Shutdown Corner - NFL

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford(notes) was heckled and jeered as he left the field after the Lions' loss to the Rams on Sunday. Stafford said today that he's not worried about being booed, and that he understands the fans' frustration with the Lions' ... well, let's call them "struggles."

Stafford seems like an understanding and forgiving chap. And that's good, because if he had gone on the radio today and said, "Anyone who is booing me right now is an absolute pinhead," I wouldn't have blamed him a bit. Lions center Dominic Raiola felt the same way.

"I was very disappointed when I came to the sideline and fans were telling him, 'Throw it to me' and 'I'm open' -- this, that and the other. I popped off and said something to the fans. . . . He's not going to say nothing. I'm going to say something.  [...]

"You want to run him out of town already? You know what I'm saying? That just hit home with me because I've been through it with Joey [Harrington]. I've been through it. They sent him packing. Quick. And they're not going to do it to this guy. I'm going to be right here next to him."

Just a quick history lesson while we're here: The Lions lost all 16 of their games last year, and Matthew Stafford, in just his third game in Detroit, won. Just two games later (he missed two with an injury, plus a bye week), he's taking verbal abuse from fans?

I know it can't be easy to be a Lions fan, but we're not talking about general boos here. We're talking about Lions fans specifically heckling Stafford as he walked off the field. I mean, look at this guy (lower right, under the "quick links"). He's got that kind of anger for a rookie playing the hardest position in sports, with one of the worst supporting casts in sports? Get the net.

It's a tiny minority of Lions fans we're talking about here, and generally speaking, I respect any Lions fan who's still showing up to games. Stafford is one of the good guys, though. If your football team is going to get turned around, he's probably going to be a big reason for it. Even if he isn't, he might deserve more than five games (one of which he won) before we scapegoat him.

Gracias, Pro Football Talk.

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