Ted Lee takes a shot as a guest author and writes about the Lions!

Publish date:

I have been a Lion fan for over 50 years, I have seen it all and believe me the majority of the time, it hasn’t been pretty. I love the Lions, but first and foremost, I love the game of football, I have loved it since I wasa kid, I loved playing, I love watching games, dissecting games and I know what it takes to play winning football. I wonder sometimes if the people in charge of the Lions know as much as some of their fans.

My fondest memory of the Lions is the team from 1962. The Lions record was 11-3.They were coached by George Wilson, their 3 losses were 9-7 @ Green Bay when Milt Plum threw an interception late in the game, which was returned for a TD by Herb Adderly. I remember Alex Karras wanted to kill Plum after the game, almost hitting him with his helmet. That was only the 4th game of the season.

Their other losses were to the Giants 17-14 at New York and they lost at Chicago, the last game of the year 3-0 three losses by a total of 8 pts. Their victory on Thanksgiving Day Nov 22, over Green Bay 26-14, was one of the greatest football games I have ever seen the Lions play. It was Green Bay’s only loss of the year.

The Lions should have beat Green Bay twice, should have been in the Championship game, but ineffective QB play by Plum, at the most inopportune times was their downfall. Earl Morrall was the backup QB that year, but seldom played. Do you remember some of these names? Terry Barr, Roger Brown, Gail Cogdil, Jim Gibbons, Night Train Lane, Karras, Yale Lary, Dick LeBeau, Darris McCord, Nick Pietronsante, Harley Sewell, Tommy Watkins, John Gordy, Joe Schmidt, Pat Studstill and Wayne Walker, just to name a few.

Now there were some football players, I would take that 1962 roster over all of the current Lions, of course they wouldn’t be able to play for this Lions regime. They aren’t fast enough, they might not be able to play the Tampa Two. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of hearing how fast this current team is, I am tired of hearing about techniques and gap control. I don’t want a track team or a scheme team.  I want a FOOTBALL team.
I want some guys who can play football. I want some guys who know how to block and tackle. I want some guys who enjoy playing the game, who play with heart and courage and intensity. I am tired of all the talk about how they should be doing this and doing that….PLEASE stop talking and start playing.

Rod Marinelli says they are “close to being an elite team”. I thought that was a misprint when I first read it, but then I heard him say it on tape. Now I don’t expect him to say they are a terrible team, but to say something as inane as that, is very troubling, because if he really believes that and does nothing to improve the talent and makeup of this team, we are in deep trouble.

When was the last time, you got excited watching the Lions play? I can’t remember…can you? I want to get excited again, I want to believe again, I want to enjoy Lions football again unfortunately it will not happen this year. This Lions team will not provide that kind of excitement. They are not a good football team, its as simple as that.

They may win a game they should lose they will lose games they should win. Do you want to know what is really scary? The Lions are in the bottom tier of a league where there are a lot of bad football teams. They are not consistent, they are not talented, they do not have enough heart.

Chris Cooley says the Lions quit in the 2nd half, really…I saw them quit in the 2nd half of the 3rd preseason game at Indianapolis. I saw the look of resignation on the faces of many players after being dismantled by Peyton Manning and the Colts.

Unfortunately there is not much we can do. William Clay Ford said last week, he is happy with the way things are going and that is all that matters. If we (the fans) don’t like it, I guess that it is too bad. I really don’t understand why Mr. Ford, who obviously is a smart man, allows this to continue. What does he see, that so many of us don’t?

If I could say one thing to Mr. Ford, it would be to go back and watch the tapes of the 1962 Lions, watch how football is meant to be played. Oh the uniforms are different, the schemes are different, the players are bigger and stronger, but they certainly are not better. I don’t care what year it is football is football. You must be able to block, which allows you to run and pass the ball. You must be able to tackle, to defend receivers, to make plays when you are tired and hurting, you should know what it takes to play winning football.

It is not the current players fault they didn’t sign themselves. Who wouldn’t accept millions of dollars for playing football? Excuse me, I should say “attempting” to play football. Can you blame Kalimba Edwards, Jeff Backus, Cory Redding and a host of others for accepting all this money, albeit, under false pretenses? No, the fault lies at the very top of this organization. Obviously Mr Ford doesn’t care if you throw his money away, I don't care either, but I would like to see a competitive football team.

We will not be a winning organization until the people in charge of this roster, can evaluate talent as successfully as they can write checks. Just look at our draft selections for the past 7 years, can you name me more than 2 players who have been productive, who have made a difference? Difficult isn’t it?

I will continue to watch, I will continue to hope for change, knowing that is unlikely based on the history of the Lions organization, until then, I am left only with the memories of the past….1962.…where are you?