Now that new Lions head coach Jim Caldwell ‘s staff is pretty much complete with the hiring of quarterbacks coach, Jim Bob Cooter (instantly one of the all-time great names in Detroit sports history), it’s time that he, Teryl Austin, Joe Lombardi and the rest of the coaches new to the Detroit area get to know their Detroit Lions history.
Now, I know you guys have come from teams with storied pasts littered with championships. Heck, the championships trophy has Lombardi’s grandfather’s name engraved on it–Yeah, THAT Lombardi. These are the Detroit Lions and you ain’t never experienced anything like this in your life.
I’m really excited about the new brand of football that is coming to the Lions next year, with their new aggressive coordinators working with a roster packed with talent. I have a lot of confidence in this new staff, but you guys are guys are going to hear about how the Lions manage to lose games and seasons until your ears bleed.
The Detroit Lions have had some of the greatest individual talent to ever play football – from Barry Sanders to Calvin Johnson – unfortunately, what we here in Motown are known for is losing as a team and doing it since the 50′s like no other franchise. To help you guys grow accustomed to your new surroundings quicker, I compiled a list of all the things that contributed to five decades of losing. I listed 20 of them in honor of the greatest number in Lions history.
Welcome to Detroit.
- We are: Winning one stinking playoff game in over fifty years. Yes, you heard that right.
- We are: The only franchise to go winless in a 16-game regular season in NFL history.
- We are: “Another One Bites the Dust” after a 4-0 start in 1980 turned into “Another one Kicks our Butts” and finishing out of the playoffs.
- We are: Monte Clark praying on the sidelines in the 1983 playoff loss to the 49ers. They were answered with “wide right” by Eddie Murray.
- We are: “What’s it take to get fired around here?” in the the 80′s when Darryl Rodgers couldn’t figure out why he still had a job.
- We are: The Worst General Manager in the History of Sports, Matt Millen; after doing untold damage to the franchise for five years, getting an extension on his contract.
- We are: Sterling Sharpe all alone in the end zone, ripping the heart out of every Lions fan.
- We are: Rod Marinelli and his fascination with garden tools: Picks, Shovels and Axes.
- We are: Running the “Best Runner In History“, Barry Sanders, out of town because of the team’s ineptitude.
- We are: The only winning coach in Lions history , Joe Schmidt in the early 70′s, quitting rather than dealing with then GM Russ Thomas and his penny pinching ways.
- We are: The ONLY non-expansion team to NEVER make it to the Super Bowl.
- We are: An assistant coach driving through Wendy’s–naked.
- We are: One Pro Bowl appearance by a quarterback since the inception of the event–1970 by Greg Landry.
- We are: Ndumakong Suh inventing the “Turkey Stomp”.
- We are: Only having winning records against five other NFL teams in the span of forever.
- We are: Bubba Baker having the All-Time NFL sack record of 23 in 1978; but it doesn’t count for some reason, because they weren’t officially recognized at that time. HUH? Excuse me, but we have video proof that it happened.
- We are: Alex Karras being spurned by the Hall of Fame– but loved by millions as “Mongo”.
- We are: When the head coach wanted to send in a play via a player, as they did in the early sixties, Joe Don Looney told the head coach to call Western Union.
- We are: Nate Burleson giving up a big slice of his season for a pizza.
- We are: Oh, and did I mention, one stinking playoff win in over fifty years?