The Detroit Lions: Singular for Futility in Pro Football

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The Detroit Lions: Singular for Futility in Pro Football
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Barry and Lem Barney. There was greatness, more than once.

The Detroit Lions are 2-10 and hopeless yet again this year. 

I have followed them passionately since Uncle Bob took this just-turned 11-year-old to Tiger Stadium on Thanksgiving Day in 1962, and they stomped the Packers with their only loss that year, 26-14, sacking Bart Starr 11 times. 

I was there for Joe Don Looney and for every QB controversy: Plum-Sweetan, Landry-Munson, Hipple-Danielson, and I won't bore you with more.

I was there for every Thanksgiving Day game at Tiger Stadium in the 1960s, and most of them at the Silverdome—including those in the '80s and '90s when Barry Sanders was worth the price of admission, and we won that one playoff game, during the Glory Years of Wayne Fontes. 

Now we truly have special players: Suh, Megatron, and, hopefully, next year a healthy Stafford. Is it enough? So far, no. Will they stick it out, when the Giants et al come calling?  Not without understanding what it means to be a Detroit superstar (see:  Kaline, Bing, Yzerman).

New Orleans finally tasted victory last year, and how sweet that must have been. 

But as big as that was, it would be NOTHING compared to the Detroit Lions winning the Super Bowl. It would be a celebration the likes of which has not been seen since the Tigers won in 1968. It would be Times Square on New Year's Eve, Luke blowing up the Death Star, and all celebrations in human history rolled into one.

Anyway, that 11-year-old remembers an extraordinary game in 1962, and all that has happened since, and I have and will root for them all my life with all my heart.

But I will be 60 in 2011, and I think it's time for their payback.

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