The Unbearable Darkness of Being A Detroit Lions Fan
It's never easy being a Lions fan, but when you boo your owner, you have to know karma's coming to get you.
It was a weird day at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, Sunday.
On a day set aside to honor past Lions great and Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson, the Lions did something they hadn't done in 51 years: they lost to an NFL record field goal.
The Baltimore Ravens' Justin Tucker hit the upright from an amazing 66 yards away, only to have it bounce over and give the Ravens the win in a tightly fought 19-17 game over the Lions.
It was deja vu for long time Lions fans like myself, reminiscent of a November day in 1970, when New Orleans kicker Tom Dempsey kicked a then NFL record 63 yard field goal as time expired to lift the Saints over the Lions by the exact same score, 19-17.
That's how it is to be a Lions fan: We've begun to recycle weird ways to lose.
"Amazing." "Historic." That's the way the Baltimore press has referred to the win.
"Same Old Sh--." is how Lions fans felt about it.
But maybe it's bad karma. Earlier during the Johnson tribute, the fans turned on current owner Sheila Ford Hamp, booing her so bad she could barely be heard giving words of praise for Johnson, who has reached an uneasy truce with ownership.
Maybe you don't believe in karma, but something came to exact revenge on the booing fans, as the game ended with a series of unfortunate events.
It started with some weird clock shenanigans prior to the Lions kicking the field goal that briefly put them in the lead, 17-16.
As the team was winding down the clock on fourth down, the way the clock was set up between the game clock and play clock, it appeared they would call time out at 1:01.
But the clock was stopped, the official conversed with Lions coach Dan Campbell about it for a moment, and then when it restarted, there were seven more seconds on it. No solid explanation was given.
And then the Lions appeared to have throttled versatile Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, as they stuffed the Birds to force a 4th and 19 play.
And if you can't stop a 4th and 19, do you even deserve to win.
Well, yes, if the refs could see what everyone else saw. It appeared the Ravens were guilty of delay of game trying to kill more time before the record-breaking kick, but there was no flag.
"The human element" is the response given by the referee consultant for CBS Sports, Gene Steratore. It sucks, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. Sure, but why does it always crumble badly for the Lions?
It's just another weird Sunday in the life of a Lions fan, but I have to give serious props to this year's team, they keep battling. They may have a lot in the way of talent, but there's no quit in them.
I think this video of two Woodward Sports commentators describing the final kick says it all. "This is the kind of stuff that happens to the Lions," one guy says when the other thinks it's crazy for Baltimore to even try such a kick. "This exactly the kind of stuff that happens Lions." That guy is a die-hard fan. He knew. We all knew.
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