Thursday, December 11, 2008

Goofus and Gallant

Apparently, the end of the season wasn't too soon to offload some of the Lions'...ummm...talent? As Brian Kelly's tenure in Detroit came to an end.

I thought that it was a good idea (if you look back in the blog history) to bring in Kelly as a mentor and backup...but I was not thrilled with the idea of him starting, and truly thought the Lions would be playing more man and doing more blitzing like they did in the preseason. That would have played to the strengths of Keith Smith and Leigh Bodden, while freeing up Alexander, Bullocks, or one of the LB to blitz in -- like hard hitting Ernie Sims maybe?

However, the Lions -- despite being "desperate" for a win really haven't done much of anything to bring in the pressure on the opposing QB consistently. They continued to count on guys like Darby and Cody to do what it was quite painfully obviously they were incapable of doing - creating pressure with just the front four.

Michael Lombardi had an interesting blurb on the Lions based on a Killer article on Mlive (whew - this is a lot of analysis of analysis of analysis). But he really hit the nail on the head in that the Detroit Lions 2008 is a picture of the perfect storm of what not to do with a football team, young players, head coach, front office, draft, free agency. You name it, they've screwed it up.

I am reminded of the old Highlights magazine for kids. When I was younger, they had them at the doctor's office, and we would read them. I always like the hidden pictures best, to be honest. But there was one section where they had two kids -- Goofus and Gallant.

Gallant was better than Beaver on "Leave it to Beaver" -- everything was right, good, sweet, kind, perfect -- he never spilled his juice, always cleaned up, was always polite and always did what he was told and what he was supposed to do. Gallant was very happy.

Goofus, on the other hand, was completely the opposite. He would not only trip and spill his plate of food and drink, but it would be on the brand new ultra white carpet! (Gallant, smiling away, would always find a way to clean it up though. Jerk.) Nothing he did was, or could be, right. Goofus always looked mad or sad.

I always felt for Goofus -- no matter how hard he tried, things just never worked out for him. Life conspired against him, while all the while lifting up Gallant. Now, luck aside - Goofus also made most of his problems worse by his own actions -- that is what took it from oops to WTF. For instance, after spilling food on said ultra-white rug, grinding it in with his foot and screaming about the injustice of their being a white rug there, and if they only had bought purple instead and screaming and pouting and moaning about how no could ever clean it up, while the mother is chiding him. There were other times, however, where he was just in the wrong spot at the wrong time, but was never given the benefit of the doubt. Bird falls out of a tree in front of him on the sidewalk, and everyone is up in arms because he "knocked the poor thing out of the tree." See, the thing about always doing stupid shit is that when you really don't do it, no one is going to believe you. (Like, say, pass interference)

The Lions have a reputation of being Goofus (for very good reason) and thus even when they do things right, in or out of game, it is seen as bad. That being said -- this season they have been totally Goofus and I would like to see them break out of the mentality. No one is as perfect as Gallant, but the Lions have been as close to Goofus as any entity can really get this season. The Lions have a lot of work to do, but just because things haven't worked out in the past doesn't mean a new GM, coach, etc. are doomed to failure "because it's the Lions".

If I went back to 1995 and told you the New England Patriots would be the dynasty of the 2000's, you would be laughing at me and correcting me that perfect regular season meant the kind the Lions are going for now, not the kind the Patriots had in 2007. That is because right up until their underdog win over St. Louis in the Superbowl, the Patriots had been a perpetual bottom-feeder in the league since they joined it. They didn't even have a decade like the 50's to look back to and say "we want to go back there". While they never managed to make Owen part of the team, they came darned close year after mediocre year.

Things can change in the NFL, or anywhere -- and they can change in the blink of an eye. Just because Detroit has been Goofus in the past, doesn't mean they always will be - in the future.

For now, however, I'm already designing my 0-16 commemorative shirt. Something like "I Survived: DetFan1979 vs Owen16"

As for questions about head coaching candidates, I'm not really sure. See, I'm good at pointing out problems and theoretical solutions -- but when it comes to specific players or personnel, lets just say I know what I don't know, and that is too much to list here.

I do know that they need to select a new GM, and that whoever that GM is and his approach to building the team will directly impact which coaches would be a good fit. I'll definitely look into it more as we enter the ifseason.


CHIEFGER139 said...

i can see your point,but i see the goofus more of the team that choked at home as chicago makes the long field goal at the end of the game and upsets a playoff destinated lions team and knocks them out and then the millen era is born. or a eddie murry miss-that lets the superbowl champ 49ers advance and eliminates us in round one again. or even the ty detmar experience-almost breaking the interception record against his former team the browns-but this years team is differnt
there just plain god awful!! You can see and laugh about the lions bad luck,duffus things-like takin the wind, stupid quotes , stupid challenges etc. but weve never been this horrible or never seemed so pathetic on game plans-at least through the years i remember-we always at least had very good special teams-other than our kicking game we dont even have that-and im very curious-before rod came have we ever been at the botttom or even close on defense?? i dont remember it being that way ever?? of course wearing my lion honula blue colored glasses I probably missed sometimes we were this bad and just didnt notice? I just hope and pray god has a miracle up his sleeve for this team this year-sort of a bail out from god-seeing all these bailouts-and lets the balls bounce our way, the refs see it our way and the wind blow our way just enough to squeeze this mess of a team a victory of our remaining 3 games and save it from the label-worst team ever!! please let it happen!!

CHIEFGER139 said...

i posted this on m-live after hittin the firewater a little and listen to killer sayin true lions fan dont wish for 0-16 on and on-your thoughts!1
tryin to get everyone back on board in this time of despair!!

i played with likin another team too when i was a kid-the lions werent nearly as horrible as they are now-but bad!! im 49 years old. I stayed at my uncles for a while who lived in indy-indy didnt have a team then so they showed the bengals alot with there big orange helmets-before the stripe ones-my dad a avid lions fan-it pissed him off-- i abbandoned the lions-but not really i liked both-bengals had the great paul brown then-they made playoffs off and on like the lions-but truth is when they faced the lions and i think beat them-I dont remember when-I knew i was a lions fan cause i hated the bengals after that-at one time i even liked dallas and was conned into liking them-but that playoff loss i think 5-2 where they stopped us umptime times at the goalline-made me hate them-the baltimore colts and johhny unitus-now moved to the american league-was in the nfl before that-won the superbowl-but after that i knew i only loved the lions-all the others were pacifiers-somethin to get you by with but not the real tit milk like your mom-not even close!! those of you thinkin you can dump mom for some other pacifier are wrong-its not the same-satifies for awhile-but when they beat up on your real-mom-the lions-your real team you hate them-i did!! I will never abandon the lions-I love them-there my real mom-and I hate mom being in such bad shape!! By god rod-I supported you earlier!! Damnit!! win one game and save mom from eternity of bein the worst team ever-please do it!! So what if We have to stomach another year of losin-its worth it to me!! keep rod whoever -save my mom from being the worst ever!! yes its that important-- and you sayin otherwise-arent true lions fans-and if you are-ok i got fooled before --get off the pacifer-they will let you down-and we lose mom forever-maybe to La god forbid!! go oralsky-go whoever rod mayhew win one and save mom!!this is a family thing buds-I understand your pain-but damn it ill fight you all if it means savin mom!!
signed the wize chief!!

Joe Willy said...

Just found the blog thanks to Chiefger's plug at Mlive. Good post. I especially like the point about not being able to point to exact players as I feel the same way and then it kind of dawned on me- that is exactly the problem there. None of the players is that horrible. It's just that lacking exceptional players on defense you just have a mediocre cast of players not playing up to the level of a Ray Lewis or Troy Polamalu. I think we have several good players. We just lack that one great player that can be the leader/QB for the D.

Also appreciate the reference to the Patriots. One reason we should do anything possible to lure Pioli is that the Patriots were the lowlifes of the league for a long time and then got it turned around. We can't just hire a guy from any good team- we have to get someone from one of the great teams and one that came up from the bottom.

DetFan1979 said...

Welcome aboard joe! Reader comments are not only apprecaited - but encouraged around here!

Go back and read some of the past blogs if you have time.