I am not trying to rub salt in Detroit Lions fans wounds. I grew up in Saskatoon and watched a lot of Detroit cable. I was there for the Barry Sanders and Wayne Fontes era. It just happened to have Scott Mitchell as their QB…
In watching Megatron’s retirement talk, a couple of things came across my mind. One of them was why don’t teams pay a player like Calvin Johnson to take a year off at this point of their careers and get totally healthy.
Give him a couple of months off and then pay him to come back and work out, get back in shape and come back healthy for the year ahead. Before you discount this as crazy, consider that one of the reasons why Marcus Allen had a such a long run in Los Angeles and Kansas City is that he was rarely used in his late 20s and early 30s because of the insanity of Al Davis and that feud that only Davis really knew what he was mad about. It had to suck for Allen to go through but it prolonged his career.
The (pretty good) O.J. Anderson had a career revival in New York for the Giants on their 1991 Super Bowl team because in part he was barely used for years after the St. Louis Cardinals ground him to pieces as their feature back. His body recovered and was great in that three yards and a cloud of dust attack that New York had.
Look at Kurt Warner. It took him a couple of years for his body to heal after Mike Martz’s attack left him beaten and bruised in St. Louis. He wasn’t a great, then bad, and then great QB again. He was always great, his body just needed time to heal after the pounding his took as part of the Greatest Show on Turf.
Part me wonders if the Lions paid Johnson a reduced salary to rest up and get healthy, if he wouldn’t come back. Being in pain every day takes a toll on you both physically and mentally. Not all players would come back after a break away but other stars would be able to come back and be better than they were before. It wouldn’t be something you would do for everyone but there are select “generational talents” that giving a break too would pay off for a franchise and the game.
The weekend that was: The lowlight of the weekend was that I was fiddling with a power adaptor with my right hand and jerked my hand away violently when I got shocked. Â Of course my right shoulder is the shoulder with the torn rotator cuff. Â I have had both shoulders operated on, I have wrecked both MCL and ACLs, I have even had nails go into my feet. Â Nothing was as painful as that pain was. Â I just screamed in pain for a minute while walking over and sitting down before I passed out.
I was hoping the pain would pass but now every time I use my right hand, there is incredible pain in the shoulder which can’t be a good thing. Â Back to my family doctor on Tuesday to see what we can do now.
On Sunday I watched the Lions lose to the Green Bay Packers at Jeff’s place with Sean. Â Doing that brought up a lot of Detroit Lions memories and none of them are good. Â Wayne Fontes, Scott Mitchell, Matt Millen, 0-16â€¦ at least the food was good.
On my to-do list this week:Â Other than seeing a doctorâ€¦
Procrastinating about: Going to see my doctorâ€¦
Book Iâ€™m in the midst of: The Triumph of the CityÂ by Edward Glaesar
Music that seemed to catch my attention this past week:Â The new Sheepdogs album.
How Iâ€™m feeling about this week:Â Pain.
The Detroit Lions struggle along with the city of Detroit
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 wonâ€™t be the club president.
According to a report from the AP.
Detroit running back Rudi Johnson said Wednesday that the player who was waived to make room for him on the Lionsâ€™ rosterâ€”Tatum Bell â€” took his luggage from team headquarters.
â€œAll this happened when he got released,â€ Johnson said. â€œHe came in to get some stuff out of his locker and thatâ€™s when he scooped up the bags.â€
After being cut by the Cincinnati Bengals, Johnson came to Detroit to work out for the team and meet with Lions president Matt Millen on Monday. During the meeting, which ended with Johnson agreeing to a free-agent contract, the two Gucci bags that he had received as a Pro Bowl gift were taken from inside the teamâ€™s headquarters.
A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with Bellâ€™s agent, Kennard McGuire.
Johnson met with the Detroit media for the first time Tuesday, and talked about Bell in a positive mannerâ€”saying they had discussed the Lions and that Bell, also a running back, had given him advice on the team and the city.
However, shortly after Johnson praised Bell, team security director Ricky Sandoval showed him footage from the teamâ€™s surveillance system.
Itâ€™s a rather odd story and how fitting that it happened in Detroit. Do you ever hear stories like this coming out of New England or Indianapolis? The Detroit Lions canâ€™t even cut a player properly.