Matthew Stafford's Playoff Success Is Further Proof That The Detroit Lions Are The Worst Organization In The History Of Sports

I don't write a ton about the Lions. My depression is severe enough. I don't need to dive any deeper into that nonsense, but it's a story now. Matthew Stafford is going to the NFC championship. Not only is Matthew Stafford going to the NFC championship game, but Matthew Stafford just upset Tom Brady on the road to get there. There are a lot of Lions fans who are happy for Matthew Stafford. I am also. The guy busted his ass and wasted most of his career with a trash organization. But despite how glad I am about his success in 2021, his current run is an indictment on what is indisputably the worst organization in the history of sports in the Detroit Lions. I came into the season feeling that Stafford's inability to win a playoff game Detroit was 20% his fault and 80% the organization's fault. I have changed that opinion. It's 100% on the Lions. In the future, when people say who the most tortured fanbase in sports is, there is one answer and one answer alone. It's the Detroit Lions. 

"But the Jacksonville Jaguars are so bad. They'll never turn around." Shut up. Four years ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars were like one play away from going to the Super Bowl. 

"O, the Cleveland Browns are so terrible." The Cleveland Browns have the exact number of playoff wins over the last two years that the Lions have had over the previous sixty. 

It's human nature to be excited for Matthew Stafford right now, especially if you are a Detroit Lions fan, but we have to have some perspective here. For 12 years, the Detroit Lions had an MVP caliber QB. They had a transcendent, Super Bowl-winning caliber quarterback. And for a dozen years, they gave him a few good receivers, no offensive line, no running game, and they gave him a good defense one time. That's organizational malpractice at a level that we've never seen before. I'm the biggest Tigers fan that I know, and there are people out there who believe that the Tigers wasted Justin Verlander's career, or wasted Miguel Cabrera's prime, or wasted the early peak of Max Scherzer. But you know what? Those guys won MVP and Cy Young awards. They made deep playoff runs. Should they have won a World Series? Of course, and the fact that they didn't is one of the most significant failures in sports history, but at least they approached the mountaintop. The Lions with Matthew Stafford never took a step towards the summit. I did not expect to get this vindictive at any point, but I hope Stafford wins his next two games. I hope he wins the Super Bowl, and I hope next year he wins the MVP next year and repeats as a champion.

One of my favorite quotes from "Batman Begins" is when Bruce says, "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy." I hope this is the dramatic example that the Lions need. They have drafted poorly, and underdeveloped talent, but the only thing worse than never having talent is wasting talent, and Matthew Stafford wasn't a talent. Matthew Stafford was special. He still is. And I know Lions fans are going to be upset about this blog. "Chris, we don't need to be reminded of how awful we are." Yes, you do, goddammit! It has nothing to do with the fans. Lions fans are fantastic. They're passionate, and they're loyal. The fact that the Lions have any fans left even though they cheer for a garbage organization reflects just how dedicated and great Detroit sports fans are. But sometimes, they need to be reminded of the abyss they've been looking into for decades. And this has no reflection on the current administration. I quite like Brad Holmes, and while I have serious question marks about Dan Campbell, the man has a self-awareness to him that no Detroit Lions coaches had in the last, I don't know, 50 years. I'm not blaming them for the sins of the past. But at the same time, the organization must understand the depth of its failure. For 12 years, the Lions had a quarterback with generational talent, and they seemingly went out of their way to make him look worse than he was. I hope the Fords hang their heads in shame.