Monday, December 17, 2012

The Detroit Lions and Shakespeare

As the three witches chimed together during the first scene of Macbeth --
"Fair is foul and foul is fair
Hover through the fog and filthy air."

Things didn't turn out so hot for Macbeth in the end.

Everybody knows who William (the Bard of Avon) Shakespeare was. Including Macbeth, he wrote 37 entire plays, a bunch of sonnets and other stuff, and his works not only remain famous to this day, almost 400 years after he died in 1616, they're required reading in many courses of study.

For all his brilliance, yours truly would offer up the notion that William Shakespeare somehow had the Detroit Lions in mind when he was penning his works.

After all, he wrote both tragedies and comedies. There have been times when the Lions fit both categories.

In the tragedy department, Julius Caesar could easily be compared to Lions' owner William Clay Ford. They both had wealth and power beyond the imagination of most common people, but didn't have a clue what was really going on right under their uppity noses. King Lear? Try Matt Millen.

The comedies (farces) should be obvious when it comes to the Lions. Name a fan or a year they've been rooting for that team and I'll give you "Love's Labour's Lost" when the season is over.

Yet they will always be back the following year. How do they get the ridiculous notion that an historical  "A Comedy of Errors" will magically transform itself into a contender when the curtain goes up for the next performance? There can only be one explanation. It came to them in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Personally, I think maybe they need a fan in their bedrooms to keep the air moving around during the dog days of summer, because this goes beyond night sweats -- these people are getting delirious. Next thing you know, they'll think Romeo and Juliet honeymooned in Vegas, hit the lotto, and are still living happily ever after in a mansion in the Hamptons on Long Island. Too much heat and hype can do that to people. But that's just my opinion.

Last year the Lions went 10-6 and, FINALLY, screamed the Honolulu blue and silver junkies, it will be glorious next year. A really good "fix" is on the way. As it turned out, look at the Lions this year. Who would dispute last season was "Much Ado About Nothing"?

Shakespeare only lived to be 52. The body of work he churned out over his liftime is incredible. Yet there's a certain cruel irony that comes into play. It's been right around 52 years since the Lions were competitive. Over the course of all that time they've written a lot of tragedies and, of course, comedies as well.

Their latest farce was just getting blown out to the tune of 4 touchdowns worth, by the Arizona Cardinals, who themselves were stampeded 58-0 last week. How bad is THAT?

What's truly hilarious is seeing others maintain that the Lions are "disappointing" this season. Though there are laws against such things nowadays, back in Shakespeare's time, one could have justifiably taken such a nincompoop by the shoulders, shook them until their eyes bugged out, and screamed in their faces -- "What strange kingdom dost thy come from that breeds such fools? The Lions have been disappointing EVERY season for over 50 years. Hast thee been blinder than Sophocles' Oedipus to the obvious? Hello? Anybody home between your ears? ". Then bitch-slap them a couple times for good measure just because they had it coming for continuing to spout stupidity --  but that's not allowed these days. Alas, we must suffer the fools. Tis a pity.

Which brings me back to the witches. "Fair is foul and foul is fair" somehow reminds yours truly of a guy named Ndamukong Suh, and "hover through the fog and filthy air" would seem to be appropriate for the Lions' entire Super-Bowl era team history.

Once upon a time, I took a course in college that required me to read all 37 Shakespeare plays. That was a whole lot of reading on top of the other courses I was taking. I didn't understand some of it then, and I've forgotten a great deal since, but Shakespeare's works live on, as well they should.

Perhaps someday, 400 years from now, the Lions' body of work will still be required reading.

It should be as well. "How NOT to run a professional sports franchise -- volumes one through ongoing".


  1. Whoa, whoa, whoa, Tell us how you really feel John. That is a great analogy by the way. You remember more about Shakespeare than I do, of course I was a law and accounting major, lots of reading, just not so much Shakespeare. LOL

    The Princess

    1. Thanks Princess. I was an engineering major and thought that particular elective would be a breeze until I saw the required reading. Yikes. A Princess that's a lawyer and an accountant both? G'won. Next thing you'll be telling me is the Lions are going to the Super Bowl next year. LOL