Sunday, December 27, 2009
Sometimes the funniest thing about a story is it's title. Drew Stanton Started the game today for the Lions. This seemed to be a smart idea considering the options they had since Culpepper is not much better. These last couple of games are pretty much just going through the motions and evaluating talents. I would consider these last couple of games to be more like preseason games. This is kind of fitting as today across the NFL there were definitely a lot of second stringers playing in the Quarterback position.
The biggest disappointment of the day for me is that St. Louis won again. With a season like the lions have had I just want as best an opportunity to get better as possible. Last years draft brought to us a lot of key players that we can build our team around and I look forward to adding more talent. Players like Louis Delmas have been a pleasant surprise. He lets us step back and say that we might even be going in the right direction even though we will probably be 2 and 14 this year. I know it is easy to say we have got better when we did not win a game at all last year.
Matthew Stafford definitely has been able to turn a couple of heads. He does have a long way to go but this year he has shown signs of being a star one day. He has some big shoes to grew into though. When you are the first overall pick in the draft you are expected to step right in and make a difference. I do believe we made the right decision in starting him right from the get go. He has been able to learn on his feet while not developing bad habits. Some may not think this was a good decision becuase of the offensive line problems that we have. One thing that happened becuase of this is Stafford getting hurt twice. One was an old injury of his knew cap and the other was his non throwing arm being severely dislocated. Some might think that these injuries would not have happened if we had better players to protect our quarterback. We might never know for sure.
What we do know for sure is that we really need to improve our Offensive line. One of those spots that really needs to improve is the blind side spot. The position that is the most responsible for protecting the quarterback becuase if this position falters then the quarterback may not see it coming. This is the position that broke down both time that Stafford was hurt this year. I have said this all year that Backus needs to be moved from this position. He has lost at least a step and just cannot play that position anymore. I really feel he needs to move to right guard. Besides the Left Tackle sport Right guard is the other spot on the line that could use an upgrade. Either that or Move Manny Ramirez to right guard and move Jeff to Left Guard. I do not know for sure if we go out and get a stud Free Agent to fill the blind spot or if we take care of this in the draft but this I believe is the spot that needs the most attention in the off season.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Today I was able to score tickets to my first regular season Lions game at Ford Field. I was very excited to be able to go to this game even though Stafford was hurt. We arrived in the parking garage about one hour and fifteen minutes before the game. From there we had about a 10 to 15 minute walk to the stadium.
It was nice to arrive early and have time to check out the stadium. I love how open the stadium is when you first walk in.
As we walked around and checked out the cool things in the shops, I felt like we were lost. For a second I thought we were in a mall. The stadium was very nice and walking around the shops had a nice cozy feeling to them instead of being in an area with tons of people. It was nice how traffic flowed from one area to another and then you end up in a place that seemed like a food court.
After a little bit of sightseeing we decided to find our seats.
Here is the awesome view from our seats.
This Lions game started out like all the other games we have been accustomed to the last 2 years with the Lions. Coming off of a 48-3 stomping from Baltimore the week before I was not very impressed that we were stuck with Culpepper for the day. The only time he seems like he cares is when he thinks he is going to start and he gets benched. I can understand that competitive nature but when our number one starting quarterback is able to make the start, please do not go crying to the GM. If Culpepper would have shown us that passion on the field that would of been one thing. By half time, we decided to sneak out 3 minutes early to hit the concessions because it was 17-0 and the Lions were not the ones on top. This turned out to be a very smart idea because with the 2 minute warning we ended up first in line getting some nachos. Then back to our seats before even a minute was off the clock.
Now the whole first half every time Culpepper ran onto the field to start a possession, there were tons of boo birds in the crowd. The whole stadium was pretty quiet for the most part. The second half was a completely different story. As soon as Stanton took the field, the roars from the crowd were there with an overwhelming standing ovation. A lot of people would like to think that it was their booing that finally put Stanton into the game but it was simply the mere fact the Culpepper had played himself out of the game. You can call it jitters or just great defense but Stanton was not on the field long before he threw an interception that was so close to our end zone that the Cardinals started with the ball inside the Red Zone. This was kind of funny because with this being a game that was home and not sold out, the only time Lions fans watching at home could see the game was if they were watching the NFL's new channel, NFL RedZone. The NFL RedZone has helped us out during this blacked out season.
At this point it was 17-0 and Arizona was about to score again. If I was not such a loyal Lions fan, I probably would of joined the few fans that hit the road. This is when one of our rising stars brought some life back to our team, the fans and the franchise. Louis Delmas intercepted a Kurt Warner pass and ran back a 101 yard TD for the Lions. This was the first time we could sing the Lions fight song. Some fans even joked that everyone should sing because it was going to be their only chance today to sing it. A few minutes later the Lions defense forced the Cardinals into a 3 and out and the Lions quickly struck again. Maurice Morris scored on a 64 yard TD run. The next drive down Jason Hanson tied it up at 17 all. In the end, the game ended up being a close loss to Arizona 31-24 but it was nice to have it be an exciting game instead of just another old Lions game. They did pretty good for our starting quarterback, running back and tight end all being hurt. Games like this give us hope that we can turn this team around. We just need some more talented players on our team and need to weed out the teammates that do not want to be here.
Since we were in Detroit, we decided to take on one of our favorite shows challenges from Man Vs. Food. Adam Richman is slowly becoming a household name that can show us those great eats we might have missed. Our goal today was to test out Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island which just happen to be right next door to each other.
There is a rich history that these two restaurants have with each other that goes back to two brothers starting out together. They eventually have a splitting opinion between how to make their coney island special that not only has them making two kinds of chili but creating two different restaurants. These two restaurants have been on such shows as Hung on HBO and Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. It leaves you with the lingering question of which one is really better? There are so many things that make the two restaurants and coneys' different from each other and positives and negatives to both restaurants.
If you are going to a Lions game or a Tigers game, you definitely cannot go wrong with these great places to eat. I would suggest for your first time that you check out both places and see for yourself which one you like the best.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
It was an interesting Winter Meetings like always for the Tigers. This year was a little more interesting being a seller instead of a buyer. The Tigers are the best at getting trades done. They are always open to listening to any deal and they needed to keep an open mind to get this one done. On that note I want to say goodbye to a couple of Tigers who are going to be missed.
Edwin Jackson is going to be missed. He had a bad second half but he gave us a great first half. This will always leave me wondering what the rotation would of been for years to come with Verlander #1 and Jackson #2. I am sure that Porcello would of made Jackson move to #3 sometime but I had no idea it would be this soon. Porcello's very strong rookie year made this trade very possible. I really think Porcello should of been the rookie of the year.
Now for the man we are all really going to miss. Curtis was the face of the franchise for some and he greatly impacted our community. He was one of those home grown stars that made the jump from Erie like Verlander that we tend to truly embrace. The guys like the Brandon Inge's out there that we were able to watch grow up through our minor league system. They help make us proud about the whole Tigers system from the top to the bottom. Unfortunately his poor batting against left handed pitching and what some say a poor year in the field made him be moved off the list of untouchables. This along with a salary structure that resembled a mortgage that is no longer legal.
I personally think that Granderson's biggest impact to our team was with our pitching staff. He went back to playing closer to second base like he did back in 2006 and we all know what happened to the Tigers that year. I had watched him talk about playing so shallow a few times in pregame interviews with good old John Keating. I hope that this strategy can be adopted by Austin Jackson. It takes away the bloop hit but Granderson still had enough speed to catch up to one hit over his head, unless it was a line drive. Granderson was the true meaning of a team player and he would of done anything that Leyland would of asked of him. Stealing a line from Larry Brown "He played the game the right way!"
Then it is off to the new guys......
I will not say much about the new guys because we have definitely heard a lot about them these last few days. You can mark my words, this trade was a great one for the Tigers. It was a little hard to swallow at first because we loved Granderson so much. He will be greatly missed but this trade will really help the Tigers. It is going to make us a competitive team while we go through weeding out some unwanted salaries. This will greatly help the Tigers in 2011 when the Tigers have an extra $50 mil to spend in free agency. It is as if someone talked to Joe D and asked him what his plan was for 2011 and they liked it so much they thought they would follow suit. It also helps to shore up our bullpen that we have needed some desperate help in and it brings us a true lead off man who is a great athlete. I heard someone say this week that we traded away Granderson and got someone that can only be as good as him. If Austin Jackson is as good as Granderson is someday, I do not see how that can be a bad thing.
Michigan Sports Guy