When the Lions come to Soldier Field this Sunday, the Bears will have a ripe opportunity to win their first division game in two years. The Bears tide is rising, and the Lions are scrambling to keep their head above water in a kiddie pool. It’s the perfect time to check in with our colleagues at Pride of Detroit to see how Lions fans are feeling about this season.
WCG: 1. Both our teams hired new coaches in the offseason, and Matt Patricia was a name brought up as a potential Bears target. How are Lions fans feeling about the MP experience 8 games in to a rocky season?
POD: The honeymoon wasn’t long, but in proper NFL tradition there’s always a few people in front of him to take the fall to keep this cycle rolling. First up will be Jim Bob Cooter, the offensive coordinator what has a name that makes people giggle, and then after him might be general manager Bob Quinn. This is, of course, the hierarchy of fan blame and not actually any predictions for how the organization falls out, mind you. I know that fans didn’t like Jim Caldwell, but they really did buy into the idea that this team could be better than 9-7, and when you don’t give them better than 9-7 there’s consequences.
Personally though? I hate the man. But that has a lot more to do with the fact that he has yet to answer properly for the revelations of his sexual assault indictment. It is a travesty, a shame and a disgrace that no one has bothered to follow up after his initial flurry of defiance - even more so that the NFL came in, waved its hand in the air and declared him innocent of wrongdoing. For an organization that likes to consider itself on the forefront of these issues, it’s inexcusable for this man to remain head coach without giving proper goddamn answers, and it’s a personal matter for me at this point.
The only answers Patricia gave to such an incidence was what has kept him going off the football field: defiance, arrogance and a hatred of the media. This is a guy who just tried to tell someone who isn’t his own goddamn employee to sit up straight during a press conference. He’s the epitome of the Belichick coaching DNA - haughty, possessing the belief he rules all he surveys and without a lick of the success of his progenitor.
To be clear, some Lions fans like his defiant attitude. Some like how he fights the media, because we live in a society now where people openly go to rallies for political candidates and cheer for those reporters to be beaten up.
But again, I won’t get over this guy until he accounts for his past. What he said at his press conference was not enough. I hate that sports are like this, that we just blithely give up on such an issue because the season has to move on.
Anyway, all questions after this will be of light-hearted, whimsical nature. But I can’t really sit by with this crap. I’ve had to hold it in for a long time and I feel less inclined to do so as the months go on. It has nothing to do with how much he wins or loses, but some personal developments.
WCG: 2. This Lions season has had some terrific highs--topping the Patriots and the Packers--and some games where it seems like you went to bed feeling safe and the next morning found yourself strangled to death in your cage by the lioness mother of your children. Have you developed any insight into which Lions team will show up on a given week? Any expectations for who the Bears will see on Sunday?
POD: Nope, haven’t learned a goddamn thing.
That’s also a very grim analogy, by the way. I only watch cute cat videos on Youtube. Ain’t nobody got time for that kind of negativity and violence. I’m reporting you to the uhhh the internet police.
WCG: 3. Damon “Snacks” Harrison is a player I’ve coveted for the Bears for years, in no small part due to his physical presence comparing favorably to that of a Bear. I know it’s only a game in, but do you think he can turn the tide for the Lions struggling run defense?
POD: Probably not. Snacks is great, a fun guy to watch and he probably does, in some numerical sense help to slow down the run a bit, but he’s just one man plugging a couple of leaks on the hull of the USS Swiss Cheese. The Lions are uh, “adapting” to a new defensive scheme that has seen quite a bit of its talent underperforming on the defensive line, and even a big body like A’Shawn Robinson doesn’t seem to be doing much to help out there.
I love Snacks and I think he’ll help things in the long haul, but he’s one man, and that don’t matter much against the hordes unless in samurai movies. Last I checked, Harrison is not a samurai.
Wait, can someone check on that? He might have a katana. That would be scary if he did.
WCG: 4. Speaking of trades, I was a little surprised to see Golden Tate shipped to Philly at the trade deadline. Do you feel like this move was a sign the Lions were giving up on the season, or do they just have that much confidence in the emergence of Kenny Golladay and their receiver depth?
POD: Would it be a cop out to say it might be both? I don’t think the front office viewed it as giving up, and maybe they did have this supreme confidence in Kenny Golladay. Some other fans might too, and even Deadspin came to that same conclusion.
But in the modern NFL, removing a star receiver from your offensive lineup is like removing a brick from a teetering Jenga stack. More past that, I think people really sleep on just how damn good Golden Tate is. This is a man who doesn’t ever need to answer the chicken/egg question of quarterback/wide receiver. You see it every time he’s out there creating extra yards after a completion. You see it when he butt-flips into a Minnesota Viking to win a game. You know it when you see just how damn versatile he is.
Because of that, you’d understand how many people might think this means the Lions were throwing in the towel for the season. That said, the NFC North was well open before the trade deadline and the Lions did themselves no favors. They got the Vikings loss they were gunning for - not that Tate would have helped save them from that tenebrous fate.
WCG: 5. For the past several years, Lions fans have used their ability to consistently outperform the Bears as a last-resort consolation blanket to warm their egos whenever things have gone awry. If the Bears sweep the Lions this season and end with a substantially better record, is there a backup option to replace the Bears in this role? We’d hate to leave you stranded.
POD: You’re nothing without us and we’re not letting go.