VE-Day for Lion Fans

Being a Lions fan inherently means being negative, so I can see how many are celebrating today as the greatest day in Detroit Lions history.  I don’t mean to suggest that the firing of Millen is a bad decision.  It was long overdue.  A reason for extremely spirited is due to the fact that Lions’ fans mounted a guerilla campaign against Millen starting on December 4, 2005.  The “Fire Millen” chant and movement took off.  “Fire Millen” chants would start up at Michigan and Michigan State football games, Piston games, Red Wing games, and even at games outside of Michigan.  Sheed got into the “Fire Millen” action one night during a timeout.

When Millen’s contract was extended, WDFN declared the Angry Fan March, or Millen Man March, on December 6, 2005.  An “orange out” movement was announced for the upcoming home game against the Bengals of the Nasty ‘Nati.  Calling for fans to wear Bengals’ orange and cheer for the Bengals with the hopes of turning Ford Field into a home game for the visiting team.  Allegedly, 65% of fans attending wore orange.  A few weeks later a walk-out was initiated after the first half of the Bears game.   Watching Lion games during this time period was bonkers.

But,  fans are celebrating the removal of a negative.  The greatest moment in Lions’ history should be an instance of glory.  Positive, not because of the lack of negative but because of something purely positive.  For example, the playoff victory over Dallas in 1992.  Mine will always be the 1997 regular season finale against the Jets when Barry ran for 183 yards breaking the 2, 000 yard mark.  Scoring a touchdown with just under 2 minutes left, Barry put the Lions ahead 13-10.  The Lions clinched a playoff birth with a victory in a rowdy, raucous Silverdome that was penalized for being too loud.  Larry Tharpe and Kevin Glover carrying Barry off the field while fans roared.  Joyous! It still brings tears to my eyes.  It was a time when the fans weren’t so bitter that you root against your own team to further embarrass the GM and bring about his firing.  Granted the Lions embarrassed themselves in the first round of the playoffs again the following week, but the Lions still entertained.  Scott Mitchell even exaggerated or faked a neck injury, sustained during an awkward headfirst slide on an scramble, so he could be carted off the field and out of the stadium.

Fans have to be given credit for sticking with the Lions and for the protests against Millen.  The Millen Man March was a moment of hilarity.  Stadium security chasing fans with signs poking fun at Millen while the sign gets passed around through the sea of humanity.  Just think of what could happen if this type of spirit and energy was channeled against the war-mongering, bilking plunderers that make up our government.


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