View Full Version : Lions insist on being a running joke

05-12-2009, 03:09 PM

After quarterback Jon Kitna(notes) was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in early March, I figured the Lions’ locker room would settle down a bit, what with last year’s historically abominable 0-16 campaign still fresh on the minds of the survivors. It was Kitna, you remember, who provided some welcome fodder a year earlier when, for the second consecutive offseason, he made a “statement of fact” that it would be a “disappointment” for Detroit not to win 10 games.

He also insisted the Lions were “going to be a better football team” than the one that finished 7-9 in 2007.

Sure enough, the ’08 Lions were better, if by “better” Kitna meant “unfathomably worse.” It turned out Kitna’s season-ending back injury paved the way for the metaphorical moment that encapsulated Detroit’s season: quarterback Dan Orlovsky’s(notes) retreat and scramble through the back of the end zone in an October defeat to the Vikings.

Thanks to second-year halfback Kevin Smith(notes), the comedy continues even after the departures of Kitna and Orlovsky, now a Houston Texans backup. Last year Smith, a third-round draft choice from Central Florida, burst onto the scene with some serious bravado. He proclaimed that he’d score 20 touchdowns (he ended up with eight) and that the Lions would win a playoff game.

Blessedly, he now has a personal blog, on which he recently assured readers the Lions “will definitely make the playoffs this season.”

If Smith had stopped there, I’d have shrugged it off as homage to his departed teammate, an NFL version of a rapper sampling one of his influential forebears. However, Smith took his delusions to an entirely new level, claiming, “Believe it or not, we weren’t far off last year. Almost every game we could have won, we were one play or one player short. Except for Tennessee on Thanksgiving … they manhandled us, but nobody else did.”

It’s possible that the Green Bay Packers (48-25), San Francisco 49ers (31-13) and Chicago Bears (34-7), who drubbed the Lions in consecutive games during the first quarter of the season, might take issue with that statement. I’m guessing the Jacksonville Jaguars (38-14) and New Orleans Saints (42-7) also processed their subsequent clashes with the Lions in a slightly different cognitive manner.

Look, I understand why Smith is excited about the future. As I wrote in February, I’m convinced new coach Jim Schwartz is a shrewd dude who’s eventually going to rock Motown. Detroit has made some nice offseason personnel acquisitions, including linebackers Julian Peterson(notes) and Larry Foote(notes), defensive tackle Grady Jackson(notes) and cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon(notes), Anthony Henry(notes) and Eric King(notes).

And surely, Smith is excited about No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford(notes) – right? Uh, maybe not.

05-12-2009, 03:23 PM

Disagree with this entire article. At least someone in that locker room is showing some swagger and some guts. Kevin Smith came on really well at the end if last season despite some horrible blocking. I'd compare it to how DD was playing with Houston in his first season with that horrible blocking he had. Smith was playing with a lot of heart and passion and desperately wanted to win. He's one of the only good players that team has and that didn't give up all season like many other Lions players did. At least Smith is trying to rile his team up.

05-12-2009, 03:51 PM
I don't blame dude, either. What else can anyone from the Lions say? "We sucked last year, we suck again (this year) and we'll suck in 2010"(??) "We're the definition of suckitude"(??)

05-12-2009, 03:56 PM
We ***** about the Texans, but jeeeezzzzz, how bad can it get for pro football fans when you live in Detroit?

05-12-2009, 03:59 PM
Maybe he really feels that way.

Score isn't always an indicator of how well the team played. One or two small mistakes can lead to points by the opposition...As well as on the flip side -- One or two mistakes can wind up in a team leaving points on the field.

One player can make a mistake and ruin a whole play even if everyone else performed perfectly.

Sounds to me like he is buying in to what his coaches are selling because that is nothing but coach speak. When you watch film and break down the plays coaches always point out how one small deal here or one small deal there could have changed the complexion of a play or game...A lot of times they're right...But it doesn't matter if the players don't buy in

05-12-2009, 04:31 PM
Also remember another reason they have to be optimistic; they fired the worst part of that organization in Matt Millen. That act alone would have me fired up, if I were a Lions fan or player.

Blazing Arrow
05-13-2009, 09:53 AM
Except for Tennessee on Thanksgiving … they manhandled us, but nobody else did.”

At least he got one thing right ....