Do the Detroit Lions need to be bad?


Think about this Detroit fans.

Think about the guys who came to this town and are now sports legends. Think about the Bad Boys Era of teh Detroit Pistons, and come to the realization that this is a town that likes guys with a little bit of edge to them. Guys like Darren McCarty, Rick Mahorn, Joe Kocur, Kirk Maltby, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris, and yes even Dennis Rodman. All great players who played their sport with a little big of grit.

Oct 14, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson (13) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Lions defeated the Eagles 26-23 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

However, I have an easier time with the Bad Boy Pistons giving guys hard fouls than I do with the Detroit Lions taking bad penalties. For one football is such a physical sport that given a guy an extra shot or too doesn’t seem to have the same effect that a good stiff fore arm in basketball does. Second the Lions now have a reputation as a dirty tem and there is no way around that fact that these shenanigans hurt the team.

WR Nate Burleson disagrees and is on record saying:

"What we worked for was getting torn down, and we wanted to be more of a mature team. But finding that maturity off the field can’t compromise who we are on the field. And who we are on the field are the bad guys. . . . We’re the ones that nobody wants to see succeed, and we like it that way. We play better that way. I think everybody took it in their own hands to be better men off the field, and that followed us a little bit on the field. But I think we’re back where we need to be."

If being the most penalized team in any single game in 2012 in where the Lions want to be, maybe I no longer care to be a Lions fan. If giving the opposition over 130 free years is where this team wants to be may be the Head Coach needs to get fired. Maybe Nate Burleson wasn’t in Detroit for the past year, but nothing positive has come out of this type of behavior.
Since starting the 2011 season 5-0, the Lions record isn’t all that great. They are very lucky to be 2-3 in 2012, and they got a big test coming this Monday at Chicago. To be perfectly honest it still sounds like the Lions are distracted.

Instead of talking about how he can help this team pans to beat the Bears, Burleson is trying to justify bad behavior. It simply is not good to take 16 penalties in any one football game. It simply isn’t good to have over 130 penalty yards, and the Lions 2-3 record suggest that it isn’t particularly effective. The Lions don’t scare anyone because each and every week everyone watches an offense that can’t find the end zone, and Burleson has the audacity to talk about this team swagger. Really?

When we factor in the playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints the Lions re just 7-10 since starting 2011 5-0. You know what 7-10 teams don’t get to do? That’s right, run off at the mouth. Every Wednesday and Thursday the Lions get in front of the media and talk about really unimportant things. Their coaches should have them focused on beating the next opponent and until that happens we here at DJC will continue to point out the fact that they aren’t. Great NFL teams focus on the next opponent, not their style points and it really feels like the current Lions roster and staff are more concerned about their style over the results we see on the field.

In the end enough talk already, enough arrests, and enough entitled behavior. Go out and win some games and the Lions will not have to say a thing. Winning is the ultimate judge here, and the simple fact is the Lions do not win enough to act this way.

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