This is just sad.
The Detroit Lions announced last week that they will be honoring the 1991 team that went to the NFC Championship on October 16, when the team faces off against the Los Angeles Rams. But what exactly are they celebrating?
On the surface it seems like the team has decided to honor their best team of the Super Bowl era. The team that has the distinct honor of giving the franchise its lone playoff victory since 1957, a 38-6 win over the Cowboys in the divisional round. But what does the fact that they are spending time and money to honor a team that got destroyed in the NFC Championship game say about the franchise as a whole?
It says a whole lot actually.
First, it says that this has been a bad team for a very, very long time. A team so awful that the only thing worth celebrating is the ONE time they made it to the conference title game. Never mind that the Detroit Lions got obliterated by a score of 41-10 at the hands of the Washington Redskins. Let’s give the boys a participation trophy, cuz ya’ know, they tried.
Second, it says that ownership still doesn’t get it. It’s almost like a slap in the face to us fans. We’ve stood by the team through all of the losing and horrible management, and your thanks to us is a ceremony to remind us how stupid we are for supporting you all these years. I love this team but they sure do make it hard sometimes. The focus should be on winning games. It should always have been about winning games. Highlighting the single time the Lions ever made a run at the championship only to get bounced in such epic fashion, shows complacency at the highest levels of the organization. They should be devoting their energy to assembling a winner that actually gives us something to cheer about.
It’s doubtful that he had much control over it, but I hope that new general manager, Bob Quinn, put up a little bit of a fight about this. The Lions stole him away from the New England Patriots in the hopes that he could instill that winning attitude in the organization. Do you think the Patriots would be commemorating an embarrassing conference championship loss? I think not.
The players from that era deserve all of the respect and praise in the world. I loved guys like Barry Sanders, Herman Moore, Brett Perriman, Lomas Brown, Chris Spielman and Bennie Blades. The organization owes them a lot and they should be recognized, but I think making a big deal over the 25th anniversary of a team that didn’t actually win anything significant sends the wrong message.
It sends the message that the Detroit Lions might not believe they can get to that next level. Like, that one time 25 years ago when we made it within a game of the big one and got our asses handed to us is the best it will ever get.
Maybe I’m over reacting. Maybe I’m not. As much as this team has put me through, I’m still an optimist when it comes to them (as seen here). I just want the team to stop accepting losing season after losing season and raise the bar on their expectations of themselves. Once they do that, maybe they can start being competitive on a consistent basis, but reliving the losing past definitely isn’t the way to make that happen.