Detroit Lions – Breaking Our Hearts Again

Normally, I wait a day or so before I write about a disappointing loss.  But this time, the Lions had it in their grasp and literally let it slip away.

And it’s not a single player or coach that is too blame for all of this.  It is a culmination of players and coaches that are to blame.

Let’s begin with linebacker Tahir Whitehead.  Lions have the Bengals in third and long and just about everyone knew the Bengals were going to throw a screen pass, particularly Whitehead who had it read perfectly.

Instead of wrapping the player up, he chose to go for the big hit and Giovani Bernard bounced off and ran for 12 yards and picked up a critical third down.

Next up, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.  He didn’t call a bad game.  In fact, I thought it was one of his more balanced attacks where the offense gained 87 yards rushing and 207 yards receiving.  However, the Bengals took away Golden Tate, the Lions most dangerous receiver and Cooter did absolutely nothing to free Tate up.

How do you not find away to get the ball to the most effective player, who leads the league with the most yards after catch?

And finally, Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.  He blew the challenge call when the Lions had a third and 28 and Matthew Stafford connected with Tate for a 48 yard catch.  However, the ball was loose and referees called an incomplete pass.  With less than 3 minutes to go and you are fighting for your playoff life, why not challenge the call?  It was close enough to be have the call reversed.  Use everything you have available to you.

Caldwell failed the Lions and the fans the most by not challenging that call.

The Lions are not that far away from being a playoff team.  And I’ve been a fan for a very long time and I am not running away from them now.

Caldwell did bring some sense of stability when he was hired in 2014.  He has gotten them into the payoffs twice in that time but never got past the first round.

It’s time he goes.

In fact, it’s probably time for GM Bob Quinn to blow up the coaching staff.  I’d like to see Teryl Austin move in to the top spot and the Lions keep Cooter as Offensive Coordinator since he and Matthew Stafford have such a great connection.

But if you are going to blow up the coaching staff, you might just clean house.  And this would be a golden opportunity to have Bob Quinn get an elite and imaginative staff to bring a fire the Lions haven’t had since the days of Wayne Fontes.

How about dipping into the New England Patriots staff and get Josh McDaniels?  He has a year of head coaching experience and has been a productive offensive coordinator in two stints with the Patriots as well one year with the St. Louis Rams.

Want somebody fresh?  Go after David Shaw, Stanford’s head coach.  He has put up some impressive records offensively and would bring some imagination to the Lions offense.

I suppose this is a gut reaction to yet another heart-breaking season.  But I also witnessed that the Lions DIDN’T WANT THIS GAME!  And that falls squarely on the shoulders of the head coach, Jim Caldwell.

Yes, the stoic manner he has, the calm, reserved manner and the emotionless persona has pretty much sucked the passion from the Lions game.  Football is an emotional game and the head coach has to find that fine balance of when to use it and when not to.  Unfortunately, Caldwell chooses never to tap into emotion when it’s needed.

Outside of blowing up the coaching staff, the Lions aren’t that far away from having a really, really good team.  Matthew Stafford is a great quarterback and they have good receivers in Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron (though he needs to work on hanging on to passes) and the promising rookie Kenny Golladay.

A few weeks ago, I was promoting the fact the Lions need a big running back in order to grind out games.  But with the emergence of Tion Green over the past few games, I don’t think we need to.  We can lose Ameer Abdullah and have Theo Riddick take over as the primary back and beef up the defensive line.

Ziggy Ansah needs some help…and while I applaud the Lions for picking up Dwight Freeney for the playoff push, he isn’t a permanent solution.  Haloti Ngata is on his last legs and Ansah needs a partner in crime to get pressure on QB’s.

Trump Administration Forbids CDC Use of Words

The Trump administration has given the Centers of Disease Control a list of seven words or phrases they are forbidden to use.

Fascinating the list contains seven words.  I guess we can think about replacing the seven words you can’t say on television  to “Vulnerable, Entitlement, Diversity, Transgender, Fetus, Evidence-Based and Science-Based.”

Spokesperson Alison Kelly for the CDC did not give a reason why the Trump administration has banned these words in any CDC official documentation in relation to the national budget.

I am no constitutional expert, but this smacks of Freedom of Speech.  Granted, we are not talking about silencing an individual or a certain group.  However, we are being shown that this administration wants to tamp down all of the definitions that are related to civil rights; first and foremost, the freedom of speech.

It also smacks of fascism.  For those that aren’t sure of the definition of fascism, simply put, it is a way of ruling that advocates the total control of the people.  In this form of government, the people are looked at as a bundle or one body that must be controlled by the government with absolute force.

This action is dangerous and reckless.  To forbid the CDC from using the word “fetus” if addressing fetal health causes messages to be unclear.  Which is exactly what the Trump-Pence administration wants.  They want the capability to tell us Americans what we need.  Tell me how that makes us free?

If this doesn’t cause an outrage to any American citizen, then you deserve to be led by your nose to the cliff.  The Republican party, for the most part, have great sounding core beliefs:

(From http://Republican Views Website)

  • The best government for the people is one that is closest to the people and therefore, the government should not interfere unless they are needed.
  • The strength of the nation lies within the individuals who live in the country and therefore feel that the individual’s freedom, dignity and responsibility must come first and foremost in our government.
  • Free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative are what has brought the country economic prosperity in the past and what will continue to bring it to prosperity today.
  • The government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow its people to keep the money they work for.
  • America should work to protect national freedom first while working to spread peace, freedom and human rights in the world.

Tell me, under which of these core beliefs would banning certain terminology fit?

How does this ban of seven terms not interfere needlessly?

How does this ban of seven terms place our freedom, dignity and responsibility first and foremost?

How does this ban of seven terms help bring America prosperity?

How does this ban of seven terms help the government practice fiscal responsibility and allow its people to keep the money they work for?

How does this ban of seven terms protect national freedom and help spread peace, freedom and human rights in the world?

One answer for all six of these questions:  It doesn’t.

If I was able to have a conversation with President Trump, I would want to know why these words are being banned.  But knowing how President Trump would react to a direct question, he would most likely obfuscate and just start yelling “Fake News!”

President Trump, just what makes us vulnerable in discussing diversity?  What makes you feel entitled to dictate to this diverse country, including transgenders, with no evidence-based or science based facts, on the health of a fetus?

Did you notice there Mr. President, that I used all seven of those terms in questioning your unmitigated gall to control an inalienable right to speech?

I suspect I’ll be hearing from the Secret Service sometime soon.