Detroit Lions Franchise, Not Their Fans, Deserves to Go 0-16

Joe M.Correspondent IINovember 20, 2008

I feel bad for Rod Marinelli.

He seems like a great guy, but you'd never know it because, unlike some of the more successful teams with the big-name stars and coaches that grab attention, the only press conferences he gets to do are the ones after his team's latest loss.

One of these days will be his last, and he will explain that he is taking another position within the organization and the team will begin its search for a new coach.

We all know that this current Detroit team is 0-10, but are we really surprised?

For a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 1999 (seems longer), and hasn't won so much as one playoff game since 1991, we seem to be used to the losing. After all, this team's franchise win/loss record is 488-562-32 (.464), and since 1984 has 15 double-digit loss seasons.

In fact, the Lions' last winning season came in 2000. In eight of the past nine seasons the Lions have lost 10 or more, and they came within just one loss of matching that feat in 2007.

Keep in mind this woeful Lions team began the year 6-2, only to stumble to their usual 1-7 record down the stretch. Had they not ran out of season, they'd have assuredly matched that.

Matt Millen is gone, so there goes not only a convenient source of jokes, but also the biggest crutch on which to place blame. Only the Fords remain, and they have much bigger problems on their hands than the performance of an also-ran professional sports team.

The Lions' last six opponents all have winning records, making the possibility of becoming the first 0-16 team in league history not only possible, but probable. They would join the 1976 Tampa Bay Bucs as the only winless team in league history, and you know what, they almost deserve that.

Why, you ask?

Nothing personal against the Lions, and especially their fans. How any fan can purchase so much as a single ticket knowing full well that they likely are going to see their team lose, and lose bad, is a miracle in itself. That they can continue to do it in this economy is another thing entirely, and for that I give them credit.

How the Lions personnel can sell so much as a single season-ticket package is beyond me.

It appears at this stage, only the national embarrassment and immortality of being winless might be the only way to turn this thing around.

We've seen rookie Aikman's Dallas Cowboys go 1-15 in 1989, we've seen the Tuna's 1996 Jets, the 2001 Carolina Panthers, and most recently the 2007 Miami Dolphins all go 1-15. However, none of these teams were really as bad as their records.

Carolina, for example, had no quarterback, and no history of losing. Miami was a dysfunctional team, similar to that Carolina team, with no reliable signal caller.

Yes, these Detroit Lions really are that bad, and I want to see them go 0-16. It would force the ownership to actually do something about their annual disappointment of a team. It would force them to actually evaluate their talent come draft time instead of just taking the failed system of "best player available."

It would force them to actually give a damn about their scouting department and coaching staff, and it would serve as a reality check to the suits in the front office who have become so accustomed to going through the motions of yet another double-digit loss season.

Their remaining schedule looks like this:

Home vs. 7-3 Tampa Bay

Home vs. 10-0 Tennessee

Home vs. 5-5 Minnesota

@ surging 6-4 Indy

Home vs. 5-5 New Orleans

@ 5-5 Green Bay

Of these games, the only truly winnable games I see are against Minnesota and New Orleans. That is because in each instance you don't know which team is going to show up on a weekly basis.

Both teams are streaky and each team is facing a ton of suspensions to key starters for violating the league's substance abuse policy should their appeals be denied by Commissioner Goodell, (as expected) thus not only limiting their depth as a result, but taking out numerous Pro Bowl starters in the process.

Mix that in with the fact that last time Minnesota and Detroit played, Minnesota won 12-10 in the closing seconds on a field goal that was aided by a highly controversial pass interference play. This will prove to be Detroit's best chance at staving off immortality and setting a dubious record they should want no part of.