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Detroit Lions Branded “Bad Boys” of NFL: Fan Reaction
Much like its hometown namesake, the Detroit Lions are quickly becoming a gritty, grinding, hard working franchise. Much of that development has been due to the revamped front office and their top-notch personnel picks. Unfortunately, the rest of the league seems to be afraid of the Lions' resurgence. They have tried, time and again, to quell the team's success but the gutsy Honolulu Blue and Silver continue to persevere. That is the mark of a champion.
This season, Detroit has had a plethora of situations to deal with. From the Atlanta Falcons' and Denver Broncos' accusations of trash talking and taunting to the rash of NFL fines and penalties on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh(notes), the Lions have been given the unfair moniker of being the NFL's new "Bad Boys." Though it may not be the sweetest of reputations, this Lions' fan, in particular, feels the team should embrace the notion and run with it.
Much like the Raiders of the past decades, Detroit is the new team to be feared. Their defensive line is stellar. They have an offense capable, when healthy, of destroying most of the league's opposing defenses. They also have a head coach who is unwilling to take any flack from those who choose to disrespect the organization, much as San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh found out in Week 6.
The NFL has begun "dumbing down" the game, with its rash of penalizations and unclear rules regarding hits and personal fouls. Though the concussion situation is a worthy topic of discussion, there is a point in which it can be taken too far. That is precisely where the league is at, using newfound and unclear rules to penalize a player like Suh, who just happens to be bigger, faster and stronger than the majority of the leagues' athletes. There is no question he hits like a runaway freight train. That, in itself, doesn't give cause to be penalized and/or fined.
Reggie White and Derrick Thomas were nasty, in their time. Were they ever accused of being dirty? No. Terrell Owens(notes) and Randy Moss(notes) are some of the best trash talkers in the league's history. Were they ever called out the way the Lions players have been? No, not to this level of scrutiny. That is where we are in this day and age of NFL football.
The league cannot stand to see teams like New England, Dallas and New York falling by the wayside, with lackluster play and limited headlines, while teams like Detroit and Buffalo garner more national press and success. It's business, pure and simple.
For Detroit, the fire and commitment they have been showing is, likewise, "just business." This is the new Detroit Lions and this is how we do things. Forget about complaints over taunting or overzealous hits. This is a hard-hitting, elite professional sport. You knew what you signed up for when you entered the draft.
The Lions are tough, gutsy and have a winning attitude. That is who they are and who they will continue to be. If the league wants them "put into place," send a team to stop them from entering the playoffs. With the way they are improving from week-to-week and the plausible return of their running game and injured starters, I say good luck in finding one.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and the University of Notre Dame.
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