Friday, October 05, 2007

When Will It Be Time To Buy Into The Lions?

There is a funny dynamic about the Lions I have never been able to figure out. During the off season, and at the start of training camp, it seems like their fans are overly optimistic about the upcoming season. But when the season actually begins, and even if the Lions do get off to a fast start, their fans tend to be overly cautious.
You know what I sense? It’s that people aren’t buying into the Lions just yet. It doesn’t matter if they are 3-1. They don’t want to invest emotionally. Maybe it’s their checkered past. Or people look at the Lions’ roster and realize it is not very deep.
I don’t know if the Lions are that good. I honestly don’t. What I do know is that the rest of the league, particularly the NFC, isn’t much - if any - better. Indianapolis and New England are clearly the best teams. Dallas has played like the best team in the NFC so far this season, but I remain uncertain about the Cowboys.
People are underestimating the Packers. They have put together a tremendous defense, which has given Brett Favre’s career new life. I think the Packers are better than the Lions, but not the Bears and Vikings. The Bears can’t win without better quarterbacking - although I wouldn’t be all that surprised if it is Kyle Orton who ultimately gives it to them.
If the Lions win Sunday at Washington - and granted, that’s a big "if" - it just might be the beginning of an improbable roll.
Stranger things have happened in the past, and more will happen in the future, as long as the NFL remains this even team-to-team.

Random Thoughts

- The best pitcher in baseball is easily Boston’s Josh Beckett. His performance in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Angels ranks up there among the best postseason pitching performances I have ever seen. The best, though, was Jack Morris’ 10-inning, 1-0 shutout in Game 7 of the World Series.

- It will be interesting to see how Purdue does Saturday hosting Ohio State. If there is a sleeper team in the Big Ten this season, it is the Boilermakers. This week and the next at Michigan will make or break Purdue’s season.

- The Red Wings lack of attendance is disturbing, but rest assured they will win this town back if they advance to the Stanley Cup finals. So much - too much - rests on Dominik Hasek. But this is still an elite team.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lions haven't played a good team yet.... Philly slapped them around like a rag doll, then got themsevles manhandled by a troubled Giant team.

I still am of the opinion that the Lions are a horrible team.

I am myself mystified about why I'm not into hockey anymore. Not just the wings, but the product itself. I used to love Saturday night regardless about who was playing. Since the lock-out I just don't care. I don't see it as the cause - I had a big problem with baseball when they walked, but I wasn't emotionally effected by Hockeys labor strife. I saw it as uniquely silly. Kind of like raising taxes in the middle of a recession, Eh?


8:35 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I agree the Lions haven't played a really good yet, but when are they going to. The Redskins aren't that good, either. A lot of people feel the way you do about hockey these days. The labor stoppage was devastating.

12:02 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, I am responding to your Three Point Stance Blog concerning Vizquel, I would have put this on the other website but did not know if you could respond to it. Vizquel look good defensively but bat might be a bit weak. If you had a choice of Eckstein, Vizquel, or trade a prospect for Tajada or trade a good pitching prospect or two for Renteria which one would you choose? Can you reply to comments posted on Three Point Stance?

1:25 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Is it me Pat, or is this question of willingness to invest emotionally in a team a uniqely Detroit paradigm?

I remember vividly the question arising in spring 2006 as the Tigers started hot and the fans reacting similar to the Lions of this year. And if I am not mistaken - it was you that posed the question then?

Emotional investment in a team - I have come to appreciate the commitment of such an investment - as silly as it sounds to others.

I would be more skeptical investing in the Lions of 2007 than the Tigers of 2006 - but hindsight is everything.

As for the Wings - in Windsor all the excitement is building for them. But you might find the Lions and Tigers have taken most of the emotion that until recently was reserved for the Wings on your side of the river. I expect the same will be true for the Pistons shortly.

But with the Lions - as soon as you make your first emotional deposit, you will find the penalties for withdrawing to be ... well .. humiliating.

Fingers crossed is the best I can afford at the moment.

1:46 PM 
Anonymous Marty said...

I used to like watching Hockey too, but after a year without it, I really didn't miss it. I don't care much about the sport anymore. Maybe it is the salary cap, and the fact that I don't have a clue what players are on what team anymore, because they all moved around so much.

Beyond that, it was becoming a Yuppie sport in Michigan, because it is so darn expensive to buy gear for. Those were the only kids who could play, the ones that had rich parents. No one wants to be part of something that is associated with Yuppies, whether that is fair or not. As fans, the tickets were so expensive that only people with lots of disposable income could afford to go, which again leads to Yuppies. I love going to games, and they are always a blast, but it is rare to see an average person there (unlike games at the Silverdome). Oh well, I have two other sports I like to watch and pay attention to, so losing hockey isn't that big of a deal to me.


2:13 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

This is the place to respond to the podcast because I am not sure how to comment there yet - although Danny did get through. I don't have any issue with Tejada or Renteria if they don't overpay in a trade for them because both have slipped and aren't any better defensively than Guillen (Tejada is worse)

4:35 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
It does seem like it has become a Detroit issue in recent years. The Tigers and Lions had been really bad for a long time despite selling constantly they were better. The Red Wings playoff failures were getting to be haunting. People felt let down and untrusting of the hype.

4:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Good point about the wine and cheese crowd at The Joe. And those are the people who tend to be the biggest bandwagon jumpers. Seems like they have jumped on the Tigers bandwagon these days.

4:38 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

If fans have become untrusting of a team that leads the league consistantly these last few years, then the only resolution is the true holy grail of lord Stanley.

And that may not be easy to accomodate.

It may be so that the Tigers fall into that trap in the next few years as well, if we are spoiled by great seasons that end in September. I'm amazed at how many feel let down and refer to the Tigers as horrible. What a joke.
But ifdd they don't pull it off soon the same reception the Wings are receiving may come to the Tigers.

The Lions just wish they had such problems.

4:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I liked you better when you thought about what you said before you said it..ya Beckett threw a gem hats off..but is he better than Carmona..I think worst thier comprable.

10:28 PM 
Anonymous Rob said...

I listened to some of your radio show Friday evening. Ms. Jones denials of drug accusations really were aweful. Cheating athletes build their careers and fortunes on lies. They are trapped into protecting their dirty secrets until proven guilty.

For her to hide behind the Barry Bonds, "I thought it was flax-seed oil" defense is an even bigger disappointment. I understand that she has to pretend she didn't know in order to avoid jail-time. She should quickly give back her gold medals, and avoid an embarrassing IOC investigation.

There is so much money in sports now (even money stemming from amateur competition) that PEDs are here to stay. It's sad, and lies inevitably comes with the drugs.

11:03 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, Tiger salary budget last year was around 95 million I think? How much higher can they go? Could the Tigers handle a budget of a salary budget of 120 million? Just thinking if they have 13 players including Pudge at 80 million already they will need to go way beyond 95 million to add another star player and still have money to sign 12 other players.

11:39 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Carmona has had a terrific year, but Beckett won 20 games, was just as good in his postseason and has a postseason track record, so I don't see where I am off base.

10:58 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Yeah, I hear you. The flax seed oil defense. I have a feeling this day is going to come for Bonds, too. And like Jones, it will be long after he is essentially done.

10:59 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Their player payroll can go up considerably considering the cash they raked in with three million in attendance and increased marketing sales.

11:00 PM 

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