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RaiderDamus' Friday Foretelling: Raiders vs. Lions

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What fate will befall the Raiders in the unfriendly confines of Ford Field on Sunday? The Great Beyond is here to let you all know!

Matt Millen attempts to hide his excitement after drafting yet another 100% Grade A USDA Man at wide receiver.
Matt Millen attempts to hide his excitement after drafting yet another 100% Grade A USDA Man at wide receiver.

Greetings, Raider fans! It is I, Raiderdamus, the greenest of the green, the kindest of the kine, and the stickiest of the icky. I come to you today with a paper bag over my head after the woeful display of our Raiders against the Vikings, who I think we should all recognize as a very good team at this point. I had been laboring under two false assumptions- first, that Rodney Hudson would play, and secondly that Adrian Peterson was not actually the love child of Gale Sayers and a grizzly bear. It appears I was wrong on both counts.

But as always, this week is a new week, and a new game comes our way, this one from Detroit. Once again I have consulted the Great Beyond to seek his counsel on the outcome of the game. Here is the message I was given.

"Yikes, sorry about that last game. That was brutal. I didn't realize the 1985 Bears were going to wear purple uniforms last week. My bad. So who you got this week? The Lions? Seriously? Get your popcorn ready.

When you have a Raiders vs. Lions game, you are pitting the two worst franchises of the last decade against each other. We all know how bad the Raiders have been since 2002, but the Lions have been just as bad. They have won more than seven games in a season exactly twice in that span, with an 0-16 season in there and a few 2-win and 3-win seasons. Normally even the shittiest teams have trouble being shitty for twelve years at a time because they draft highly and get good players. The problem the Raiders had was Al Davis. The Lions' problem was this:

Matt Millen is the worst NFL executive of all time. He makes Jed York look like Ron Wolf. If you google "Millen draft" one of the first results is some bullshit story about how Matt Millen warned Al Davis not to draft Jamarcus Russell. However, if you think Millen wouldn't have taken Russell for the Lions, whose last decent QB prior to that was Bobby Layne, you are out of your mind. Calvin Johnson fell into Millen's lap and his other picks were so terrible he couldn't even point to Megatron as a sign of his success. Prior to Millen's hiring, the Lions were at rock bottom. Millen's resume is very impressive in that he managed to make them even worse than that. Worse than rock bottom is saying a lot considering the Lions are in Detroit, where rock bottom is the baseline for existence.

The Raiders have not been great lately, but they can always point to their past and their three Super Bowl victories. The Lions are one of a handful of teams which has never even been to a Super Bowl, let alone won one. Two of those teams are the Jaguars and Texans, expansion teams which have not been around for a long time so they have an excuse. The Lions have been around since 1930. They won the NFL championship in 1957. They have won nothing of consequence in the last 58 years. They are the only NFC team to have never appeared in the Super Bowl, and the only non-expansion team not named the Browns. Interestingly enough, Cleveland's town motto is "At least we're not Detroit" while Detroit's is "at least we're not Cleveland".

What the Lions do have that the Raiders don't is a shiny new stadium. Ford Field replaced the decrepit Silverdome, which was best known not for Lions games but rather for being the site of Wrestlemania III wherein Hulk Hogan defeated Andre the Giant and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat defeated Randy "Macho Man" Savage. The Ford family has owned the Lions for many, many years now and can afford the stadium, being the descendants of famous American businessman and Nazi sympathizer Henry Ford, who is the reason most Americans today drive a Japanese car.

All this brings me to the Detroit Lions' greatest crime against humanity, that being the drafting and subsequent ruination of  Barry Sanders, one of the finest football players the world has ever known. Not only did Sanders have to suffer the indignity of playing for the Lions his entire career, he also was one of the first players to experience the Madden Curse. Unlike many players who experience injury or get arrested, Barry Sanders simply retired because he was sick of playing for the Lions. Dorsey Levens replaced him on later versions of Madden 2000, and Levens promptly blew out his knee.

Madden then featured Sanders on the cover of Madden 25 in 2014. Being retired, Sanders didn't suffer a football injury but I'm sure he stubbed his toe or something. It's a well known fact that the only person ever to escape the Madden Curse is John Madden himself.

But why would Sanders retire, seemingly at the prime of his career? For the answer, let's look at a comprehensive list of all the quarterbacks with whom Sanders played during his Lions career.

Rodney Peete

Andre Ware

Eric Hipple

Bob Gagliano

Erik Kramer

Dave Krieg

Scott Mitchell

Don Majkowski

Frank Reich

Charlie Batch

Gus Frerotte

Stoney Case

Holy shit. And we thought our quarterbacks have been bad since Rich Gannon. This reads like a who's who of deadbeat former NFLers who, having spent all their money investing in their sycophant childhood friends' car wash businesses, Al Bundy their way around town talking about that one time they beat the Bears. All Sanders was missing was Matt Schaub and Matt Flynn.

Had Sanders continued to play, he would almost certainly be known today as the greatest player who ever lived and the all-time rushing yardage champion. Instead, Emmitt Smith claims that title even though my aged grandmother could have had a thousand yard season behind his offensive line. What makes Sanders so impressive is that he never had an offensive line either, and had to do everything himself. He usually succeeded.

Today, Barry Sanders lives in Wichita, KS because even a Detroit local hero like him would not lower himself to actually live in Detroit. Detroit is the third most dangerous city in the USA, and is only that low because in Camden, NJ you have a 1 in 37 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. Detroit does have a lovely airport with a fantastic Popeye's Chicken. However, that's where the good feelings come to an end. Detroit proper is a miserable cesspit of filth and low property values. Naturally this makes it so you can purchase an entire actual house for a few thousand dollars, (or $1 as seen in the house pictured below) but it will not come with important features such as running toilets, copper pipes or windows that are bereft of bullet holes.

The Detroit Pistons know this all too well. They play at an arena called The Palace. Is it The Palace of Detroit? Nope, It's the Palace of Auburn Hills. Auburn Hills is French for "where rich white people live".

What makes the ramshackle state of Detroit so mind-boggling is that, not only did all of Detroit's automobile companies get massive government bailouts so that the European companies that bought them would have to pay more, the city of Detroit itself was also bailed out to the tune of $195 million dollars to be used for recovering from the city's bankruptcy and hopefully saving the city's failed pension system for its many old people who long ago moved into the suburbs. The city has a long and storied history of paying people too damn much money for too little work. Despite the best efforts of Henry Ford to streamline the car manufacturing process by making it as stupid-proof as possible, the United Auto Workers union insisted on being paid like BMW artisans who stitched the entire car together by hand. The UAW also insisted on janitors being paid like rocket scientists and ensured that when its executives finally retired they would have net worths several orders of magnitude higher than the actual city of Detroit. This is amusing because if Henry Ford ran the company today, all the work would be done by blond haired, blue eyed Nazi robots and he wouldn't have to pay a single one of them.

Some people say that without Detroit getting back on its feet, Michigan itself can't fully recover. This is nonsense to the highest degree and is akin to saying that Europe won't succeed without Atlantis. Wrong. Let it burn. Let it sink to the bottom of the ocean. Its time has come. Let it die.

As a reward for Detroit's unwinfeated season in 2008, they were given the #1 overall pick which they used to select Georgia QB Matthew Stafford. Stafford is hardly a bust, it's just that he isn't very good. He's the NFL equivalent of former NBA first overall pick Kenyon Martin. He's not going to destroy your team by being awful, but he's not actually going to help you win any games. As evidence of this, Stafford came into this season with a record of 3-32 against teams with a winning record. Stafford now has four wins as a result of having defeated Green Bay last week. Stafford is, depending on the week, the worst good quarterback in football or the best bad quarterback in football. A little known fact about Stafford is that when he was young, his mother was so concerned for his purity that she wrote "WINNING TEAM" on his wiener with a permanent marker. He never beat it again.

Raiders win, 34-20."