Slowly but surely the news from the battle front sounds encouraging. The two warring sides are making progress in their negotiations in settling the labor unrest that threatens the very existence and assurance of pro football being played next year. The weight of the world rests on negotiator’s shoulders in getting a deal done before any of us notice that there is a REAL stoppage in pro football news coming our way.
They (The NFL owners and the NFL Players Association) are meeting secretly somewhere to hammer out an agreement so that the 2011 football season starts on time. There’s been nothing to report since the lockout has mostly been about court maneuvers and getting the upper hand in negotiations. The reports in the last couple of days indicate that both sides realize that a deal has to be done sooner than later. It looks like they will reach a deal sometime around the second week in July. Except for a delay in free agency, it looks like we, the football fan, didn’t miss anything.
I know that some of the big timers at ESPN and the other news outlets are saying don’t take this as an automatic slam dunk; don’t count on this getting done in a month, but I think there is every indication that a deal is going to get done soon.
This leads me to my topic of the week: how are we going to react when the football rags and some leading analysts predict that the Detroit Lions will be the next great thing in the NFL? These guys get paid to predict. They have to come up with the next sensation. With their four wins to end the 2010 football campaign, the Lions are going to be a popular pick to make a big splash in the NFL next season. Can the normally low expectation Lion fan remain calm when some are going to be predicting great things for this snakebitten franchise?
We have to be prepared for something that as a Lion fan I’ve never seen: HUGE expectations. We have to remain calm when they shower our team with praise. I know–it’s better to act like you’ve been there before, but as a Lion fan, my team hasn’t been expected to do anything but to stay out of every other team’s way every year.
Before there’s even a single game played, there’s going to be some know-it-all who will guarantee that the Detroit Lions will go deep into the playoffs and be competitive for the rest of eternity. We can’t believe that stuff. The joy will be the journey to slowly realizing that this is a good football team, and that we can compete with any team in the league. But there’s only one way to find that out, and that’s when they play the games. So, lets take a deep breath, slowly digest the intoxicating previews of our Detroit Lions for 2011 that are surely coming our way and sit back and watch them come to life.