By Jeff Moss
November 24, 2011
It is the Lions annual Thanksgiving game.
It is the biggest matchup for Detroit’s professional football team in over a DECADE.
A win pretty much guarantees that this moribund franchise will play a postseason game for the first time since the last century.
I mean, how couldn’t I write a Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers running diary?
And as always, due to copyright infringement, I will tithe ten percent of all income generated from this column to the Church of Bill Simmons.
12:30: The day starts on an ominous note as some country singer that I have never heard of forgets the words to the National Anthem and pauses for a few seconds before regaining her composure. The children standing around her from Mr. Pryzbylewski’s eighth grade math class appear stunned. (Well, either they were Prez’s pupils or the Play60 children. Couldn’t really tell.)
12:34: The over/under on the first time a Lions player mocks Aaron Rodgers’ “State Farm Discount Double Check” TD celebration is 1:12pm. I am going under.
12:35: Right before Mason Crosby attempts to start the game by kicking off to Stefan Logan, a draft in the stadium causes the football to dribble off the tee. Fox’s Joe Buck says, “All that build up and the ball falls off the tee.” The nation collectively responds with, “All that build up and Joe Buck is the announcer.”
12:40: Just read this gem on former WDFN morning man Greg Brady’s Twitter feed:
“(Fox Sideline Reporter) Pam Oliver has just reported this is a ‘game that matters’ to the Lions. She got into town Tuesday for those info nuggets.”
Looking at the size of Oliver, it would appear she got to Detroit on Tuesday so she could start eating chicken McNuggets and hasn’t stopped since. Seriously, you could park a Chevy Malibu on that broad’s ass.
I wonder if Rob Parker still brags about nailing her and if so, does he show people a picture of Oliver before she put on the 80 pounds?
12:42: On 2nd and 15 from his own 46-yard line, Matthew Stafford overthrows Calvin Johnson by about 25 feet. I didn’t even know it was possible to miss Calvin by that much. I mean, the guy has the wingspan of a McDonnell-Douglas 1080 and #9 just missed #81 by a mile.
And there are people still out there who don’t think this guy’s jacked up finger is the reason that his accuracy is now comparable to Fox News? Really?
Let’s see, at the end of the game in which Von Miller fucked up one of his digits, Stafford had thrown 19 TDs and 4 INTs on the year. Since the Broncos game Stafford has 7 TDs and 9 picks.
Look, I have seen enough of Stafford in the last three years to know that the kid is the most talented Lions QB of my lifetime. Even with the fractured finger, the guy is still on pace for 38 TDs, 19 INTs and 4,500 yards passing. [These stats were edited after the game to reflect Stafford’s season stats through 11 games.]
You would think a fan base that has endured the likes of Gary Danielson, Rodney Peete, Bob Gagliano, Andre Ware, Joey Harrington, Eric Hipple, Dan Orlovsky, Charlie Batch and Scott Mitchell would have a TAD MORE APPRECIATION for a 23-year old kid on pace for THAT type of season.
Instead, some Lions fans are clamoring for Shaun Hill to take over the reigns of the team until Stafford gets 100 percent healthy. Others have suggested starting Drew Stanton while implementing the Tebow Model for Winning.
The kid deserves to play through his injury and for people who still aren’t sold on the guy; I don’t know what to tell you idiots.
12:43: On 3rd and 15, Scott Linehan dials up a running play to Nate Burleson who fumbles the handoff and goes nowhere. Ummm, why is the Lions OC calling run plays from midfield against a team that averages 35 points a freaking game?
12:48: After a couple of easy first downs by the GB offense, the Lions force the Pack to punt the ball away.
Meanwhile, I am on my second can of Coke Zero this afternoon. The over/under on number of liters of soda I devour today is three.
In other news, the over/under for the age I develop an incurable form of pancreatic cancer is 44.5.
12:52: Lions running back Kevin Smith catches a ball out of the backfield for a first down and then gains 15 yards rushing on the very next play.
I don’t want to say the Kevin Smith Reclamation Project is surprising, but before this season I wagered that in Week #11, Smith would gain at least 200 All-Purpose Yards while scoring 3 TDs.
I now own majority stock in Apple and Warren Buffet is my personal butler.
1:00: A holding penalty on Brandon Pettigrew stalls another promising drive.
1:06: The Lions defense comes up with another big third down stop as the first quarter ends scoreless.
The over/under on total points scored on this game ended at 55.5 and I would have bet my left testicle and right kidney on the over. That is why I don’t bet on football anymore. Well, that and I have been cut off by every bookie in the tri-county area.
1:11: Since it is Thanksgiving and everyone is giving thanks for something, I would like to express my gratitude to the Boston Red Sox for continuing to consider that fat slob, Gene Lamont, for their vacant managerial opening. Every day that passes is another day the other finalist, Bobby Valentine, could potentially do something insane to fuck up his chances.
I wonder if a letter writing campaign by Tigers fans to John Henry and Larry Lucchino espousing the virtues of Lamont’s baseball acumen would assist in getting that lard-ass out of Detroit.
Back at Ford Field, a nicely designed reverse to Burleson results in a Lions first down. It seems Linehan has figured out that if Burleson has the ball in his hands, it greatly reduces the chances of him getting a holding penalty.
1:12: Oh shit, Kevin Smith is injured. Looks, like it might be a calf injury. Meanwhile, in Chester, Pennsylvania, Kevin Jones just jumped off his couch and texted Martin Mayhew that he can be on the next plane to DTW.
1:15: Oh well, Smith was just carted off the field. Little known fact, my wife’s (Melissa) father attended the same college (Central Florida) as the Lions rejuvenated running back.
Even lesser known fact, I’ve known Melissa for 11 years and have never met the man even though she does have a relationship with him.
1:16: Maurice Morris is flagged for a chop block. All of the sudden I am craving a chopped and tossed Maurice Salad. Anyway, the Lions are forced to punt again due to penalties. It is criminal that the Lions aren’t winning this game.
Not criminal in a “Rob an 80-year old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease in Royal Oak, slit her throat and leave her to die” kind of way, but criminal nonetheless.
1:22: The Lions defense continues to come up HUGE as they stop GB on 3rd and 1.
EXCEPT, a horrible pass Interference penalty is called on Eric Wright. A call that Aikman and Buck both vehemently disagree with.
“I am tired with the mothafuckin jackin. Without a whistle and a yellow flag, what do ya got? A sucka in a zebra uniform waiting to get shot.”
1:28: Another penalty flag hits the field, but this time it is a holding call on Green Bay, which negates a big first down for the Pack. I haven’t seen this much grabbing since my mom forced me to take dance lessons at Joe Cornell in preparation for my Bar Mitzvah.
1:29: Who had 1:29pm in the “First Time A Lions Defensive Player Will Rip the Helmet Off of an Opposing Player” pool?
1:31: Another third down stopped by the Lions as Eazy-E gets away with the most blatant pass interference you have ever seen. Unless in the last nine minutes the rules have changed and corner backs are now allowed to hold a receiver 25 yards down the field WHILE never turning around to play the ball.
1:34: A Stafford pass gets deflected into air and is intercepted by Clay Matthews’ Fathead sticker deep in Lions territory. Unreal. The Lions have totally dominated this game and yet they are about to be trailing.
1:35: Some dude named Brandon McDonald (who allegedly plays for the Lions) gets a pass interference called against him in the end zone against Greg Jennings.
Schwartz is absolutely LIVID on the sideline, which means he either didn’t like that flag or the sideline ref just shook his hand too hard.
1:38: State Farm, a criminal organization that would make the Corleone family blush, is now using the theme song to “Cheers” to promote their awful product. I guess it could be worse; Allstate or Farm Bureau could have jacked the opening montage to the A-Team.
How bad is State Farm? Let’s put it this way, remember when Rebecca accidentally burned Cheers to the ground and Sam didn’t have insurance to rebuild? That was a less aggravating situation for the former Red Sox pitcher than if he WOULD have been insured with State Farm.
1:39: The Packers come out in a 4-Wide Receiver format and Jennings scores on a reception from Rodgers. You know, I am no math wiz, but it is really tough to defend a 4-WR set when you only have THREE HEALTHY cornerbacks.
Anyone have Bryant Westbrook or Terry Fair’s cell numbers?
Packers 7 Lions ZERO
1:42: There is one positive in the Lions failure to put points on the board. They have successfully kept their kick coverage team off the field.
1:44: Calvin Johnson runs a perfect route for a 22-yard reception which is soon followed by a first down run by Morris as the offensive line is doing a GREAT job of opening holes and protecting Stafford.
I’d have to check the archives, but I am pretty sure the last time I complimented the Lions O-Line, Mike Utley’s right thumb wasn’t a famous appendage and Erik Andolsek was using a Mexican lawn service to cut his front yard.
1:51: After a jump ball to Megatron into double coverage fails to work, the Lions settle for a 47-yard field goal by Jason Hanson that he promptly misses.
Is there any doubt that after a career of pressure-less field goal attempts that Hanson will shit his pants and miss a HUGE kick at some point this season causing the Lions to miss the playoffs or lose in the postseason?
Eddie Murray is somberly nodding his head somewhere while Bill Walsh cackles from heaven.
1:53: A Packers first down is negated when Jennings is called for offensive pass interference while Kyle Vanden Bosch is flagged for roughing Rodgers. I didn’t think either play was an infraction as the officiating in this game continues to be atrocious on both sides of the ball.
1:55 – The Lions defense stops Rodgers on 3rd and 10 as ANOTHER holding penalty on Green Bay is declined. Seriously, can we get Don Cherry on the Fox halftime panel to rant and rave about the lack of flow in this game because all of the laundry on the field?
1:56: Green Bay’s Pat Lee throws a punch at a Lions player and gets ejected from the game. Holy shit, what are the Packers going to do without PAT LEE?
I can’t wait until tomorrow’s “Around the Horn” where a bunch of frothing at the mouth idiots discuss if Pat Lee is a dirty player.
1:57: Jim Schwartz utilizes a page out of the Chip Kelly two-minute drill playbook and takes a timeout into the locker room instead of trying to get a score late in the first half.
Running the ball on third and long and not being aggressive at the end of the half is a WONDERFUL strategy to defeat a 10 and 0 offensive juggernaut.
The Ford Field fans rightfully boo the Lions head coach off the field. At the end of thirty minutes of play the Lions defense couldn’t have possibly played ANY better and yet they are still down 7-0. Not exactly a great omen.
2:02: Fox’s Michael Strahan says he likes the position the Lions are in because they are a great second half team.
I guess Gap-Toothed Wonder forgot they probably won’t have the services of Chris Houston, Louis Delmas and Kevin Smith in the second half nor is their opponent the Vikings or Panthers.
I mean, the Lions had a 218-86 advantage in first half yardage, played perfectly against the soon-to-be unanimous MVP of the league and yet they are LOSING the game and are getting shutout by the 30th ranked defense in the NFL.
This is not good. At. All.
2:05: Jay Glazer is reporting from Korea with our troops. There is no sign of Hawkeye or Hot Lips, just an immensely annoying oaf wearing a Packers uniform doing the Rodgers touchdown celebration. I hope Kim Jong-Il finds this gump and throws him into a tank full of sharks.
(90 minutes in and we have had M*A*S*H and Cheers resets. Harry Anderson and Bull Shannon are waiting with bated breath for the second half.)
2:08: The commercial with the Lions players riding the Play60 bus is airing. Barry Sanders is playing the role of the bus driver, a job that Lions VP Tom Lewand was going to have before he imbibed too many breath mints during the shoot.
(Considering Lewand is a fan of the DSR and a follower of mine on Twitter, I really feel bad about that joke, but it was just too damn good to pass up. Well, that and I’m a HUGE asshole.)
2:09: Joe Buck just announced Nickelback and that went over as big as if he proclaimed Toyota as the presenting sponsor of this halftime show. These guys should have just embraced the hate, gone total HEEL and donned Claude Lemieux jerseys and Kwame Kilpatrick masks during their performance.
2:13: Wait, all of that angst for ONE song?!?!? I mean, people actually signed an online petition to protest that horrid band from singing ONE song?
I don’t get why people get so irate about halftime musical guests. Who cares?
I am actually quite excited about Madonna performing at the Super Bowl, but you will have to excuse me while I go create an online petition stating that she only is allowed to perform, “Rainbow High”, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and “Buenos Aires” during her performance.
2:20: Has anyone considered that the Lions problems on special teams might have something to do with employing a 70-year old kicker who seems to be the only guy in the NFL who can’t take advantage of the new rules and boot the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs?
2:24: The Lions lack of defensive backfield depth is starting to bite them in the ass as Rodgers begins the second half by leading the Packers right down the field through the air.
2:28: CB Aaron Berry is now out of the game with cramps as the team is now down to two CBs. While the trainer looks for some cranberry juice for Berry, Martin Mayhew just left his suite to suit up.
2:30: After a big 3rd and Goal stop, Ndamukong Suh decides to give a leg stomp to Evan Dietrich-Smith. In all fairness to Suh, I just think he was setting Dietrich-Smith up for his finishing move, the Figure-Four Leg Lock later in the game.
Anyway, Suh is ejected from the game for this asinine maneuver and appears to defend his actions to his head enabler, errr, I mean, head coach on the way off the field.
I will have my full opinion on this situation at the end of this diary, but I will say this, the best way to demonstrate that you aren’t a dirty player is to stomp on a guy’s arm when 29 million people are watching a nationally televised, holiday game.
2:34: The Packers take advantage of their second chance and Suh’s stupidity with a John Kuhn TD run. So instead of a 10-0 deficit, the Lions now trail 14-0 and will play the remainder of the game without their most impactful defensive lineman, their best corner and top safety.
I wonder if the star of “Brothers” still likes the Lions chances and I am not talking about Chill Mitchell or Carl Weathers
2:42: Another promising drive ends when Stafford throws an interception to some dude named FRANCOIS. The Thanksgiving game was more enjoyable when I was rooting for the Lions to lose so they could improve their draft position.
2:44: Rodgers connects with James (Not Earl) Jones for a touchdown to put Green Bay up 21-0. Can someone get Nickelback back on the field so they can jam “Burn it to the Ground?”
2:47: I wanted to assassinate the whining bitch that suffers a nervous breakdown while perusing the Target “Black Friday” flyer BEFORE THIS GAME STARTED. Now, I want Wee-Bey, Stinkum and Bird to torture this annoying cunt before they murder her.
2:51: Charles Woodson just stole the ball out of Brandon Pettigrew’s hands for the Packers third interception of the game. I don’t think this INT can be blamed on Stafford’s finger or the wind at Soldier Field. Just give credit to one of the best cornerbacks who has ever played this game.
2:55: The score is now 24-0 as Crosby tacks on a field goal. If I weren’t doing this diary, I’d be putting up our Atheist Holiday Tree by now.
3:02: Speaking of reasons not to believe in god …. I miss Killer. Don’t forget, his annual party will still be occurring this year at the Brewhaus in Keego Harbor on December 15th.
3:05: The Lions score their first TD of the game on a run by Keiland Williams and convert the 2-point conversion to make the score 24-8 with 13:11 remaining in the game.
3:06: I’d try an onside kick at this point. I mean, there is a 50/50 shot that the Lions piss-poor coverage unit will allow a kickoff return to our side of the field anyway.
3:11: Troy Aikman just gave a five-minute explanation on why the Lions OBVIOUSLY went for two when they scored that touchdown. Because it wasn’t apparent that with time running out, it would be better to trail by two scores than three.
3:12: In response to Aikman, Skip Bayless just Tweeted that Aikman is a “fag.”
3:15: The Lions defense (which has been damn good all afternoon considering they are playing SEVERELY shorthanded) just stopped the Packers offense again keeping the remote hope of a miracle comeback alive.
3:17: Former Lions defensive end Sam Williams is wishing all of us a Happy Thanksgiving while demonstrating that retired players obviously do not get dental insurance through their pension.
3:23: After a moronic three and out for the Lions, I can only find one positive from today’s game: Nick Buoniconti, Mercury Morris and William Clay Ford, Sr. are going to have a miserable Thanksgiving dinner.
And speaking of the Lions owner, I never addressed the Jerry Green column in the Detroit News from a couple weeks ago titled, “Lions’ honorable owner William Clay Ford deserves a winner.”
I actually commenced a 2,000 word column rebutting Green’s asinine take that Ford, Sr. deserves anything but a funeral precession beginning at the Verheyden Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Park.
But in the middle of the article I got worried that either Green or Ford would croak before I finished the piece and I would look like a real dick for picking on a pair of octogenarians.
But I do want to quote one paragraph from Green’s column for posterity:
“Bill Ford suffered more than any Lions fan through the 0-16 season just three years ago. From the early years with Russ Thomas as general manager through the lamentable years of Matt Millen, Ford has suffered more than any of the folks who shrieked for heads to roll, who castigated quarterbacks and coaches.”
Yes, Ford suffered more than the Lions fans who, unlike the inept Lions owner, were incapable of doing SOMETHING to insure that Thomas and Millen didn’t have jobs!!!!
Yes, Mister Ford was suffering more than Lions fans when he was flying in his private jet down to his Florida mansion on a golf course during the winter.
Yep, Mister Ford was really broken up about the Millen Era while he vacationed at his home in the Hamptons or visited his condo in Las Vegas or his home in California.
In my next life, I just hope I can “suffer” as much as William Clay Ford, Sr.
I don’t want to say Jerry Green is an old, out of touch hack, but the man was fired from the Detroit News years ago and then won an AGE DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT against the paper.
This occurred so LONG AGO that you can’t find anything about it on the World Wide Web.
So to put this in context, the News got rid of Green because of his AGE years before the Internet was even INVENTED.
Yet, he is now allowed to write a WEB-only column for them.
Only in Detroit.
3:28: Packer 27 Lions 8. Meanwhile, ten minutes to post for the Mr. Sulu Stakes at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans (site of the Lions next game.) The winning horse gets to blow Brad in the shower.
3:38: The Fox cameras catch a glimpse of Ford, Sr. in his personal suite. Looks a little too healthy for my taste. Dude has got to have more lives than Montgomery Burns.
3:39: With 11 seconds remaining, Calvin Johnson scores a meaningless touchdown.
Final score – Green Bay 27 Detroit 15
9:45: While watching the Lady Gaga Thanksgiving Special on ABC, I caught a preview of the movie version of Mitch Albom’s, “Have a Little Faith.” It would appear that Albom is played in the movie by Eric from “Billy Madison.” You know, the sniveling little douche bag with the weasely laugh who attempts to derail Billy’s attempt to complete grade 1 through 12 in 24 weeks so he could take over his pop’s hotel chain.
That guy is playing Frodo Baggins? Yeah, sounds about right.
9:47: I am sure every jerkoff with a microphone or a keyboard will be commenting on the Suh ejection over the next few days, but here is my take on the situation anyway.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column stating the Lions should embrace the “Bad Boys” image that is being placed upon them by the league.
I still believe that there is nothing wrong with playing the game with a chip on your shoulder and anything that elicits memories of those Pistons teams of the late 80s is okay by me. (Especially considering what a doormat this franchise has been for the last decade.)
But there is a huge difference between being a dirty player and being a stupid player and Suh crossed over that line today.
For all of his personal foul penalties in the last two seasons (I think the count is up to nine at this point), the only two that really bother me are today’s play and last year when he tried to go all “Game of Thrones” on Jake Delhomme by decapitating him.
I’ve got no issue with Suh if he wants to play the role of the asshole like Bill Laimbeer did for those “Bad Boys” teams. But Laimbeer NEVER would have jeopardized his team’s season by doing something as idiotic as Suh did today.
Not only did he potentially cost the Lion the game, he might will be forced to sit out the team’s first Sunday Night Football appearance in New Orleans in ten days.
Laimbeer was always dirty, but never dumb and if Suh wants to continue this persona he might want to sit down with the former Pistons center for a refresher course before he starts losing paychecks and endorsement deals.
(Subway hasn’t had this sort of PR dilemma since it was rumored that Jared had run a porn movie rental business out of his apartment while he was in college.)
After the game Suh basically insinuated that he only had to answer to the man upstairs for his behavior, but the reality is he will have a lot of explaining to do in the days ahead and none of it will be with his imaginary friend in the sky.
He will have to meet with Roger Goodell who most likely will sit his ass in the press box for at least the Saints game. (Although it could work in Suh’s favor that the game is going to be nationally televised and Goodell might be desirous of having the Lions most marketable player on the field for that matchup.)
And he will also have to deal with an angry bunch of Lions fans who are desperate for a playoff berth and will rightfully be angry at the completely selfish act of a player they have treated like a messiah since his arrival in town.
I would speculate that he would have to answer to Schwartz and Mayhew for his behavior, but I am afraid that ship sailed long ago when the Lions brass could have nipped this stuff in the bud instead of defending their defensive tackle’s moronic actions.
Forget Goodell, Schwartz, Mayhew or even his defensive coordinator, Gunther Cunningham.
Our best hope that someone can straighten Suh out is his family. It seems his older sister, Ngum Suh, is one of the few people in this world the man actually trusts.
And if that doesn’t work …… “I’ll consider myself a dirty player when my mom calls me a dirty player,” Suh said earlier this year.
Well, Mrs. Suh, it is time to have a heart-to-heart with your son.