After watching my Detroit Lions flail about for some 40+ years, I have finally realized the reason they suck — that reason is me.
In particular, my absolutely inexcusable lack of statistical tracking of the Lions clothes I wear on game day.
How can the organization itself be blamed when I don’t know which shirts are “lucky” and which are not? How can the players be blamed when I don’t know which Lions hat results in a strong offensive output? How can I point fingers at the franchise when I’m not sure which Lions dog collar worn by the Dog of Døøm results in a positive turnover ratio?
Yes, I must accept responsibility. Pro sports these days are a numbers game. You track the statistics, you analyze the data, and you play to the math. If I haven’t taken a hard look at the computational analysis of my Lions’ gear, how can the team be expected to win more than, oh, say, three games a year?
Well, that stops right now. I have planned to do this for years, but frankly, I haven’t shown the grit and gumption of getting in the trenches and actually measuring which items of clothing produce positive results. This season, it will be different.
THE STATS: HAT, SHIRT, PUP COLLAR, SOCKS, PANTS.
- Shirts dominate this lineup. We’re very deep at the shirt position. This will be the area that management will be most focused on, as the variables are exponentially complex. After watching the Lions for a long goddamn time, I have accumulated many shirts.
- I’ve lost more hats than I can count. This, sadly, could be the reason for the Lions’ perpetually poor performance. What if the winning hat was left on a train in San Francisco? What if the winning hat wound up left behind a crock pot of cheese dip from a football party back in Michigan? At this point, I only have two hats. If the losing ways continue, this will have to be remedied.
- I only have two pup collars, and this seems to be the weakest area of the team. While I haven’t kept detailed stats, one thing stands out — the Lions have never won when the Dog of Døøm is wearing a Lions collar. I have two Lions collars. We are oh-fer when she’s wearing one of them. While it’s too early to give up on a high draft pick, there is the strong possibility that the collars are a washout altogether, and must be removed from the roster.
- Socks are optional. I have two pair at this time. I believe that my Lions slippers fit into the category of “team footwear.” We will evaluate clothing combinations, and as the season continues see if we need to bring these bad boys off the bench and into the lineup
- I only have one pair of pants in Honolulu Blue and Silver. They are pajama pants. Will I strut around a bar in pajamas, screaming at TVs as I use my mug of beer to point and gesticulate, sloshing precious Bud Light all about the place? You’re goddamn right I will, because I do what it takes for my team to win!*
WEEK ONE LINEUP:
• Hat: All-Black (0-1)
• Shirt: Ol Sigler (0-1)
• Pup Collar: Grey Nylon (0-1)
I was lazy. My pre-season camp was non-existent. I brought zero rookies and free agents into the organization. This year’s team is currently made up of veteran players.
Shirt: Against the Niners, I grabbed the first shirt atop my pile of Lions gear. I wasn’t even sure where I got this shirt. “Ol Sigler?” Wut? And #12? My number is #6, folks. Turns out this was a Christmas gift from my brother-in-law. I’m 99% sure this is what tanked the Lions against the Niners. Did I mention my number is #6? What the hell was I thinking wearing #12? This loss is on me. I need to do better, for the organization and for my teammates.
Hat: I went with my daily lid, a stunning all-black embroidered affair. This is the star player of the franchise, so we had to put it in for the opener. After the performance against San Fran, we’re putting this battered old vet on the bench for Week Two. Perhaps All-Black Hat is tired of the constant losing, I don’t know, but I am ignoring it’s request to be traded. You’re a Lion, All-Black Hat, and a Lion you will stay until you are either retired or I have too many beers and my head gets all hot when I’m standing hear the cheese dip.
Pup Collar: I gave with Grey Nylon the start over Football Leather. Why? It was a game-time decision (and also the first collar I found in the bin of collars and leashes). While the Lions did lose, I felt they had a lot of dog in the fight as they came back and had a chance to tie late in the game. That effort gets Grey Nylon a second start.
WEEK TWO LINEUP:
• Hat: Black & Blue Stretch (0-0)
• Shirt: Modern Honolulu Blue (0-0)
• Pup Collar: Grey Nylon (0-1)
I will admit, I am not optimistic for tonight’s Monday Night Football outing against the Green Bay Packers. Pack QB Aaron Rogers is 17-5 lifetime against the Lions. His lucky anti-Lions socks are 8-1 against Detroit. His other socks have a combined record of 9-4. No word from the Pack camp on if he’s trusting his lucky socks, or going with a rookie pair.
For this MNF tilt, I’m keeping Grey Nylon in place. We want that dog in the fight. Starting at shirt will be Modern Honolulu Blue. Time to give this guy a chance. Most often, the lineup is dominated by black, but the organization is rebuilding, and we’re eager to give younger shirts a shot. As for the hat, I found Black & Blue Stretch stuffed in the back of a junk drawer. I have no idea when I got this. Was it a gift? Did I trade it to a homeless guy for a bowl of soup? I can’t say. Let’s see if the mystery factor will help the cause.
Obviously, I have to do offensive and defensive breakdowns for these players as well, but that will come after Hell Week shipping is complete. Hey, at least the Ionath Krakens are a winning team, right?
*Sadly, no one has any idea of “what it takes to win” when it comes to the Lions. Sloshing beer might work, might not, who the fuck knows? Whether it works or not, at least there’s beer.