NFL’s Top 100 snubs Detroit Lions, Kenny Golladay, Matthew Stafford, city

Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Ford Field, Detroit Lions
Ford Field, Detroit Lions (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /

Why the NFL’s Top100 does actually matter

The slanting of the process is part of a larger message about these kinds of rankings and lists; they are a representation of how much the NFL cares about its poorest teams and the fans that still hope for equal treatment. To clarify, the poorest in success, not in financial terms.

In the end, in their current form, these are just time-killers for NFL fans waiting to see live football. That point is not lost on us, and in many ways, it begs for us to throw out the tainted results immediately. They are not accurate descriptions of reality.

However, we can reasonably read into the way the Top-100 is executed to observe the attitudes of those in charge of our entertainment. Perhaps unwittingly, they communicate a cavalier attitude at best towards struggling franchises. The repetitive occurrence of such messages is what grates on Lions fans.

What are sports without meaningless rankings and endless discussions about who is the greatest? Whatever would we do without a slight to refute? It’s why we’re called fanatics, right?

“Win and everything will be fixed”, we can hear some say.

If the league advertises lists or rankings that they should realize don’t give equal treatment to all franchises, aren’t they helping to determine who wins?

Think about it before responding.

We wouldn’t say that fans completely don’t care, after all, Detroit is used to bad calls and a second-class kind of treatment on the field. That has led to Lions fans feeling like it is “Detroit versus Everybody” but fans should care for some obvious reasons.

We do in this regard, what we want is equitable treatment, mostly during games from referees and NFL personnel in ways that affect competitive balance.

These lists and rankings perpetuate a certain stereotype about the infamous “losing culture” of the Detroit Lions, though. Go onto social media and it will be easy to find demeaning tropes about Michigan and particularly the Detroit area. The water, the streets, the crime, bankruptcy, etc., the list is long.

Doesn’t shaping perceptions about specific teams potentially affect competition?

How about widely distributed marketing wrapped up in hour-long programs for NFL fan entertainment or for gaming, which target millions of younger fans and get spread via social media within hours of their release?

Don’t these messages infiltrate all of society?

How a free agent or veteran deciding whether or not to stay or sign in Detroit are perceived for considering the Motor City may affect their actual decision. That creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts and elevates the status of certain franchises while disparaging cities like Detroit who have had enough trouble competing without the league reinforcing or pushing the negative rhetoric.

Why does the NFL push programming or messaging that ignores some of its teams?

We know that they’re intentionally hiding the process and billing the list as player-determined to minimize their culpability and effort to deliver “entertainment” but should they promote it if they care so little about its validity?

We’re not saying that feelings should dictate anything but for an illustration if you made a “fun promotion” video of your company and said nice things about all but a couple of your coworkers, how would you expect those forgotten people to view your oversight, assuming that it wasn’t deliberate?

We’re not trying to be overly sensitive here but bringing up things that the NFL should consider prior to putting their name on them.

Our entertainment shouldn’t mirror the things that are wrong with society but should give every fan, including Detroit Lions fans, the hope that every season brings a fair chance to win. These lists should give all NFL fans something to get excited about, especially if they have players worthy of the honor and we do.

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The NFL’s Top 100 list, like the NFL itself, is only there to promote the interests of their member-franchises and they’re supposed to do it fairly. If they won’t, stop trying to convince us that your list has any meaning at all and find something else to talk about. It’s sports, there’s always something else to talk about.