Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lions To Join Big 3 In Bailout Plea

Detroit, MI. (Nov. 25) - The NFL's Detroit Lions, 0-11 this season and 31-92 since 2001, will venture to Capitol Hill on December 2 in an effort to be included in the Big Three automakers' bid for a government bailout.

"The Lions have been a part of Detroit for almost as long as the Big Three," said Lions chief operating officer Tom Lewand. "And not once have we asked Congress for help."

Lewand said the Lions' existence in the NFL should not be imperiled.

"Well, look at all the joy and wins we've provided other teams in the league, number one," he said.

According to sources, Lions representatives will fly to Washington along with the chairmen of Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. On Capitol Hill, as the Big Three present their business plans going forward, the Lions will make a push for a $1 billion loan, designed to enable them to hire competent executives, "legitimate" NFL players, and marketing gurus who will spin the team's piss-poor record this decade.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-Ct), who chairs the Finance Committee, was leery of yet another bailout plea.

"When will it end?," Dodd said. "The Detroit Lions are a part of the fabric of the NFL, but it might be best for them to go under, reorganize, then come back with a plan for recovery. We can't just give them a blank check."

Lewand countered Dodd's comments.

"What fan will buy tickets to see a football team in bankruptcy? What about the season ticket holders? How can they be assured that their investment is protected?"

Football observers differ on the necessity of the Lions in the NFL.

"I say let them fail and let's move on," said Jay Glaser of NFL.com. "They're a joke and they make the whole league look silly. This has been going on for a long time, and they're only now asking for help? Clearly they were in denial."

But Chris Mortensen of ESPN disagreed.

"Look, every league needs a doormat," Mortensen said. "For every Gallant, you need a Goofus. If nothing else, the Lions offer comic relief for a battle-torn country, and wins for every other team in the league. Why kill the smiles they offer?"

Mortensen says he's in favor of a bailout, but that Lions executives must take "severe" salary cuts, and retool themselves for the future.

"I'd like to see better scouting, drafting, and coaches with a clue," Mortensen said. "I want to see them succeed, but they'd better not be back in Washington five years from now asking for another handout."

Dodd said that it was ironic that the Lions were asking for help now.

"We were just about to start legislation prohibiting them from continuously ruining the sacred American holiday of Thanksgiving," Dodd said.

The Lions host the 10-1 Tennessee Titans on Thursday in the traditional Thanksgiving Day game, a tradition that, thanks to the Lions, "Actually destroys far more appetites than it encourages," Dodd said.

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