Wow. It's not even Thanksgiving yet and already Santa Claus is hawking Mercedes on TV. Maybe that finally answers the age-old question of where he gets all the money required for him and his elves to make and deliver a bazillion toys every year. And who knew he had a warehouse chock full of classic red cars in mint condition?
Regarding the Detroit Lions -- they seem to find themselves in much the same position they were last year. After starting out 6-3 in 2013, the usual gang of Honolulu blue and silver sappies were chugging their Koolaid like a Hummer does gas in 4-wheel drive. Playoffs, here we come, maybe even -- gasp -- the Super Bowl.
They had three "winnable" home games remaining, and even surprisingly blistered the Packers 40-10 on Thanksgiving. Alas, they would go on to lose to Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and the NY Giants at home, plus drop the finale at Minnesota to finish 7-9. Put another way, they self-destructed to lose 6 of their last 7 games to Hindenberg yet another season. The ever-present Koolaid had -- SURPRISE -- quickly turned rancid. Again.
And now another word from our sponsors. OK, the Mony Mony ad featuring another imported car was really catchy once, twice, maybe even 5 times. But after seeing it for at least the thousandth time -- this is getting really old, not to mention irritating. C'mon guys. Can't you come up with something new, or do you think Americans are just -- that -- stupid?
So now the Lions find themselves with another so-called "easy" stretch. The play Da Bears on Thanksgiving, followed by dates with the Buccaneers and Vikings -- all at home. Currently at 7-4, and after two predictable losses at Arizona and New England, the Lions should be able to cruise to 10-4. After that is a game at Chicago. Also winnable. Maybe even 11-4 going into the regular season finale at Green Bay. They can likely forget about winning that one. The Packers have been pumping it up as a team even more than Aaron Rodgers has in his own stupid commericials with Hans and Franz.
But an 11-5 record would surely get the Lions into the playoffs -- right? Maybe even a home game or -- holy Bobby Layne -- two. So quoth the Koolaiders. Again.
Yet why does that nagging Murphy's Law feeling persist when it comes to this team going down the stretch this year? Though solidly behind them (chug chug), it's almost like the Lions' faithful sense their team will unravel faster than Bill Cosby's reputation. Again.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out. First up, Da Bears on Thanksgiving. If the Lions win that one to go 8-4, with a long week to prepare for Tampa Bay, the Koolaid will be flying off the shelves.
But..... if they get beat to become 7-5 (entirely possible -- they're 2-11 on Turkey day home games since 2001), the lug nuts just might get a little loose. Last year it got worse and the wheels wound up falling off entirely.
Forget the Koolaid. For the long-suffering fans, that was likely replaced with 80-100 proof stuff to ease their pain. Again. If you're going to root for the Lions, it's not a bad idea to have some serious booze around -- just in case the usual happens. Getting hammered might not be the best plan in the world, but at least it enables one to forget about their team getting hammered, again, if only for a short while. And suffering through over 50 years of futility is just about enough to drive anybody to drink.
And the Lions continue to take full advantage of it. Did you know they charge more per fluid ounce of beer than any other team in the NFL? Their cheapest option is a 16 ounce draft beer which costs $8.50. That's a mark-up of roughly 765% over a typical grocery store price. And that's for KEG beer, as opposed to stores selling the civilized real stuff in cans or bottles. Doing the price/fluid ounce math, a half barrel of beer at Ford Field retails for over a THOUSAND DOLLARS. How incredibly price-gouging is THAT? The second highest mark-up in the league is in Seattle. But they're Super Bowl champions, while the Lions haven't won anything since long before Super Bowls even began, way back in the Eisenhower administration, fittingly enough just about the time the Edsel made it's ill-fated debut. Something is very wrong with this picture.
But one never knows. The Lions could run the table in the regular season to finish 12-4, bash their way through the playoffs, and wind up in Arizona, playing in the Super Bowl in February against whoever comes out of the AFC. It's possible.
So is yours truly coughing up a grand apiece for kegs of beer the next time I throw a yard party.
But let's just say the odds are slim of either happening and leave it at that.