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Oh, du dachtest, du wärst anders, Lions?

von NFI Redaktion

I believed you had built something, didn’t you, Detroit Lions? The uniform change, the positivity, the faith, the empty catchphrases, whatever they were. I thought you would shed the old blue-silver skin of Honolulu and become something new, something better, didn’t you? Were you sure you had left behind the decades of „Loins“, or? Being a tennis gladiator like Roger Federer | Bear Grylls‘ ultimate sports fantasyAnd are you now longing for the anonymity of continued incompetence? Are you longing for the days when every other football fan heard your name on a broadcast or read it on a website and thought, „Oh right, the Lions? I remember they always suck.“ Will you be longing for the day when anyone who wasn’t involved in sports still knew that „Lions“ was a synonym for „incompetence“? When you were taken for granted and it was easier? In the shadows was easier, wasn’t it? But now it’s all in the open. All those plays, all those games that define your fanbase, but you could stick to the Lions‘ tradition, that was okay. But this collapse at the NFC Championship is everyone’s business. You forgot your lines at the talent show in school. You puked on Broadway. You fell into the tuba at the Oscars. What was once a common joke and sympathy in Michigan, can now be enjoyed by the whole world. Were you really ready for your close-up? You’re coming back, you say. This is just the beginning of something, you tell yourself. But you know the truth. That’s it. In a season, or maybe two, Dan Campbell’s trick on the players will fade. There will be salary cap problems. Jared Goff will never be the same again (although he’s basically the same). This time the cards fell in your favor, you went all in, without realizing that one of the hearts you thought contributed to a straight flush was actually a diamond. It probably won’t happen again. Ben Johnson will go somewhere to take a head coaching job, and the next man won’t be as good. Somewhere there will be a bad injury ruining a season, and in the next one, some odd underperformance by some people. Someone will persevere, someone will get a franchise, and the „All for One“ spirit will fade. This happens to every team. You’ll tell us this season was special, and in the Lions‘ sense, it was. You will remember the two playoff home wins and lovingly smile. And heck, if the Lions had just shown up in Santa Clara and lost normally, this glow might have been brighter and lasted longer. Because the Lions would have completed an entire season without #LIONS. But they didn’t. They threw away the biggest surprise in recent NFL history. Specifically, they let it fall to the ground or bounce off their facemask. Goff was what he always was: a quarterback capable of greatness when everything goes his way, and pissing his leg when it doesn’t. Campbell’s constant exposure of his nuts on the table will take its toll eventually. It’s one thing to be „Mr. 4th Down-Don’t Mean-Nothing“ in week 9. It’s another half step away from the Super Bowl and two points higher, with a chance to have three points ahead. Trailing by 10 and with all three timeouts and just after the two minute warning, they could have kicked a field goal without having to execute an onside kick before potentially getting the ball back with another chance to tie. Anyone who’s ever played Madden knows that. Campbell stuck his chin out again. Balls can get you so far and then they kill you. A brain is not a bad thing. It was better in the background, Lions. Better if you were taken for granted. Better if you were just a narrative that everyone knew and nobody watched. But now that’s over and you are much bigger losers now. Everyone knows that the ball hitting Kindle Vildor in the biggest play of the Niners season is what makes the „Lions“ today and defines the Lions‘ history. Aidan Hutchinson’s black eyes are foolish. The Yzerplan will never work out. All Tigers‘ prospects have either been eliminated or will be. Both of Colt Keith’s ACLs will catch fire on Opening Day. The Pistons are the Pistons. Mike Ilitch was a slumlord and his children are idiots. The only thing New Yorkers and Chicagoans agree on is that your pizza tastes and feels like used tampons. Your downtown revival will never come. And now here you are. Wear it well, because you will never shun it. You can’t run away from who you are. Daniil Medvedev couldn’t escape his own gas tankWatching Daniil Medvedev develop strategies and adjust to his opponent across the net can be fascinating. Both his brain and skill have allowed him to stop Novak Djokovic’s historic run in 2021 and reach five more Grand Slam finals. Perhaps it was even more fascinating to see him plan his own body, even coming up short as Jannik Sinner came back from two sets down to win his first Grand Slam with 3:6, 3:6, 6:4, 6-4, 6-3. Both Medvedev’s quarterfinal against Hubert Hurkacz and his semifinal against the accused domestic violence perpetrator Alexander Zverev went to five sets, and he spent eight hours on the court just in these two matches. While Sinner had not lost a set except for a tiebreaker in the semifinal against Djokovic. The fresh advantage was certainly with Sinner. So, Medvedev did the opposite of what he always does, and that was to try everything and seemingly attempt to end the final before his legs realized they were tired. And he was full of Sinner in the first two sets, as Sinner tried to figure out where this guy came from and where the guy was going, who stood 10 feet behind the baseline and repeatedly pulled points out. Jannik Sinner vs Daniil Medvedev Extended Highlights | 2024 Australian Open FinalMedvedev was, similarly to his match against Hurkacz, at the baseline for returns and leading the victory against Sinner. Instead of simply placing his groundstrokes anywhere on the court where he wanted them, he hit with his forehand and occasionally even led his backhand over the line, instead of using the surefire crosscourt that is the hallmark of his baseline work. His first serve was untouchable (he won 85 percent of the points with his first serve in the first two sets). It all worked so well that he came within six points of his first Australian title. Ah, but the gremlins of fatigue and history cannot be suppressed forever. Suddenly the first serve wasn’t so. Suddenly it was much more inconsistent. The timing was missing by a heartbeat on the crucial groundstrokes that had previously been winners. Suddenly Medvedev couldn’t quite get there anymore. And Sinner did the opposite of what he usually does: he dropped back on Medvedev’s serve. He hit top-spin loopers to get the ball higher to himself. He only extended the points to kill the body and watch the head die. He patiently waited for openings and mistakes. His boomstick of a forehand was mostly kept in the holster in the name of patience, although Medvedev’s methodical attrition could be seen as even more insidious in large pieces. Sinner had promised this since the end of last season when he beat Djokovic twice. He hinted at it at the 2022 US Open, when he took Carlos Alcaraz deep. He had the greatest momentum at the start of this tournament and no one could stop him. Medvedev was close, six points away close. But when the tank is on E, it’s on E, and that’s always the last word.

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