This article was meant to be an informative one. Truly, I was making the normal rounds on Detroit Lions news to find inspiration for what to write up next. Some offseason stuff, a draft analysis maybe. Instead, the deep disdain I have for the current state of sports media was once again stoked by two “experts” (more one than the other in this case, but I digress) who only make claims to get fools like me to react to them, because after all, clicks are clicks. So, I’ve decided to do what immediately came to mind, and spare everyone reading this from falling for this buffoonery. What gaudy argument got made (and by who) that drove me up a wall and straight off a cliff?
“How Do You Do, Fellow Kids?”
The Lions, as is well-known by now, are a young, up-and-coming team from the NFC North. They’re full of energy and personality, prepared to shake up the league. Chock full of potential, and more than ready to attempt to achieve it. On the other side of the country, residing in the NFC South, is an old, crotchety, senile bastard who lost his family life because he was too stubborn to go out on an Adam Schefter tweet. He’s fully played out. Some (or all) may say his career should’ve ended two years ago after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl by a landslide. This unrelentingly annoying QB is, of course, Tom Brady. In every possible way shape and form, Tampa Tom is the polar opposite of the current Detroit Lions franchise. And not in a Yin-Yang sort of different, more like two trains running into each other at full steam sort of different. Most sports fans, no, most PEOPLE know that this would be a terrible fit on almost all fronts. It’s easy to rule out, right?
Mike Florio didn’t do much at all in terms of sports media until he created Profootballtalk.com on November 1st, 2001. The website found success, and a bit over eight years later, Florio’s website became an affiliate with NBC Sports. Florio was momentarily in hot water in 2020 over old PFT articles (from 2005-06, specifically) wherein he used derogatory terms to refer to the LGBTQ+ and disabled communities. He would, of course, apologize for it. As a (currently) pansexual man with a smattering of mental illnesses and a dash of autism, hearing a talking head apologize for calling my community “homos” and “fudge-packers” really doesn’t invoke a “We accept your apology, Michael Florio” immediately. I will say, though, that he’s at least hidden the homophobia from view if it’s still there. Florio would face a fate worse than consequences for past actions: his (and the other person yet to be mentioned) live show, PFT Live, got moved recently to NBC’s streaming service Peacock.
I’m going to be a little more concise with Chris because his last name is by far his biggest identifier. Chris Simms played pretty alright for the Texas Longhorns, well enough to get drafted in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a career of bouncing around the league, a near-fatal ruptured spleen, and a year-long assistant coaching gig in New England, Simms would eventually make his way to the broadcast booth. In March of 2019, Chris Simms would begin co-hosting PFT Live. Now that we know a bit about both of these guys, what was the claim that set this article in motion?
A Blood-Boiling Proposition
On an episode of PFT Live from this past Tuesday, the issue of Tom Brady’s possible retirement/relocation was brought up. For some unholy reason, the team that Chris Simms mentioned, that would later spawn the short Mike Florio article that struck me out onto this topic, was the Detroit Lions. For reasons I mentioned earlier, this doesn’t make much sense, at least to me. How did it make sense to them?
One of the first big points worth mentioning is their dragging of Jared Goff. “A Lions team that quarterback Jared Goff may be able to lead on a deep run in the postseason, but may not be able to take over the top,” and “And while he’s 46, if the Lions want to finally make an appearance in the Super Bowl and possibly even win it, Brady could give them a better chance to do it than Goff” are two examples of this. Other than the fact that Jared Goff is a strong 18 years younger than Brady, Goff also had an arguably better season than him, as well as leading his team to a better record. But, football is a business, so what can Brady bring to Detroit’s finances?
Ticket sales are always going to be a big pull to land an ancient relic in the sports world. Another excerpt from Florio’s argument: “He’d sell every ticket to every game at Ford Field. The Lions also would end up with multiple prime-time games, along with multiple 4:25 p.m. ET contests. In recent years, those games draw even more viewers than games played at night.” I understand Florio’s logic on this one, but here’s the issue: what happens after he retires? If Detroit focuses on long-term success, those fan numbers will be steady. It takes a historic fall (like the Lions of old) to chip away at the lifetime supporting base. With big, old, household names, obviously it’ll bring more people in immediately. That big name doesn’t build a culture for a team desperate for a fresh start, though. Like, I’m sure the Washington Wizards had a sales spike when Jordan was running out his career there, but did it build a bigger long-term fanbase? No, not even close.
PFT: Pressed For Time
This PFT article fits two big categories for me, being a complete lunacy of a sports opinion, as well as being a clear hook to snag people on. There’s a lot of that, stories that aren’t close to being fully fleshed-out or meaningful in any instance, just used to get more traffic to your site. It has me split. On one hand, it’s frustrating that this method is so rampant in all of media. On the other hand, it did what it was meant to. It got me to write this article, so what’s the stupid method now? Should the very site you’re reading this on lean into it? Would I be a more successful writer if I barfed up any and all possible ideas regardless of how good I believe they are? Outside of that, you’ve got to think that this type of content has to get boring, right? I don’t know, I’m not in Mike Florio’s mind or headspace. I am, though, in a Detroit fan’s headspace, and I know that this move is the complete opposite direction of the way this franchise is moving in.