Welcome To NFL Purgatory Friends.
We sit in the aftermath of free agency and the eve of the draft, news is slow and the days drag by even slower. Still, the thirst for football remains. At this time, I like to get reflective and look back at history. How we got here, and just memories that make football and the Detroit Lions so great. Let us open the memory vault to a darker time, September 2008.
I was 10 when the 2008 season began. Unfortunately, it’s one of the first seasons I remember in entirety. I have vague yet still painful memories of the 6-2 start of the 2007 season, only to finish 7-9, but at about 10 years old is really when I started following the team.
Week one had finally arrived, and my father and I made the weekly pilgrimage downstairs to the big TV. On the clock were the Atlanta Falcons with rookie QB Matt Ryan from Boston College, certainly a winnable one going against a quarterback making his first professional start in his first professional game.
The Flacons started with the ball, and about a minute into the game Matt Ryan drops back to pass for the first time.
The result? A 62 yard catch and run strike to Michael Jenkins for a Falcons touchdown. Thus I learned from a young age that only the improbable happens to the Lions, as Matt Ryan is the only quarterback to ever throw a touchdown on his first ever pass.
The Lions would go on to lose (obviously), and it would be the first loss of 16 that year for Rod Marinelli and his team.
Ultimately, this season leads to the drafting of Matthew Stafford, and here are the 2017 Lions poised to take the next step. As I’ve been telling myself my entire fan life, everything happens for a reason.