What the heck was that? My eyes need a checkup. I swear the Lions just blew a team out.
Can’t be. Come on. The last time the Lions won a blowout was nearly three years ago. Jon Kitna was the quarterback, Kevin Jones was the running back, George W. Bush was the president, and you could still sell your house. I remember Shaun Rogers intercepted a pass that day and huffed his big, fat frame 66 yards for a touchdown. Detroit clobbered Denver, 44-7, to reach 6-2 on the season.
And after that victory, this is what Lions defensive end Cory Redding told the media: “This is real. Â It’s not the same old Lions no more.”
And they lost 41 of the next 44 games.
So, be serious. A blowout? The Lions do blowouts the way Lady Gaga does tea parties. Those three victories in three years have all been by five points or fewer. Trust me. I looked it up. (It’s only three victories. It’s not that hard.)
So, yeah, you bet they’re gonna party. You bet receiver Nate Burleson is gonna kick a ball into the stands after scoring – even if he gets flagged. You bet Alphonso Smith will do a shuttle-step dance after returning an interception 42 yards for a score. Hey, wouldn’t you?
Let me say this again. This was a blowout BY THE LIONS! That’s like The Three Stooges doing opera. Like bad hair from Jennifer Aniston. The Lions don’t do blowouts unless they’re on the other side of them.
But Sunday at Ford Field, they cashed every chip. Scored on offense, defense and special teams. They had St. Louis going for it on fourth down – IN THE THIRD QUARTER!
Take my pulse. I’m still breathing, right? Players can enjoy the feeling
The Lions did not allow a touchdown. They did not lose a fumble. They did not get intercepted. They won by 38 points. And I would like a notary public to stand here as I write this.
Because Sunday’s 44-6 blowout over the Rams was either historic or a change in the tide, but either way, it’s worth writing down. Players like center Dominic Raiola, one of the few still here from three years back, know what I mean.
“Last win like this was that Denver game,” Raiola said in the locker room. “And after that we went 1-7, then 0-16, then 2-14, then 0-4. That’s a long time.
“What makes this sweeter is that you could feel it coming. We played a good Green Bay team to the wire last week, were close with Minnesota, Philly, Chicago.
“I didn’t want to get that hangover feeling, that Âhere we go again’ thing. But when we came into practice on Wednesday, it wasn’t like that. Guys this year, we’re not gonna let that happen.”
I didn’t mention what Redding said last time.
Why spoil the party? So many highlights in victory
Look, there’s no denying the 2010 Lions put in five games to get one victory. They were robbed the first week, hung in all the rest. Why NOT a cakewalk? Teams like New England get ’em all the time.
Did I just say “New England?”
Get me a pillow, please.
OK. A few things must be cited here. The kickoff return by Stefan Logan was huge (105 yards, tying the Lions’ longest ever). The return of Burleson was huge. Yes, he punted a ball into the stands.
“My first touchdown as a Lion,” he said.
Understandable. Like climbing Everest.
“Were the coaches mad?” he was asked.
“It’s kind of like when a kid does something bad but they go and tell the parent right away so it takes the sting out of it? I ran up to (Jim Schwartz) really fast and said, ÂCoach, my bad. I’m sorry.’ “
Hey, Nate. Don’t be sorry for celebrating a victory like this. Shaun Hill was solid. Jahvid Best was solid. The defense was solid. And Burleson being out there actually allowed Calvin Johnson to be thrown to nine times, with four catches and a touchdown. Sunday was the biggest margin of victory in 15 years.
All in all, it was great fun, even if it was as likely as a Beatle wig on Rush Limbaugh. Sure, the Rams (2-3) were the worst team in football last year. But Detroit was heading that way this year – at least until this victory.
Now we’ll see if sweet destiny can continue, and if the Lions can beat the Giants next week in New Jersey, which would be their first road victory in Â
Please, don’t make me look THAT one up.
Contact MITCH ALBOM: 313-223-4581 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch “The Mitch Albom Show” 5-7 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760).