Completely agree with Mr. Mathers, "this ain't a movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer". But if it was a movie, Mekhi Phifer would likely play the role of DTLs safety Louis Delmas, by virtue of his impeccable dreadlocks. And while I'm playing this game, I'll go ahead and cast Eminem as Jason "the Best in the Business" Hanson, the role he always knew he was born to play. Since I brought up Eminem, I'll also go ahead and share a funny anecdote that blends the topics of Em and football...
When I was in early high school, I had the PS2 game "ESPN Football", a slightly inferior Madden competitor with a gimmicky 'first person football' option that let you play the game from the perspective of inside the player's helmet, which by the way was ridiculously stupid. Anyhow, another feature of the game was that it played fake songs over the stadium loudspeaker; you know, songs that sounded very much like other popular tunes of the time, but that were just slightly off in order to avoid copyright infringement (a technique also employed to hilarious effect by the Disney Channel show "Even Stevens"). Examples of these fake songs included Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away", The Kinks' "You Really Got Me", and Gary Glitter's "The Hey Song". My favorite of these songs was a ripoff of Em's "Lose Yourself", which would often play right before a kickoff. It always cut off just before any lyrics were sung, but me and Big Mitchy always pictured that it would have been something like,
"You'd better, not be able to find yourself,
in the music, the instant, you want it,
you'd better always hold on to it!
You won't get a second chance,
do not miss your chance to go!
This opportunity comes once, before you die!"
In the soundtrack to the game, the name of that song was "N n' N". So shameless.
So I hear the rematch is on. Same time, same place, same TV channel, same record-setting QB wearing the fleur-de-lis helmet on the other side of the line. The last time the Detroit Lions won a playoff game, I didn't yet know who the Detroit Lions were. The last time they won a playoff game on the road, my Pops didn't yet know who the Detroit Lions were. In part one of this Saga Genesis, we saw a DTLs meltdown akin to Dr. Robotnik going haywire after Sonic get the final hit on him in the Final Zone. What gives fans like myself the hope, no, the expectation that things will be different this time around?
For one thing, the H-Bromo defense will have a few key players back this week that were unavailable the first time the two teams played: wounded warrior Louis Delmas, back from a knee injury, and wounding warrior Dom Suh, back from his Stompsgiving suspension. Despite how unremarkable of a season Dom has thus far had, I have to think his presence on Saturday will help the front four to get some much-needed pressure on Brees. Delmas, who has missed the last five games, is the heart and soul of a hot and cold secondary that feeds off of his boundless energy and enthusiasm when on the field.
Even amid the injuries and suspensions in the first meeting, the game was actually much closer than the 31-17 final score would indicate. New Orleans jumped out to a big first half lead. but the Lions outplayed them in the final 2 1/2 quarters if you take away their unbelievably stupid penalties (I know you can't really take them away, but let's pretend). For all the (much deserved) accolades the Saints' high powered offense receives, the boxscore shows that the Lions actually outgained them in that game, 466-438. About those penalties...
It is no secret that Detroit's immaturity directly cost them 10 points in that game, and indirectly cost them a lot more, figuring in wasted field position and wiped out first downs and all. This culminated in a grand total of 107 penalty yards, three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and three offensive pass interference penalties on the same player, which I still believe has to be some kind of record. Like how Happy Gilmore still holds a Junior League hockey record for being the only guy ever to take his skate off and try to stab someone.
For those who forget, Jimmy Schwartz was left teary-eyed and speechless, Stafford's 400 yard passing game went completely unnoticed, and after the game, Dom Raiola (master of the illegal snap penalty) yelled to the locker room to "Grow the F#@K up!", as reported by the Detroit Free Press. I wonder how one goes about pronouncing the word 'F#@K', or if Raiola actually said 'FUCK' and one of Michael Rosenberg's buddies just misquoted him, as so often happens in journalism these days. To prove my point, I don't even know if it was actually the Free Press that reported that. I'm just fed up with the sloppy typographical errors that appear in seemingly every one of their on-line articles (even more than this blog), so I feel like making fun of them.
As for other reprimandings that occurred following the penalty debacle, it's been reported that rookie Titus Young got plenty of earsful from his coaches and veterans on the squad, and I assume that Stef Logan received the same and is genuinely remorseful for his actions. As for Pettigrew, I'm not worried about him one bit; I hear that Voldemort gave ol' Wormtail a thick dose of the cruciatus curse back at the Riddle House following his personal foul penalty and subsequent bumping of the ref. If that doesn't help get the message across, I don't know what will.
(and since Nitch requested it)...
There are two things in the Harry Potter movie series regarding wand use that I found to be humorous:
1) the way Lord Voldemort holds his wand kind of skinny in Goblet of Fire. Tentatively, using all five of his long fingers, but barely grasping it. That was done perfectly.
2) When one wizard threatens another, they always hold the point of the wand close to the other's throat, as if it were a sharp knife or switchblade. Since a) the point of a wand is not sharp, and b) several much more painful curses can be performed from a longer range, this is completely unnecessary in my opinion. Back to pigskin.
If the DTLs go out and underperform on Saturday, the cliche that the squawking heads in the sports media will probably use is, "oh, they were just happy to be there in the first place". To some degree, this is true, at least from a fan's perspective. I haven't been able to watch Lions playoff football in quite a long time, and I'm very excited that I'll have the chance this weekend. I don't harbor any wet dreams of winning the Super Bowl, at least not this year, especially with the vicious schedule moving forward (all roads seem to go through Green Bay at this point). However, I think our Bromothymols have the firepower to hang around with anybody, and this should make for a very compelling shot at redemption on Saturday.
I will certainly be wearing my new B.Sanders throwback jersey to work tomorrow.
As Pops says while reaching the crest of every roller coaster at Cedar Point, "Here we gooo, babbbeeyyy!!!"