Sean Yuille, over at Pride of Detroit, has long been a blogging role model. He’s built up an incredibly large, faithful community of Lions fans around his work. He’s always got an intelligent, balanced take on whatever’s happening in the world of the Lions—and he’s very, very quick at passing along those happenings, even breaking some news of his own. When this blog was but a tadpole, I tried keeping pace with PoD’s up-to-the-minute Lions coverage . . . it didn’t take long before I threw up my tailfin in frustration.
We’re about to hit the news ‘dead zone’ in the NFL season; a long stretch where practically nothing of substance occurs. Sean put out an open call for contributors with tales to tell, and a project I’d long since put on the back burner suddenly came to a rolling boil.
I’ve always wanted to do a recurring history series, delving deep into the Lions’ huge library of old players, old games, and old successes. The Lions have been so terrible for so long, there’s an entire generation of Lions fans who’ve grown up without real memories of a winning season. They don’t remember Barry, don’t remember Wayne Fontes, don’t remember the NFC Championship Game run, and certainly don’t remember the almost-as-awful-as-the-aughts-eighties.
Even fans of my generation, dimly remembering bright spots like Bennie Blades and Mike Cofer, and washouts like Andre Ware and Chuck Long, are clueless about the greats of the seventies, the fifties, and the thirties. Doing the research and writing on would mean cluing myself in, along with everyone else. To that end, I present to you, the first in the series: