Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Reminders of 'The Streak' are everywhere
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Detroit Lions don't need to be reminded of their losing streak -- 22 straight games -- against the Green Bay Packers in the state of Wisconsin.
It is brought up on an annual basis, and the Lions know there's only one way to stop it: Beat the Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
"I don't know that it means anything more to the team other than just winning a game, particularly a division game like this," Lions coach Jim Schwartz told reporters at Lambeau Field during a conference call Wednesday. "But it does free up guys from having to take those questions."
Here's something that might come as a bit of a surprise: The Packers aren't particularly fond of talking about it, either.
"I don't acknowledge the streak," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday. "Really, I understand how long it's been, but it ain't going to help us Sunday."
All week, my ESPN colleague Michael Rothstein, who covers the Lions, has been examining some of the close calls during Detroit's 22-game losing streak on the road against the Packers. His latest installment looked at the 2005 overtime game.
The streak includes one playoff game. The Packers' 21-game regular-season home winning streak against the Lions is the longest against the same opponent in NFL history, three better than the Washington's 18-game streak against the Lions from 1939-2007.
Yet there wasn't a mention of it in any of the team meetings held in Lambeau Field this week. McCarthy said that it didn't even make the list of potential media topics presented to the players each week.
"No, we don't talk about that," said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who on Tuesday said during his ESPN Milwaukee radio show that he doesn't want the streak to end on his watch. "I've heard about it. I just hope we can keep it going."
One player in the Packers locker room has seen the streak from both sides. Guard T.J. Lang grew up in the Detroit area and played college football at nearby Eastern Michigan.
"I know from being over there the media talks a lot about it," Lang said. "As a player, I doubt they really care. Every year, it's a new year. You've got a new team, so I don't think that streak is really important. We haven't talked about it; I doubt they've talked about it."
Still, until something changes, both teams are going to hear about it.
The last time the Lions won in Wisconsin was on Dec. 15, 1991, when current Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was how old?
"I was 3 years old," Stafford said on a conference call.
"It is kind of for you guys to write about and talk about," Stafford added. "If we sat there and tried to focus on that we wouldn't be doing ourselves justice in trying to prepare for a team that's talented. We've got to go out there and spend all of our time preparing to play the 2013 Green Bay Packers and not the ones from '94, '95. That has nothing to do with what we're trying to do this weekend. We're preparing to play this team and doing that to the best of our ability."