By Jeff Moss
January 7, 2015
What constitutes a successful year for a sports team? Even for someone as title-obsessed as myself, I don’t believe the only measure of achievement is a championship parade.
For example, nobody could say the 2014 Michigan State Spartans football team was a failure after only losing two games — to the eventual National Championship participants — while capping it off with a miraculous Cotton Bowl victory.
The 2013-14 Red Wings season was a success if only because Ken Holland’s “Kid’s Aren’t the Answer” and “It’s a Men’s League” philosophy came crashing down around him when the contributions of Tomas Tatar, Gus Nyquist, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan bailed the team out.
While the GM’s albatross of veteran contracts (Todd Bertuzzi, Jordin Tootoo, Mikael Samuelsson, Dan Cleary, etc.) put the team in a huge hole, the “kids” led the franchise to another postseason appearance.
Even after suffering a first-round playoff loss to the Boston Bruins, nobody could say the young Wings’ development was anything but an unexpected triumph. After four recent titles, that particular Motor City franchise doesn’t owe us anything until 2030 anyway.
Which brings us to the subject of today’s article …. Jamie “Milquetoast” Samulesen’s blog post on the Freep website yesterday in which he had the nerve to label the 2014 Lions season a SUCCESS.
What?!??!?! Yep, this vanilla, middle-of-the-road, trust-fund adult had the audacity to state that a team that has never appeared in a Super Bowl (the only non-expansion team left that carries around that humiliation); hasn’t won a road playoff game in 57 years; and has only won ONE home postseason contest in that time had a SUCCESSFUL season because they earned the last playoff berth in the NFC and exited without a playoff win ….. AGAIN.
A success?!??!?!!?!?!?!??!? Are you fucking kidding me? The Lions beat ONE team with a winning record all season long and barely sneaked by inferior opponents on the way to a mirage of an 11-5 season.
Meanwhile, their garbage quarterback regressed in almost all facets of the game. Yep, Matthew Stafford still hasn’t defeated a winning team on the road in his CAREER. And please spare me the “he reduced his turnovers this season” bullshit. Yeah, because Jim Caldwell and Joe Lombardi decided to take zero risks this year with the vertical passing game.
I would have gladly taken a few more interceptions this season if it meant the 50-yard bomb throws to Calvin Johnson would have remained in the playbook. What Lombardi and Caldwell did to this offense in 2014 in the name of limiting interceptions was the equivalent of Scarlett Johansson theoretically deciding to get a double mastectomy in order to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer.
But I digress …..
Remember when the Lions fired Jim Schwartz and brought in Caldwell? Martin Mayhew and Tom Lewand said that everything they were doing was consistent with winning IMMEDIATELY.
Not in 2016.
Not in the future.
That’s why the team didn’t pick up Nick Fairley’s 2015 option; they wanted to motivate him for THIS season. It’s the same song-and-dance they gave us when they took Eric Ebron with the tenth pick overall in the draft. And signed Golden Tate and James Ihedigbo.
It was all about winning in 2014 — before Ndamukong Suh had a chance to leave town — and they still failed to even win ONE playoff game in a year they laid all of their cards out on the table.
Somehow this no-personality talk show host — who does a 40-minute nightly show on 97.1 and can’t leapfrog dynamic radio personalities like Scott “The Whale” Anderson and Terry Foster — thinks this season was a success?!!?!?!?!?!?
Here is what would make ANY given Lions season a success: WINNING THE FUCKING SUPER BOWL.
That’s the bar.
NOTHING SHORT OF THAT IS EITHER ACCEPTABLE OR CAN BE LABELED A “SUCCESS.”
That is what happens when you fuck your fan base over for six decades and repeatedly step on our hearts.
This is what occurs when you run the best player you’ve ever had into retirement because he can’t handle the losing culture any longer.
These are the consequences of keeping Matt Millen in a position of power for five years longer than ANY other franchise would have allowed.
They’ve burned through all of their collateral. Any remaining goodwill has gone out the god damn window.
There will have been 49 Super Bowls played after next month’s BIG GAME and the Lions, Texans, Browns and Jaguars are the only teams to never reach that event.
If you add up the total years of existence of those other three franchises you won’t even get to 49 fucking years!!!!
The Lions are The Shield’s poster boy for futility. This San Francisco interloper’s suggestion that a first-round exit as a #6 seed is a success is nothing but disgusting pandering.
Hey, Jizz Bucket, the baseball organization you root for has won THREE of the last FIVE World Series.
In other words, since President Obama was elected, JB’s baseball team has won two more World Series than the Lions have won PLAYOFF games since the Eisenhower administration.
And he has the balls to write an online blog stating this Lions season was a success?
And please save me the argument that the team is in a better position this year under Caldwell than last under Schwartz so it makes what occurred in 2014 some sort of achievement. I remember the 1990s, when the Lions basically alternated winning seasons with losing ones depending on schedule strength under Wayne Fontes.
And 2014 smells like the same old shit we used to get under the Big Buck, which led to flushing Barry Sanders’ career down the drain and #20 faxing his retirement papers to the team on the eve of training camp.
Well, Jamie, if you want to call wasting ANOTHER year of Calvin Johnson’s prime some sort of achievement, I will have to disagree with you.
This motherfucking low-expectation town and its accompanying pathetic media clowns.
#1PlayoffWinIn57Years and this shitbag wants to give the franchise a gold star.
Ya gotta believe me.