The Detroit Lions have taken a major step back this season. But these missteps are now decades old and seem to be unending.
Last Friday, NFL Network started to reveal the NFL 100 All-Time Team with the selection of 12 running backs. Of course, all-time Detroit Lions great (well greatest ever for accuracy sake) Barry Sanders was included on that list.
For me, there will always be just a little bit of hurt when it comes to my undying love for Barry Sanders as a Detroit athlete. On one hand, Barry provided the greatest ten years any fan can ever ask for in a lifetime of watching sports. On the other hand, he has doomed me to fandom of this franchise, which has failed in spectacular fashion ever since his retirement.
Friends and family have told me, “just pick another team.” But because of the indelible mark that Barry made on me as a sports fan, I simply cannot. And the last 21 seasons (including this season) have been awful in many respects.
Even the fleeting moments of a playoff appearance here and there cannot erase the fact that this team was the first to go 0 and 16 (in 2008), hasn’t had a playoff victory since 1991, and hasn’t won the division since 1993. It is gut-wrenching to watch.
And despite the fact that I have waived the flag of ‘don’t win again this season,’ every time this team bumbles away another game, it makes me ill. Every season turns out the same: the Detroit Lions have no shot at winning the Super Bowl.