He just doesn’t know the Lions.
It took all of the 32 seconds left in Sunday’s game, which seemingly lasted an hour, but for the first time since George Bush was president — the first one — the Detroit Lions went home from Green Bay with an 18-16 victory on Sunday.
Think of it. No kid in college on a two- or four-year program after graduating high school was alive when the Lions last won in Cheesehead Country.
In the NFPL, where the silent P stand for Parity, going 24-0 is unheard-of unless you are, say, the New England Patriots.
But the Patriots haven’t needed a quarter-century to end a losing streak.
And these are the Lions.
I guess it was apropos, what with all the camouflage and players in beards, that the game-winning field-goal try by the Packers looked like a wounded duck before the ball fell to the earth, releasing the Lions from their latest bit of misery.
The Lions looked a lot better this week, which you could nitpick by saying that’s not much, but they got the job done, and for much of the game, made Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers look confused for much of the game.
A couple of times, Rodgers dropped back, looked left, looked right, looked center, then threw the ball at a receiver’s feet.
For the vast majority of his career, Rodgers has sliced and diced the Lions’ defense like a fine chef.
Not on Sunday.
The Lions are 2-7, and that’s plenty ugly. The first half of the season was hard to watch at times.
But Martha Ford, who took over when her husband died last year, cleaned house last week, sending the team’s president and general manager packing.
She sent a letter to season-ticket holders saying they deserve better.
You could file this under the no-fooling category, but that’s a move the Lions never made in the last half-century. Not even when they went 0-16.
So, as ugly as it was, and tense, and frustrating (Matt Prater and Calvin Johnson are likely still exhaling), the Lions showed a little spark, and a little pluck, and enough to, for one day, give their fans something to talk about.
The last time they won, back in 1991, I was watching the game at a friend’s house, and one of the guys there, who had already had his fill of the Lions, went on and on about how lucky they were, how much of a fluke they were, and so forth until I finally stopped him.
Stop, I said. All that might be true, but that’s for tomorrow.
Same here. There are a lot of problems with the Lions, but they did something right, and the end result is all that matters.
As bad as they are, the Detroit Lions are still the unifying team in Michigan. When they are playing well, everyone pays attention. People want them to win, even when they have given up on the season.
And I’m pretty willing to bet that conversations that don’t include the phrase “Same old Lions” will be a welcome change of pace this week in an otherwise lost season.