Character building with the Lions

Folks who know me, know I worry about my parenting skills. When I have time to myself, I wonder, what am I doing to these two young souls under my care?
What am I molding them into? What shape will they take? Will they grow up to be fine young men, wise gents or kooky and quirky geeks? Do Shamus and Sean have a chance at normalcy?
At the end of the day, I come to the conclusion they’ll be okay. They have their mother to keep them on the straight and narrow. She’ll make sure they’re normal.
But, then Sunday rolls around and I gear up the boys to watch some good old-fashioned American barbarism. We’ve gotten up early, completed lots of chores around the house and now it’s time to kick back and watch those boys in Honolulu Blue and Silver.
I am making my sons Detroit Lions fans.
Now, before you start acting like one of the 60,000 fans at Ford Field, watching QB Joey Harrington complete another three yard pass over the middle to set up a nice fourth and seven punt, when they’re down by two touchdowns with three minutes left in the game, stop. Just stop. Being an Detroit Lions fan is actually a positive thing. A good thing.
To be a fan of the Detroit Lions is to be the eternal optimist. After all, as all Lions fans know, ‘There is always next year.?
There’s always a silver-lining out there, somewhere. We just have to be observant enough to find it, because next year always brings with it new hopes of the same old dreams: Maybe the Detroit Lions will make it to the playoffs.
You see, I believe this, even after looking at the Lions? recent history. I believe.
Hmmm, let’s see. In 2000, the Lions were a respectable 9-7. They scored 307 points and only allowed 295 to be scored against them. Then the Lions lost their fangs. In 2001 they won two and lost 14. They only scored 270 points, while giving up 425. In 2002 they won three games and lost 13. They scored more points (a reason for optimism), 310, but they gave up more points too, 455.
But, things are looking up.
They got a new coach this year and they have won four games, only losing nine (so far). Their second year quarterback is getting better. Their defense is getting better. Next year their Number One Draft Pick this year, Charles Rogers, will be back. And, if we keep on losing this year, we can have another top draft.
Hey, things ain’t all that bad.
Lions fans, however, don’t just walk around with their heads in the clouds, oblivious to the world around them. They are a practical bunch. Lions fans believe a playoff win or two is possible. The SuperBowl, however, is way out of our league.
To be a Lions fan is to be, as Detroit rocker Bob Seger sings, a ‘beautiful loser.? Learning how to lose ‘good? is to be well liked. Nobody wants a sore loser around.
Watching the Lions find new ways to shoot themselves in the foot, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, game after game, year after year you think would make a Lions fan depressed. Hogwash! Watching the Lions self-destruct on broadcast TV is actually an exercise in character building.
Lions fans have lots of character.
Lions fans are also loyal. Name me one other professional team that can sell 60,000 tickets a week, week in and week out, without winning. The last time the Lions won anything Bobby Layne was still up and kicking and drinking and raising hell. In 2007, I plan on a big 50 year anniversary of the Lions? last championship. (Let me know if you want to be in charge of the parade down Woodward Avenue.) Being loyal is a good thing.
Having lots of character is a good thing.
Being practical is good.
Being optimistic is swell.
These are the things Lions fans keep telling themselves, over and over. It’s a form of meditation. That and medication keeps us from jumping off the Pontiac Silverdome.
Maybe I should start the boys watching the
Detroit Tigers . . .
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