I'm hitting the wall. For the first time in the fifteen years that I've been a diehard sports fan and took a personal interest in how teams and players were doing instead of just rooting for whoever my dad was cheering for the Tigers are relevant in August instead of being buried in April. Of course this means that the Tigers will be commanding my interest heading into football season, which in past seasons was about the time my interest in the Tigers would begin to wane dramatically. So that means that I and a lot of other fans will have a lot on my plate as a Detroit fan over the next few months between the Tigers playoff race, Michigan and Lions football, and the beginning of what should be another promising Pistons season. Hello Academic Probation.
Speaking of the Lions my dad has been a season ticket holder since 1981 and for all that money he's spent over the years he's got to see one playoff victory and that was fifteen years ago. But everyone knows about this franchises inaptitude and I've had the privilege (?) to attend nearly 90% of the Lions games over the past fifteen years, although I did miss the playoff game, ranging from the cold/bleak/depressing, Silver Dome to the state-of-the-art Ford Field where the team has won barely 25% of their games since the place opened. I got a sideline view of the brilliance that was Barry Sanders and suffered through.........well everything but Barry Sanders. Tonight was the Pre-season opener for the Lions and once again I was in attendance with my Dad ready to kickoff my sixteenth season of disappointment and wasted Sunday afternoons. My dad and I were far from interested in this meaningless preseason game wishing instead to watch the Tigers and Justin Verlander take on the ChiSox on the South Side but we couldn't even give the tickets away. We would have probably had an easier time giving away syphilis then finding someone who wanted to attend a Friday night Lions exhibition game. (Speaking of not having a life, not only did I attend the Friday night game with my dad, I'm also spending the same Friday night blogging about it on a site no one reads. *Sobbing*) O.K. I'm rambling so I'll get to the point. Here are five observations from inside tonights game.
1. I noticed immediately that Glenn Martinez, the practice squad receiver, who supposedly developed a rapport with Joey Harrington last season which led to his appearance in a few games wearing #12 last season was wearing #84 tonight, which means one of two things. A: He received a traditional receiver number because he has a legitimate chance of making the team, or B: He stumbled across an old Herman Moore jersey at the Salvation Army and paid the twenty dollars to have his name screened on the back. Both equally likely scenarios.
2. Josh McCown, who bears a frightening resemblance to Ivan Drago, (or an overmuscled and less gay Tab Hunter, whichever your more comfortable with) made his Lions debut in the beginning of the third quarter and they posted his statistics from last season as having 9 TDS and 110 INT's!!!!! 110 INT's welcome to Detroit Mr. McCown we always try to make the players look good. Hopefully that was a typographical error and not a bit of foreshadowing on the part of the Lions JumboTron, which has been known for such things. Like who can forget last season when it famously showed the video of my future demise, (Ninja Attack......no surprise there), and when it showed the day robots will rule the earth a la Terminator-2, but I digress.
3. With tickets being ridiculously expensive ($70 dollars, preseason, yeah thats justifiable) and pricier and harder to get than when the Lions ruled the Silver Dome the rowdy whitetrash that used to patrol the Upper Level has been priced out of the action. Personally I missed them, there was nothing more exciting then seeing a bare knuckle brawl involving 4 balding mullet coiffed guys wearing faded Chris Spielman jerseys. Now you get 30 something guys and their bimbo wives/girlfriends/mistresses, screaming at inappropriate times. Although tonight I got to sit next to an old-school Silver Dome fan wearing a Stephen Boyd jersey and a permanent Kool-Aid moustache and it was fun unfortunately rare. It was like getting to watch a game with Paleolithic Man.
4. One of the highlights of the night was watching the game with my dad, and not for your typical sappy reason. My dad always goes to bed early usually falling asleep on the couch at about 9 an almost always out cold by 10:30. So as the night went on he became increasingly disheveled and incoherent. His shirt came untucked, his hair frazzled, he was mispronouncing names and coming up with new ones. He was calling Tatum Bell, Taco Bell and laughing to himself for minutes afterwards. By the time we left he probably would have failed a sobriety test, AND HE DIDN'T EVEN DRINK A BEER. An all-around excellent performance on his part tonight.
5. Chuckles Rogers looked faster and sleeker then he ever has. Sure he only had 1 catch for 7 yards on a little screen pass that was straight out of the Michigan playbook. He also had that ridiculous false start where he tried to maintain his balance before falling off to the side like he was having a seizure. This of course got him lustily booed and probably deservedly. But personally, I don't think he deserved the booing. I'm pulling for Charlie Rogers. Like I've written before I was in high school when he was dominating the Saginaw Valley Conference in High School and was at State when he had his incredible season, so I've been able to follow his career since he was about 16. I like Rogers because he seems like a generally nice guy, he's just stupid. I know thats harsh but its true and I'm glad to see it looks like he finally got his stuff together enough to get in the best shape of his life and start over with the new staff, which is more then what fatass petulant Mike Williams has done. So here's hoping Rogers makes it, even if he won't ever be a superstar at lest as a serviceable receiver. And I know this is going to look really dumb when he gets his year long weed suspension in Week 6.