Ideally for an NFL team, a weekend in late June would be relatively news-free.
Sure, you might have a minicamp going or some new players and coaches trying to get acclimated, but nothing that would make a splashy headline. Generally, the only kind of news this time of year is bad news: things like injuries (Steve Smith), arrests (Golden Tate) or contract disputes (Albert Haynesworth).
The Detroit Lions made all kinds of news over the weekend.
As Doug Farrar already told you, team president Tom Lewand got popped for drunk driving on Friday night. It's the kind of thing we've (unfortunately) come to expect from a player now and then, but the team president? Come on, we can't have that.
Lewand was the one guy in the world lucky enough to inherit the title of "Guy Who Gets to Replace Matt Millen." Honestly, sir, we're not expecting much. As long as you can keep yourself out of handcuffs and not do anything, like, I don't know, burn Ford Field to the ground ... you will be better than the last guy.
Ah, who am I kidding. You can get 30 more DUIs (please don't) and still be better than the last guy.
Anyway, Lions owner William Clay Ford is already on record as saying that Lewand's job is safe, and that the organization is behind him as Lewand gets professional help. That's good, of course, and I'm glad he'll have the organization's support, but it should be noted that William Clay Ford has shown that he'll tolerate damn near anything from a team president.
Elsewhere in the Lions organization, we had a practice on Friday that had to be cut short because Lions wouldn't stop punching each other. While working on a two-minute drill, what the Detroit Free Press described as a "brawl" erupted, and various guys left the sidelines to jump into the fight.
Practice fights happen, sure, but with guys jumping off the sidelines to join in? To the point where practice had to be ended? That's a bit much. I'm sure Lions fans will be glad to see any signs of fire and competitiveness, but there's a line, gentlemen. July is a time for getting along.
Amidst all this, there is good news — or at least, news that isn't bad. Cornerback Jonathan Wade(notes) believes, along with a handful of teammates, that the 2010 Lions are a playoff team. From the Detroit Free Press:
"It's been said. I've heard it. I want you to write this down. It's been said. (Jon) Jansen said it. (Louis) Delmas said it. (DeAndre) Levy said it. Jonathan Wade now says we're going to the playoffs: 9-7. We're going to the playoffs."
Well, every comeback story's got to start somewhere. If that starting point has to be very near the spot where the team owner just got sauced up and put his keys in the ignition, then I guess that's where it has to be. No one ever accused the Lions of doing things traditionally.