Sun., Sept. 19, 1 PM ET
Radio: 94 WYSP, Sirius 127
Lions beat the Bears last week..no, wait! TD by Calvin Johnson overruled? Unbelievable...Lions lose...a week later, it's still a TD, imo...
If Eagles fans think they have a lot to gripe about, then consider the plight of Lions fans... a great comeback win over the Chicago Bears snatched away from them by some arcane rule interpretation that needs to be changed...the temporary loss of their QB messiah, Matt Stafford, to a shoulder separation...a lackluster front office and head coach (Jim Schwartz) who took a quiet, turn-the-other-cheek approach to the NFL's ruling on the robbery in the Bears game...an inactive old codger of an owner in William Clay Ford, who lives off his grandfather's fortune while getting little if any respect from the league offices, other NFL franchises and even his own fanbase...
And worst of all: the Lions are still the only team in the NFL without sideline cheerleaders...
These and similar miseries are chronicled on a daily basis by Al Beaton at The Wayne Fontes Experience ... a site I highly recommend to Eagles fans, especially during this game week but also all season long, as a unique view into the psyche of a beleagured team and fanbase...something that any long-term Eagles fan can surely recognize and empathize with...
I was curious to get Al Beaton's reaction to the Eagles' announcement of Mike Vick as the Birds' starting QB on Sunday. Here's how a die-hard Lions fan and pundit sees it:
"Personally, I'd rather the Eagles started Kevin Kolb. He can only beat you one way, with his arm...let alone the fact Kolb wasn't playing all that well before he suffered a nasty concussion against the Packers. Vick, if he plays as well as he did against Green Bay, can beat you with his arm and his legs... Especially his legs, as he had a Denard Robinson-like performance, 175 yards and a touchdown through the air, and another 103 on the ground, in only one-half of play."
"The Lions' front four can't go after Vick with their ears pinned back, because if he gets outside 'contain'....all hell is going to break loose when Vick reaches the 2nd level of the defense...This is not an encouraging development."
This is the scenario that has Lions fans most worried about the Eagles at the moment...
You just can't make this stuff up... two young teams faced with major changes at QB, each franchise with a conflicting history of great individual performers, bad luck and eccentric ownership going back to the 1930's...throw in the media angles of the Great TD Robbery and Michael Vick's grand entrance as a starter...and of course the Lions and Eagles meet in Week Two!
There are other gameday angles, of course, most notably the Eagles wanting and needing to come out of Ford Field on Sunday with a W...and perhaps a proven vision of their offensive future in 2010, with a whole new approach as the door is widely opened for Vick to take over and take off... Some of the speculation on the Eagles season will be answered on Sunday based on Vick's performance against the Lions...
But the Lions have their hopes and ambition up, too... and definitely are motivated to prove their "win" against Chicago was no fluke.
Here's a quick headline summary of the issues facing the Lions as they prepare for the Eagles:
- Cliff Avril likely out, but DeAndre Levy might start for Lions
- Daunte Culpepper surprised at Matthew Stafford's quick promotion
- Lions vs. Eagles: A tale of two backups
Hopefully these headlines will link you into Michael Rosenberg's blurbs in the Detroit Free Press for some more scouting info on the Lions...not to mention, a nice profile on "A Boy Named Suh"... Ford Field just sold out, so I expect a rowdy and anxious crowd to be ready to explode as the Lions run out of the tunnel. They want this one. Bad.