So while there are a lot of valid contenders for worst franchise, with a variety of arguments for them, the Detroit Lions have ONE PLAYOFF WIN IN 62 YEARS. I’ve capitalized, italicized, and bolded that phrase for emphasis, and I’d make it blink if I could. One win. How is that even possible? It’s a staggering degree of nonstop ineptitude across multiple generations. It’s possible to be a Social Security- and Medicare-eligible Lions fan and to have witnessed a single, solitary postseason victory. And to know that it was followed a week later by a 41-10 loss in the NFC championship game. There hasn’t been much to cheer for in all these years, either. Calvin Johnson was extraordinary, Barry Sanders was the coolest player ever, and, um, Billy Sims was fun to watch. The other dude to wear No. 20, Lem Barney, was pretty great, too. Beyond that? I’m sure some pedant in the comments will lecture me about the underappreciated exploits of Joe Schmidt or whoever. But everyone else ought to get my drift by now: The Lions haven’t done jack shit since Bobby Layne shoved off to Pittsburgh and settled his last bar tab.
The Lions won the NFL championship three times between 1952 and 1957. Since then, 18 head coaches have guided them into this never-ending hellhole.
(Via I Hereby Declare The Lions The Most Miserable NFL Franchise by Dom Cosentino: picture Lion pulling a tongue | HD photo by Wade Lambert (@wade_lambert) on Unsplash)
Think about that – the level of ineptitude the Lions embody. I love and miss living in Detroit; I do not miss hearing Lions fans ache and moan about the team’s performance on every given Sunday.
By the way, my Dad got to see those glory days in the ’50s. He doesn’t remember them as he was but a tyke. Every Thanksgiving we try to reminisce, but don’t.
The Lions have won just three division titles since the merger. All told, they are 1-12 in playoff games since 1958. Only the Texans (eight) have played in fewer postseason games in all that time, and the Texans didn’t exist until 2002. The Patriots, by contrast, have played more playoff games (14) in _just the last five seasons _than the Lions have in 62 years. What the Lions have accomplished is truly unmatched across the NFL. God help all of you who are doomed to root for them.
God either has nothing OR EVERYTHING to do with it, if you’re into that sort of thinking.
I absolutely love this bit of football hand waving by “Future former head coach” and Chrysler minivan model name inspiration, Mike Patricia:
Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer reported last week that Matt Patricia, who might as well change his title to future former head coach, had a hill built next to the Lions’ team facility. The idea was create a conditioning challenge for the players not unlike the grueling terrain that abuts the Patriots’ practice field–but an unnatural phenomenon in the flat Midwest. Sisyphus himself couldn’t have come up with a better metaphor for this franchise.
This is a fine strategy for all of those NFL football stadia, and especially the team’s own Ford Field, where one or more hills impede the Lions’ forward progress.
There is no hope for the Lions while they are owned by the Ford family. I do not know anyone in Detroit who thinks otherwise.