Monday, December 29, 2008


To paraphrase President Gerald Ford...our long municipal nightmare is over.

The Detroit Lions, ever seeking the cutting edge of futility, managed to do the impossible yesterday: in a league which drives all teams toward parity, the Lions managed a uniquely Motown version of perfection, falling to the Green Bay Packers in the season finale...and becoming the first team in NFL history to lose all sixteen of its games in a single season.

There have been pretenders...including the Lions themselves, in previous incarnations. But most of them---including the immortal 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who set the previous low-water mark at 0-14---were expansion teams. The Lions managed the feat after a long and storied tradition...of losing, since the end of the glory days in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Not that it was an easy task: many times, the team seemed on the verge of victory, only to snatch defeat at the last moment. Whether through untimely penalties, misplayed defense, or a quarterback merry-go-round that seemed almost intended to keep the team in a state of flux, the coaches and players pulled together (in different directions, granted; but it was often at the same time...or, at least, within minutes of each other) to keep victory at bay.

And, in the end...perfection.

In a year filled with so much hatred, at least we can appreciate the gift the Lions gave to all of us...the gift of laughter.

Of course...laughter isn't exactly what most football fans look for in a team. But like following politics and current events...following the Lions is not for the faint of heart, and anyone who can't laugh at it all is apt to drive himself crazy.

Laughter is their legacy
Losing is their fame;
Nothing is beyond belief
For Lions and their game.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a veteran public prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.

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