My Favorite Detroit Lions-Kick Returner Desmond Howard

I have been a fan of the Detroit Lions since 1989. That is about a lifetime and to be fair they have brought a lot of sadness and misery into my life. If pain makes one strong then Detroit Lions fans are among the strongest fans in the universe. However, when I think about my favorite sports moments a lot of good Lions memories are there. I am from Detroit, my kid was born in Detroit and I rep my city and its teams. That means I bleed silver and Honolulu blue. While I think that they are on the right track now that has not always been the case. Even though I wanted to do a top 25 list to be very honest the Matt “The Idiot” Millen years make that near impossible. With that in mind here are my twenty favorite Detroit Lions players from my 28 years of Lion fandom.

With that being said:

desmond

#15-KR #80 Desmond Howard

To be fair Desmond Howard did not accomplish a whole lot in three plus seasons as a member of the Detroit Lions. However, he did win a Heisman Trophy at Michigan and he was a Super Bowl MVP so getting him to finish out his NFL run with the Lions was really cool. Michigan football has always been a very big deal around where I live and having this guy with the Lions made all us Lions fans warm and fuzzy.

Let us also not forget that in his Lions debut he returned a kick to the house.

Other than that this is really a nostalgia pick. It was done on the cheap and to help sell tickets and there is nothing wrong with that. I have seen entire football leagues try and draft young local talent that can help a team establish a base. IN the wake of Barry Sanders retirement it was an okay move to bring this guy in even though he had been cut by the Green Bay Packers.

Read more about my Favorite Detroit Lions players here

My Favorite Detroit Lions-WR Golden Tate

I have been a fan of the Detroit Lions since 1989. That is about a lifetime and to be fair they have brought a lot of sadness and misery into my life. If pain makes one strong then Detroit Lions fans are among the strongest fans in the universe. However, when I think about my favorite sports moments a lot of good Lions memories are there. I am from Detroit, my kid was born in Detroit and I rep my city and its teams. That means I bleed silver and Honolulu blue. While I think that they are on the right track now that has not always been the case. Even though I wanted to do a top 25 list to be very honest the Matt “The Idiot” Millen years make that near impossible. With that in mind here are my twenty favorite Detroit Lions players from my 28 years of Lion fandom.

With that being said:

tate

#16-WR #15 Golden Tate

This is going to be somewhat of a controversial pick. It is hard to argue against production. Golden Tate has been very productive in his three years as a Detroit Lion. However, since he went to Notre Dame he already has one strike against him, he is also a free agent signing which is not a favorite thing here in Detroit, and we all remember those post game comments in 2015.

After a blowout loss to the Arizona Cardinals at home, where we saw Matthew Stafford get benched for poor play, Tate choose to call out the fans for their lack of support. Well ya know what Golden…FUCK YOU!! You have been here three years…some of us including me have been a fan of this team for a fucking lifetime and we have seen far too many fucking blowout loses at home. We are pretty sick of it. We have seen two hall of fame players waste their careers here. We have seen this team loose games it should win, and we have not seen a playoff victory of any kind since 1991. IN fact Ford Field, which the taxpayers helped pay for, has yet to host a Lions playoff game. So shut up…help the team win…and if anyone bought a ticket they are pretty entitled to boo your ass when your getting blown out at home.

Beyond that in three seasons Tate is 13th on the Lions all time receiving list. While it is fun to joke about all those receivers Matt “the idiot” Millen drafted just in my time as a Lions fan there have been more than a few great receivers on this team. Calvin Johnson,Herman Moore, Johnnie Morton, and Brett Perriman all come to mind. What makes Tate impressive is he has a higher catch percentage than all of them.

In the end is is a great possession receiver.He can help the offense move the chains and gets those tough yards to keep a drive alive. When he is paired with a legit deep threat and an above average QB well that should really be something…the 2017 Lions are going to have to score a lot of points since it seems the defense is not going to be what they call healthy for the coming NFL season.

Read more about my Favorite Detroit Lions players here

My Favorite Detroit Lions- Kick Returner Mel Gray

I have been a fan of the Detroit Lions since 1989. That is about a lifetime and to be fair they have brought a lot of sadness and misery into my life. If pain makes one strong then Detroit Lions fans are among the strongest fans in the universe. However, when I think about my favorite sports moments a lot of good Lions memories are there. I am from Detroit, my kid was born in Detroit and I rep my city and its teams. That means I bleed silver and Honolulu blue. While I think that they are on the right track now that has not always been the case. Even though I wanted to do a top 25 list to be very honest the Matt “The Idiot” Millen years make that near impossible. With that in mind here are my twenty favorite Detroit Lions players from my 28 years of Lion fandom.

With that being said:

gray

#17 Kick Returner #23 Mel Gray

I got interested in football in 1988. My mother was getting divorced and really I just needed the distraction. I had been a huge baseball fan for years prior to that. However they don’t play baseball in the winter. Needless to say that Christmas season was stressful and I ended up spending a lot of time with my extended family.  During one of those trips I got to watch the 1988 Holiday Bowl where one Barry Sanders ran for 222 yards and five touchdowns. When I heard that he was coming to play for my Detroit Lions I decided that I just had to watch.

While watching Barry was always exciting the guy I loved to watch play was Kick Returner Mel Gray. Granted we wouldn’t see his true potential till that magical run in 1991, but to me every time he touched the ball he seemed like he was about to break a big one. Gray has written the book of records for the Lions in terms of kick and punt returns.

Being a exciting piece of a team that has Barry Sanders says all we need to say about Gray. WHile it does seem said to list a lot of specialist on a list like this Matt “the idiot” Millen did run this team far longer that he should have and made a literal ton of bad personel decisions. If I were to do a list of favorite UFL players that list would be littered with guys Millen used top draft picks to attain.

Read more about my Favorite Detroit Lions players here

My Favorite Detroit Lions-QB Charlie Batch

I have been a fan of the Detroit Lions since 1989. That is about a lifetime and to be fair they have brought a lot of sadness and misery into my life. If pain makes one strong then Detroit Lions fans are among the strongest fans in the universe. However, when I think about my favorite sports moments a lot of good Lions memories are there. I am from Detroit, my kid was born in Detroit and I rep my city and its teams. That means I bleed silver and Honolulu blue. While I think that they are on the right track now that has not always been the case. Even though I wanted to do a top 25 list to be very honest the Matt “The Idiot” Millen years make that near impossible. With that in mind here are my twenty favorite Detroit Lions players from my 28 years of Lion fandom.

With that being said:

Charlie Batch runs with the ball

#18-QB #10 Charlie Batch

Let’s be real honest here. Charlie Batch was a very good backup Quarterback. However he got to be a starter here in Detroit because…well because Barry Sanders quit.

It was a weird time for the Detroit Lions. Wayne Fontes was finally fired and Bobby Ross was brought in and changed up the offense. This never sat well with Barry and a lot of his guys were allowed to leave. Ross wanted to run a power running game that he did not have the personnel for. That led to losing and frustration till Barry had had enough. Charlie Batch was given the reigns in part because he could play that hybrid QB/RB style to help the slumping running game and keep defenses off-balance.

That was a pretty good idea in theory however Batch was oft-injured and did not start all 16 games in the three years in was the Lions starting QB. It is the 2000 season I want to focus on here. Batch would have his lowest completion percentage that year but pass for the most yards. He would lead the Lions to the final game of the season where he would suffer another injury and the Lions would lose that game on a last-minute field goal. That would be the final straw for this era of the Lions. That off-season Matt “The Idiot” Millen would be brought in and he began his reign of destruction on the Lions roster and started personal beefs with more than a few players. Batch was one of them, and although he would start the 2001 season as the starter his days were numbered in Detroit.

In a little more than three seasons Batch passed for over 9,000 yards, completed 56 percent of his passes and have an overall record of 19-27. Those are not great numbers but given the fact that Batch was thought of as an underdog, and that he attended Eastern Michigan made him a fan favorite in Detroit.

Read more about my Favorite Detroit Lions players here

 

Star Wars Expanded Universe: Legacy of the Force #3 Tempest

A few notes before we begin:

Tempest is the third book in the Legacy of the Force series and the 26th book published by Del Rey after they took over the publishing of Star Wars books prior to the New Jedi Order series.

This edition was written by Troy Denning. That is important because not only was he a much celebrated author of the old Expanded Universe but because he wrote the Dark Nest Trilogy where he sets up Jacen Solo’s eventual fall to the dark side.

Tempest(LOF)

The best thing about this book is how we see the Skywalker-Solo clan ripped apart by the goings on on the Star Wars universe. We see Luke get into a pretty animated argument with Han, Mara Jade and Leia unable to keep those waters calm. We also see the new generation of Jedi (in the case Jacen and Ben Skywalker) battle Luke and Mara Jade. The clan that has kept peace sort of and been at the heart of solving numerous Galactic conflicts is being ripped apart at the seams.

Jacen seems to be done debating the merits of becoming a Sith Lord and taken the first few steps towards becoming his Grandfather. We also see him diluting himself that he is making a different choice than that of Darth Vader. He is not doing it for his love of Tenel Ka. However, it seems that we can argue that he is doing this to help provide his daughter, Alana, with a more safe and secure galaxy.

The political subplot sees the new Corellian government setting up a coup in the Hapes Consortium. Once Jacen hears that his lover and daughter have been threatened he heads to Hapes with Ben in his new Star Destroyer named for his deceased little brother Anakin.

The Corellians set up Han and Leia for an assassination attempt and once Jacen hears that they might be involved he issues warrants for their arrests. This leads to the inexperienced and heavily influenced Ben to try to arrest his Uncle Han at the most inappropriate time. In the end Jacen makes the choice to fire on a ship he knows contains his sister, his parents, and Ben. It is an holy crap moment and cements the fact that Jacen will soon become a Dark Lord of the Sith.

This books also sees the return of Jagged Fel. He is a great character and even though he has been humbled a lot by the fallout from the events in the Dark Nest Trilogy he is still doing typical Jag things. I love the Jag character and his relationship with Jaina Solo.

More Star Wars Book Club coverage of the Expanded Universe here

My Favorite Detroit Lions-OT Lomas Brown

I have been a fan of the Detroit Lions since 1989. That is about a lifetime and to be fair they have brought a lot of sadness and misery into my life. If pain makes one strong then Detroit Lions fans are among the strongest fans in the universe. However, when I think about my favorite sports moments a lot of good Lions memories are there. I am from Detroit, my kid was born in Detroit and I rep my city and its teams. That means I bleed silver and Honolulu blue. While I think that they are on the right track now that has not always been the case. Even though I wanted to do a top 25 list to be very honest the Matt “The Idiot” Millen years make that near impossible. With that in mind here are my twenty favorite Detroit Lions players from my 28 years of Lion fandom.

With that being said:

lomas

#19-OT Lomas Brown #75

Since there is no doubt RB Barry Sanders will wind up near or at the top of this list we have to include the guys who opened up the holes for him. Lomas Brown was a key piece of the offensive line and one of the nicest guys ever to go to war on the football field.

Brown was a first round pick in the 1985 NFL Draft, which is way before my time but he and Kevin Glover where the big men who opened up the small holes for Sanders to work his magic. It is a crime there are no stats for O linemen but what we can say is Brown was a premier Left Tackle who played on a very consistent basis. For players who played a significant portion of their career in Detroit it is quite rare for them to sport a resume with two divisional crowns, and four playoff appearances. Brown would get a Super Bowl ring after leaving Detroit following the 1995 season.

Brown is also semi-famous for allowing an opponent to sack QB Scott Mitchell because Mitchell was playing awful poorly. I cannot remember that game specifically…but let’s be honest Mitchell stunk up the joint more than once.

On a more personal note I met Lomas at a NASCAR event at Ford Field and have a picture of him holding my infant son in one of his massive hands. Lomas was a great guy, a fan favorite, a key piece of the Barry Sanders era of the Lions.

Read about more of my favorite Detroit Lions here

My Favorite Detroit Lions-Kicker Jason Hanson

I have been a fan of the Detroit Lions since 1989. That is about a lifetime and to be fair they have brought a lot of sadness and misery into my life. If pain makes one strong then Detroit Lions fans are among the strongest fans in the universe. However, when I think about my favorite sports moments a lot of good Lions memories are there. I am from Detroit, my kid was born in Detroit and I rep my city and its teams. That means I bleed silver and Honolulu blue. While I think that they are on the right track now that has not always been the case. Even though I wanted to do a top 25 list to be very honest the Matt “The Idiot” Millen years make that near impossible. With that in mind here are my twenty favorite Detroit Lions players from my 28 years of Lion fandom.

With that being said:

hanson

#20 Kicker Jason Hanson

It says a lot about a team and how they have failed to build a championship contender when a kicker makes a list of all time favorite players. I can remember whole seasons where the only bright spot on the entire roster was Mr. Hanson.

First and foremost he played his entire career in Detroit and those kinda guys are very rare. Better than that this guy virtually owns the Detroit Lions kicking record book. Most points scored for a career by a wide margin. Most points in a season, for which he also holds the number two and three spots. Most extra points for a career and in any one season by a very wide margin. Most field goals in a career and in any one season. Highest percentage of field goals made for a season. The only thing not dominated by Hanson is longest field goals since Matt Prater has come around and beaten Hanson’s 54 yards twice. I wonder what that says about Matthew Stafford and his coming new contract?

It is really too bad that the middle of Hanson’s Lions career was the terrible Millen years. He played for six different head coaches and two interim ones. He was a member of teams that went to six playoffs all losing in the Wild Card round. Such a shame that such a talent wasted his career like so many others.

There was some controversy when Hanson decided to retire but this list is more about what the players did on the field and how important they were to the team’s success. Hanson was a key part the limited amount of success the Lions were able to achieve during his long career.

Read about the rest of my favorite Detroit Lions players here