The cable company I used to use became too unbearable to tolerate anymore so I had to switch companies. In the process I had to clear out my DVR. That meant I had to say goodbye to the Lions games I had taped from last year. That was an extremely hard thing to do considering that I only waited some 50 odd years for this team to show up in Detroit.
I knew at some point in the offseason I was going to have to make a top whatever highlights post from the best season the Lions have had in 20 years. I had that idea stashed away for a later date. When I had to unload that crappy cable service, it forced me to evaluate what I thought were the top games of the 2011 season. Even though I really didn’t know what I would have picked as the top moment of their breakout year, the DVR forced my hand.
The selection process was pretty easy. I had all of the games from the end of the year. That’s one of the reasons I got rid of that cable company, It had as much memory as Lindsey Lohan. I always had to dump that oldest game on the schedule. I ended up eliminating games one by one until the last one standing was the Oakland Raider game. I watched the end of that game at least five times before I said goodbye to it. It was such a thing of beauty that I had tears in my eyes.
To me, the most exciting things in sports is the great comeback against all odds. I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. In researching this, I found a bunch of You Tube videos of people’s reaction to the Lions winning the game. Fellow staffer Mike Olsen did a five part series on the highlights of last year and had The Drive in the 3rd slot. I ranked it the best because not only did it give us a thrilling last second victory, it also practically guaranteed a playoff slot.
I’ll make a formal list of the top moments at some point after the draft, but my DVR insists that I make clear WHY that stirring Oakland game was the best moment of a playoff year. It wasn’t just the victory that gave us cause for celebration, it tells us what the future will be like. Pretty damn electrifying.
Matthew Stafford looked like the best young quarterback since Dan Marino. He was so cool under pressure that it’s hard to believe that he did this at 23 years old. He NEVER lost his cool. He was playing in stadiums as a kid, nothing is going to rattle him. My favorite image of the day is when the Raiders had the Lions pinned on the 1 yard line with basically 2 minutes left. Stafford lines up and the nut jobs at the Black hole were pounding on the walls and screaming for his head on a silver platter. It didn’t faze him one bit. The toughest stadium in the NFL was no problem at all.
Then there’s Calvin Johnson. His nickname is Megatron, but to me he more resembles the monster in the ALIEN movies. It’s just not fair when he’s at his best. I don’t think he bleeds red but that yellow/green acid stuff that melts everything it touches. Dude is just not human. He destroyed the Raiders at will.
The best thing about that game is that it gives us the knowledge that this team will fight and claw it’s way to victory, no matter WHAT it takes. Watch out NFL, they’re just getting started.