Why were Detroit Lions fans at Sunday’s massacre? The answers were as ‘scary’ as game

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions were driving me bananas, playing pathetic, uninspired, mistake-filled, what-a-waste-of-a-day football against a bad, boring team.

This has to be rock bottom, right? This horrible, unacceptable, dumpster-fire of a game?

“That was brutal,” said Lions coach Dan Campbell after Philadelphia demolished the Lions, 44-6. “We got out-coached today; we got outplayed.”

Yep. That covers it. It’s like this team is regressing before our eyes. It was so bad I left the press box and took a stroll through Ford Field on Sunday to try to find a different perspective. Which brings me to an old joke — and I’m not talking about the Lions in general terms.

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“It’s that old knock-knock joke,” Patrick Kennedy, 25, of Madison Heights said. “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?”

So he came to this Halloween game dressed as an orange and nine of his friends dressed up as bananas, and they sat together looking like a wacky fruit salad in the stands behind the end zone, while watching this rotten game.

It got so bad in the third quarter, the in-stadium camera focused on a fan wearing a Lions jersey, and the fan gave two thumbs down. There he was, on the giant video screen, capturing how everybody felt.

Surreal.

At that point, the Eagles were winning, 38-0.

After the game, Campbell vowed to coach better, and the players vowed to play better. But I’m sorry, it’s all just empty words that we’ve heard for years.

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This is all you need to know: The offense is so ridiculously bad. The defense made countless mistakes and couldn’t stop anybody. Overall, this team lacks talent and play makers. And eight games into this season, you have to wonder if they will win even one game this year.

And yes, that makes you wonder if this rebuild is even possible.

The most annoying sound in the world

Midway through the first half, I had one question: who comes to these games? To watch this pathetic excuse of an offense? To watch this defense that couldn’t stop anybody? This team that was getting out-coached in every way?

Who actually pays to come see this?

It makes about as much sense as the guys in “Dumb and Dumber,” right?

Then I met two Lions season ticket holds who came dressed as, you guessed it, the Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey characters from the movie.

“What person would support them through this?” asked Chase McGettigan, 31, of Milan, who actually summed up what I was going to ask him. “We’re still fans no matter what. No matter how bad they are. We’re going to be here.”

Yes, you can question his decision to watch this trash but not his sense of humor.

So he and his buddy, Todd Krzycki, 37, of Toledo, dressed as the guys from “Dumb and Dumber.”

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See that? They can poke fun of themselves.

Because they know it’s ridiculous to keep coming.

Bring in the clowns

I took a seat in the stands and it was bizarre.

Some fans looked like they were comatose, sitting on a couch, watching a bad rerun, only half watching the game, while half scrolling through Twitter and Facebook, as the Lions were doing their thing:

Penalty. Mistake. Ugh.

Rinse. Wash. Repeat for the last 60 years or so.

Others were booing.

And then there was Trevor Vanden Heuvel, 22, of Holland, who was sitting next to some clown in an Eagle jersey.

No, seriously. He was really sitting next to dude in a clown mask wearing an Eagles jersey.

“Let’s go!” Vanden Heuvel screamed.

He believes in Dan Campbell. He believes this team will turn it around.

“Let’s go!”

So yeah, those fans still exist.

Lions need a superhero

Later, I met Superwoman and a Chick Magnet.

“All right, Superwoman,” I asked. “This team sucks. Why are you here?”

“I’m here because I have season tickets, so I have to be almost in a way,” said Chelsea Didio, 28, of Madison Heights, who wore a Superwoman costume.

For a second, I thought: Are you being held hostage? Blink twice if you are. Maybe that explains why fans still come to these games. But I chickened out and didn’t ask that.

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“They are getting there butts kicked,” I said. “Have you lost confidence in this rebuild?”

“I just try not to get emotionally invested anymore,” she said.

Bingo. There’s the biggest problem for the Lions.

Apathy.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the stands were empty.

After the Lions finally scored in the fourth quarter, the fruit salad came running down the aisle. Nine bananas and an orange. They sprinted down the aisle, reached field level and ran back up, high fiving each other.

This whole day was absurd as it sounds.

Depressing. Revealing. Frightening this rebuild will ever work.

And strange as ever.

Contact Jeff Seidel: jseidel@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @seideljeff. To read his recent columns, go to freep.com/sports/jeff-seidel.

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