I've been thinking a lot lately about the sorry state of the Lions. I always try to look at things in a "glass half full" way, but it's becoming harder and harder to do that with the lowly Lions as I see double digit losses week after week.
I really don't have any answers as to what needs to be done to fix the team because there are so many holes, but I do have some insight as to why they are as bad as they are this season.
When I was playing Little League baseball, there were always a couple players in the league who were simply a level above everyone else. I was a pretty good player, and my team was pretty solid, but there were always a few games during the season where we knew we were going to lose. Some kid whose voice had already changed and already had a little bit of peach fuzz above his lip would step on the mound and throw fastballs by us that were faster than anything we had ever seen on a baseball field. We had no chance.
On the other hand, I played on one team in my life, my senior year varsity high school baseball team, where I honestly felt like we were going to win every single game before it started. We had all caught up physically to all of the kids who dominated Little League, and Pacman even had his own intimidating peach fuzz over his lip at that point that he wore proudly. Instead of thinking that we had no chance, we all absolutely thought we could win the game whenever we stepped on the field. I remember thinking to myself at the time that the infectious feeling of being able to win every single game must be what professional athletes feel before their games.
Professional athletes dedicate their lives to mastering their craft. Whether it is pitching, hitting, running, catching, or tackling, professional athletes put so much time and effort into their job that they have to think that their hard work will pay off with victories every time they step on the field. They could never justify putting in all of their sweat and tears into a profession in which they did not believe they could win.
Unfortunately, the Lions do not feel this way. They are a group of professional athletes who I am sure put in the same hard work that the rest of the players in the NFL put in, but they do not believe that they can win the game when they step on the field. It's a relatively small ingredient of success, but it's also a very important one, and it's a major reason why they lose week in and week out. Instead of feeling like I felt on my senior year baseball team, they feel like I felt as a youngster in Little League facing a 12 year old flame thrower with a mustache.
The Lions are a bad team; that's for sure. Still, some bad teams honestly believe that they can win every single game. Those teams are the ones who show progress and improve year after year. Bad teams like the Lions remain at the bottom of the league wallowing in their top draft pick busts and blowout losses until something clicks where they start believing they can win.
Until there is that attitude shift, I'm sad to say that we can expect more 3-13 seasons and opposing linebackers with funny mustaches in the future.