If the ghosts of “Same Old Lions” are still floating around the franchise, then they will lose Sunday’s home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I bring this up because of the passionate quote from left tackle Taylor Decker after the Lions Thanksgiving near miss against the Buffalo Bills. He proclaimed SOL to be dead.“This isn’t the f—— same old Lions,” he said. “We’re gonna go out there and we’re gonna gain that respect.”
Decker is right. He is also wrong.
He is correct in that the Lions are improving. They are not the same old Lions that we saw under Matt Patricia. However, they were the same old Lions against Buffalo because they played their asses off, had an opportunity to win, but late coaching mistakes and poor execution cost them a chance to beat Buffalo.
The other day I got yelled at on Twitter by someone who said “Same Old Lions” is when the team gets behind in games and makes a fake come back to make the score close. I could tell that the person was young. Same Old Lions is much deeper than that.
He brought up recent demons that have crippled the Lions. SOL has been on the tongues of this fan base since the 1970s. And it still rattles around over 50 years later.
Same Old Lions is beginning a season 6-2 and failing to make the playoffs.
Same Old Lions is winning games after you are out of the playoff hunt, thus ruining draft position.
Same Old Lions is complaining about the starting quarterback and dreaming of his replacement. And it is complaining that he cannot win a playoff game. But that QB moves on and wins playoff games elsewhere. It has happened at least three times. Matthew Stafford could not win a playoff game in Detroit, but helped guide the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl title.
Rodney Peete left Detroit without a playoff win, leaves for the Philadelphia Eagles and beats the Lions in the playoffs.
People complain about Erik Kramer. He moves on and finds success elsewhere.
Same Old Lions is falling apart when bragging about recent successes.
Same Old Lions is winning a division title with a fifth place schedule, then finishing last the following year with a first-place schedule.
Same Old Lions is singing “Another One Bites the Dust”, then falling apart.
Same Old Lions is offensive lineman Lomas Brown guaranteeing a playoff victory only to find his team behind 51-7 at halftime during the game he was certain the Lions would win.
Same Old Lions is beginning a season 6-2, scolding the media for not believing in the team, and then failing to make the playoffs.
Same Old Lions is believing you have a shot to beat the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs, but losing 5-0.
Same Old Lions is Barry Sanders rushing 13 times in a playoff game for -1 yards.
Same Old Lions is losing Green Bay Packer star receiving Sterling Sharp on the last play of a playoff game because half the secondary thought they were playing Cover 2 and the other half thought they were playing Cover 3. Touchdown Sterling Sharpe.
Same Old Lions is coach Monte Clark praying for a game-winning field goal you knew would be miss.
Same Old Lions is always allowing a bean counter to weigh in on personnel decisions.
Same Old Lions is beating teams you have no business beating only to lose the next week to a team you have no business losing to.
Same Old Lions is Detroit fans believing next year will be different, then becoming irate when it isn’t.
I could go on and on and on. Same old Lions have a rich and tragic history.
If Decker is right, then the Lions validate and beat the Jags. If he’s wrong, then we will chant “Same old Lions” after a devastating loss to the Jags.