One year ago, the New England Patriots were gearing up for what was to be a Super Bowl preview at Giants Stadium. The Patriots were hoping for a nice chunk of history, and pulled out a come-from-behind victory to seal up the first ever 16-0 season in NFL history.

When the NFL went to the salary-cap, the league in my mind started going downhill. I didn't hate the teams I once hated, I didn't really love the teams I once loved with the same passion, because every team was basically the same team, with few exceptions. It made every game basically a coin flip, and whichever team got the bounces and/or the calls, would win. When the Vikings went 15-1 in 1998, I remember thinking that this was as high a win total as anybody can get in the salary cap era. That team was not just one of the many average teams, but was a great team loaded with talent, and if they couldn't get to 16-0, nobody ever would. I even ran some statistical analysis on the records of every team in the league in 2004, I think. I found that there was no difference between putting 32 teams of exactly equal value on the field and where the records would end up, and the actual final records of the 32 teams (it was actually a lot more in depth than this, I am over-simplifying for the sake of time). People seem to think that if that was true, they would all be 8-8. Well, not really. There is luck, and that would skew the records of some higher than others, with 13-3 being the best realistic record of any team.

Then there was the 2007 New England Patriots. They weren't just beating teams, they were beating them soundly. It wasn't luck that was pushing them toward history, but a collection of talent and coaching that would put them far and away the best team in the league. I started re-thinking my opinion of the league as just a collection of 32 average teams, and started believing that the league was actually a group of great, good, bad, and terrible teams again. I still hate the salary cap and I still think it's communist in nature. If teams can't afford to compete with the higher echelon in the league, maybe they don't deserve to have a team.

Now, any thoughts of a 32 average team league has been absolutely shattered. Just one year later, we have our beloved Lions, the first 0-15 team in NFL history. For 51 years, this team has been mired in mediocrity, and those were the good years. Since their last NFL Championship in 1957, they have had exactly 17 winning seasons, and one playoff victory. Only one. There was little doubt, that as professional football teams go, at least in my lifetime, this one has been the worst run. But this year, they join the 2003 Detroit Tigers as record setting losers.
Will they go 0-16? Of course. They haven't won a game in Wisconsin since my sophomore year of high school. That was a while back. They have no quarterback, no offensive line, no defensive line, no linebackers, no DB's, a terrible coach, and their best player is a damn kicker. They have zero chance to win next Sunday, even with a short week for the Packers.

Marinelli has shown the same talent for being a head coach as Marty Morninwheg. Good coordinators who know their positions, but when it comes to being a head coach, they have no grasp of how to run a football team. When was the last time the Lions went into a 2-minute warning with three timeouts? How many yards have been called back because of illegal procedure calls? I can think of one touchdown from yesterday.

This off-season has the chance to be the best in Detroit Lions history. With the trade to Dallas of extremely talented but perpetually confused Roy Williams, the Lions have a host of high draft picks. The gut reaction will be to go out and get a QB. They can't until they shore up the O-Line. Not even Tom Brady could lead this offense to anything as it stands. They need O-line help first. Then, they need need D-line help, for the exact same reason. They can't get pressure on any other QB without blitzing, and this is the worst running D-line I have ever seen. They get blown off the ball at the start, in the middle, and at the end of every single game. My advice, for whatever it's worth, is to parlay those high picks into more picks in the 2nd-4th rounds. Make your hay now on the role players, get a solid base, and then go get your superstars. The Lions already have the receiver who is quickly becoming one of the best in the league, leave him there. Then, take the damn roof off the building. Make this a place where when opposing teams see @Detroit, they think "oh shit, not there," instead of thinking of it as a week off. Whoever gets installed as team president, go out and mingle with the fans before games. Talk to them, associate with them. Get them excited to be a Detroit Lions fan, and stoke that enthusiasm. This is the best fan base in all of sports. If it wasn't, Ford Field would be empty each and every week.

When the Red Wings win Stanley Cups, they get a million people downtown. When the Lions finally break through, there will be 20 million people downtown.

One more thing- Who is this guy?

Photos from detnews.com.

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