Claire McNear talks to a Detroit Lions lifelong fan fed up with his team's seemingly predestined futility.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of World’s Angriest Fan, where each week we speak to a fan who has completely had it with his or her team. Just hands-in-the-air, wall-smashing, I’m-finally-selling-my-toaster-that-burns-a-logo-into-my-bread done with the whole thing.
Maybe your team just blew it. Maybe your quarterback is garbage and your O-line is awful. Maybe your coach is an idiot, or your owner has come unhinged. Perhaps there are mysterious forces conspiring to drive your team into the ground. Or perhaps those forces are hiding in plain sight, and no one seems to want to do anything about it.
Have you ever hated the team you love? Like really, really, really hated them, with a fervor and venom typically reserved for dictators or diseases? Nick O. has.
He is the World’s Angriest Fan.
The Detroit Lions are not good. The promise of last year’s season — when the team went 11–5 and made it to the NFC wild-card game — has quickly dissipated. After Monday night’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Lions are 0–4 and are the only winless team in the NFL. A lot went wrong Monday, including a blown call by a back judge with less than two minutes to go that cost Detroit the game. But this is only the latest debacle in a years-long stretch of misery for the Lions, which in 2008 became the first — and to date only — team under the modern 16-game schedule to go an entire season without a single victory.
Last night, Nick O. burned his Lions jersey.
(Warning: Tweet contains explicit language.)
It was a jersey he’d had since he was a kid, he explained.
“So it had value to me,” he says. “But no longer.”
Embarrassed to be a Lions fan. Ship em to Cali. They can go lose in that shiny new stadium— nick neutrality (@NiCh0lAsPrImE) October 6, 2015
“Watching the Lions is like repeatedly getting punched in the gut,” Nick says. “I watch every g------ Sunday and I feel like I’m watching a peewee team.”
What’s wrong with the Lions, exactly? Let’s start with: literally everything.
“The O-line is more useless than the s--- I took this morning,” says the native of St. Clair Shores, Michigan. “Laken Tomlinson and Manny Ramirez are going to make their O-line so good, they said!”
“Look at this f------ team!! What is right about it???? Nothing????”
“Next we have ‘our savior’ Lombardi,” says Nick, talking about offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, grandson of Hall of Fame coach and Super Bowl trophy namesake Vince Lombardi. “‘He’s gonna save the Lions because of his blood.’ F--- that! No, he’s not! He can’t even get his QB to air it out. They have opposing defenses calling out our plays before they even happen!”
Many of Nick’s complaints boil down to Martha Ford, owner of the Lions franchise and the widow of William Clay Ford Sr., grandson of Henry Ford. Nick sees Martha Ford’s continued ownership as an ill-advised play by the Firestone–Ford family heritage, wholly without the future of the Lions in mind. Nick is almost certain the Fords are cursed.
The jersey-burning, he confesses, was a ploy to get the Fords to sell. Though he’s not sure how that’s going to work, exactly.
“It is very hard dedicating your time to a team that kills your hope at the last minute every time,” Nick says. “They are the laughingstock of the NFL right now and I get to say I am a fan. That’s not fair to me.
“As crazy as it sounds, the Lions try and find ways to lose games that any other team in the league would win. That is the Ford curse.”
Nick recognizes that not everything this season has been the Lions’ fault, particularly the now-infamous botched call late Monday night. This does not bring him very much peace.
“A RULE IS A F----- RULE YOU BALD-HEADED F---!” he offers, his voice so intense I think I hear our shared satellite disintegrating in space.
“The Lions NEEDED that win,” he expounds. “This s--- is getting real old real fast.”
“WE ARE LOSERS!”
The World’s Angriest Fan: Quick questions
Three words to describe your feelings as a fan right now:
Three words to describe your team right now:
Draw the team:
I speak on behalf of Lions fans everywhere. We are fed up with the crap we have to watch every week and deserve better as a team. Make sure the Fords get this. They don’t seem to care about how much we go through every year. There’s only one solution after all these decades of consistent losing. SELL THE TEAM!
Well, that's a wrap! Thanks to Nick for regaling us with his unique brand of charming Midwestern rage.
Until next week: Go Lions!