Building the Detroit Lions monument to Super Bowl success

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 18: Joe Schmidt, Lem Barney and Barry Sanders (left to right ) show off their rings during the Pro Football Hall of Fame half time show during the Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions game at Ford Field on October 18, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 18: Joe Schmidt, Lem Barney and Barry Sanders (left to right ) show off their rings during the Pro Football Hall of Fame half time show during the Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions game at Ford Field on October 18, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 5
Next
TAMPA, FL – DECEMBER 10: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions warms up before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL – DECEMBER 10: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions warms up before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The second part of the equation is an elite to Hall of Fame quarterback.

For any Lions fan that has a few decades of watching this team under their belt, they realize that the quarterback position has been generally as bleak as the coaches.

Players like Jim Ninowski, Bill Munson, Joe Reed, Gary Danielson, Eric Hipple, Chuck Long, Andre Ware, Scott Mitchell, Mike McMahon, Joey Harrington, Dan Orlovsky and Daunte Culpepper have all lined up under center for Detroit and almost all of them have left die-hard Lions fans wanting to claw their eyes out so they wouldn’t have to watch these guys.

And that’s not even mentioning Stoney Case or Ty Detmer.

There have been some that were not bad, but were lacking something that prevented them from being more successful. Greg Landry was the Lions last Pro Bowl quarterback in the early 1970’s before Matthew Stafford recently represented the franchise.

Rodney Peete had promise, but his lack of arm strength and inability to play consistently undermined his success. Charlie Batch was the golden boy to many Lions fans. He had heart and the team believed in him, but he had difficulty staying healthy before being sent on his way by Matt Millen.

This of course leads us to the Lions current signal-caller, Matthew Stafford.

Stafford has re-written the Lions record books and more becoming the fastest player reach to many NFL milestones.

However, despite the fact that he has matured over the last few seasons into a franchise quarterback, he still has not been able to lead the Lions to victory in the postseason. He is 0-3 in the playoffs and while football is the ultimate team sport, whether it’s fair or not, quarterbacks are judged by their success in the postseason.

Championships make great quarterbacks, while everyone else are merely fighting to be the best of the rest.

With improved play around him, Stafford should have other opportunities to prove himself in the bright lights of the playoffs, but for now we have to fill the quarterback position on this monument with a player that has led the Lions to multiple titles and more colorful stories than you can shake a stick at; Bobby Layne.

Layne is a Hall of Fame quarterback because of the fire to win that burned inside him. When he spoke, teammates listened and did whatever was needed to avoid his anger.

Layne was the key to Buddy Parker‘s two-minute offense. When the clock was ticking down he seemed to be at his best. Layne was once quoted as saying that he never lost a game, he just ran out of time.

Until another Lions quarterback rises up and at least duplicates what Bobby Layne accomplished, he is unquestionably the man to represent quarterback play.