I love coffee. In the midst of one of the most bitter cold snaps I can remember, with sustained air temps below zero, there is absolutely nothing like a hot cup of joe. The smell of freshly ground beans, the steam rolling off the cup, the heat radiating into my hands through the porcelain (or, you know, wax coated 100% post-consumer fiber content paper). This morning, on the way back from ballet class, my daughter and I stopped at my favorite coffee joint to get drinks for both us, and the rest of the crew at home.
Today I'd worn a Lions fleece-- partly to rep the Lions in the wake of the hire, and partly because it's warm and comfy. One of the baristas there is a Lions fan, and he and I often talk Leos when I come in. I'm surprised at how often we disagree, but that just makes me more interested to hear his take. Over the past couple of seasons, I've definitely noticed him wearing less and less gear. He does a lot more eye-rolling and sighing when the topic of Detroit football is brought up--and he doesn't bring it up much, either. Today he even chastised me for wearing the fleece! "Real smart move by the front office, hire another guy with no experience", he said. Well, I'd hardly call seven years at the right hand of Jeff Fisher 'no experience'--but then, I was predicting playoffs at the beginning of an 0-16 season, so what do I know?
After taking my order, he said something to the other barista on duty, and that guy said, "Oh hey, you're a Lions fan? I'm a season-ticket holder!" Thrilled to find a fan like that around here (south end of Lansing), I began chatting him up . . . only to find he's probably not renewing his seats. A guy who's been coming to Lions games since he was a little tyke (and Barry Sanders was a rookie), even he might finally have been driven away by this godawful season.
Well, I gave him this link. It's not much--just one fan's fight to fan the little blue flame. Just one guy at a keyboard, fingers cracked and bleeding from the cold, eyes squinted against the blown and drifting snow. Just one guy striking the keys like flints, hoping that the sparks can catch. Maybe it's futile. Maybe it's stupid. But in the depths of the winter chill, when PFT is saying that they think "'The Los Angeles Lions' has a nice ring to it", I think every little bit of heat counts.
I'm gonna go make some coffee.