December 29th, 2008 16:19 EST
Detroit Lions Finish 0-16
"The Detroit Lions own a distinction no team wants: worst in NFL history.
Facing one last chance to avoid their dubious destiny, the Lions lost Sunday`s season finale to the Green Bay Packers 31-21 to complete the league`s first 0-16 season. The 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-14) were the last NFL team to complete a season without a victory."
When I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area I was a faithful fan of the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, but I`ve lived in Virginia for almost a decade and I no longer follow the NFL. I couldn`t tell you which teams made the playoffs, but when a team set a record for futility it captures the attention of everyone, even casual fans.
An NFL team brings instant respectability and prosperity to a city, that`s why municipalities entice teams to relocate by offering them generous tax breaks and building multimillion stadiums. The citizens of a city identify with and adore their teams, when their heroes excel on the gridiron field or the basketball arena they lift up the spirits of everyone.
Detroit is a city on life support, it has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and a serious crime problem. It`s no wonder that thousands have fled the city, and moved to the suburbs. If any city needs an injection of hope it`s Detroit, and it`s a tragedy that they are burdened with the worst team in the history of sports.
Detroit needs to look on the bright side: It`s impossible for the fearless Lions to have a worse record in 2009. I am far from being an expert on the NFL, and I can`t offer any advice on steps the Lions can take to improve their fortunes. All I can do is encourage the good people of Detroit not to give up, the automotive industry will make a comeback and the Lions are bound to improve. A miracle may take place and people might even start moving back to Detroit.