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Shutdown Corner

Lions are favored in Minnesota for first time in 30 years

Shutdown Corner

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As the Lions work their way out of decades of putridity and Millenness, they bring forth a lot of nifty statistical "way-back-when" tidbits. My favorite so far comes in this tweet from RJ Bell of Pregame.com:


Thirty years! That's incredible. The last time the Lions were favored in Minnesota:

• The Detroit Lions, with Eric Hipple at quarterback, went 8-8. The Vikings, led by Tommy Kramer, went 7-9.

• The game was played in Minnesota. Outdoors. Minnesota actually won the game, 26-24, as Tommy Kramer threw for 333 yards. Billy Simms of the Lions ran for 112.

• It was the first year where wide receivers were prohibited from gooping up their hands with sticky substances to help them catch the football.

• It was totally legal to use your helmet to hit an opponent.

• Gene Upshaw and Conrad Dobler were still playing.

• George Rogers was the first overall pick in the NFL draft. Lawrence Taylor was second. There were 12 rounds in the draft.

• Muhammad Ali lost his last fight to Trevor Berbick.

• "Chariots of Fire" won the Oscar for Best Picture. Sean Penn starred in his first film; Michael Mann directed his.

• Christopher Cross dominated the Grammys.

• The AIDS virus was identified.

• Microsoft released MS-DOS.

And here we are, in 2011, also in a Week 3, and the Lions are finally back to a point where they can be favored to beat Minnesota in Minnesota. It's hard to believe there was never a single point in that 30 years, not once, when the Lions were considered to be good enough to beat the Vikings on the road. Congratulations on getting back there, gentlemen.

Gracias, Pride of Detroit.

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