Still the punch line
One year after deservedly being the punch line for jokes from nearly every stand-up comic, late-night talk show host, and ESPN talking head as they marched toward the worst kind of history possible, it seems like the shelf-life of jokes about the hapless Lions should be just about played out.
When Chelsea native and nationally renowned actor Jeff Daniels visited Lions training camp Wednesday (along with former U-M coach Lloyd Carr), nearly every local media outlet reported the fact. In doing so, most mentioned Daniels' work on Broadway, or his Purple Rose Theatre Company, or his current, Tony-winning play, "God of Carnage," or his work in films like the Civil War epics "Gods and Generals" and "Gettysburg." The last one was the obvious reference, especially since head coach Jim Schwartz relayed a story of using the film for motivation in his days as defensive coordinator of the Titans.
Leave it to people outside Detroit to make the one of Daniels' other films, "Dumb and Dumber," the reference of choice, keeping the Lions' status as a laughingstock alive and kicking. Granted, the film is a classic (and a personal must-watch whenever it's on cable), and the outlet in question, ProFootballTalk.com, is refreshing for its often-irreverant humor in reporting the news of the NFL, but the allegory they make doesn't necessarily play out, primarily because the two additional Stooges in question — Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli — aren't even with the team, anymore. Nice try, though. The joke's just a year too late.
If the Lions organization truly wants to shed the image of the perpetual buffoon, however, there's a pretty easy remedy: Win a game.