...when the Detroit Lions turned the ball over on downs with 68 seconds remaining and the Dallas Cowboys leading 27-24.
I snapped off the TV set and moped around the house for several minutes before deciding to watch one of my birthday DVDs to try to get my mind off the Lions' second straight loss at home to a team the bookmakers had made the underdog.
O me of little faith!
The movie, "1941," started and I found myself absently musing about what the final score might have been, and then... as a measure of how awful was the film... was there any way the Lions could have pulled it out.
About 12 minutes in, I paused the DVD and switched to cable channel 150, NFLNET, to discover that one of my fanciful speculations had played out, and after the Cowboys had kicked a field goal to open their lead to 30-24, the Lions went 80 yards with no time-outs and 62 seconds left in the game, and won 31-30.
I was stunned and incredulous, but the dark cloud immediately dissipated from above my head.
Dallas, the one National Football League team I objectively despise, had seen a road victory snatched from their grasp, and that did my little black heart more good than I could have imagined.
It's not the city toward which I direct my animus, despite what occurred there 50 years ago, it's the NFL franchise.
In 1978 the Dallas Cowboys began promoting themselves as "America's Team," and while I have no idea who came up with that notion, it offended me!
Not just because I've been a Detroit Lions fan since 1951, but because adopting the persona of "America's Team" is presumptuous in the extreme!
(There was never even a vote on it!)
Great win, today, Detroit! I'll try to have more faith in the future.
I must've not been paying attention. By my recollection, I thought you were a Jets convert.
These were the days following the Giants three straight NFL championship game losses and they were a decidedly mediocre team with Fran Tarkington scrambling around trying to find Homer Jones for a long gainer. Giants fans felt threatened by the Jets very existance, and hated Namath for his whiteshoes and his endless supply of Grade A girlfriends.
Naturally, since I couldn't watch the Lions except on Thanksgiving... or the Giants for that matter unless Channel 3 from Hartford happened to be coming in, I started following the Jets because, unlike the NFL games, the AFL games weren't blacked out, #1, and, #2, it pissed off the Giants fans... which was everyone else along the rail at The Patio except myself, Jerry Mangles, Spike Larsen and Ed Desmond.
(This was addressed here six years ago.)
But the bottom line is that I made out v-e-r-y nicely betting the Jets over the Colts in Super Bowl III, so I've had a soft spot in my heart for the for almost 50 years. But the Lions is my #1 team since the days of Bobby Layne and Doak Walker, Jack Christiansen and LaVern Torgeson more than 60 years ago.
My son Colin is, and always has been, a Gang Green diehard.
Did you not give up on the Lions during the Matt Millen era? I do believe you said you were done with them. Just checking if you are still allowed to root for them as a fair weather fan. Ha!
As a fan of more than 60 years standing, I reserve the right to be flexible without being painted with opprobrious "fair weather fan" by an expatriate Cowboys fan!