By the end of the night, one thing is clear — a decent number of Lions fans are actually rooting for 0-16. It’s like the stock market. Detroit needs to bottom out, they say, send owner William Clay Ford Sr. a message, before it can build itself back up. History? Bring it on. Might as well get something out of the season. Perception? Are 1-15 and 0-16 really that different?
Mike Moceri, a financial consultant and lifelong Lions fan, says there’s a huge difference. He was at a holiday party Sunday afternoon, cheering as if Barry Sanders were stretching for a touchdown that put Detroit in the playoffs. He says true Lions fans would never want to see their team lose.
"That’s something," Moceri says, "that will live with our city forever."
During the day, he takes calls from clients who need to dip into their retirement funds just to put food on the table. At night, he goes home and turns on 97.1 The Ticket to get his mind off the roiling economy. The Red Wings make fans happy. This summer, they won the Stanley Cup.
But lately, even sports radio has been filled with talk of subprime lending, foreclosures and mass layoffs. In Detroit, Moceri says, it’s magnified because of the Big Three. Nearly two hours of airtime was filled with talk of the economy Monday.
"Everybody knows somebody whose life is tied into the auto industry," Moceri says. "When you look at the bigger picture, the Lions are unimportant.
"But you kind of hope to escape to the Lions to give you some kind of joy. You can’t even do that."
When Detroit does get good again (I can say this because I cheered for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for most of my life), it will be incredible but until then, there is always next year and it will be a year where Matt Millen won’t be the club president.