Monday, September 8, 2008

Bad NFL Reporting

Another story about how a team with a lot of question marks hanging over it at the beginning of the season has dispelled a lot of doubts by embarrassing an opponent in the season opener:

The problem is, of course, the opponent was the hapless Official NFL Team of the Sarcastic Weasel, more commonly known as the Detroit Lions. No achievement, no matter how seemingly impressive or record breaking, counts when it is achieved at the expense of the Detroit Lions. They are, simply put, the worst, most pathetic excuse for a professional sports franchise in modern sporting history (I'm hedging with "modern history" since there may have been some kind of Roman Gladiatorial team that got massacred on a regular basis more frequently than the Lions... but I suspect that the only contestants in Rome's Coliseum to fare as poorly as Detroit's NFL franchise were actual lions).

The Sarcastic Weasel, knowing in advance what the outcome would be, owing to an advanced technique known to its practitioners as "guessing", did not watch the game, nor will he be watching any Lion's games this year (employed the same technique to correctly predict that the sun would appear to rise in the East this morning too). He has stated for years that the fools that buy tickets to Lions' games are simply rewarding the NFL for allowing such a poor and predictable entertainment product to waddle desultorily onto the field every year. It's very difficult to reward/punish any individual team in the NFL by your economic behavior due to the League's revenue sharing practices, so the NFL as a whole are the only ones who might be brought to bear through any kind if Lions boycott. As a non-ticket/merchandise buyer, the best I can contribute to such a cause would be to avoid watching the games on TV. Truly, in such a manner, I am confident that I will become an instrument of positive change (HA!).

There is something to be said for being a loyal fan, sticking up for you team in fair or foul weather. But there's something about this level of professional incompetence, continuing unabated for so long that, to me, is unacceptable and, dare I say it, un-American (now is not the time to bring up Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Countrywide... the American banking sector in general... hedge funds, people with MBAs being put in charge of anything... I'm on a roll talking about football and bringing real reality into the conversation will just ruin it... damn).

So this year, as usual, I will be looking for a secondary team to follow. Due to geography and, my own stupidity, I will probably always be a Lions fan... so much as it is possible to be a fan of such a sad assortment of pathetic, undisciplined failures. But, to keep some level of interest in the NFL season, I have to choose a secondary team to root for, one whose fate does not seem so indelibly preordained. I know a lot of Lions fans that do the same thing, though they often have permanent secondary teams whereas I choose a new one each year. This year though, I just can't seem to choose one. I'm dangerously close to a confluence of emotional and intellectual realizations. Intellectually I've known, seemingly forever, that professional football is nothing more than an entertainment product produced by different branches of the same corporate entity that employ grown men to put on silly costumes and roll around on each other (a statement that, with minor modifications, can be applied to any spectator sport). But, emotionally, I've been willing to set that aside and believe in various fantasies relating to civic pride and redefining the bounds of human accomplishment. As Ish has said in the past, there is considerable enjoyment, even spiritual humanist enrichment to be garnered from "watching people who are the best at what they do accomplish amazing things" (well, I gussied it up a little, but it's essentially what he meant... I think... he'll correct me if I'm wrong). It's becoming difficult to continue to indulge in that emotional fantasy where the NFL is concerned though, when you own team, year after year, demonstrates that uncompromising ineptitude and incompetence are also perfectly acceptable in their realm as well.

Other Lions fans, how are you holding up?


Reverend0 said...

Kill me.

Kill me now.

I honestly thought the Lions would go 5-11 this year. Worse than last year, but better than I think now. I mean how do you lose to Atlanta on a rebuilding year after they shed about all their veterans. My new prediction for the year is 0-16, but they will probably foul up that perfect season too.

Maybe the Lions could do what Atlanta did?

1) Remove your GM/VP of operations
2) Remove all your old blood players (accustomed to losing)
3) Invest in the running game

But our problems are rooted deeper than the GM. Either way, I do follow Ish in that I have a secondary team (Steelers) which I think also happens to be the same as Ish. Good luck finding your backup team.

ish said...

You got the quote right (more or less).

I'm not really settled. Both Pennsylvania teams are regular members of my "auxilliary team" list. I do like Pitt this year. The Eagles might have gotten far enough away from the post-SB TO bungling that I could root for them again. Maybe Carolina. Tennessee if Vince Young hadn't have gone down. It'll settle out by week 3.

As for the Fraidy Cats themselves, I don't even know what to think. When I talk to people from somewhere else, I tell them its like having a family curse, where you are required to spend every sunday having your hopes dash, and ruin every Sunday from September to December (and obviously not after that). Why are you required? Because your parents did too.