- They have never made it to the Super Bowl.
- They have only won one playoff game since 1957.
- In 2008, they set a record by going 0-16.
- The best running back ever, Barry Sanders, prefered to retire young rather than to continue to play for the team (and did it just short of breaking Walter Payton‘s rushing record).
When we were in North Carolina, he would get the Sunday Ticket just so he could watch the Lions play. He and his friend Steamer would watch every game (usually right at 1:00 p.m. because the Lions aren’t good enough to play later in the day). In 9 years, I don’t think he missed more than about one game and that was when he was travelling. He even watched every game in the disastrous 2008 season (see above).
Yesterday, about 2:00 a.m. our time*, the Lions played the formidable New Orleans Saints in New Orleans in the playoffs. If the Lions had won their previous game they would have had an easier game against the New York Giants. Instead, they had to play the New Orleans Saints who won the Super Bowl in 2010 and still have some of the players from that team. They are known to be hard to beat at home. He was not optimistic.
Here, we are not surrounded by American Football. If we didn’t seek it out, we could go months (or longer) without ever seeing evidence that the sport exists. This morning, the first thing he did when he got up was check the score. After seeing the Lions lost (45-28), he did not watch the game. Being over here spared him the game’s frustration, agony and humiliation (or at least it did until I posted this).