Friday, September 10, 2010
The Detroit Lions can't win on the road. They especially can't win without a healthy Louis Delmas and a healthy DeAndre Levy. Only a great fool, a staggeringly delusional idiot, would pick the Lions to win against the Bears in Chicago to open the season. Well, dudes and lady dudes, I am that idiot.
Indeed. The reasons why the Lions can't win are well known, and they're not wrong. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that the Lions can suddenly stroll into any stadium in the country and win and I'm not going to tell you that they'll be fine without Delmas or Levy. They won't. If neither of those two plays - really if either of them misses the game - the Lions defense will be up shit creek without not only a paddle but without a canoe, and you don't want to be floating face down in shit creek while a bunch of assholes with a canoe and functioning paddles pass on by your poor body, drunkenly laughing at your misfortune. Then again, why would someone choose to go canoeing in a creek called Shit Creek? That just doesn't sound very fun, you know?
Ahem. Anyway, yeah, right away we have a couple of bright flashing lights, big red ones in the sky telling us to slow the fuck down and take cover and start praying to various deities. (I won't judge you if you pray to Papa Smurf or something like that. Strange and terrible times, etc.) But sometimes, even though your land is overgrown with weeds and groundhogs and Morlocks, all you have to do to feel like everything is going to be alright is cast an eye towards your neighbor's land and see the bombs falling.
That's right. Our land was bombed and left lifeless and barren long ago, but lately some life has come back and there will come a day when it looks beautiful and green. The land of the Chicago Bears, however, is currently a land run amok. The citizens are tearing out their own hearts so they don't have to be mutilated by the falling bombs, their dogs are running wild and free, in terrible packs that eat babies and terrorize the crippled and the old. Soon, that land will be an empty, desolate wasteland, a barren plain ruined by a nuclear holocaust.
I know this because all I have to do is look at their sidelines and I can see the harbingers of doom, the angels of death, roaming around looking for their next victims. Indeed, while Lovie Smith sits in his big boy chair and drools all over himself, clapping his hands whenever a balloon or something floats by in the sky, the Bears offense is run by Mike Martz and their defense is run by Rod Marinelli.
Wait . . . what the fuck? How did this happen? How could a team be so stupid? The Bears were there. They saw what went down. They know what happens when those imbeciles get their hands on a team. It's like they're trying to bottom out. Who the fuck is in charge over there?
Anyway, I look at that and I suddenly feel like we might have a shot. Call me crazy. You wouldn't be the first person to do so.
Still, even though the Lions are on the way up and the Bears are so obviously on the way down it's hard to know just where we are in our trajectory relative to them. I mean, come on, I'm not fucking Euclid over here. It's possible that we're still not ready to beat them, especially on their home field. And especially without Delmas or Levy.
But then, a couple of days ago, I read some gibberish from Lovie Smith about how this game was extra meaningful for Rod Marinelli, that beating the Lions would somehow be special to him, like he was the aggrieved party in that whole horrible marriage we're so desperate to forget. Well, fuck that. Can you believe that wretched shit? I mean, are you kidding me? How dare they. How dare they pretend like Marinelli has some sort of righteous axe to grind here. How dare they pretend that he was anything other than a colossal failure. Fuck him.
Look, I know that some of you get caught up in that BUT HE'S A GOOD MAN tripe and well, fine, that's great. But, honestly? I don't feel the least bit bad for Rod Marinelli. He was the man in charge. I put a ton of the blame for 0-16 on his feeble minded ass. Go back and look through the site archives. Before that season even started, when everyone was predicting the playoffs, I was hammering him for ruining what little chance we had. Sure, Matt Millen made 0-16 possible but Rod Marinelli made it happen if that makes any sense.
The poor fool should be forced to march down Woodward, his arms in stocks while fans throw tomatoes at him and whip him with old bicycle chains laced with acid. He should be stripped naked and forced to beg for his clothes back in front of a crowd of angry fans at the end of his terrible journey. He should be forced to swim across the Detroit River to Canada in the hopes that they will accept him as a refugee. We can even charter boats and sail alongside him as he swims, hurling insults and garbage on him as he goes. I don't care if he cries. I don't care if he's a good man. Fuck him.
Whoa. That kind of got out of hand, didn't it? And yet, it was kind of cathartic. Look, Rod Marinelli probably is a good man and he deserves good things in life, but just keep him the fuck away from me and the rest of our fans. We don't deserve that shit. All that bullshit about this being special for him makes me feel legitimately angry. It pisses me off. In fact, I am a little surprised by just how much it pisses me off. I hated 0-16, and I despised Marinelli's role in making it happen, but I don't think I ever was personally mad at the dude for it. But his self righteous woe is me bullshit has sparked something terrible and dark and wretched inside of me. It has turned me into a blathering idiot and has made me want to see him get embarrassed on Sunday. I want his defense to give up fifty points and for his pants to fall down on the sideline while the announcers laugh at him. I want Shaun Rogers to show up just for old times sake and beat him like he's a worn out old whore of a stripper. I want Lovie Smith to publicly fire him at halftime and I want to see the camera shot of him loading his shit into a box and then being shunned by every cab driver in the city. I want my vengeance for 0-16 and damn it all, I want it on Sunday.
I am shocked at my own bloodthirsty savagery here, but that is what 0-16 will do to a man, even more than a year after the fact. It will creep up occasionally and cause terrible violence and weird ranting and raving and none of it is noble and it is all vaguely shameful but I can't pretend it's not there either.
So, yeah, I really, really want the Lions to win this game.
Can they? Well, the Bears are essentially run by the Three Stooges of Lovie, Marinelli and Martz so yeah, I think they can. Whatever advantages the Bears may have from a talent standpoint are pretty much obliterated by the collective incompetence of those three idiots.
Of the three, Martz is probably the most competent. That's saying a lot because the dude is kind of a walking punchline now. He knows what he's doing, he's an innovative tactician and he's been a winner in the league before. But, holy hell, is that one arrogant and crazy dude. He will absolutely shoot himself right in the face just to prove a point. He'll turn that pistol around and fire just because you say he can't. He doesn't care if he gets hurt, if he loses his nose, his lips and anything that keeps him from looking like that lady who got her face eaten by that chimp. The only thing that matters to him is that he's right. It doesn't even matter if he's wrong and now he's all fucked up and scarred for life. By going through with it, he'll have proven himself right. He said he would do it and he did. That's Mike Martz for you.
That will end up being what gives the Lions defense a break. Jay Cutler is more than capable of shredding the Lions pass defense. (Hell, a drunk Stephen Hawking could shred the Lions defense. They don't call him "Wheels" for nothing. Ahem. Sorry.) But Cutler is also a bit of an idiot. He's a lot like Martz in that he has that "Fuck it, it's a bad idea, but Goddammit, I have to be right" thing going on. Combine the two and you have a dude who might throw 40 interceptions this season. I'm not even joking.
Meanwhile, the Lions Defensive Line should be capable of stopping Matt Forte, especially early on. That's the key to this game. If they do that, then Martz will almost immediately say to hell with it and then it's bombs away. Three interceptions and a million tears from Bears fans later and the Lions should be able to walk away with a victory.
Offensively, the Lions shouldn't have any problems. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson should be able to hook up all day and Jahvid Best should be able to slice through the shitty Defensive Line the Bears will trot out on Sunday. Yeah, yeah, the Bears have Brian Urlacher back, but all he is now is just a name. I don't see the Bears stopping the Lions, and I don't see them executing well enough offensively to keep up. Basically, the Lions will win this game because Martz will fall on his own sword rather than admit defeat. He'll just keep making things worse and worse for himself and his team rather than admit that he should change up the game plan. Would the Bears beat the Lions with competent coaches? Probably. Will they with this collection of failures and abominations? No. Fuck that. I want this win and I think we'll get it. Take your streaks and shove them up your ass.
FIVE NO DOUBT TERRIBLE PREDICTIONS
1. Delmas will play. Levy will not. This is much better than if that was flipped around.
2. Stafford will go 23-31 for 317 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 interception. His progress will be plainly evident.
3. Jay Cutler will throw the ball 45 times, and will complete 31 of those passes for 396 yards and 2 touchdowns. He'll also throw 3 critical interceptions. The Lions pass defense will bend horrifically but it won't quite break.
4. Jahvid Best will run the ball 21 times for 117 yards and a touchdown.
5. Calvin Johnson will be unstoppable, catching 9 passes for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns.
SPECIAL BONUS PREDICTION BECAUSE I AM A GIVER: After the game, Rod Marinelli will gibber like a buffoon about playing the game the right way and then he will be mauled by an actual bear that was brought to the game as a special mascot. The bear will then run wild until The Great Willie Young wrestles it to the ground. The two will then become inseparable and Willie Young and his Pet Bear will replace Ernie Sims and his monkey in all of our hearts.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: LIONS 31, BEARS 21