Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bobby Layne: T And Sympathy

The problem with the Detroit Lions over the years really starts with Bobby Layne. Okay, you think, Bobby Layne's a HOFer, he drank some, he was supposedly a hell of a leader; where's the problem? Ratch ear, as they say down around Tomball: Layne had the guts of a Green Beret but the arm of a Little Leaguer, he was a woefully inefficient passer, he's in the Hall of Fame on T (for Texas) and Sympathy as opposed to numbers of any kind, and while all that's okay, Layne is as good as Detroit Lion quarterbacks ever got.

In the '60s, when the defense was solid as the engine block on a Super Bee, the Lions trotted out Jim Ninowski, Earl Morrall, and Milt Plum, the rottenest trio of QBs to lead a winning team in the decade. When the Lions finally cobbled together some semblance of a running game the best of the quarterbacks, the absolute best, was Greg Landry. Otherwise it was Bill Munson, Scott Mitchell, Andre Ware, Eric Hipple, and other assorted mediocrities. And it continues to this day. Anyone want to bet on Matthew Stafford being the next great young QB? Anyone?

The Lions through the years have had the components of a great team, just never enough components together at one time. It's like The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading, and Bubble-Gum Book says: If you want to make a big watermelon, it's best to start with a small watermelon and not a bunch of watermelon pieces. And that goes double for quarterbacks.

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