Rod Marinelli Gets the Last Word

After hearing from Dominic Raiola of the Lions, I really started to ease up on them down the stretch hoping they’d win a game. Naturally it didn’t happen and they have gone down as the first 0-16 team in NFL history. Things really got ugly down the stretch when a reporter made a snide comment about Marinelli’s son in law, Joe Barry, who also happened to be the team’s defensive coordinator. Incidentally, that reporter was later fired. But it was Rod Marinelli, who after taking so much heat from the media (rightfully so), got in the last word:

Former Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli was at the Senior Bowl practice this morning but was in no mood to talk to the Detroit media. As three beat writers approached Marinelli, who was sitting in the stands, he told us to get lost in his own charming way.

“Goodbye, ladies,” he said.

Apparently Marinelli used to employ that salutation to the reporters when a lady was present, but this time it was nothing but men. I can’t say I’m really surprised by this story given Marinelli’s history as a tough guy who once wrestled a bear. In the end, it’s still Marinelli who loses because it’s his team that went 0-16, and really, who won’t pick on you for that? At least he’s not going out without getting the last word.

(via Pro Football Talk)

Dominic Raiola Is Not Remorseful for Flipping Off Lions Fans

I’ll tell you, after hearing Dominic Raiola’s interview Tuesday on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio, I don’t want to see the team go 0-16. At first I did just to spite the organization for being so poorly run; it would be the ultimate insult if they were to go winless. But after hearing Raiola talk, I really started to realize that there are some solid players on the team — guys who are trying, who do care, who want to win, and who hate losing. It’s because of guys like Raiola that I now want the Lions to get into the win column and avoid a lifetime of embarrassment. Because Raiola’s been with the team since ’01, he’s taken the brunt of the criticism from Lions fans (at least in his mind). His emotions boiled over on Sunday in the loss to the Vikings when he flipped off the Ford Field fans, a move that cost him $7,500. The organization said they were disappointed with Raiola’s move and said that’s not how they treat their fans. Raiola is saying otherwise:

“You know, if you’re not happy, why are you coming to the game? I understand that they haven’t seen a winner in eight years, so don’t come — don’t come until we turn it around. If they want me to be quiet and just take it … I don’t agree that I should do that.

You get booed a lot in the NFL — we get booed every week. Fans pay a lot of money and times are really hard right now, and we understand that they want to see a winner. When they get personal [with] myself and my family, I’m just not going to put up with that. I’m a human being, I’m just not going to deal with that.”

About the worst thing a player can do for an organization is criticize the fans the way he did. He had several chances to take his comments back or apologize but instead stuck with his true feelings. And you know what? Eight years of consistent losing will do that to you. The gesture is taking it too far, and telling fans not to come to games is probably the wrong thing to say, but because of Raiola I now want the Lions to actually win a game.

Worse QB Situation: Raiders or Lions?

The Raiders sure have found plenty of ways to provide us with laughs this season, centered largely around the dysfunction of the organization. At least the team was competitive under Lane Kiffin — now they’ve become an embarrassment without him. Their dysfunction has been so distracting that it’s even made many of us forget the fact that the Lions are still winless, and that the Bengals and Chiefs have fewer wins. The Bengals are in dire straights because Carson Palmer is hurt. The Chiefs are pretty horrible, but Tyler Thigpen did put together a productive game last weekend. And that’s what leaves us with the Raiders and the Lions.

Detroit entered the season with interception and yardage machine Jon Kitna as their quarterback. He has a back injury and is done for the year. Backup Dan Orlovsky, despite lacking a sense of space on the field, at least kept the team competitive the past few weeks. Unfortunately for Detroit, he’s now out with a thumb injury. They were forced to sign Daunte Culpepper earlier in the week who hasn’t played all season, and their other option is Drew Stanton — a second year player who their coach said would “embarrass” himself if he played. The Raiders are down to backups after starter JaMarcus Russell is now being deemed as doubtful because of knee tendinitis. That might not be a bad thing considering Russell threw for a paltry 31 yards last weekend. Or maybe it might be considering the backup options are Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo. So, which team has the worse QB situation, Raiders or Lions?

Video: Dan Orlovsky Takes Safety, Clearly Has a Strong Sense of the Field

For the same reason I praised Matt Ryan for being such a good quarterback despite being a rookie, I point out the following video of Dan Orlovsky. This is exactly how lost a typical young quarterback looks in an NFL game:

I remember laughing out loud when I was watching this play unfold during the game. How could someone lose a sense of where they are on the field that badly? I mean if Dan Orlovsky doesn’t show you what field presence is then I don’t know what does. As bad as Jon Kitna may be, it’s pretty obvious that Dan Orlovsky isn’t the answer. Video via Ballhype.

Bill Ford Jr. Would Fire Matt Millen

Matt Millen William Clay FordIf you want to talk about people having dirty pictures of their bosses, the argument begins and ends with Detroit Lions President and CEO Matt Millen. The amount of mistakes and awful moves he’s made in building the Detroit Lions makes Isiah Thomas look like Theo Epstein. Since he’s taken over the team, the Lions have lost more games than any team in the NFL by a wide margin. They’ve been brutal. They’ve been embarrassing. And this year’s team is showing no signs of improvement. That’s why Vice Chairman Bill Ford Jr. called out Millen, despite William Clay’s constant support of him.

A reporter asked Ford what he thought of the Lions’ performance Sunday, a 31-13 loss at San Francisco. “It was an embarrassment,” he said. “The fans deserve better. And if I had the authority, I would have fired the general manager.”

About 15 minutes later, in front of a larger crowd of reporters, Ford was peppered with more Lions-related questions.

“It’s been disappointing,” he said then. “I think the fans deserve better. And if it were in my authority, which it’s not, I’d make some significant changes.”

Those changes include getting rid of Matt Millen. Honestly, after all the futility, the losing, the awfulness, it’s about time someone spoke up. Seriously, when was the last time a successful NFL team was built by using four first round picks on wide receivers in like the span of five years? I didn’t even think it was possible to build as bad of a team as he puts out there each year. May Lions fans finally get their wish … sooner, rather than later.

Jon Kitna Gets Creative on Halloween

Remember Joe Cullen? He’s the former Lions defensive line coach who got busted for going through a fast food drive through naked. (I empathize with his plight; I enter the kitchen naked when food is on my mind). Anyway, Jon Kitna must have been smoking the same stuff that caused him to pick Detroit to win at least 10 games this year. Check out how he and his wife dressed up for teammate Mike Furrey’s charity Halloween event:

SPORTSbyBROOKS has another must-see version of the pic that shows a little more skin (yeah, you know you can’t get enough of Kitna). Drew Sharp in the Detroit Free Press takes issue with Kitna’s costume choice. I have no problem with it; it’s a creative, hilarious mock-job of an absolutely boneheaded move by a person with a job of great prestige. I give Kitna a 10 for originality and creativity.

William Clay Ford Confirms His Love for Matt Millen, Lions Still Screwed

Matt Millen William Clay FordYes, finally, we get to the bottom of the William Clay Ford/Matt Millen dynamic. For years it was speculated that Millen had pictures of Ford boozing it up with hookers on his lap and coke up his nose, but now we hear the truth. How can Ford put up with a GM whose team has gone 24-72 under his tenure? Well, apparently he likes the guy:

Asked if his judgment was clouded because he liked Millen personally, Ford said: “It’s possible. But I think if you like somebody and you believe in the same things that they believe in, I don’t know what other yardstick to put against it.”

Well William, if you’re looking for a yardstick, why don’t you try a win/loss record? That seems to be a great way of measuring success. You know, that and playoff appearances, division crowns, and Super Bowl rings. Not surprisingly, Ford has not put any additional pressure on the Lions and Millen to win this year, although he feels they’re on the cusp of something good. Great, that makes one quarterback, and now an owner.

More Reasons to Laugh at the Lions:
Jon Kitna Is Smoking the Good Stuff