I can’t remember which parenting book I read that contained this description, but imagine this: everything is black. You’re sitting on a chair, and your feet are on the floor. You have no idea where you are, where the walls are, or how far out the floor extends. You feel out with one foot a bit, and it seems as though the ground is solid. After building up your resolve for a little while, you take a chance and stand up. Nothing happens, so you take another step or two. Then, on the third step, you hear a “CRACK” and a piece of the floor gives way. You rush back to that chair--and you don’t leave it unless you absolutely have to, right?
This illustrates the importance of consistency. When a child’s learning the world around them, they need to know there are absolutes they can count on—especially, their parents, and the rules their parents set. When they know where the boundaries are—and that the floor isn’t going to drop away beneath them—they have the confidence to keep exploring.
Us Lions fans aren’t new to this whole “football” game, what we are is traumatized. We’ve been burned so many times, over and over by terrible drafting, we’re scarred by it. When the Lions’ picks match our desires and expectations (like Ndamukong Suh) we have no problem abandoning ourselves to the moment. However, the Lewand/Mayhew/Schwartz crew has been so logical, so rational, so ruthless in taking the best talent on the board that we’ve grown comfortable with it. Further, the results have finally begun to show on the field.
But, when the pick comes out of left field—and is, let’s just say for the sake of argument, a wide receiver—we panic. We frantically scramble back to our mental safe place. We boo. We hiss. We moan. We kvetch . . . at least, some of us do.
I’m already working on my annual Meet The Cubs series, so I won’t do a quick rundown of Titus Young or Mikel Leshoure just yet. Suffice to say, most national football analsysts love what the Lions have done—and in fact, all of the first three picks will each be able to make immediate, positive impacts, as well as have obvious roles on the team going forward. That was such a tall assignment going in, I flat-out said it wouldn’t happen.
It’s true; I was stunned the Lions went WR so early, and even more stunned when the Lions traded back up into the second, who took an RB. Even though I didn’t see it at the time, the more I learn about the young men the Lions have added to the team, the better I feel about where the Lions are headed in 2011 and beyond. Full credit goes to the Lions’ leadership, whose consistent vision, and unwavering execution, helped complete a Lions’ offense that’s going to be one of the best in the business for years to come—and make sure the Lions’ defensive line is THE best in the business for years to come. That’s something we can be confident about.