Monday, September 25, 2006

It's Not Easy Being Blue

Yesterday was a tough day.
I've been through many
like it before.

You see...I cheer for a
very bad football team.
But this year was supposed
to be different.
(how many times have I
repeated that same line to start the season?)

This year they brought in a no-nonsense, hard-nosed disciplinarian for a head coach. All those clich├ęd adjectives that make you start to believe that things will turn around. And they hired an offensive genius (albeit a psychotic one) to turn all the potential on that side of the ball into productivity, and victories. I can't stand the guy, but if he's gonna help get my favorite team 10 wins, then he's my best friend.

The boys in Honolulu blue and silver are 0-3.
And I feel like I need a 12-step program.
My name is Gregg...and I'm a Detroit Lions fan.

It all started innocently enough, watching a speedy little running back come out of Oklahoma State and get drafted by the Lions in 1989 (the Packers passed him up by the way...for Tony Mandarich). Barry Sanders had electric feet, and tree trunks for thighs. And he could change directions in mid-air! Twice!

I was hooked, and before I knew it I had a Lions sweatshirt. Then I had three. Then I had a couple baseball mugs...refrigerator decals...boxer shorts...Detroit Lions shampoo...jackets...rookie cards...on and on and on. I was a fan. And 15-plus years later, I'm still a fan, and I've got the ulcers to prove it.

If it wouldn't cost so much to change wardrobes, I'd probably start wearing an Indianapolis Colts horseshoe on my chest instead of a lion. But I remain loyal.

The game that's marked the boldest on the schedule every year (seeing as how there are no nail-biting games at the end of the season to determine playoff seeding) is the Lions/Packers game at Ford Field in Detroit. One they can win. One they should win. This they really shouldn't lose. And they lost.

They lost in a shootout to an aging gunslinger. Where, oh where, is my team going to end up?

The interesting part about Sunday was how different it felt to go out in public in a replica Barry Sanders jersey and Lions cap before the game...and then have to wear the same clothes to run errands after the game was over, before being able to sneak home and bury the stuff in the back of the closet.

It was...uncomfortable. I could feel all the snickers and chuckles bouncing off of me as I picked up groceries for the week ahead. And I deserved them.

With all due respect to Kermit the Frog, even if the Packers are as awful as I think they're going to be for the rest of this season, it's a hell of a lot easier being green in these parts than it is being blue.

"Fans don't boo nobodies."
—Reggie Jackson


  1. Cheer up. There's always the memories of 1991. Thumb's up! Then of course there was that previous playoff win... in 1957.

  2. ...and I thought being a Packer fan was pathetic...thanks for keeping things in perspective. Go GB!!

  3. Ahhh, yes...1957. Those were the good ol' days. How sad is it that you just wrote the highlights of an entire sports franchise's history in 21 words?

    Brad, I really wish it wasn't my role to help make Packers fans feel better about themselves! But I don't think I have a choice in the matter, do I?

  4. Sometimes, I think, the only role I play in life is that of a "bad example"...

    Perhaps your "team of choice" is doing just that...?