Monday, July 23, 2012
Lions fan: 'Disappointed and disconnected'
By Kevin Seifert
As with any issue, your opinions vary on what the Detroit Lions should do -- if anything -- about cornerback Aaron Berry's second arrest in a month. The Lions now have three players on their roster who have encountered multiple legal entanglements this offseason, and here's what I can tell you Monday morning: Those who were upset about the situation before are expressing anger now.
I'll drop a SportsNation poll into this post once it's available, but I wanted to publish right away because it's quite possible the Lions are discussing a resolution at this moment. In the meantime, let's consider one of the more extreme but well-written submissions I've received so far in the mailbag.
Jorge of West Bloomfield remains a Lions fan, but will pull back his support to protest the team's ineffective action to this point. Jorge acknowledged his semi-boycott won't impose a hardship on the team, but no NFL franchise wants to lose fan support because of its policies and practices. Jorge isn't protesting the arrests, which happen around the NFL, as much as the team's inability to stop them.
Here are some excerpts from Jorge's note:
"My family and I will not be attending Lion games this fall. I have decided that I do not want to financially support the franchise due to the indiscretions of its players.
"We realize that our four seats to a couple of games will quickly be purchased and that the franchise will not suffer. But the Ford family needs to understand that we as fans can make decisions regarding values and expectations just as the Lions' management can decide by choice and design how to handle their business. It is obvious that the people and the processes in place that deal with player deportment, expectations, and consequences are not working -- broken.
"As many corporations do, they have waited too long and seemingly living in a vacuum instead of biting the bullet and addressing problems with real leadership. The word should have come down from the Ford family to management, coaches, and players as to terminations. At the same time, the Ford family should have stepped up and spoken to the fans.
"The Lions have now lost my respect, credibility, and financial support. It is obvious that they will not miss us because we were never on their radar. They also need to understand that for some of us it is not only about winning and that the character of their players matters. …
"How sad for a franchise that demonstrated some promise, some hope, for each of them, each of us -- perhaps something to celebrate together with meaning. This fiasco has left me somewhat empty as a fan. Disappointed and now disconnected."
I'm not suggesting that even a majority of Lions fans feel this strongly, but as a group Lions fans are as loyal as they come. Any splintering is worth noting, and it's clear that at least some of them are deeply disappointed in the franchise at the moment.