Though long predictable, it's become a very bad joke. That would be the Detroit Lions and their ever-koolaided media trying to sell them again this year. Let's take a closer look.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been hailed as the best QB since the heady days of Bobby Layne -- way back in the 50s. Probably true enough, but that's a mighty low standard given the QBs they've had in the meantime.
He's thrown for a bazillion yards. Also true, but the lack of a decent running game forces him to throw so much. And after almost a decade, Stafford is yet to win a single playoff game.
Head coach Jim Caldwell has become what he always was. In past years, he was a decent coordinator working under other successful head coaches but, when given the reins of command himself, quickly crashed and burned. The Peter Principle is very much alive and well when it comes to Caldwell. As long as he's there, the Lions have ZERO chance of ever becoming Super Bowl worthy.
Their offensive coordinator is named Jim Bob Cooter. Hey, when a guy named Jim Bob is in charge of formulating offensive strategy and calling the plays, you just might be in trouble.
The Lions and their minions have claimed defensive coordinator Terry Austin is good enough to have been offered a head coaching job himself. So far he's been shunned by all the other teams.
Perhaps there's a good reason for this. In the classic novel "The Scarlet Letter", heroine/bad girl Hester Prynne was tagged with an "A" for adulteress.
Consider that no Lion head coach in history, after cycling through Detroit and inevitably being fired, has ever gone on to another head coaching position. And the list is long. Given the long history of the "good-ole-boy" coaching carousel merry-go-round the NFL has been, whereby most everybody gets another shot or two after being canned, it seems puzzling.
Yet Rooney Rule or not (Austin is African-American), perhaps he's been tagged with an "L". "Lions" or "loser", take your pick. Like Ms. Prynne, others may well see him as tainted goods.
Their offensive line remains a "work in progress". Well gee, when hasn't it been?
They've got one old veteran cast off from another team to anchor their defensive line, another younger player that has difficulty staying healthy, and a bunch of maybes.
No notable wide receivers, nor even tight ends. The running game still projects to be toothless if even their mediocre backs can stay healthy -- no given either,
Other than one semi-decent "cover guy" the secondary remains a work in progress as well.
No linebackers that could likely start for any other NFL team.
And they're still owned by the Fords. Long time patriarch William Clay passed on a while back after over a half century of utter futility, now his 90ish year old widow and daughters are in charge. Good luck with that.
What did they do? Hired an "estate planner" as President of the team. A guy that even admitted he didn't know squat about pro football. Ah yes, the genius of the Ford family when it comes to gridiron matters continues to amaze.
Put it all together and what do you have?
Like natives of the tropical zones in the world can't grasp the concept of snow, ice, and subzero temperatures, or polar residents the idea of air conditioning to cool things down, the Lions, their faithful, if ridiculously gullible fans -- and the local media -- can't seem to get their heads around the idea that some things just aren't meant to be.
No, they won't be going to the Super Bowl again this year either. Or next year. Or the one after that. Or ever. It -- just -- ain't -- gonna -- happen.
From top to bottom, it's still the same sorry bunch.
Until the Fords sell to somebody that not only cares about winning, but actually has a plan for how to do it, and hires competent personnel to accomplish it, nothing's going to change.
Even if that happens, it would take many years to build even a contender, let alone a team with the slightest chance of getting to the Big Dance.
The whole works needs to be blown up and started over.
In the meantime they will continue to plod along, and the suckers will come thinking this just might be the year, while the media eggs them on.
It truly is a sorry state of affairs. But hey, if this is what yanks their crank -- go for it.
Excuse me if I chuckle at it once in a while.....