“Take that monkey sh*t off, you embarrassing us,” were the words of late-hip-hop artist, Pimp C. That was my first thought several days ago. It’s when I witnessed a monstrosity floating around social media. I saw a “Detroit Rams” mock-up shirt. And, of course, some Detroit Lions fans, who still love Matthew Stafford, were sharing it.
At first, it was funny to me.
It’s no secret that the Detroit Lions have not provided fans with great memories. The team hasn’t won a playoff game in over 30 years. And they haven’t won a division title since 1993. So Lions fans living vicariously through Stafford is somewhat understandable. They want to see their guy “9”, whom they cheered for 12 years, succeed.
However, something happened that I didn’t expect.
The Detroit Rams went from being a mock-up shirt to reality. Sports apparel stores, such as Pro Sports Zone in Livonia, began selling the actual shirt. The logo on the shirt is the head of the Rams logo on the body of the lion on the Lions’ logo. And sitting atop the logo is Detroit Rams lettering in a block-style font.
Now the people are Pro Sports Zone are great. I met the owner, John Yu, while working at a charity golf event last year. He’s a great guy. And a smart businessperson at that. Why wouldn’t he sell that t-shirt if he knows it will sell? It’s a no-brainer.
Nevertheless, no self-respecting Detroit Lions fans would ever purchase such an item.
It’s lame. It’s pathetic. And it’s a slap in the face to the true fandom of a sports franchise. Don’t get it twisted. I am not saying the Detroit Lions deserve your loyalty. If the misery of the team has continuously broken your heart, and you’re truly done, then by all means, do what you feel. However, if you ever call yourself supporting the team again in any shape, fashion, or form, don’t make that purchase.
In professional sports, there are winners are losers. It’s always been that way. And it won’t ever change. Unfortunately for Lions fans, they can only identify with losing. And on Sunday afternoon, Matthew Stafford will be playing in the biggest game of his life. Super Bowl LVI, feels like a win for some of them.
In the end, if Stafford leads the Rams to a Super Bowl victory in his first season away from Detroit, the championship parade route isn’t going down Woodward Avenue. It won’t be a big celebration near Campus Martius. There won’t be any glitz and glamor celebrating this milestone. Unless Detroiters travel to LA, they won’t experience any of this. Hate it or love it, if the LA Rams win Super Bowl LVI, it isn’t a win for Detroit. There’s no significant meaning. While the Detroit Rams thing started as a joke, it ended up making the city and its football fans look like a joke.
So take heed to Pimp C’s advice.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.