Op-Ed: Fans of the Detroit Lions should be more grateful
The Detroit Lions are statistically one of the NFL’s worst franchises; yet they might have the most intriguing fanbase in all sports, and it stems from their delusion and false entitlement. For some reason, they think every sought-after player or coach wants to come to Detroit. Furthermore, they blame the Lions’ front office for not acquiring them.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at any social media site you frequently visit.
It doesn’t matter if it is Facebook, Instagram, or my personal favorite, Twitter, the delusion from Lions fans is remarkable to witness. Part of this stems from the support they’ve given the team. From countless losing seasons––including a dreadful 0-16 one in 2008––to being screwed by the referees in numerous games, the Lions fans “done seen it all” like Young Jeezy.
Despite that, their fans blame the organization for not landing a particular player or coach, ignoring that Detroit––in general–– isn’t a free-agent destination. Heck, Dearborn-native Robert Saleh, who accepted the NY Jets head coach position, is a recent example.
In a short while, that sentiment can change. The Lions are going through a culture change. It’s taking place in both the front office and coaching staff. With the work they’re accomplishing on both sides, Lions fans may witness “winning football” in the next few years. That time is not right now, though. Until then, Lions fans should be happy. If a player or coach expresses a desire to come to Detroit, they should receive a warm welcome from everyone.
This sentiment goes double for Dan Campbell and Jared Goff.
How can any Lions fan not love Dan Campbell desire to be in Detroit?
When Dan Campbell spoke at his introductory press conference, critics of his hiring overlooked one crucial thing: he wanted the Lions’ head coach position. He expressed his desire to be in Detroit at length. He even instructed his agent to do what was necessary to get him in front of Sheila Ford-Hamp. Campbell said he identified with the job because he knew the city well and was a former Detroit Lion.
It’s part of the reason the Lions fanbase understood his quote about biting off kneecaps and patellas. Only in Detroit would such a damning quote go over so well; because, like it or not, Detroit is a violent city. Campbell knows this and spoke the city’s language.
This reason alone is why fans should support him. Campbell reportedly received a six-year deal to become the Lions’ next head coach. Most coaches receive four or five-year contracts. Campbell’s deal signals that he’s committed to the organization’s total “retooling” from the ground up.
Shouldn’t fans want a guy committed to the lengthy process needed bring a winner in Detroit? Along those same lines, why wouldn’t fans wish to a quarterback––one with a winning playoff resume–– in Detroit as well?
Jared Goff is coming to Detroit with a chip on his shoulder.
If anyone forgot, let me remind you that Matthew Stafford requested a trade from the Detroit Lions. People can debate the reason(s) until they’re Honolulu Blue in the face, but he was ready to leave Detroit.
Jared Goff wants to be in Detroit.
After the Lions traded Stafford to the LA Rams for Goff and the host of picks, Goff expressed his excitement to become a Detroit Lion.
“I’m just excited to be somewhere that I know wants me and appreciates me,” Goff told NFL.com on Sunday morning. “I’m moving forward and couldn’t be more excited to build a winner there.”
Think about this for a second. Goff is a two-time Pro Bowler. He led the Rams to division titles, a Super Bowl appearance, where they lost to arguably the GOAT QB/HC combo. Heck, Goff recently game-managed the Rams to a playoff victory with an injured thumb on his throwing hand. Then he was traded for a QB who is winless in the postseason.
Then the Rams kicked him out the backdoor like a side-chick. Don’t you think that guy is coming to the Lions with a chip on his shoulder?
I’ll answer that question for you: he most certainly is!
According to reports, Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke with Goff shortly after the trade broke. Campbell made it clear that he views his newest QB as a starter. With that vote of confidence in him––something that disappeared during his time in Los Angeles––it’s possible that Goff plays the best football of his career in a Lions jersey.
It’s also very possible this could be a total trainwreck for both Campbell and Goff. Nevertheless, these two guys are now the face of the Lions’ efforts to retool their organization. Fans should embrace them both.
Yes, they have a lot to prove in the upcoming season. Nevertheless, here’s a suggestion for Lions’ fans. Instead of complaining about who chose not to be here, try being thankful. Not many people want to be in Detroit. The Lions’ front office now have people who do.