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Friday, July 11, 2014
Lions' top play winner: Barry burns Dallas

By Michael Rothstein

Barry Sanders
We have a winner. The voters picked Barry Sanders' touchdown run in the playoffs against Dallas as the Lions' most memorable play and I question their selection. Dan Orlovsky's safety in 2008 is the play I consider the most memorable.

Score: Vikings 12, Lions 10
Date: Oct. 12, 2008.  Site: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis

Here's why I believe Orlovsky's safety in the end zone should be the most memorable play in the team's history and it has little to do with Orlovsky, who is a better quarterback than people give him credit.

Yet a reader may have put it best. The Orlovsky safety, an unfortunate happenstance for a quarterback making his first career start, was the roughest, most memorable play of the most memorable season in Lions history. No matter if the Lions make a Super Bowl, win a Super Bowl or end up winning multiple Super Bowls at some point, the franchise will be remembered as the first -- and for now, only -- team to go 0-16.

Considering the franchise's woebegone history, it is representative of so much of what has happened to the franchise in the Super Bowl era. One playoff win. No Super Bowl appearances. Losing season after losing season, no matter who was the coach and what players they had -- other than a brief respite with Barry Sanders.

The Orlovsky play stands out as a reminder of all that.

The embarrassing play is emblematic of the Lions, who put a good player in a tough situation. But it is, without question, a play that will be remembered and replayed over and over again for a long time. That is what the definition of a memorable play is -- and none are at the level of the Orlovsky safety with the Lions.