Residents in most of Michigan might have felt last Saturday night as if it were a state holiday. The roads were quiet, and folks were glued to their TVs, often gathered at home as families.
This was no mere holiday, of course. The Detroit Lions were in the playoffs, and that is less common than opening Christmas gifts or getting stuffed with the Thanksgiving bird. Detroit had not played in a playoff game since 1999.
Lions fans did not get to celebrate for long. The New Orleans Saints sent them home without much drama, despite a Detroit lead at the half and a few bad calls.
This was not the Lions’ year to win it all — nor has it been since 1957 — but fans should look at the many positives today. This squad is much better than the 2008 edition that lost all 16 games and, for that matter, any Lions team since Barry Sanders hung it up.
Instead of winning with Sanders’ feet, this Lions team goes airborne. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson both showed themselves to be elite performers. With some good offseason moves, they might even lead Detroit to its first Super Bowl appearance.
“Wait till next year” is the age-old comment from sports fans. In this case, it might mean something.
— THE JACKSON CITIZEN PATRIOT