The Detroit Lions have won five of six and have a somewhat realistic chance to earn a playoff spot. No one saw any of this coming after they began the season 1-6 and people were calling for Dan Campbell's job. Up here in Michigan we really don't know what to do with our hands or the overwhelming sense that something actually good could happen to this franchise over the next few months or, more realistically, the next few years. It's really not our fault because how would we have any idea what to do, considering this team has one playoff game since NASA was established? The two longest-running curses in American sports were broken when the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs won World Series. But there's no comp for the sheer, unadulterated ineptitude the Detroit Lions have consistently turned in, with apologies to the Cleveland Browns who also suck a tremendous amount all of the time.
I was going to write something yesterday contextualizing just how monumental getting to 6-7 against all odds has been. And how impossibly sad that is. The main point I wanted to make about Lions fans is that we have been robbed, decade after decade, from ever truly participating in NFL fandom in a meaningful way. There has been no reward for investment and only the criminally insane among us even consider the franchise to be on the same footing as the ones who, you know, occasionally accomplish things. Being forced to be on the outside looking into this nation's most popular thing is just ... well it's weird.
Here's a different way to put it. Mina Kimes drawing a picture of Penei Sewell and posting it online is among the top-10 moments of my Lions fandom, which spans 35 years. No hyperbole. A large man going above and beyond to secure a third-down pass and fall down all jiggly to seal a game and move a record somewhat close to .500 was insanely memorable. It stands out among years and years of garbage and pain. You don't need to tell me that this is impossibly sad because I know. All Lions fans know.
Let's not get too nuts. It's nowhere near Barry Sanders securing a 2,000-yard rushing season or Jerome Bettis getting screwed during an overtime cointoss. It's somewhere around No. 8 or 9, along with the time Johnnie Morton told Jay Leno to kiss his ass.
Perhaps the Lions lose a few times down the stretch. Perhaps Jared Goff regresses next year and a franchise quarterback remains elusive. Perhaps the Lions never win anything. There's no reason to get ahead of our skis. People should know, though, that we are going to be so weird and awkward on every step of the rise. We're clueless rubes who have never been to the big city or seen indoor plumbing. We've never talked shit in our lives. All of this to say: our posts are going to be mind-bogglingly bad.
Don't believe me? You just read one.