Not many people remember the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They were an expansion team with castoffs from every other NFL team and wore those awful orange uniforms. Steve Spurrier was their QB and John McKay was their coach. McKay had been the coach at USC where he led the Trojans to four National Championships and two Heisman Trophies in 15 years. After turning down multiple NFL opportunities, he was lured to Tampa Bay to become the Buccaneers' first head coach. The root of his motivation was cash, $2M per year in 1976 was a lot of money... and the prospect of building a franchise from the ground up. His Buccaneers lost all 14 of their games in 1976 and lost their first 12 games of 1977 before finally winning a game against the New Orleans Saints. Since that time, no NFL team has ever gone through an entire season without winning a game.
Today in Wisconsin -- all that can change. The 2008 Detroit Lions are on the brink of history. There have been eight different teams since 1976 that have only won one game (including the Dolphins from last year). I am confident the Lions can avoid becoming #9. The Packers are bad, but this Detroit Lions team is something else. The Lions have lost 17 consecutive road games against Green Bay, dating to December 1991 which was two weeks before the official end of the Soviet Union. The last time the Lions won at Lambeau Field Jason Hanson was a senior at Washington State -- and Hanson has been with the team for 17 YEARS!!!! QB Dan Orlovsky was eight years old. NFL Films has tripled its camera staff for this game. I am surprised it was not "flexed" into a prime time slot. The only good news coming out of Detroit this week is that ticket prices won't be raised for next season. Wow.
As I Lions fans, I am torn. One part of me wants them to win. Another part of me wants this 0-16 season. It will define absolute rock bottom for the franchise. Nothing but up from here. The worse thing is.... those 1976 Bucs were an expansion team in their first year of existence -- The Lions have been around since the Great Depression. The Lions haven't had a winning season since 2000 and are about to finish off the NFL's worst eight-year run of losing since 1950. It's pretty sad that it's come to this.