Thursday, December 15, 2011

C'mon McFly, U Chicken?

Most everyone has heard the phrase "egging you on" in reference to goading someone into doing something -- typically something stupid, silly, dangerous, or all three.  Websters defines it as:

2 [eg] Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to incite or urge; encourage (usually followed by on ).

1150–1200; Middle English < Old Norse eggja  to incite, derivative of egg edge

As I watched Suh throw a hissy fit on National Television as I chonked on Turkey I could only wonder why the bigger Turkey was on TV.  I had an image of my youngest little pink lion throwing a temper tantrum screaming "she started it!" Then, the following week against the Saints I again wondered if this other word from Websters was in the vocabulary of the Detroit Lions:


[self-kuhn-trohl, self-] Show IPA
control or restraint of oneself or one's actions, feelings, etc.


self-con·trolled, adjective
self-con·trol·ling, adjective

self-discipline, self-restraint, willpower, levelheadedness.
It certainly wasn't being emitted from Jim "Meet me outside to see who the bigger Jimmy really is" Schwartz.  As a matter of fact, against both the Packers and Saints one would be hard pressed to find it being exhibited by the Lions anywhere on the field.
I know, I know.  The officiating was horrible you say -- it was.  But they were untying his shoes! you say.  Apparently they were.  Of course as soon as I read that, I instantly pictured good 'ol Biff Tannen. 

Your Shoe's Untied McFly.

The interesting thing is the Lions have been like two totally different teams.  Against the 49ers and the Falcons they pretty much George McFly'd their way through the entire game -- I just got the feeling they were waiting for that next nuggie, next jab.  In the meantime, they stammered their way through "putting on the second coat of wax right now" excuses that no one was buying.  They were playing timid, not the bold swaggering group from the first 5 games. 
Is making the playoffs their density, I mean destiny?
After building a Tebow proof lead against Denver, and then once again coming back against Carolina sandwiched around another timid game loss versus the Bears it became clear the Lions were playing alternating stretches of bravado mixed in with bouts of low self esteem like timidity.  Sticking with my Back to the Future analogy here they were acting more like Marty McFly than his pop.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize how much like Marty they were until the Green Bay and New Orleans debacles...
Let me start with this basic thought: If you think New Orleans and especially Green Bay went through 8 quarters against the Lions without a single holding penalty I have this great property in Montana with a beautiful view of the Caspian Sea and magical fairies that tend the gorgeous gardens to perfection producing amazing fruit all year round to sell you.  Really.  That is still no excuse; The Packers, soon followed by the Saints, were basically calling out to the Lions "whatsa matter, you chicken?"

That's right.  Just like poor Marty and his historical namesake, the Lions couldn't walk away from a fight and paid dearly for it.   Will they also end up getting fired from a dead end job because they are too "manly" to back down?  Just like Marty McFly and my temper tantrum throwing daughter, now the other 31 teams in the league know all you have to do is goad them enough, and the Lions players will lose it to the tune of 15 yard penalties, ejections and even suspension.

Against Minnesota, they finally managed to ignore these McFly Penalties -- but how long will it last?  Will Marty McSuh be able to keep it together once he hits the field again?  If not, just like in Back to The Future III it will be his name and the Lions playoff hopes on that tombstone...

The future can still be altered.  Will the Lions avoid this fate?

I'm thrilled the Lions are 8-5.  They are making a push for the playoffs and hold their destiny, like Marty above, in their hands.  The question now is can they hold it together, or will they give in to the shoelacing taunts of their opponents?   Oakland is the most penalized team in the league so there will be a parity of reputations - if the Lions can come out of that game relatively clean (and with a win) then that is a huge step in the right direction.  If not, I'll have to start a "Great Scott!" Marty McFly Chicken Penalty of the week.

For everyone with Christmas gathering this weekend, I hope that you take the time out to enjoy your families while you can.  DVR, VCR, or have the game on in the background but remember what is most important this holiday season. 


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