OK I get it , I really do ! Customs are very quaint traditions that one tends to abide by. As it breeds satisfaction and a sense if nothing else , normalcy. Well , try telling that to the NFL this year ,who’ll once again serve up mayhem by providing us with another dollop of the hapless Detroit Lions (1-6-0) on Thanksgiving Day. Now pardon me for saying this, as I’m not from around these parts – I’m English by birth by way of parentage from the Caribbean – Jamaica to be precise. But enough of that – what is it that the NFL and their schedulers are failing to realize by serving up the Lions to us on a silver platter ?
A somewhat downtrodden Lions’ coach , Jim Schwartz , looks up at the scoreboard at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan. The Lions would go on to lose to the St Louis Rams 17-10 in the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Carlos Osorio …..
It’s bad enough that as a team this roster is only slightly better than the team went (0-16) last season. Much to the ridicule of the entire league and the fans of the game up down the country. Never mind the fact that the team then became the staple of the late night talk show hosts. Who, if they weren’t lambasting Sen. John McCain (R-Az) or former Governor Sarah Palin (R-Ak). Then the Detroit Lions were deemed to be seen as appropriate cannon fodder also for the butt of their jokes. But like the losers of the Presidential elections of last year the Lions can hold their heads high with dignity. Albeit, at the humor of others. But now it has to be said that enough is enough ! The NFL seriously needs to look at the schedule as it gears around the holiday period and serve up the fans with the best games possible. I know that they feel it’s best to stick with tradition. But by my way of thinking, that’s very much akin to walking with the same old worn out pair shoes for the last five years knowing full well that you can afford to buy a brand new pair of shoes. It may well have felt snug when you first bought them . But over the course of time the heel goes , as does the sole or instep of the shoe. Now would it be right to suggest that the NFL is just being downright ignorant by choosing not to replace Lions with a far better game on the day ? Well I’ve leave that for you to decide. But as you can see from the title of this piece , I’m no fan of the Lions and this team at present.
Former Lions’ running running back seen here shredding the defense of the Green Bay Packers , as he makes his way towards the end-zone. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/David Rasche ……
Well the season at its midway point, the Lions as usual are on the ground looking up at everyone else within the NFC North. Leading the way are the Brett Favre led Minnesota Vikings (7-1), followed by the Green Bay Packers (4-3) and the Chicago Bears (4-3). And for a team with aspirations of improving upon last year. What has taken place under this Jim Schwartz coached Lions is pretty much like watching the movie Titanic over and over again. You know that the script and storyline won’t change. After all the incident was based on fact. But in your heart of hearts you’re inclined to believe that providence will send the Lions some respite. And their overall fate will change. But alas once again you’d be wrong and so too are the NFL hierarchy if they’re of the belief that the Lions will be able to entertain the most errant or erstwhile fan of the NFL this Thanksgiving Day. In essence nothing could be further from the truth.
Once again you’ve guessed it, as is customary on Thanksgiving Day. We will be served up with the Detroit Lions playing the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field in Detroit, Thursday 26th November. I wonder what film will be televised on TNT or HBO for that matter ? It’ll be either that or something intimate with the girlfriend to pass the time away. Pardon the pun here ! But if push comes to shove, I guess , I’ll still have my Thanksgiving Day’s meal and then devote some time to my better half. It’s safe to say that digesting the turkey and washing it down with several glasses of alcohol will safely do the trick in having to avoid watching the Lions play. Mind you that’s not to say that the other game being served up on the day will be any the more enticing. Again the usual staple of the Dallas Cowboys . However , we’ll get to see them play their very first Thanksgiving Day’s game at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington , Texas , against the always less than dependable Oakland Raiders. No clue as of yet, as to whether or not Raiders’ coach, Tom Cable will still be in a position of employment-given his proclivity for beating up on his ex-spouses or live in lover as the case maybe. A rather disturbing fact , which is just now coming to light concerning the embattled coach.
Tradition being what it is , I do now believe that it’s time for the NFL hierarchy to plainly take a look at the scheduling of many of their games on Thanksgiving Day. Granted, there are those who’ve become accustomed to seeing both the Cowboys and Lions display their zeal on this festive period. But how much longer must the fans have to contend with the diatribe that’s served up by the Detroit Lions. It’s not as if the team has been relevant over the past decade at all. Heavens , one would have to go back to the days when their Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders held sway over the NFL . Who could forget his every jink or weave as he cut his way and carved up a defense almost at will ? When , I for one think of the Lions , that’s literally brings back memories for me and how great they once were. Especially Sanders, who if anything was right to walk away from the game when he did. He served this team with a great deal of distinction . Only to have it thrown in his face by an ownership that in no way shape or form tried to place a winning team around him.
The fans themselves felt betrayed by Sanders’ apparent decision to end his career so soon. But one could well understand Sanders’ situation. Had the Lions sought to trade him , it’d be hard to say that they’d be able to get something in return of equal value for a player of Sanders’ caliber. And if even if they’d built around a premise of obtaining several draft picks in exchange for the trade of Sanders. Who’s to say that those picks would’ve amounted to much ? Needless to say we’ll never know as the situation failed to arise. It’s at times like this I wonder as to the so called business acumen of certain members of the Ford family and in particular the current ownership regime. They’ve shown about as much common sense as a drunk exposing himself in public. And then that same individual act as if this was a normal form of behavior him. But the way some would have them tell it they’re quite well aware as to the underlying problems that the franchise faces.
Did it not occur to Bill Ford Jr. that after almost 6 1/2 years of mayhem and ridicule with Matt Millen at the helm of the franchise as the GM, that something urgent needed to be done ? Or my guess was, that he felt that Millen was still quite capable of pulling the proverbial rabbit out of his hat , if not his own ass ! The chances are that it was more likely than not, it was the latter . God knows even with Matt Millen now behind the desk performing as an NFL analyst for NBC. It’s hard to take anything seriously that he might have to say as it concerns the game in today’s NFL. His assessment in talent borders on the choices made in men by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor . Both of whom have seen better days behind them , rather than ahead of them.
It’ll always be debatable as to who the ‘greatest running back of all-time in the NFL should be. But I honestly believe that you’d have insert Barry Sanders in there, amongst the top 10 ever ! Alongside the names of such NFL legends as Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown , O.J. Simpson , Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson . If you’re either in agreement or disagreement with the names mentioned . Then by all means do leave a comment expressing your thoughts on the topic for further discussion. As always your comments are more than welcomed and will be duly given a reply worthy in response !
So now as that fateful day approaches it’s easy to suggest that the NFL could somehow make a change in its scheduling and have another fixture in place, instead of the Lions taking on the Packers . I’d dare say that the majority of the NFL fans watching will want to be entertained. Rather than being put to sleep by seething-less, haphazard and underachieving Detroit Lions. But then again , things could be worse , a fight could break out at the family gathering on Thanksgiving Day . And then where would you be ? Need I ask ?
If there’s one thing I’m now definitely sure of at this juncture , it will be that I won’t be watching the Detroit Lions this Thanksgiving Day. There has to be far better uses for my time on the day. I’m now about to initiate and write a list of the things I could be doing. Needless to say , an act of the carnal kind is atop of the list ! What’s atop of yours, may I ask ?
Top 10 Running Backs in NFL history – statistically by yardage attained.
Rank Player Seasons by team Total carries Total yards gained Overall yards per
carry average Year of induction into
Pro Football Hall of Fame
1 Emmitt Smith Dallas Cowboys (1990–2002)
Arizona Cardinals (2003–2004) 4,409 18,355 4.2 Not eligible
2 Walter Payton Chicago Bears (1975–1987) 3,838 16,726 4.4 1993
3 Barry Sanders Detroit Lions (1989–1998) 3,062 15,269 5.0 2004
4 Curtis Martin New England Patriots (1995–1997)
New York Jets (1998–2006) 3,518 14,101 4.0 Not eligible
5 Jerome Bettis Los Angeles Rams (1993–1995)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1996–2005) 3,479 13,662 3.9 Not eligible
6 Eric Dickerson Los Angeles Rams (1983–1987)
Indianapolis Colts (1987–1991)
Los Angeles Raiders (1992)
Atlanta Falcons (1993) 2,996 13,259 4.4 1999
7 Tony Dorsett Dallas Cowboys (1977–1987)
Denver Broncos (1988) 2,936 12,739 4.3 1994
8 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns (1957–1965) 2,359 12,312 5.2 1971
9 Marshall Faulk Indianapolis Colts (1994–1998)
St. Louis Rams (1999–2005) 2,836 12,279 4.3 Not eligible
10 Edgerrin James Indianapolis Colts (1999–2005)
Arizona Cardinals (2006– 2008)
Seattle Seahawks (2009–present) 3,028 12,246 4.0 Not eligible
Top 10 Running backs in NFL history statistically-by touchdowns
Rank Player Seasons by team Total rushing
touchdowns Year of induction into
Pro Football Hall of Fame
1 Emmitt Smith Dallas Cowboys (1990–2002)
Arizona Cardinals (2003–2004) 164 Not applicable
2 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers (2001–2008) 129 Not applicable
3 Marcus Allen Los Angeles Raiders (1982–1992)
Kansas City Chiefs (1993–1997) 123 2003
4 Walter Payton Chicago Bears (1975–1987) 110 1993
5 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns (1957–1965) 106 1971
6 John Riggins New York Jets (1971–1975)
Washington Redskins (1976–1985) 104 1992
7 (Tie) Shaun Alexander Seattle Seahawks (2000–2007)
Washington Redskins (2008) 100 Not applicable
7 (Tie) Marshall Faulk Indianapolis Colts (1994–1998)
Saint Louis Rams (1999–2005) 100 Not applicable
9 Barry Sanders Detroit Lions (1989–1998) 99 2004
10 (Tie) Jerome Bettis Los Angeles Rams (1993–1995)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1996–2005) 91 Not applicable
10 (Tie) Franco Harris Pittsburgh Steelers (1972–1983)
Seattle Seahawks (1984) 91 1990