Specifically, Williams was asked about the pushing and shoving that was happening after the whistle. Williams said the reason for it was “those guys are cheaters man, they use hands to the face and were dragging us down.” He went on to say “I hate when guys act tough when they aint tough.”
Pat Kirwan than brought up Stephen Peterman, “A guy like Peterman I seen how he plays and he makes you want to fight.” Williams repeated his earlier statement again, “that what I am talking about, I hate when guys act tough when they aint tough.”
That statement right there is what is wrong with the Detroit Lions. I am not here to question Stephen Peterman’s or any other lineman’s toughness, I saw those guy in training camp and I wouldn’t want to be on any of those guys’ mad at me. The problem here is that other teams around the league do not respect the Lions. I don't think that Williams would have said the same thing about other teams that have underperformed the last few years.
He can say it about the Lions because, well they are the Lions. It all started when they didn't fire Matt Millen when they should have and instead allowed him to run the franchise into the ground. Most fans got their first glimpse at how little other team thought of the Lions in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars back in November 2008. In that game, the Jaguar players were laughing in the face of the Lions players and telling them how bad the are.
The Detroit News had this quote from Kevin Smith after the game, "They were cracking jokes, they thought we were a joke. They said we (stink). They were saying that to me, that I (stink). And I told them they (stink) too. They said "well, not as bad as (you), and I said, you're right. We haven't won one game.”
This was the game after which former Detroit Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli delivered his now infamous “my shovel is sharp and my will is outstanding” quote.
It culminated in going 0-16. Even though the players are different, for the most part, the disrespect and stigma that comes from a decade of losing can only be erased by winning.
I don’t think the Lions are good enough to win many games this year, but they can take a big step to regaining the respect of their peers on January 2nd when the Viking come to Ford Field for the season finale.
The offensive lineman need to take it upon themselves to show Pat Williams and the rest of the football world that the name calling and the disrespect needs to end.
The Lions don’t need to win that game in order to show they are not the same old Lions, what they need to do is make it the longest most physical three hours the Vikings have had to endure. It would make it extra special if the Lions are able to beat the Vikings that day to knock them out of the playoffs.
Unless they do that, the rest of the league will still see them, not as the Detroit Lions, but as the Motor City Kitties.