office.
And we know all we need to know about the ownership of course, which may be the most telling prognosticator about the immediate future of this team. Every screw and cog has been scrapped and changed over the years other than this one and the team is still malfunctioning badly.
Makes for a pretty easy diagnosis.
But all this admitted, I still don't feel completely silly speaking my dream aloud.
Even though I'm certain that the Lions have many years to go in order to "right the ship," and even though I'm certain that there will be widespread regime change before it happens, I maintain a stubborn allegiance to my convictions.
And I take solace in the fact that the trial hasn't beaten me yet.
Because when Pandora opened her box of evils, setting sickness, wickedness, and the Detroit Lions into the world of men she also unwittingly discovered man's greatest virtue.
And faced with a immovable object shrouded in midst that eats a piece of my heart with every fumbled handoff and missed tackle, I too dare to hope.
I hope that one day the Detroit Lions will win an NFL title.
And I hope that the good Lord has the kindness to send it before I'm dead.
I may be too young to be writing a bucket list, but then again, we're talking about the Detroit Lions here.