Six Sentence Monday: Entry #15

I am fortunate. Supportive, loving family and friends. A glass or two of Franco Serra Barbera D’Alba to chase the chill of a wintry Monday night. What could be better? A “W” for my team — the Detroit Lions — in their contest against the Baltimore Ravens. Oh, and the lucky Mega Million ticket.

Check out this post from another who likes to drink wine, but doesn’t like to pay a lot for it.

Franco Serra Barbera D’Alba

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Six Sentence Monday: Entry #14

Four days until holiday season 2013 commences. But, most have already succumbed to the frenzy. Even my children are begging for a Christmas motif. Honestly, Thanksgiving is by far my favorite. The traditions it encourages are simple. Be thankful, spend time with family — close and extended — eat, drink, and watch the Detroit Lions play football.

Previous Six Sentence Monday Entries …

Entry #13

Entry #12

Entry #11

Three Questions for the Detroit Lions Offense Coaching Staff

Where did the magic go? Or, maybe that’s the key word in this entire post: magic. I am talking about the Detroit Lions a 10-6 record and wildcard slot in the 2011 season. Was that season a fluke?

English: Ndamukong Suh, a National Football Le...

English: Ndamukong Suh, a National Football League Player. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before I rant any further, I must say, the Lions’ defense played a superb game against the Chicago Bears, Monday night. Their ability to hold the Bears to 10 points and cut stupid penalties is proof of their growing maturity and discipline. Ndamukong Suh, Alphonso Smith,  Kyle Vanden Bosch and the entire defensive line never gave up.

A pattern is developing this season. It is an old one; and it troubles me. The Lions squander opportunities for touchdowns; and then at best — if they don’t turnover the ball — settle for field goals. No one is ever going to call me a football expect. And, I suppose I have is easy in all of this. All I do is sit on a couch or bar stool with my heart in my hands; watching the Lions revert to the team I knew before.

English: Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Sta...

English: Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Call me lazy. Doesn’t it seem like someone is making poor play decisions? Yes, Matthew Stafford has thrown too many interceptions. But, there are just too many situations where Stafford makes play decisions that go against what we saw from him during the 2011 season. He is a talented quarterback with the willingness to put it all out there to win. Last night, Stafford made several runs to gain yardage or to pick up first downs. In 2011, he won games running the ball in for a touchdown.

So, I have to give the offensive coaching staff the “eye” and ask some pointed questions.

Question 1: Why are you waiting to turn on offensive might until there are mere seconds to play in the game?  The clock doesn’t lie. A team only has four quarters of time to convert into touchdowns. Bad plays and mistakes whittle that precious time away. Championship-worthy teams know this. They do not wait to make touchdowns. They seize each opportunity, play aggressively and intelligently, put the ball in the end zone, and watch the points add up on the scoreboard.

Question 2: Why pass to score a touchdown when you’re on the goal line and you have Mikel Leshoure? Here’s more context to frame my question. The Lions and Philadelphia Eagles are mere seconds from game end on October 14. The Eagles are up. But, only by six. The Lions have a chance — a good chance — at scoring a touchdown to win the game. Stafford has his team on the goal line. It’s first down. That’s three attempts to get the ball over the chalk line. The Eagles are swarming Johnson and Pettigrew. But, that’s okay. Passing is unnecessary. Just give the ball to Leshoure, get the six, and have Hansen kick the extra point for the win. But, no. For some reason, Stafford wastes all three tries at a touchdown with failed pass attempts, which almost result in turnovers. The Lions settle for a field goal to tie; and then a field-goal for the win in overtime.

Question 3: Do you really think field goals will get Ws? Don’t get me wrong. Jason Hanson is amazing. The guy rarely misses. But, he can’t make up for missed touchdowns. Besides, Hanson is 42. What are the Lions going to do when he retires? Unless, the Lions figure out that touchdowns make Ws; we — the fans — are going to be posting Ls for another decade.

The Lions need to fix their offensive coaching decisions; and fast. I am hopeful — and overly optimistic — that the Lions’ 2012 season will mimic the New York Giants’ 2011 season. Remember how the Giants played so awful in the first half? But, then they regrouped, upset season contenders and won it all.

Love is in the Air: ’tis the Season for Football

Bright, brilliant Michigan skies welcome another season of supreme athleticism at football stadiums near and far. Cool, crisp breezes blend lasting traditions with an air of possibility for play-off births and championship rings. Memories stir of good times spent with family and friends.

There is something about football. I love to watch it; I love to talk about it; and I love to write about it. I don’t dabble in fantasy land or keep track of stats. The ambiance — starry nights, cheering fans, face paint, jerseys, sunny Saturday and Sunday afternoons, autumn colors, mud bowls, beer, brats, snow ball, and angry coaches — has been an addiction since infancy.

Both collegiate as well as professional contests have me humming until the last play on Superbowl Sunday. Even high school football is interesting. Nothing compares to spending a chilly Friday night snuggled in blankets drinking hot chocolate while watching young neighborhood talent battle cross-town rivals.

My cravings for football began before age 5. It all started with spending Sunday afternoons and Thanksgiving with my family watching the Detroit Lions lose. Now, this lifelong loyalty may be finally rewarded. Will this season be the one where a talented team matures and rises to claim more than a wild-card slot? The drama is what draws me in. Teams with —such as the Lions — with stories, battle scars and strategy are those that make we want to watch every game.

The magic of the season is very much tied to memories, but is very much connected to the now. Replays from high school have me sitting in the bleachers with my high school girlfriends. It’s senior year. Our beloved Rochester High School Falcons finished the regular season with a 100-year first: a perfect 9-0 record. We are watching and cheering the Falcons as they play Utica’s Eisenhower (Ike) in the first round of state playoffs. Ironically, Ike is now the high school I cheer for and where my children will attend.

As college Saturday nears, I think back to sophomore year at Western Michigan University. My roommate and I are tailgating at someone’s home with rowdy, like-minded Bronco fans. It isn’t noon, yet. Our breakfast includes ice-cold brews fresh from the hose. Hours later we are still at Waldo Stadium cheering for the Broncos to pull out a win.

Finally, there are those Saturday afternoons with my sister at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Some were spent in the end zone in the freezing rain; and some in the glorious sunshine near the 50-yard line. So much tradition, so much athletic might and so much fun.

The magic isn’t just about the history; it’s about the now. Since the Lions do not have a deep history of winning seasons, my husband and I cheer for alternate teams each season. That way, we watch the entire season — through playoffs and Superbowl — even when the Lions disappoint. My husband’s teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots; mine are the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants.

So, are you ready for another weekend of football? I am. It’s just getting started. ’tis the season. I hope it’s a jolly one for you.

Football-related posts from last season …

I Love Football

Sunday Night Football: Lions Go Yellow

Related article I found before posting that you might find interesting …

Should The Detroit Lions Be Cautious Against The 49ers? (detroit.cbslocal.com)

Monday at 11:50: Blue, Lions, and Three Supermoms

Living north of the “D” has been anything but normal this January. Temps have surged toward 50 for several consecutive days. The Detroit Lions made their first post-season appearance in more than a decade, and two fellow supermoms and myself won a 3-on-3 and horsed around Friday afternoon.

Blue, Brilliant and Green

This morning blue skies and brilliant sunshine greeted me while walking Issa to the bus stop. Usually, winter’s bleakness is a constant companion until early April. Snow, ice, and cold have yet to arrive. I guess upgrading to a pair of snow skates will have to wait.

Lions and Sanders’ Chocolate Stout

Last Saturday at 8, my beloved Lions roared into the Superdome to test themselves against the New Orleans’ Saints. After the half, I felt that glimmer of hope for a win quickly fade. Thank goodness I had an ice-cold Sanders’ Chocolate Stout at arms reach. Despite the loss and early-out from the NFL playoffs, I am truly impressed with the progress demonstrated from this young, talented team. Hopefully, off-season tweaking and practice will return the Lions in September to continue their quest for greatness. I am looking forward to an unstoppable 2012 season.

Supermoms Reach Close 3-on-3 Victory, Horse Around Hoops

It was Friday afternoon. Three fourth-grade boys wanted to practice their three-point and dribbling skills. So, they challenged two of my mom friends. To give the two teams an even number, I was asked  join them. The new team — Supermoms — took to the driveway half-court and clinched a very close victory: 21-18. As the boys left the court for snacks and some XBox fun, the Supermoms continued with a game of H-O-R-S-E.

 

Saturday at 8: Lions Roaring in the Superdome

Are you ready? I am. For decades loyal Detroit Lions fans like myself have been denied even a glimmer of post-season action. But, tonight, our beloved Lions have a chance.

Watch out you naysayers. That match against Green Bay was truly a win in our column. The officials calling that game on New Years’ Day must have had fogged vision from slinging back too many spicy rum egg nogs. If we a disciplined, penalty-free, A-game I say a trip to Indy is possible.

Raise your glass to the underdogs! Go Lions!

Sunday Night Football: Lions Go Yellow

Despite the numbers reported from the bookies in Vegas; and despite the naysayers writing their pieces all over the Web, I held onto my belief in the underdogs. After all, I am lifelong Detroit Lions’ fan. And, I do believe this current team has it; the magic that will eventually turn them into a championship-level contender.

At 8:30 pm, when the Detroit Lions took the field at the Superdome to contest New Orleans’ Saints my adrenalin surged. But, excitement at Stafford’s prowess quickly turned to dismay. A number of his teammates continued to undermine his repeated successes with driving the Lions to touchdown territory.

From the first possession, yellow penalty flags flew. Personally, I like the blue and silver colors the team carries so well. Yellow is such a cowardly color. Watching the punches and stupidity play out was like suffering through replays of that match-up against Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day. But, this time, there was not any extended family or pumpkin pie to help put me at ease.

When will maturity and discipline come to Suh, Young, Logan,  Burleson, and Pettigrew? Do these players realize what they have cost the team and its fans? Only time will tell.

Thanks to losses elsewhere a wild card slot is still possible. If the Lions are lucky enough to clinch this honor, will the five named previously step up with professionalism and focus to the challenge of a playoff run? Or, will the loyalty of Lions’ fans continue to be smashed into the turf?

Related previous posts…

I Love Football