Joined: 29 Mar 2017
|Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:16 am Post subject: The thing is, we’ve been so conditioned to be this close
|It was so non-Billsy to have that thing happen. So yeah, it’s been pretty remarkable to have this happen. But what keeps you going is just having the memory of knowing that it will eventually come.” When that moment happened, Bills fans across the country went nuts. They made plans to either go to Jacksonville or come to Buffalo for this once-in-two-decades experience.
Ryan Lampman and his friends drove nine hours from Louisville, Kentucky to Buffalo. As soon as Buffalo clinched, Lampman made the “no-brainer” decision to make the trip. One of his friends left his daughter’s birthday party early to make sure they reached Buffalo on time. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had,” Lampman said, as a Buffalo-themed chorus of “Shout” played over the loudspeaker. “Other than my children, this is the best moment of my life. No doubt.”
This was the answer for all the lean years. Ryan Spies wasn’t even a teenager the last time the Bills made the http://www.officialdallasstars.com/Adidas-Esa-Lindell-Jersey playoffs. He would root, cheer, “hope and pray.” He thought a day such as Sunday would never happen. “Over time, it just became more and more sad,” Spies said. “Like, are we going to get it? Do we have to give up? Am I going to have to change teams? I could never change teams, so I would just stop watching football, in all honesty. It wasn’t a good feeling.”
It’s a feeling well-known in Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit, where finding something else to do on Sundays becomes more appealing, especially when change continually comes. Since 2000, the Browns, Bills and Lions have had 22 head coaches combined. Soon, it’ll be 23.
It’s lunch time on Friday afternoon at Nemo’s in Detroit, an iconic pub once considered one of the best sports bars in the country by Sports Illustrated. There’s a picture of the Stanley Cup visiting the bar after the Red Wings won hanging on the wall. Across the walls are newspapers celebrating the success of the Tigers, Red Wings, Robin Yount Authentic Jersey Pistons and Michigan and Michigan State football and basketball.The Lions? Based on a quick sweep, there are two papers: one marking the firing of Matt Millen as general manager and one denoting the 0-16 Lions season in http://www.authentictorontobluejaysshop.com/Justin-Smoak-Jersey 2008. There might be more, but they weren’t noticeable. “I get asked, how come no Lions?” said Tim Springstead, one of the co-owners of the bar. “I say, ‘Trust me, I’ve been waiting for 50 years to get a newspaper. They have one playoff win in my lifetime.’ That’s hard.”
Yet in Detroit, there’s hope amid another changing offseason. The Lions fired coach Jim Caldwell following a winning season, a marked change for a franchise known for being too loyal. It’s something Edinson Volquez Youth jersey that has been percolating since 2015, when owner Martha Ford fired general manager Martin Mayhew and team president Tom Lewand midseason. “This year, it shows me that somebody’s being held accountable,” Springstead said. “Think five years ago, would they fire a 9-7 coach? Are you kidding me? Never would have happened here.”
Springstead is willing to have a bit of patience as general manager Bob Quinn makes his hire, potentially Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. He understands the building of a business: Nemo’s has been open 51 years. In the history of the place, there has been only one Lions playoff win. But Springstead likes what Detroit has with its quarterback, front office and other players. If the right coach is hired, there is reason to believe. But he needs them to prove it.
Yet as a bar owner, he has seen what the Lions have, what businesses kill for: “loyalty.” He jokes that there should be an award given to Lions fans who have endured the rough decades and kept going. But why have they? One of his bartenders, 63-year-old Dave Stronski, shrugged and said, “hope.” Right now, Stronski said, is the most hope he has had in the Lions. “I think the new GM is going to turn them around,” Stronski said. “He’s from one of the best programs ever, New England, and I hope they get that defensive coordinator from New England as the coach.”
Until then -- and if Detroit wants to hire Patricia, it can’t do so until New England is out of the playoffs -- Lions fans have to do what they’ve done for so long: wait and hope this change brings the Lions their http://www.officialredsoxauthentic.com/Dustin_Pedroia_Jersey first division title and home playoff game since the 1993 season, a game that bar manager Pat Osman said would be “huge.” While Detroit might be closer than it has been in a while to true success, there are reminders of the past. They are on the walls at Nemo’s. When Springstead heard about what was happening in Cleveland the next day, he shook his head.
It happened twice Saturday afternoon. As the group of fans protesting Womens Jersey the Cleveland Browns mismanagement over the past two seasons drove and walked in a loop around First Energy Stadium, at least two carried signs saying essentially this: “Welcome to the club.”
The club of 0-16 teams is an exclusive one: the '08 Lions and '17 Browns. Lions fans understand the pain of Browns fans. On this day, with wind chills making the temperature feel like minus-12, that pain and frustration yielded to another emotion: hope, for a change. It’s what this parade-slash-protest begged for. Almost 3,000 people showed up to send the message that they were tired of what they’d seen the past few seasons: 1-15 in 2016 and 0-16 in 2017. Poor ownership from Jimmy Haslam and a coach, Hue Jackson, still employed despite a 1-31 record.