An Ode to the Detroit Lions (and the Curse of Bobby Layne)

I had the misfortune to be born, into a place that was forlorn.  At just the wrong time, besides the wrong place, for the Lions had just traded away their quarterback Ace.  

All should have been bright and gay, but then they traded Bobby Layne away.  In the fifties they had dominated:  Winning the Championship in 52, 53, and 57, as a Lions fan I should have been born into NFL heaven.  All should have been bright and gay, but then they traded Bobby Layne away.   As Bobby Layne left that day, all hope of future Championships died away, for Bobby Layne had this to say: 

The Lions will not win again for fifty years!”

Ha! He’s just bitter (they thought).  Ha! Curses aint true (we thought).  Ha! Milt Plum will save us! Ha! If not he, Bill Munson or  Greg Landry!  Not them? Then Gary Danielson or Eric Hipple, Chuck Long or Scott Mitchell! Okay, okay, this gets much worse. Okay, okay, I started to believe in the curse! But wait, but wait!  Rodney Peete will save us! But wait, but wait, it’s Andre Ware!  No?!! I got it! Our savior must be named Joey, and our G.M. slot we’ll be a fillin, with a dunce of the name Matt Millen! 

Sad and sick, you talk about crashes! All t’was left of the proud franchise was ashes!  Then out of the blue a new Texas q.b. grew.  He even went to Bobby Layne’s high school too!  But the curse, but the curse!? Could “the curse” prevent him from being drafted too?  Would he be drafted by Martin Mayhew?  Some lugheads said “No defense! We need a linebacker true!” Don’t listen, don’t listen, Dear Martin Mayhew! Others said, “No, no, no, a left tackle is due!” Don’t listen, don’t listen Dear Martin Mayhew!

And of the curse players from other teams knew!  So they boycotted the Lions of course this is true! St. Martin, St. Martin, what’s a poor coach to do?  Hmmmm, let me think, what would a great coach do?  Why, fly your ass out there, tell Nate and Kyle we want them too!  Thank you, thank you, Dear Martin Mayhew! Thank you, thank you, Scott and Jim too!

Then along came a he-man named Ndamukong Suh!  What, oh what, would St. Martin do? Would dear sainted Martin draft ‘damukong Suh? The lugheads chimed in, “O Tackle, O Tackle, O Tackle is due! Backus and Gosder most definitely won’t do!”  Don’t listen don’t listen, Dear Martin Mayhew!  “Protect your franchise, they’ll cut him in two!” Don’t listen, don’t listen Dear Martin Mayhew! He didn’t listen–thank God–and Martin Mayhew.

Then as tension mounted and apprehension grew, the lugheads said, “Trade down! Trade down number two!”  Don’t listen, DON’T LISTEN, Dear Martin Mayhew.  There’s one left on the board can score from out of the blue.  Don’t listen, be bold, trade up number two!  Don’t listen, don’t wait, only Jahvid will do!    Trade up, trade up, from a division rival, too!  Go get him, go get him, Dear Martin Mayhew!

Alas and alack, by now I should be jaded!  The air taken out of me as though I’ve been Bennie Blade-ed! For I was born the year Bobby was traded! But no, no, no, no! Through too much I’ve waded!  I can’t wait for the regular season and the Lions to be graded!   

By just another Kool Aid drinker.

3 responses to “An Ode to the Detroit Lions (and the Curse of Bobby Layne)

  1. Ah yes the weather in the north has turned cool and the time for our annual discussions are here. Over malt beverages just last night it began, will our beloved Lions break our hearts again. The optimism always tempered with that thought in the back of your brain…..but what about Bobby Layne? Not very poetic I know, but above malt beverages are still being driven away by the coffee. GO LIONS

  2. if you had seen the 57 championship game as i did, you would consult the bobby who placed the curse and ask him if he would let the lions up. they have suffered enough. russ thomas key agent of the curse. died at 66 in 1991. as i just learned recently. bill clay ford should drop the reigns.

    find a collateral heir of layne and hire him as curseless lions salesman. here is to tobin rote! hopalong cassady caught the last layne TD pass. had layne not broken that leg in 57 he might have lived on as lion bad boy for 5 more years.

    would the steelers now be willing to accept the flickering curse because he was not a QB who answered their prayers.

    as so many 60 and older lions’ fans feel we knew the team when. it is time we had when again.

    here is to john henry johnson and dorne dibble. forever etched in my recall no matter what the post layne years have taken from all us lions’ fans.

    the chant. ‘no more curse’ should ring out.

  3. ANY old Lions fans are welcome here! I fondly recall seeing the original “fearsome foursome” play, Karis, McCord, my old mind forgets the rest. I remember the hope we had in Nick Eddy, who played before the wonders of modern medicine could repair blown out knees. I remember Dick LeBeau as a great corner (though I didn’t appreciate him at the time compared to Lem. I remember a bunch of Lions coming to my high school during the off season for a basketball exhibition–that was back before football players were millionaires. I remember the times when I couldn’t go to the stadium or see them on T.V. just listening on the a.m dial.

    Then I moved away from Michigan. For years I missed most games except Thanksgiving, because crappy teams aren’t nationally televised. Now I can see every game for free on the internet.

    God help me I don’t know WHY I love them, but I do!

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