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Monday, September 11, 2006  

The Lions lost their season opener on the last play of the game. Typical.

It wasn't as bad as a pasting, I suppose, and there were a lot of things that looked really good (the defense, the occasional ability to connect for long passes), but man, if a 9-6 loss on a last-second field goal isn't pure Lions football, I don't know what is.

Here's what I got out of it:

Kitna's first pass goes for a middlingly long first down completion. Hotness.

Black jersey day.

God I hate the new ref unis. What the fuck's up with the stripes of varying widths? And the thick black side panels? I mean seriously, what the hell. They look like clowns.

Wow. First Lions series, Kevin Jones 9 yard run, shakes one tackle on his ankle, continues fighting forward, gets the first down. God, that's so refreshing. He had a good block from Schleisinger (sp?) to get him sprung initially.

Forced fumble, picked up by the Lions. EEeee!

Ok, that's two blocked kicks. What the hell? Are the Seahawks that predictable on kicking?

Kevin Jones is showing really good effort after a tackler gets hold of him. I realize this is pretty much what you SHOULD be seeing from a football player, but given the Lions last season... and all the shit with Charles Rogers and Mike Williams, man, it's nice to see someone showing that they WANT to play, if not necessarily for the Lions then at least in general, that they WANT that extra half-yard. It's early, they have plenty of time to get dispirited but, again, after all that shit about the WRs in the off-and pre-season, man.

Lofa Tatupu (sp?) is making some really nice plays out there. Reacting to the ball really well.

WOW! Mike Furrey catches a 19-yarder for a much-needed first down and gets FLATTENED by, uh, some Seahawk or other. I mean plain old destroyed, clean hit as anything, shoulder to shoulder, but Furrey just had a total momentum shift there, going forward and then BAM, going backwards. Holds on for the first down. <3

So, uh, Jon Kitna's throwing the ball down the field. Remind me again why we never let Joey do this?

The first ball all day that Hasselbeck REALLY went all out for, really aired it out, and Dre Bly is the one who catches it. Out of bounds (he touched one foot down on the edge of the white line, but was firmly on the sidelines when his other foot came down), but still. Heh. Yay.

Hrmph. Seahawks make another field goal to make it 6-3 in the last second of the first half. Boo-ers, not a fun way to go into the lockerroom, I would much rather be tied.

Jimmy Johnson thinks that, despite all the hooha about the stuff right before the season, we're "establishing discipline" in Detroit. One penalty, I think, in the first half, for like 5 yards or something. That's RIDICULOUS for the Lions, who usually make so many shitty plays just because their minds aren't properly into it.

Go to Roy Williams on second down and 6, ball was kinda low, he was kinda covered, but it was definitely still catchable. And he didn't catch it. Dropped it.

Walter Jones gets his foot caught, out of the game. Hmm.

HORSESHIT play on Eddie Drummond. He catches the ball on a kickoff, sort of, and at pretty much the exact same time a Seahawks guy runs into him, hard, knocking it loose. He had no time at all to catch that. Maybe time to feel it in his hands, but certainly not enough time to secure it. The refs conference and decide to not call a penalty on the play. That is horseshit. That is total horseshit. He did not have enough time to properly catch the ball before he got hit, that is interference. HORSESHIT. The Ford Field crowd agrees with a low, prolonged boo that's still going on when they cut to commercial.

Oh, the refs said the Lion behind him gave him a push into Drummond. HORSESHIT. The Lion back there BARELY touched him, his fingers brushed against his lower back. It was hardly a touch, it was CERTAINLY NOT anything that would have changed his momentum in one way or another. Oh my god. That is so fucking... FUCK! Stupid fucking refs.

Big Kevin Jones first down called back because Roy Williams was moving on the line, even though he was, as the announcers point out, nowhere near the play. Grr. He then makes a catch on the next play and it's a first down by a slice of the nose of the football. He got a good spot. I am still not happy with you, Roy.

Kitna is one of the Lions' captains by unanimous vote of his teammates. Ah, Joey. On the one hand, I hate the way he was used and then run out of town here, but on the other hand... man, if our team has confidence in their quarterback? When was the last time we could say THAT?

KEVIN JONES! "Tackled", stayed up, fought his way forward. OMG. Kevin Jones=Mike Hart=LOVE.

Kitna throws it out of bounds on third down, and the crowd boos. Knew they still had it in 'em.

Arright. The pro football players as the high school football team? I kind of love this commercial. If I have to see it 8 billion times over the course of the season I'm sure I'll grow to hate it, but on first viewing it is pretty much basically awesome.

Boos starting to come fast and thick now. How easily Lions fans slide back into that. They've shown some good things today; unfortunately they've also shown a kind of general shittiness when it comes to getting the offense seriously going. Roy Williams and Kitna seem to be having a good amount of trouble getting together on passes. I dunno.

Oh my god. They just showed Trent Green getting knocked out in KC. Oh man, that hit did not look good.

Lions defense, at least, has looked very good so far. Hasselbeck is getting thrown around a lot and Alexander's been pretty much shut down.

Dan Campbell, 29 yard catch! Over Marcus Truffant's upstretched fingers. Eeee. :D

Someone ripped a hole in the back of the Sean Alexander's jersey. Little triangle of black shiny armor showing through right between his numbers and just under his name.

Jason Hanson ties the game, 7:05 left in the 4th quarter. 6-6. YES. Whole new ballgame, except now everyone's much more tired.

Shaun Rogers is having a sick, sick day. "Right there is a classic example of a bullrush, ladies and gentlemen."

Where the FUCK is the defense at the end of the game?? They're stopped all game, and then all of a sudden they're putting together all these long running plays and shit?? They're in SUCH easy field goal range right now it's not even funny. SHIT.

Ugh. Seahawks win it on a last second field goal. 9-6 final and everyone saw it coming. At least we held them down; the fewest points they scored all of last season (according to the FOX guys) was 13.

James Hall: "We wanted the win. It wasn't bout comin' out here to see how well we could play out here, we wanted a win... like I said, we came out here to win, we didn't come out here to put on a good performance." He shakes his head and compresses his lips, mildly disgusted, when the reporter asks how he feels about how well the defense played, how good their performance was even though they didn't win. Good attitude. Also very well-spoken. It's that good U of M education.

Marinelli: "There's no option, there's no solution other than winning, that's it, and I won't accept anything less, I won't accept ANYTHING LESS..."

[reporter asks, did you play well?] "Yeah, but I want more than that, we gotta come out as a team and win this thing... Penalties hurt us, and holding, and communication, we beat ourselves, that's something good football teams don't do, you can't beat yourself... Good football teams- which we're gonna be-have got to do those things, got to do them well... There's no excuses, there's none, what you gotta do, when you come under pressure in a game, you gotta put pressure on the men to win..."

[reporter asks if he thinks it's a good start anyhow] "Bad start, we lost, 0 and 1.... God, I just, I thrive on competition, I thrive on this stuff, to see men get excited... you just gotta win, though, that's part of it, the challenge is the winning..."

[reporter asks what he thinks of the fans] "Oh I think they're great, great fans, great city, great town..."

Roy Williams: "If I was Chicago, I'd be watchin' out... y'know offense, we played good, not great... and defense played their butts off, if we can get that 15 or 16 more times, we'll be in the playoffs..."

[reporter asks if they can improve] "Yeah, especially in my opinion my play, they tried to take me down with two guys and that worked pretty well... I think that we'll be a champion this year." Um, OK Roy. I don't remember seeing too much double-teaming, but whatever helps you sleep at night.

Kevin Jones: "There were a few late hits... I mean that's football, I can take it... I thought we played more physical than we used to... I don't know how many sacks we had today, but... Y'know I just want the ball in my hands so I can make plays, give me space so I can make plays, so we can win... every time we ran the ball either it was stopped, or we got 9 yards."

Jon Kitna: "I don't think they did anything exotic, I've seen teams take people away, they didn't do that, but they played good football today... we're gonna be fine, there's no question, I see it every day in practice... now we just have to understand how hard it is in this league to put 7, 8, 9, 10 plays together... it was awesome, it's exciting..."

[reporter asks about the defense] "On the other hand, the offense, we feel some frustration, because we feel like we didn't hold up our end of the bargain... there's a lot of plays you wish you could have back when you lose, but no [I can't think of one in particular]."

Fernando Bryant: "It's tough, it's tough cause we're in the business to win... the rest of the NFL, I'm sure they gonna be lookin'... oh he's [Shaun Rogers] a special player, bottom line, when Shaun's goin', I don't think there's anyone in the NFL who can block him... that's how you start buildin' things, yknow, you win in your division, you win in your division an then you gotta shot... we gotta get that winnin' taste in our mouth." Tastes like chicken.

EVERYONE keeps saying that they still need to look at film before they can really know what happened in the game. Sims, Marinelli, Roy, Kevin Jones. Hmm. Such an emphasis on film right now. Wonder where in the org it's coming from.

Eddie Drummond: "Well why today was so frustrating for us was because we said don't beat ourselves in this game, and that's what we did today... I don't think there's gonna be a defense this year that can stop us, so it's up to us... the defense, I mean, you can't play any better than they did today... you just have on the sidelines, the offense is real pumped up because of how the defense is playin'... if the defense plays that way all year, we gonna win way more games than we did last year... that's somethin we did not have in the past, guys with their head down, today everyone had their head up... fans were arright, after they noticed we were dominant a little, they were into it, they got us a couple timeouts actually, we always appreciate the fans... " Also very well-spoken.

Like I said, it was a respectable game. All the guys after the game seemed to think it was unacceptable to play well but lose, and while, after only one game, I'm willing to look on the positive side, it's heartening to know that they understand that it is not OK to lose even one game, not ever, and that the team who thinks it is is a team that will never get anywhere. This is all very new for the Lions of late.

Oh, and I was at the Michigan game on Saturday, where we had a RAIN DELAY. There's some NCAA rule that states if there's lightning within 5 miles of the stadium or something, it has to be delayed. Apparently there was lightning, because they suspended play for about 45 minutes. Everyone got soaked, but the two things that stand out most in my mind are the band, who kept us from mutinying by playing through the storm, and the stench. It was huge, and came in warm, nauseating, rolling waves. I'm not sure what it was; I suspect it was just the mass accumulated smell of thousands upon thousands of drunk, filthy students made wet. Like a wet dog, you know?

Anyways. Photos from that game are right here.

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2:58 AM

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