Hidden amongst the lead-up to this weekend’s UM-MSU clash in Ann Arbor and the constant shock of the Rays in the World Series, came more news about the current state of the Detroit Lions.
For the first time since the Lions made the move back to Detroit from Pontiac, a “professional” football game will be played in this town and only the attendees will see the game locally. With their time extensions and the fan patience levels run out, the team was unable to sell their final 6,000 seats for this weekend’s game vs. Washington.
Back in the Silverdome days it was not unusual to have a game not shown to its own support base. The Pontiac Silverdome was so massive that fans basically counted on others to fill the seats for them. Since traffic in and out of Pontiac was horrendous, the comfort of a sofa was much more of the norm. Even with Barry Sanders in uniform, the experience in the cavernous dome was not the same level of enjoyment.
Reason No. 2,381 that the Lions organization is in trouble: the biggest news this week about the Lions involved potential misconduct between a former employee (Matt Millen) and a former rival (Brett Favre). That’s what things have come to in this town when the local papers start bringing up your connections to the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and its similarities to the ’62 Mets and ’03 Tigers.
How appropriate when in the year following the first ever visit to 18-0 (pre Super Bowl), a different team in the league could fall to 0-16. In fact, it was not long ago when the Lions flirted with that record. I’m actually stunned that Ford Field has not yet been changed to 0-16 Field – a place where this team seems to be heading.