The Detroit Lions Can Be Successful In 2009

Ross Maghielse@@MaghielseCorrespondent IMay 23, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 28:  Fans hold a sign during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions on December 28, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Lions 31-21. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Winning in the NFL is not an impossible feat. Even for the Detroit Lions.

The Lions have mastered the art of losing consistently. Detroit has won one playoff game in the last 50 years. Just one. Last season, one win was one too many for the Lions. They finished with an imperfect 0-16 record.

It's easy for fans and media to sit back and throw bricks of criticism at a team, when in actuality they are not involved in the process which separates winners from losers. But can winning really be that hard? Can competing consistently, or at least periodically, actually be impossible?

I say no. No way.

The NFL operates on a level playing field. Every team has the same opportunity to win, bottom line. Stupidity and indifference are what prevents sports franchises from being successful.

First and foremost, an owner must know how to win. Furthermore, an owner must view winning as a priority. Up to this point, William Clay Ford, owner of the Lions, has done neither of the two, thus explaining the Lions’ endless struggle.

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But there is hope. The NFL has proved to be a "quick-fix" league, even if the team appears to be in a million rusted pieces.

Both Miami and Atlanta went from the doormat of the league in 2007, to playoff teams in 2008. It didn't take long at all, just one off-season.

Similar examples can be found with several NFL teams in recent years.

Just because Detroit has been the poster child for terrible football the past 50 years, doesn't mean this season is doomed for failure as well.

Let us not forgot the Arizona Cardinals played in the Super Bowl last season.

Detroit has quietly addressed some glaring needs. An overhauled front office was the first step. Bringing Jim Schwartz, Gunther Cunningham, and Scott Linehan to the sidelines will provide a coaching foundation.

Going below the radar and signing accomplished veterans such as Grady Jackson, Larry Foote, Bryant Johnson and Maurice Morris will serve great dividends on game day. Drafting quarterback Matthew Stafford was a leap of faith the Lions had to take.

Is Detroit still the worst team in the NFC North? Possibly. But they will be far from the worst team in the league, let alone league history. Of that I am certain.

To predict a specific number of wins would be nothing more than idiotic speculation at this point. There are far too many variables which lead to success or failure in the NFL.

But I will say this much. The Lions have a chance to be successful this season.

Granted, the word success is vague when compared to the complete failure the Lions experienced a year ago. Yet, therein lays the beauty of this upcoming season in Detroit. There are no expectations.

The Lions cannot fail. They already have done so to the greatest degree. For this one unique season, there truly is nowhere to go but up.