A few years ago, when the Lions started 0-12 and were the nightly butt of Jay Leno's jokes, I was a fervent believer that going 0-16 was not a good thing. This year, I'm leaning the other way. Call it a sign of my growing disgust with the franchise or just a symptom of my generally pessimistic view of life. Either way, I just can't see a 2-14 or 1-15 finish being "better" than 0-16. The first ever 16-loss season in NFL history might finally be what it takes to get some dramatic changes made in Detroit.
Consider this: the Fords finally made the move the whole world knew needed to be made when they fired Matt Millen. But now there are rumors that Martin Mayhew, Millen's second-in-command, will get the GM job on a full-time basis next year. Lions beat writer Tom Kowalski thinks Mayhew would keep Rod Marinelli around. Excuse me while I find something heavy with which to hit myself over the head.
That hurt, but not nearly as much as the thought of watching Rod Marinelli "coach" the team next year. I think we've seen enough to know he's out of his element. That's why I'm now openly rooting for 0-16. No owner on earth could possibly believe it to be a good idea to bring back a coach who lost every game of the season, right? I mean, William Clay Ford is the worst owner in sports, but even he can't be dumb enough to do that. Even he would have to take a step back and decide to hire a team president with a history of building winning franchises. It worked for the Tigers, and they were the biggest embarrassment in baseball a few years ago.
But here's my fear: the Lions win two or three games and Ford decides Marinelli has the team back on track. It would be a disaster that would only delay the inevitable "blow the team up and start from scratch" debacle I've lived through half-a-dozen times in my life. So please, Lions, listen to the coaching staff, do exactly what they tell you to do. It's the only way to guarantee you lose the last seven games, get a new front office and a new head coach for 2009, and get written into the history books.