What is a New Years Resolution?
Is it a deal with the divine? A promise of penance for your vices by giving up on your previously bad ways from a specified date in exchange for forgiveness and a clear conscience.
Is it a psychological ploy to try and maximise your attempt to achieve a goal by convincing yourself you can do it better after one certain day of the year?
Or maybe it's an option at a crossroad? The week before New Year heralds the arrival of the three Spirits of Christmas. The Spirit of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet To Come. For the latter, been confronted by what's to come can bring about a sense of realisation that if things don't change, a future of darkness and misery awaits.
For the 2021 Detroit Lions, their New Years Resolution falls under the Option at a crossroad, as the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come has just visited and showed the ruined future of Christmas's to come if things do not change.
The Spirit of Christmas Past for the Lions manifests in the form of a vast ugly wasteland devoid of wildlife. The Great Playoffs have not been seen for over 4 years, the Lesser Spotted Playoff Win was last sighted in 1991 and as the year's go by drifts more into folklore
than recorded memory, copy and paste for the Siberian Divisional Title that was last caught on tape in 1993. And one animal that can only be found in the book of mythology alongside Chimera's and Unicorn's is the Golden Superbowl Appearance, the legendary animal of a
bedtime story told to little Lions fans to give them hope that one day it may appear and give them a glimpse of a happy future. In that book are the adventures of Knight Sanders and Knight Megatron as they fought singlehandedly to capture the beast and return honour to
The House of Clan Lions, sadly the former was defied by age and the latter was betrayed and disinherited by the House he so faithfully served. However, their is a third hero, and his story, The Story of Knight Stafford, is still to be finished.
The Spirit of Christmas Present brings us to the current day, where the Land of the Lions has been destroyed by a Disciple. After a period of relative peace under the Stewardship of Jim Caldwell, a new ruler, Bob Quinn ascended to power and dispensed with the
services of the people's idol. In Caldwell's place he installed Matt Patricia, a Disciple of Belichik. Belichik was a hugely influential and successful ruler from a land far away, a man known for his innate stubbornness and belief in his own method, but backed up by a tactical nous that allowed that method to flourish. King Quinn hoped that a Disciple of Belichik would enforce the Law of Belichik and make him a successful ruler like the master. Sadly for him, he was wrong. The new ruler insisted forcing on the people a way of life that they did not want nor understand, first by chasing away Caldwell's supporters, many of whom were respected pillars of the community who commanded respect from the masses, then they came for the specialists, elite free thinking individuals who questioned the new regimented ways of life, and for that they were branded troublemakers and banished. In their place came men of little skill but high potential who could be molded by the new rulers into the people they wanted to be. Sadly as they were taught in many different professions at once, the land went from having Master Tradesmen to Jack of All Trades but master of none very quickly. The decline in quality turned many people away from their home, frustrated that they were no longer been listened to and subjected to the same poor quality year after year. In the nearby Royal Palace a new coronation had just taken place, and Queen Sheila Ford had ascended to the throne. The Royal Ford line was not well respected in the land, having stayed out of the affairs of the people for many years and allowing nothing but failure and despair to rule their lands. Mindful that the image of her family was at an all time low, the new queen resolved to take back power from those who allowed this failure and issued them with an ultimatum, do better or leave these lands. Ultimately Quinn and Patricia failed, and in keeping with her word they were both banished for good. The task of finding a leader who could rally together a weary and tired people and give them hope again soon began.
And that is where the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come arrived. For he presented a vision to Sheila Ford of what could happen if the failures of the past were repeated again. In this future, the land was barren and empty. After the destruction wraught by Matt Patricia sent fan confidence to an all time low, this was then followed by a rushed appointment by a committee of people not experienced in football matters. The appointment was a disaster, sending the already ailing franchise over the edge of a cliff. Fans, finally coming to the realisation that nothing was going to change, simply gave up and stopped going. With the finances of the franchise suffering, the decision was made to sell a wealthy benefactor, whom upon looking at the history of the Lions in Detroit, upped sticks and took the franchise to a new city, thereby leaving Detroit barren of an NFL team, and the long sad story of the Lions brought to an inglorious end. That is a potential fate that could await the Lions should these next few years go wrong.
The fact that the Lions history can be so eerily explained in the form of a fantasy story speaks to just how much has gone wrong over the years. Whether it be down to the ownership not fully investing in the franchise, not having a calbire of General Manager and Head Coach that allow the franchise to push forward and compete for honours, or never been able to assemble a roster that was capable of doing so, something has always stopped the Lions establishing themselves as a great team who compete for the Superbowl. That needs to change if the franchise is to shake it's tag of perennial losers, in both the NFC North and in the race for the Superbowl. And change comes from the top.
And with that you have the New Year's resolution of the Detroit Lions, specifically the hierarchy, for 2021..........take ownership of your history, see where things went wrong, and ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.
Sheila Ford has started off well, she gave the underperforming Quinntricia an ultimatum, they failed and she immediately saw that they were fired, showing a hard line that failure will be tolerated no more. In her search (the most critical search in years) for the new GM / HC combo who will take this franchise forward she has surrounded herself with people who care only for the Lions, not an agency with vested interests elsewhere, who also have great footballing knowledge to help her. And most importantly she is been thorough, already interviewing double the candidates for the GM spot than were interviewed last time, giving her a much fiercer and competitive field to pick from with the winner hopefully showing the hunger and desire this franchise so desperately needs. Make no mistake this is just the beginning, but should she continue to show the same progressive and hands on approach she has displayed so far, an approach at complete odds with the failures of the past, then the Lions can look forward to a much brighter future going forward.
And just in case you thought I forgot about the fourth Spirit, that of Jacob Marley, that was also haunting Scrooge, I have a side quest New Years Resolution for the Lions, pay Calvin Johnson his money back, for he is our Jacob Marley. Heal the wounds of the past and get him back involved again, and in doing so break the curse that haunts that decision and this organisation ever since.
Happy New Year