Seeing as draft day is a few short days away, I decided to write an article about hope. I mean, isn’t draft day also know as the Day of Hope for Lion’s fan? But then I realized that hope is what all Lion’s fans have. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be fans of this franchise. Hope is what has kept us coming back, year after year, disappointment after disappointment. So I don’t need to write an article about hope. We all understand hope.
Instead, after some careful introspection, I realized that I am not only feeling hope. I am feeling anticipation.
Hope is what you are feeling on the way to a job interview; anticipation is when you get the job and are going to work on the first day. Hope is what you feel when you are going to ask the pretty sorority girl on a date; anticipation is when you’re walking to the door to pick her up.
And while it is only April, and no sure guarantee there will even be football this year, I can’t help but anticipate this upcoming season. With a budding defensive line, skilled position players and now maybe even a little bit of swagger, I am anticipating a good season this year. Now, some might differ on what a “good season” entails, but for me it is a winning record and a chance at the playoffs. It does not entail “moral victories”, “being a few plays away” or “hanging tough.”
Of course, a lot of next season will depend on the overall health of the team. Football, more then any other professional sport, requires depth at every position. Remember the sickening feeling in your stomach when Stafford got hurt in the first game last year? Still had hope, but not much else.
And this is where the Lions are still trying to rebuild, both through the draft and free agency. Martin Mayhew and company have done a good job filling in the front line positions, but the overall depth of the team is still not where it needs to be after being decimated during the Matt Millen era.
So, Mr. Mayhew, please draft well. And, Matthew, please don’t get hurt again. Hope will always return; anticipation is much harder to capture.