Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This is my blog - there are many like it, but this one is mine. My own humble little spot in the big wide InterBlogoWeb where I get to write what I like. That means, just every so often, you will find me wandering off track to write about other stuff I like besides Virginia sports. Not terribly often, mind you, not at all; but this is going to be one of those times, because if it isn't now, it never will be. If you don't care about the NFL or just want to skip ahead to the Virginia stuff, feel free. It's down a few paragraphs, you can't miss it.

Today, all is sunshine and daisies and butterflies and gumdrop rivers. Because, you see, I am a Detroit Lions fan. And today is the day that all of us have been waiting for, who cheer on the Honolulu Blue and Silver.

He's gone. Matt Millen. Fired.

The Lions I grew up with, you see, were maddeningly inconsistent throughout the '90s. They would do things like beat the defending Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football, only to get waxed at home the next week against the Cardinals. They would start a season 2-6, then rip off an 8-game win streak to roll into the playoffs, guarantee a win.....and give up 56 points in a blowout loss. Millen was hired to fix the inconsistency. Bill Ford "stake[d] his reputation on Matt's success."

Did he ever fix the inconsistency. It got to the point where us Lions fans no longer minded the losing, because we knew it was coming, we knew who to blame it on, and it just gave us one more reason (84 in total) to pile on the anger.

Millen inspired a movement. Fire Millen became a slogan. This was not just some loudmouth with his website. This was new, unique, a first of its kind. Fire Millen showed up at Michigan basketball games. At Tigers games. At Red Wings games IN ANAHEIM! The local radio station bought a billboard. Millen inspired the only other-team's-color-out as fans went with orange for the Cincinnati Bengals' visit. (Three years and 11 wins ago. And yes, the Lions lost that game.) is so popular they're putting out press releases about this. A blog! Putting out a press release.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled. And a little worried. If the Lions continue to suck - I mean, past the time they're supposed to not suck any more - the only person we'll have left to kick around is the owner, William Clay Ford, and he can't be fired. But that's OK. The Lions could go 0-16 and the 2008 season would be a rousing success. Because Fire Millen just became Millen Fired.


Pretty typical midweek stuff. We'll start with Marc Verica again, because the Wednesday after his first ever start seems to be a pretty good time for fluff articles. Did you know he plays the piano? I didn't either, but Doug Doughty and Jeff White are dying to tell you this. The Washington Post gets in on that action too - that's three in one day, in case you lost count. Verica plays the piano, was put into a similar situation in high school, is unflappable, etc. etc.

Switch gears for a quick second over to the soccer team, which beat CCSU 4-0 last night. Tony Tchani, who is a frickin' hoss, scored twice.

Switch back! The UVA notes in the RTD update us on Sean Gottschalk:

Gottschalk, a graduate of Deep Run High, hopes to resume his football career, but it's not clear if he'll play this season. Even if Gottschalk were to return to practice today -- and that's not expected to happen -- he would need three or four weeks of training before he's ready to play again, Groh said.
"Hopes to resume his career." That is not promising.

Peter Lalich is going to Oregon State, which in Oregon-hippie fashion has a weird class schedule and has not started classes yet - a big reason for the selection.

Saved the best for last - the depth chart and the coach's press conference. Depth chart is mildly interesting. No changes on the O-line, at least not among the starters. Biggest shakeup is in the secondary (which needs it.) Ras-I Dowling returns to the depth chart, backing up Mike Parker in OR status with Chase Minnifield. Brandon Woods is demoted to backup and redshirt freshman Corey Mosley takes his place. Nick Jenkins and Nate Collins switch spots at nose tackle - Jenkins is now listed as the starter, though chances are the roughly 60-40 split of snaps will continue.

From the presser:

- Groh wants to keep the redshirt on Riko Smalls but realizes the circumstances may end up dictating otherwise.
- Hints that Verica had a little more notice to prepare for the UConn game than was generally known.
- Fluff fluff fluff, Duke's a tough team yada yada yada.

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