As the Detroit Lions watch their goals for the season plunge further out of reach, are they even worth watching right now?
Three straight games, three straight losses, three straight listless showings for the Detroit Lions. They’ve had the lead for a grand total of three minutes during this time. Is it really a stretch to question whether the Detroit Lions are even worth tuning into at the moment?
I put that concept to the test for the Bears game. A broken-beyond-repair screen on my old iPhone gave me just the excuse I was looking for. In a venture that was equal parts “I need a new phone immediately” and “I really don’t mind spending this particular Sunday afternoon doing something else entirely”, I passed on the game and walked around downtown Boston instead.
To be clear, the original plan was to head to Copley Square, quickly get the phone situation resolved, maybe check out a few more stores, and then find the nearest bar with Sunday Ticket to catch as much of the second half of the Lions as possible.
Before I even made it downtown, Mitchell Trubisky and company had already solved the Lions defense faster than a beginner sudoku puzzle, filling their blank square on the scoreboard with a 6.
The customer service at the AT&T store was pretty weak. The sales associate didn’t seem too interested in selling me anything, and the only real consumer tip he gave me was that the more expensive phones have better features. When Jim Bob Cooter is working for AT&T in Livonia next year, I hope he’s able to offer some better insight. I left empty-handed and put off the phone search for a little while.
Meanwhile, the Lions gave up three more touchdowns and fell behind 26-0.
At Barnes & Noble, I flipped through Mundial magazine and Writer’s Digest and tried not to think about what was going on at Soldier Field. At the Microsoft store, I couldn’t help myself and checked out the gamecast while testing the latest of Surface laptops. The question, “why do I still bother with this?” came to mind more than once, but went unanswered.
The Lions had a few decent possessions, the Bears couldn’t make a kick to save their lives, but none of that really mattered. It was 34-10 and Chicago’s first-time head coach was ready to call off the dogs.
The Sprint store was the final stop, and thankfully it took long enough in there that finding a TV to watch the end of the game wasn’t going to be an option. After browsing Samsung, LG, and even Motorola options, I decided to switch to Sprint, but stick with Apple, updating from an iPhone 4 to an XR.
Of course, none of this is (or should be) of any interest to people reading, but honestly, would you rather hear about more Lions turnovers, 355 passing yards for Trubisky, and coaching decisions that earned Matt Patricia a grade of ‘G’ from the Detroit Free Press?? Not an F… Dave Birkett gave him a G.
Meanwhile, the Lions were still down 34-10. I was still wearing my Lions winter hat and wasn’t in the mood to entertain any comments about it. The Patriots were also in the process of falling behind 34-10 though, so it’s not like any of them could talk.
Sitting and waiting for the Sprint employees to get everything squared away with the new phone, I grew slightly nostalgic for the old one. Sure, it was a little outdated and had some glitches from time to time, but it also served me well for four years, definitely better than what I was used to up until then. After another hour of sitting and waiting, the new one still hadn’t activated yet.
Meanwhile, the final score read 34-22, the Lions dropped to 3-6 on the season, and I can’t say I missed much by running errands instead. Detroit’s shiny new coaching upgrade doesn’t seem to have been activated yet either.
The Sprint store closed before the activation could complete, and I had to wait another morning before having a fully functioning phone again, but no harm done. How much longer until the Lions are fully functional though?
Any hope of a turnaround this year?
You know, any hope?
I will say that my general rule of thumb is that until the 8th loss of the season, there’s always a chance. NFL teams do go through some crazy hot streaks on a fairly regular basis. The question was is there ‘any’ hope for a turnaround for the Lions, so technically yes, and there’s even precedent.
The 1995 Lions also started the year off at 3-6, and then ran the table for the rest of the regular season, improbably reaching ten wins and clinching a playoff berth. Interestingly enough, in the 6th loss of that season (on the road against a 5-3 Falcons team), the Lions fell behind 27-0 in the first half, got a few pity touchdowns at the end, and lost 34-22.
The only Apple products that I had access to back then were a couple of Macintosh computers in my elementary school classroom. They were great for using Kid Pix and playing Oregon Trail and not much else. At this point, a 1995-esque Lions turnaround seems about as likely as Mitchell Trubisky being stricken with dysentery.
The Lions will once again be heavy underdogs next Sunday against the Panthers. And I’ll probably be watching anyway.