http://canton.itownonline.com Logo

Your guide to the Canton, MI community.

canton.itownonline.com
 
 in 
 
 

THE SPORTS GUY: Requiem on a Season - The 2008 Lions

Three weeks into the season, the Lions season is officially over.  Oh sure, they may still show up...or, maybe not, because they haven't shown up yet...let's just say they will continue to dress some guys wearing a Lions uniform (with that menacing black trim, more genius on the part of Matt Millen).  But what is now apparent to all is that the Lions season is over, and rather than the improvement we have hoped for,  they have become worse.  All that is left to determine is whether the Lions or the St. Louis Rams (if possible, they could be as bad as the Lions!) will get the number 1 pick in the draft.  The Lions can start scouting to determine which wide receiver they can't get the ball to to take with that pick.

In game 3, against a mediocre 49er team, one play summarized the Lions season.  After scoring a touchdown late in the fourth quarter and knowing they had to recover an onside kick, they instead kicked a ball right to a 49er player that had nothing but daylight in front of him to return the ball to the 10 yard line.  Game, and season, over.

What's left?  It is probably apparent to you and me, but not so with the Ford's.  This team needs to rebuilt, but from the top-down.  Fire Matt Millen - now.  The bye week gives the Lions a chance to get a new GM in place and working before another game is played.  Millen quite possibly is the worst GM of any sports franchise, ever.  End the debacle now, and send a firm message that things will change.  Second, although I am sure he works hard, fire Rod Marinelli, now.   His attempt to remake the Lions in the mold of the average football team he came from must end, now.  He was not qualified to be the head coach of a pro football team when they hired him, and it is not possible that he still has buy-in from the players on this team, with even the ever-optimistic Jon Kitna questioning the coaching philosophies.  It is difficult to fire a coach mid-stream and implement a new philosophy, but the Lions have the luxury, if you can call it that, of being in a situation where it could not get worse.  They need to look forward to next season, now.  They should do whatever it takes to hire Bill Cowher.  Finally, the players should not be blameless in the mess that has become the Lions, but at this point in the season, what can the Lions really do?  Cut a few players, and pick up a few off waivers?  Pull some from the starting line-up?  They won't be able to make a trade - no team will trade for a Lion, and poison what they have going on with their team.  The Lions will have to play the hand that Millen and Marinelli dealt them, which is bad from a player personnel perspective.  Player procurement is where Millen's incompetence is most telling.  Other teams draft to a team need and mold a team around the strengths of their core players, and also know when a given player's productivity has diminished, which can happen pretty quickly in the NFL.  The Lions?  They draft a specific position according to the experiment du-juor, without a thorough examination of skill-sets or even a thorough background check, and then force-fit the players into varying philosophies regardless of their compatibility with that system.  Other teams constantly ensure that their secondary has the best athletes on the team.  The Lions constantly treat their secondary as an afterthought with horrendous implications and results.   The Lions too, are only too willing to take on, often at a dear price, players that other teams have determined are no longer productive.  If the Lions are to improve, they need to change the coaching and the GM now, so a new management team can evaluate the (lack of) talent that they have, scout the rest of the league and the college ranks, and better prepare for next year.

At this point, I should probably offer that all is not lost with the Lions, that they can make some bold moves and improve.  But in truth, that cannot be said.  Because, ultimately, what most needs to happen is that William Clay Ford sells this team.  The only constant to the Lions decades of inferiority is his ownership.  Will it happen? No.  He cannot fathom that he should sell the Lions for the good of the fans.  In his view, it's his team, and he stubbornly believes he can right the ship - he may even believe that he IS righting the ship.  We've been waiting since the fifties, Mr. Ford...and the ship has now sunk. 

Go Wings!

Current Articles

Canton Wrestler Wins National Championship!

Julia Salata, a Junior at Canton High School, completed a busy summer of wrestling by winning a national title at the USA Wrestling Junior Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota on July 21.
THE SPORTS GUY - Red Wings Recap, and a Look Ahead

THE SPORTS GUY - Red Wings Recap, and a Look Ahead

The Wings deservedly won a hard fought series against the Ducks, with the Hawks coming up. Here's what the Sports Guy thinks.

Canton High School Wrestler is National Runner-up at Body Bar Women's Freestyle Championships

Julia Salata, a sophomore at Canton High School, and member of the school wrestling team, placed second at the Body Bar Nationals held May 1st.
THE SPORTS GUY - Tiger Season Preview

THE SPORTS GUY - Tiger Season Preview

The Tigers open the season with a great deal of uncertainty. Will some players ever be productive major leaguers? Where will the pitching come from? Who will come through with a big year at the plate? Will Jim Leyland keep his job?

Local Woman Wrestler Wins State Championship

Julia Salata, a sophomore at Canton High School, placed first in the 137 pound weight class at the United States Girls Wrestling Association (USGWA) state tournament held March 1 in Goodrich, Michigan.
March 6 - Canton Girls Hoopsters Win District Title!

March 6 - Canton Girls Hoopsters Win District Title!

The Canton Chiefs Girls basketball team plays payback with a big 42-27 win against Novi in the district finals.
THE SPORTS GUY - Tigers '09 Tune-up

THE SPORTS GUY - Tigers '09 Tune-up

The Tigers of '09 Begin Spring Training (Looking Like the Tigers of '08). Agree? Disagree? Read the Sports Guy's opinion, and post your own comments on the Tigers chances in '09.

RETIRED POLL - Another Cup for Hockeytown?

This poll was one of our most widely taken during its run on Plymouth.iTownOnline.com. Wings fans appear to have concerns...
RETIRED POLL: Was Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson a Good Trade?

RETIRED POLL: Was Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson a Good Trade?

A few months have passed since the big trade, and Pistons fans have had an opportunity to assess it. Here's what people in a Canton.iTownOnline.com poll had to say...
WEEKEND WHALERS RECAP, Jan. 30-31 - Whalers Split Two at Home

WEEKEND WHALERS RECAP, Jan. 30-31 - Whalers Split Two at Home

A tremendous game by Matt Hackett and the penalty kill unit carries the Whalers to a victory on Friday night against the top rated Windsor Spitfires on Friday, but they could not sustain that success on Saturday against Mississagua.

THE SPORTS GUY - End of Year Ramblings

The Sports Guy dishes on a variety of topics, including the Wings, Whalers, Pistons, MSU and Michigan basketball and more.
THE SPORTS GUY - The A.I. Pistons?  Are they better?

THE SPORTS GUY - The A.I. Pistons? Are they better?

Pistons fans have had about a dozen games to absorb the Billups for Iverson trade. Would Chauncey have skipped practice?
THE SPORTS GUY - Red Wings at the Quarter Pole

THE SPORTS GUY - Red Wings at the Quarter Pole

The Wings are about 1/4 of the way through their season. How are they looking?

THE SPORTS GUY - Misc. Ramblings: Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers

Following our sports teams gives us, in most cases, something good to think about. Get the Sports Guy's update on three of our favorite teams.

RETIRED POLL - Tigers Improvement Needs

We retired this poll after a couple months. Here's the results...
Local Wrestler Achieves National Ranking!

Local Wrestler Achieves National Ranking!

Julia Salata, a sophomore at Canton High School, has been ranked 6th in the country in her weight class by the United States Girls Wrestling Association.
THE SPORTS GUY - Midsummer Ramblings...

THE SPORTS GUY - Midsummer Ramblings...

Random thoughts on a variety of topics:Olympics, Wings, Tigers, Pistons, UM and MSU Football...
PC Pride Girls Rock the State Softball Championships!

PC Pride Girls Rock the State Softball Championships!

The Plymouth-Canton Communities solidified their position as the capitol of girls fastpitch softball in the state with an impressive USSSA state championship showing July 10-13, 2008.

Congratulations Allison Schmitt!

Allison Schmitt has become the first Plymouth-Canton community athlete that we are aware of that has qualified for the Beijing Olympic games.
THE SPORTS GUY - Do I Gotta Write About the Lions?

THE SPORTS GUY - Do I Gotta Write About the Lions?

I guess you can't be a self-proclaimed sports guy without offering a prognostication about the Lions, so here it is, my predictions for the 2008 season, but only under protest...

THE SPORTS GUY - Red Wings Recap

The great Wings season and their future have been analyzed to death. No matter - we love it. Here are some additional thoughts to consider. How about yours?

THE SPORTS GUY - Red Wings Recap

The great Wings season and their future have been analyzed to death. No matter - we love it. Here are some additional thoughts to consider. How about yours?

THE SPORTS GUY - What's the Deal with the Tigers?

There is no getting around it - the Tigers are one of the most disappointing surprises in sports. So far in '08, a team expected to contend for a title has one of the worst records in the major leagues. Why? What can be done?
Who's Your Team?  We Want to Follow Them Too!

Who's Your Team? We Want to Follow Them Too!

The social lives of many Cantonites is the tied to the goings-on of their kids' sports teams. Want to brag about your team? This website makes it easy!

THE SPORTS GUY - What's next for the Pistons?

For the third consecutive year, the Pistons bowed out in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. What will Joe D. do to get them back into the NBA Finals?

Past Articles

Community Poll:
Which statement best describes your opinion of the Lions recent draft?
Great - The Lions needed a star QB
OK - We'll have to see how it pans out
Not too good - They needed more help on defense
Awful! Same old Lions
Email this page to a friend:
Your Email:
Friend's Email:
Privacy