15

October

This Week’s Sign Of The A-Pack-olypse: Feeling Good For Detroit And I’m Not Lion

Before Jim Schwartz's arrival, Lions fans were ready to go nuclear.

Welcome to the A”Pack”olypse ….or at least signs that it may be approaching.

In what I hope will become a new weekly feature here at AllGreenBayPackers.com, I will take a look at something in the NFL that is (sometimes somewhat) Packer related that may be a sign that end times may be upon us or that some kind of all hell is about to break loose.

The inaugural topic: the Detroit Lions and their 5-0 start.

I can’t believe I didn’t see a big red line under that sentence.  The fact that the Lions are undefeated should not compute.  Congrats Microsoft, you built a much smarter word processor than I thought.

Anyways, here’s the odd part: I am happy for the Detroit Lions. I mean how could you not be?

The ownership and former management regime crapped on the fan base for years.  The organization, once a proud one with the great Barry Sanders running the ball, became a punch line for futility and incompetence. Throw in the economic recession that devastated the Detroit area and a 0-16 season and things had hit rock bottom.

Today the economy is still on shaky ground but things no doubt look better for the auto industry that is the blood of Detroit’s economy.  The Lions themselves are symbolic of the city’s rise from the ashes.

After that disastrous 0-16 season in 2008, the ownership did what fans had been begging for years and fired general Matt “How the hell did he get a job in TV?” Millen and coach Rod Marinelli.  In came coach Jim Schwartz, the former defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, and new GM Martin Mayhew who was promoted internally.  They drafted Matthew Stafford with the first pick in 2009 to complement the talented but poorly utilized Calvin Johnson who was drafted by Millen in 2007.

Since then, the Lions have slowly clawed (pun not intended) their way out of the NFL basement.  Last season, they finished the season on a four game winning streak (including one against the Packers) giving their fans hope for 2011.  Stafford finally has been able to remain healthy, and his chemistry with Johnson along with his superb leadership skills (winning a game a couple years back with a separated shoulder!) have tied the Lions for first place in the NFC North alongside the defending champion Packers.

If the Packers were tied with the Bears or Vikings, we’d be arguing with their fans constantly.  For some reason, it just doesn’t feel right with the Lions.  They deserve this after all they’ve been through.

I’ll even come out and say it:  if for some reason the Packers don’t win the NFC North, I want the Lions to do it.  If the Packers can’t go to the Super Bowl, I hope the Lions do.

Make no mistake: I want the Packers to wipe the floor with their divisional rivals, but should fate decide otherwise, then I hope the Lions go all the way. Call me Judas, but I think it’s only the right thing to do.

Now, if the Lions enjoy a nice run over a few years here, things will change.  We will despise them like we do the Bears and Vikings.  We will get in Twitter shouting matches with them just like with the other two teams.

But for 2011 at least, it’s different.  The Lions and Packers are both built to dominate this division for years.  The same can’t be said for Chicago and Minnesota.  It’s a strong possibility we will end up hating Detroit too.

But not this year.

How can you not like Matthew Stafford? Yes, he’s been injured a fair amount of times but the guy can throw and is an incredible leader.  Not to mention he is a class act off the field.

Bottom line: let’s enjoy the battle between the Packers and Lions this year.  It’s been a long time coming.  There is nothing wrong with feeling good for a divisional rival with a passionate fan base that was nearly beaten into oblivion by ownership and management.

I can’t wait for Thanksgiving. Packers/Lions at Ford Field.  Perhaps even a battle of two 10-0 teams.

Honestly, I hope to see it.  It would be fitting.

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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18 Responses to “This Week’s Sign Of The A-Pack-olypse: Feeling Good For Detroit And I’m Not Lion”

  1. Ron LC says:

    A sign of the greatness of the GB Packers. A contributor to one of the Packers Apex sites spends much virtual ink raving aout a rival. Only in the GB world!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. 1982lionsfan says:

    I am a lions fan in and out, I wore my Kevin jones jersey every Sunday of the zero win season. I hated the packers basically my whole life. Last year was different for me though. My team had won one game going into week six and all I was hearing about on tv was Bret Favre. By this time I was sick of all the Favre talk (my division rival since he got off that plane from Atlanta) and wondered why people weren’t talking about AR12 he was the real story. Aaron Rodgers in a sense was mystery before Favre left green bay but when he took the reigns it was seamless. I personally never witnessed anybody that young come in and take a storied franchise such as the packers to battle every week. When I read this story it made me laugh because all my friends bleed honalulu blue and silver and when I would tell them how good I thought the packers were you could only imagine what I would hear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. cow42 says:

    this may sound ridiculous but i hate every other team in the nfl. i hate every non-packer in the nfl/even players that used to be packers – they should have taken less money to stay or played better when they were here. i am angry anytime fans of another team are happy about that team’s accomplishments. i wish that there was a way to have every team in the nfl except for the packers lose every sunday. i hate the lions. i hate the dome/i hate all domes. i hate stafford. i hate that color blue. i hate suh. i hate lions fans who are jumping back on the wagon. i hate megatron/although i love the nickname megatron – that’s cool as shit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

    • cow42 says:

      i do not hate the hat that that guy in the picture is wearing. funny.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • cow42 says:

        kris burke is a linos fan.
        sweet.

        -There is nothing wrong with feeling good for a divisional rival with a passionate fan base that was nearly beaten into oblivion by ownership and management.-

        yes there is.

        key words here DIVISIONAL RIVAL.

        -Kris Burke is a freelance sports writer currently residing in Wisconsin.-

        key words here CURRENTLY RESIDING IN WISCONSIN.

        so you weren’t born here.
        which clearly explains your take on this situation.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

        • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

          Yes I was born here. I can show you my birth certificate. I stand by my comments. We can make an exception for THIS YEAR. if they remain competitive, then we can hate

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          • Mojo says:

            I’m with Cow here, at least regarding hating every other team that doesn’t have a G on its helmet. However, I can think of worse teams to have success than the Lions – like those piles of purple puke up in Minnaasooota. As far as every other team losing each week it would make it difficult to cull a playoff schedule.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Steve Cheez says:

      You hit it right on the head, Cow.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Something says:

    I fell pretty much the same way about the Lions. I laugh at Vikings fans with disbelief at their team and the state of it. And I loath on Bears fan and their silly team. But Lions, they been the punching bag far too long, they are going to be tough. They are doing things right and doing right by their people. All that punching makes a strong team stronger. Lions is my second favourite team in the NFC and I got “PACKERS” tattooed on my chest. I do hope that Lions gets into the Playoffs and if GB vs. DET comes up, it will be a match to remember between the two top teams in NFC N. Who wouldn’t want to see that game?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. cow42 says:

    so let me get this straight… you are openly pulling for a team that would like nothing better than to literally remove aaron rodgers’ head from his body.

    got it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • Lionforever says:

      Yup. And no never want too see a player hurt like that. However a dislocated thumb would do.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Mojo says:

    The Vikings could lose every game they play for eternity and I would be happy. The Bears and Lions could lose every game for half an eternity and that would be alright too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  7. Mojo says:

    If I had to pick a team to win the SB other than the Pack I would have to go with an AFC team. So my default non-Pack SB winner: The Cleveland Browns.

    To root for another NFC team much less a divisional foe … ain’t gonna happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  8. Oppy says:

    I want the NFC North to be regarded as the strongest division in all of football.

    The better the competition, the greater the achievements of my Packers.

    Maybe Mojo and Cow42 would love for the Packers to win the division by default each year and have the rest of the league always talking about them with comments like, “Well, sure, the Packers won the NFC North, but who did they have to play?”.. Not Me.

    I Want Detroit and the Bears to be tough customers. Minnesota can go to LA, though. I’d gladly welcome the Rams into the NOrth.. Of course, they’d have to step up their game, though ;)

    I hope for the success of the Bears and the Lions so long as that success does not infringe on the Packers’.

    Mojo, Cow42- Just remember, as much as Lambeau and Halas hated each other- and make no mistake, they hated each other- it was Halas that came to the Packers’ aide when the league was considering pushing the Packers out the door. There was a brilliant article written recently by CD Angeli about how it’s your competition that defines you. …Without strong NFC North opponents, the Packers become less than great.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

      Well said.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Mojo says:

        Oppy, while I admire your premise on how the strenght of a division reflects on your team, keep in mind nobody cares about how strong a division is if your team wins the SB. For example the ’85/’86 Bears are considered one of the greatest SB champions of all time, yet the best record of any divisional foe that year was the Pack at 8-8. No team other than the Bears had a positive PF-PA. TB went 2 and 14. Conversly, the 2003 superbowl Champs TB defeated the Oakland Raiders a team who played that year in a division with no team below 500. Nobody gave Oakland any more merit after getting wiped by TB because they played in a tough divsion.

        What matters to me is how the Pack does in the playoffs and how many titles they garner. Divisional play is just a means to an end.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. Steve says:

    I like a blowout as much as the next guy. But, I like watching a good well fought game by both opponents. Am I happy with the current Lion’s record, No. But I am glad to see that the level of competition from the Lions is much higher and will make for more interesting and meaningful games, especially on Thanksgiving this year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0