It’s happening to me again. Training camp is right around the corner and I’m feeling way too optimistic about the Detroit Lions’ chances. This happens to me every single year. Some years, not as much as others. Two years ago I felt like the Lions had a legitimate shot at the playoffs, and they made it. Last year, they seemed way too content to my liking and I just knew they would fall flat on their faces. This year? I’m almost afraid to say this in public, but I think Nick Fairley is right–I think the Lions can make the Super Bowl. Stop laughing, I’m serious.
I think I need help so I went to a psychologist to discuss my concerns.
Doctor: So Marty, what brings you here to see me?
Marty: Well, first off, I’m a dedicated Detroit Lions fan–you know them, one of the only teams to never go to the Super Bowl?
Doctor: Yes, I’m well aware of them. I see your kind all the time. The same unconditional love you would show your child, you have for your boyhood heroes. So What’s the problem? There’s no harm in rooting for your favorite team.
Marty: You don’t understand Doc, I can’t get this thought out of my head. It haunts me day and night, and I felt like I just had to talk to somebody about it. I really, really feel like the Detroit Lions can make the Super Bowl.
The doctor looks at me and grabs the phone.
Doctor: Cancel the rest of my appointments today.
The Doctor looks at me for the longest time with the deepest concern in her eyes.
Doctor: Have you started using drugs?
Doctor: Any hard hits to the head?
Doctor: Where is this thought coming from? This team has won only one playoff in seemingly forever. Why would you think they can turn it around? They ended last year on a eight game losing streak. Why now?
Marty: You see, I’ve always felt like this group of guys were going to be the ones that finally got the Lions to the Super Bowl, and they were trending upward in that direction until last year….
I’m getting emotional, I take a deep breath and continue.
Marty: You could see it coming a mile away. That complacency, thinking they were the New England Patriots or Baltimore Ravens. Teams that compete every year. It got so bad at the end, I could barely watch the games.
Doctor: That’s my point! What on earth makes you think they can get to the Super Bowl?
Marty: I think some hard lessons were learned last year, and that LAST year was the aberration, not 2011. This is still the same bunch of guys that I believe in, who will get back their old nickname, Team Swag.
Doctor: They’re going to have to come out of nowhere to do it. Doesn’t that seem unrealistic to you?
Marty: Not at all. For some reason I’ve always believed that when the Lions do get there, it will have been when they weren’t given a chance in hell after that monumental collapse last year. It’s all setting up to the Lions sneaking up on everybody and passing them in one year. After that, they’ll remain a top tier team for awhile.
Doctor: Wow. That’s an outrageous case of optimism you got there. Well, our time’s up. I would like to schedule another appointment for next Monday. I’d like to delve into the specific reasons on the field why you think the Detroit Lions of all teams can make the Super Bowl. Can you do that?
Marty: No problem, Doc. I’ll see you next week….