Little did those poor Indians know, but their table cloth was a smallpox blanket. It's okay though, the pilgrims all died of dysentery. Happy Thanksgiving!
It's a short week because of Thanksgiving and that means that I have to skip all the usual midweek bullshit and just dive straight into the preview. The good news is that I am still in a good mood because of Sunday's game against the Browns. The bad news is that Matthew Stafford probably won't play against the Packers and apparently, Calvin Johnson's status is also up in the air.
Thankfully, this game is fairly anonymous, so it's not like anyone will see how bad the Lions are without . . . oh, wait . . . what? Oh. I see. Well, it turns out that everyone will get a chance to see how terrible the Lions are without Stafford and maybe St. Calvin, which is frustrating as all hell because the amount of hackneyed jokes that will be made about the Lions in the next few days increases from a lot to OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST SHUT UP ALREADY.
Yes, it's Thanksgiving and that of course means that the Lions will be playing the early game while everyone is still waiting to eat their Turkeys or Tofurkeys or Turduckens or Turd Chickens or whatever the fuck all that bullshit is. And, like always, everyone will probably groan and bitch and moan and wonder why the Lions get to play on Thanksgiving every year. And, just like last year, I would like to take this opportunity to tell those people to fuck off. Thanksgiving football is our tradition. It's the one thing that we as Lions fans have to feel proud about. It's the only thing that keeps us from being the fucking Cardinals or some shitty franchise like that. Perhaps that is a bad comparison coming off of the Cardinals' Super Bowl appearance, but really, that just slams home the importance of Thanksgiving for us. Even shitty franchises occasionally get to make it all the way to the Super Bowl. But not us. No. This is all we have, one miserable Thursday every year.
So, when you heartless barbarians and heathen savages start railing against the Lions playing on Thanksgiving another year, just remember all that. Afterwards, when you sit down to eat, and you are all blathering on about what you are thankful for, remember to be thankful that you don't have to put up with all this bullshit every year. It's not fun to have your team be a perennial national joke. It sucks. And Thanksgiving just happens to be the day when all these Henny Youngman dickheads blow the dust off of their shitty old joke books and laugh their fat faces off. Jay Leno will do his annual Lions suck joke, the retirees and retards in his audience will laugh and won't you all feel so much better? If the Indians and Pilgrims knew this shit would go down every year they would have just dispensed with the pleasantries and gotten on with the genocide.
Okay, enough bitterness, there is a game to be played. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, that game is likely to be played without Matthew Stafford. That means that Daunte Culpepper will get the start, and, well . . . yeah, by now you all should know how I feel about Culpepper. Somehow, I don't see a 5 touchdown performance on the horizon for him. Culpepper is so synonymous with failure that a part of me would rather see Drew Stanton out there instead. And you all know how I feel about Ol' Plucky.
Obviously, the Lions passing attack will suffer without Stafford. This sucks because the Lions can't really run the football right now either. It's become increasingly apparent that Kevin Smith isn't very good right now. I'm not sure whether it's because he's hurt or because the Lions offensive line is just that terrible or because he's simply not that good. Regardless of the reason, he is struggling and without Matthew Stafford there to keep defenses from keying on the run, Smith is likely to struggle yet again.
It's not all bad news, I suppose. I mean, the Packers are without Aaron Kampman and Al Harris, both out for the year. I think the Kampman loss looks a little worse than it is for the Packers. They switched to a 3-4 this year, and Kampman hasn't been as effective as an outside linebacker than as a defensive end. He's kind of an ill fit for their new defense, and while he has still been able to get to the quarterback on occasion, he is not the every down pass rushing terror that he was at end. Rookie Brad Jones played for Kampman when Kampman missed the game against the Cowboys a couple of weeks ago and he did well. It wouldn't be shocking to me if the Packers defense was actually better with Jones in the lineup. That's not to disparage Kampman in any way, who is a far better player than Jones. It's just that Jones might fit the new scheme better. Of course, it's also possible - hell, incredibly likely - that I am just talking out of my ass here. It wouldn't be the first time, but what the hell, we are all gentlemen and lady gentlemen here and we can overlook such things from time to time.
The Al Harris loss is probably a tad more significant. This will probably only be the case if St. Calvin plays. If he doesn't, then it probably won't matter who the Packers have in the secondary because Daunte Culpepper and the rest of Detroit's shitty receivers will likely die in a firestorm of incompetence anyway.
Defensively, you know the drill by now. Even though the win against the Browns was awesome and magical and infused with the blood of a million fairies and the sperm of a leprechaun and all that goofy shit, the defense was still terrible. They couldn't stop the Browns, and the Browns are considered one of the worst offensive teams of ALL TIME. Yeah. That about sums it up.
Meanwhile, every time that Aaron Rodgers has played the Lions, he has rained down death from above, and with the members of Detroit's defense dropping like they were on the last leg of The Trail of Tears(I normally would have said Bataan Death March here, but it is Thanksgiving and I believe in remembering the trials and tribulations of our Indian brothers), it is exceedingly likely that Rodgers will have another career game.
I do expect the Lions front seven to fairly effectively shut down the Green Bay rushing attack but that means little when Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley, James Lofton, Sterling Sharpe, some fat guy with a cheese head on, and Robin Yount are running free down the field while Aaron Bart Favre Starr Rodgers drops passes gently into their hands all day long.
Yeah, it's probably going to be a long game, terrible and ugly, and when it is done, millions of people around the country will turn off the TV, shake their heads and think "same old Lions." That is immensely frustrating given the situation, but what the hell, to everyone else the Lions will always be a joke, an easy punchline fired off by lazy assholes and stupid degenerates, and really, we cannot concern ourselves with such nonsense. It is not easy being a Lions fan, and sometimes Thanksgiving makes it that much harder. But it's also awesome, a point of pride for all Lions fans, and what little we have to be proud of we must grab and squeeze tight. I love watching the Lions on Thanksgiving. That may be because I am a glutton for punishment and quite possibly mildly insane, but to hell with all that, it is a strange world and to survive sometimes you must be a strange man.
1. Daunte Culpepper starts and throws for 205 yards on 18-37 passing. He throws one touchdown, does his stupid dance and then throws three interceptions. Charles Woodson takes one back for a touchdown and Daunte is donated by the state of Michigan to the people of Minnesota who have him bronzed and then dumped into one of their billions of lakes.
2. Kevin Smith gets plenty of work but is largely ineffective, rushing for 80 yards on 25 carries. Throughout the game, the announcers will talk about how the Lions think he is something special.
3. Calvin Johnson plays but doesn't find a rhythm with Culpepper. He catches just 3 passes for 32 yards and then has flashbacks to his days at Georgia Tech with Reggie Ball, which causes him to break down in tears on the sideline. He may be the model for Superman and Dr. Manhattan, but deep down, he is also just a man, and he has feelings too you jackals.
4. Aaron Rodgers throws for 1,485 yards and 5 touchdowns. He then calls his senator and tries to get legislation passed that would allow him to play the Lions every week. It passes the house but is filibustered in the Senate by Carl Levin, who is always looking out for us.
5. Jay Leno makes a joke about the Lions being a bunch of turkeys and is showered with granny panties and dentures. Still trying to compete with David Letterman, he allows a sex tape of him with his harem of 70 year old Iowa housewives to be leaked. When asked what this has to do with football, I shrug and say fuck if I know.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Packers 31, Lions 17