The pain of being a Lions fan

Thomas Lassiter, Co-Sports Editor

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Over the weekend, the Detroit Lions were bidding for their first playoff win since the 1991 in the NFC Divisional Round. They matched up with the Dallas Cowboys, who were on a four game win streak at the time. Detroit lost the game on a picked up flag with no explanation at all. This horribly blown call was the grounds for national media controversy as even President Obama claimed he would be aggravated if he were a Lions fan. The end of the 2014 season felt like swallowing a large pill.

For us Michigan folks, our Lions have always held a special place in our hearts. Sadly, they happen to be arguably the worst franchise in NFL history as they have posted the only 0-16 season in the history of the league. Through generations and generations, such devoted fans as ourselves have seen such optimism at the beginning of seasons turn into crushed dreams and disappointment. For example, a fan at the beginning of the season got a massive Lions-themed tattoo reading “Super Bowl 2015”. Yet, something would always go wrong in the fourth quarter as we would see game after game slip through our grasp.

But we must ask ourselves, why are we always behind the eight ball? Why do we always come up a day late and a dollar short? I hate to be a conspiracy theorist but maybe we must blame the dealer for the cards we are dealt. Rumor has it among fans of all major sports leagues that league officiators have their “favorite” teams. These “princes” of the major leagues have received their crown for one reason, money. The way such leagues as the NFL, NBA, and MLB etc. survive is on solely revenue. The teams in bigger cities have the most viewership and generate the biggest and best ratings. This in turn produces the most money for the league. For example, the New York Yankees have the the most World Series Championships and live in the largest city in the country. The Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA have the second most championship titles and are the second biggest populated city in America. Coincidence? I think not.

Why not the Lions you may ask? Detroit is called the auto capital of the world. Assembly line auto workers drive the industry and keep it afloat. These hard working folks are blue collar to the core and the city’s football team follows suit.

But sadly, there is nothing glamorous about getting down and dirty.

Doing one’s duty such as making the correct block on a defensive lineman will never make ESPN’s highlight real. Around the country people tune into high flying action and Detroit does not have this reputation. Less viewers means less interest and therefore less money. Why would the NFL want or favor this option? The answer is, they wouldn’t.

The answer is simple ladies and gentlemen. The cards aren’t in our hands. The Detroit Lions do not generate enough revenue to make it in a fixed league. No matter how great the team is, we will always get hosed with a bad call or rule technicality. But then again, it isn’t all doom and despair. As we can say what has become our catchphrase, there’s always next year.

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