I’m a big fan.
I grew up watching Barry Sanders, the greatest running back of all time, make men of your position look foolish. I watched the Lions in bad times and in really bad times- when they stunk and when they really stunk. It hasn’t been until this year, that I have ever seen the Lions in what one might say is a good season. But like any fan, we want to see Championships, not just winning records. That is why you have caught my eye from the beginning. You didn’t just help make the Lions a better team, you took them on your back, changed the whole attitude of the organization, and made Detroit think it could win again. Thanks to you, our defensive line is feared by opposing quarterbacks. You play hard EVERY play, you’re dominant, and despite the leagues borderline scapegoating you as the example of a dirty player, you continue to play with passion, and you do what it takes to win. I respect that. There’s no doubt you are the leader of this team.
With that said, I’ve never been more convinced of you being the Lion’s leader, than after watching the game last night. Suspended two games for letting your passion go too far after a play was over, your teammates fell into line and followed your lead. Personal foul after personal foul. Unsportsmanlike conduct after unsportsmanlike conduct. You and the Lions have lost control of your emotions and put your own pride ahead of winning.
Your lead. Your teammates following your example.
Have I lost faith in my new favorite Lion? By all means NO. I think you have the potential to make Detroit into a Superbowl Champ. But Championship calliber teams not only play hard, they are disciplined. They are respected because they will beat good teams, not beat themselves. If you want to be a really good player, get your emotions in check. Be disciplined. Cut the trash talk. Be the bigger man (on all accounts). Go hit hard and sack the quaterback and move onto the next play. You’re already feared, but its pointless to be feared if you don’t win games. Win games and you’ll be feared and respected.
I think you need to take a page out the Barry Sanders lesson on field conduct. You can be humble and still make your opponent look stupid. He did it every game because he was that good and he worked that hard.
Oh and I guarantee your team will follow your lead. They’ve followed your every lead up ’til now.
Make it happen. Lions fans are counting on you.
Sincerely, your biggest fan,