The Lions released their 75th Season All-Time Team today and some of the names on it are enough to make a man cry. Take a look at the list.
QB: Dutch Clark, Bobby Layne
RB: Doak Walker, Billy Sims, Barry Sanders
FB: Cory Schlesinger
WR: Herman Moore, Gail Cogdill
TE: Charlie Sanders
T: Lou Creekmur, Lomas Brown
G: Harley Sewell, John Gordy
C: Ed Flanagan, Kevin Glover, Alex Wojciechowicz
DL: Alex Karras, Roger Brown, Doug English, Al Baker, Robert Porcher
LB: Joe Schmidt, Wayne Walker, Chris Spielman
CB: Lem Barney, Jim David, Dick LeBeau, Dick "Night Train'' Lane
S: Jack Christiansen, Yale Lary, Don Doll, Bennie Blades
K: Jason Hanson, Eddie Murray
P: Jim Arnold
KR: Mel Gray
Of the 35 players on the team, I can remember watching 14 of them play. Al Baker was on the team in my lifetime, but before I was old enough to have any memories of him. When we're remembering such luminaries as Jim Arnold and Doug English as all-time greats, we're dealing with a franchise that has stunk for the better part of its existence. As a counter, here's my Anti-All-Time Lions team, dating back to 1983, when I started being a fan. Curse you, Billy Sims, for hooking me as a child. Even Big Tobacco can't create an unhealthy addiction like the Lions can.
QB: Joey Harrington, Chuck Long, Andre Ware, Rusty Hilger, Stoney Case
Ugh. How bad is it when I have to leave Scott Mitchell, Dave Krieg, Frank Reich and Don Majkowski off the list?
RB: Sedrick Irvin, Reuben Droughns
Seddie may have been great at MSU, but watching him run in the NFL was like watching an elephant try to pull its way out of quicksand. Reuben Droughns was a complete bust as a third-round pick for the Lions, went to Denver and had a really good year, came back here and stunk up the joint, then went to New York last year and won a Super Bowl ring as a goal-line specialist. Thanks for nothing, bum.
FB: Tommy Vardell
It wasn't that Tommy was necessarily bad, he just stole a lot of goal-line TDs from Barry Sanders when I owned him in fantasy.
WR: David Lewis, Charles Rogers, Mike Williams
Three first-round picks, no production, no hope. Honorable mention to Bill Schroeder and Az-Zahir Hakim, who got the Millen Era off to a great start by signing big contracts and producing nothing. I hate the Lions.
TE: Pat Carter
He probably isn't the worst TE ever to play for the team, but as far as second-round picks go, he was a complete and utter bust.
T: George Foster, Aaron Gibson
Foster is the human false start penalty, while Gibson was just a worthless slob who couldn't block any DE with speed. I can't believe we wasted a first-round pick on this guy.
G: Mike Compton, Damien Woody
Woody makes the list for taking a huge free agency contract and apparently spending all the money on Baconators. Compton promptly left the team and signed with the Patriots, winning two Super Bowl rings. Was he all that as a Lion? Of course not.
C: Jim Pyne
Poor Jim had the misfortune of replacing All-Pro Kevin Glover when he left. Our offensive line tanked in short order.
DE: Kalimba Edwards, Reggie Rogers
Edwards was a complete waste, showing as little aptitude for getting to the QB as possible. Rogers was the seventh overall pick in the 1987 draft and served 16 months in prison after his second season for killing three teenagers in a drunk driving accident.
DT: Dan Saleaumua, Dan Owens
Big Dan was a really good player... for the Kansas City Chiefs. We let him go. That seems to be a trend for the Lions. Owens was a second-round pick who was a starter on some terrible run defenses in the early 90s.
LB: Pat Swilling, Chris Claiborne
We gave up a first-round pick for Pat Swilling, expecting to get the pass-rushing terror who dominated for the Saints. Instead, we got another bum. The Saints used our pick for future Hall of Famer Willie Roaf. Claiborne was yet another in a long line of first-round duds, who shuffled off to Minnesota and disappeared after a few nondescript years in Detroit.
CB: Ryan McNeil, Bryant Westbrook
Remember when the Miami Hurricanes traditionally sported some of the best defenses in college football? McNeil was a starting corner for them. Guess who didn't do anything in Detroit? Westbrook was one of many defensive backs the Lions missed on in the 90s. Just as he started to get good... he tore his ACL and never got his speed back. Honorable mention to Chris Cash, Andre Goodman and Terry Fair.
S: Mark Carrier, Lamar Campbell
Carrier was a former Rookie of the Year for the Bears who we signed as a free agent. By the time he left Detroit he was known as the Human 15 Yard Penalty. He couldn't cover anyone. Lamar Campbell was a bum who somehow managed to stay on the team forever because Matt Millen apparently couldn't find another safety capable of blowing coverages and missing tackles.
K: Remy Hamilton
Remy played all of one game for the Lions when Jason Hanson had to sit out with an injury. Remy biffed a PAT against the Bears and was never heard from again.
P: Mark Royals
I lost track of how many shanks and touchbacks this guy was responsible for. I'd forgotten how much I should appreciate the presence of Nick Harris.
The really sad part of putting this team together was trying to whittle down the names. There are so many disastrous picks and horrible free agents that my co-workers and I probably could have put a second team together. See you in another 75 glorious years.