In driver's seat, Lions better not crash

Roundup: 5-3 Lions may have shot at winning NFC North; Pistons are fun again; Redskins name must go


DETROIT – In honor of the late, great Joe Falls: It's a Fish Fry Friday.

The Detroit Lions are in the driver's seat in the NFC North. Or at least that's what some fans and homer sports-talk radio show hosts think.

With Aaron Rodgers out at least three weeks with an injury in Green Bay and Jay Cutler coming off an injury for the Chicago Bears, it looks like the Lions have a golden opportunity to finally win the division.

All three teams are 5-3. It's definitely going to be a dogfight in the second half of the season. But the schedule seems to be soft for the Lions.

Lions' schedule doesn't get easier

The Lions hit the road on Sunday, facing the Bears in Chicago. And while Detroit beat the Bears in Motown this season, the Lions have always struggled in the Windy City.

That's why many look at this game as the biggest of the season. The Lions could put distanced between themselves and the Bears with a road win.

After that, it's off to play the terrible Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. The old-looking Steelers are 2-6, currently last in the AFC North.

It appears as if the Lions can win the next two games and be 7-3 en route to a second playoff berth in the last three years.

If they stumble in the final eight games, it will be an indictment of coach Jim Schwartz and his team. His team has to make the playoffs this season. Stay tuned.

Pistons fun again

The Detroit Pistons host the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at The Palace.
If you haven't been to a home game yet, there's one thing that hits you immediately -- the buzz is back. The building is alive and loud.

So far fans are excited about the 2013-14 version of the Pistons, who added Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings this past offseason.

The Pistons are 2-2, 2-1 at home. OKC (3-1) is off to a good start. It's a good early season test.

With 20-year-old center Andre Drummond getting better and better, some have the Pistons making the postseason, maybe even sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

From the noise level at The Palace and the huge TV ratings spike by the Pistons, you get the sense fans believe it, too.

Enough with Redskins name

The Washington Redskins' name controversy could be solved instantly.

You wouldn't need Native American groups to protest or picket outside stadiums around NFL America. You wouldn't need the NFL commissioner to step in use his ultimate power to get this name change to happen.

All it would take is for all African American players on the team to stand together and demand it. Yes, it's that simple.

They can tell Washington owner Daniel Snyder that they won't play again until the name is changed.

Snyder, who can't give a good reason on why he won't change the racist name, told the media it won't happen under his watch: "We'll never change the name. NEVER - you can use caps."

We can already hear the cry babies out there, saying why should players have to fight this battle against their boss, possibly losing money.

Many have made such sacrifices to get things changed. It normally takes brave people to speak out about the ills in a society in order for things to get better.

It's shameful that players have largely remained silent through this controversy.

Actually, it's pathetic, especially since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has softened his stance, saying the league should listen to these concerns. NBC sportscaster Bob Costas took on the controversy on a national broadcast between Washington and Dallas.

"It's an insult, a slur," Costas said.

Even conservative newspaper columnist Charles Krauthammer, not big on political correctness, wrote it was offensive and should be changed.

But the lame NFL Player's Union hasn't said a word. So sad. That organization stands for nothing, never has.

Some might think it's not the black player's fight. But it is. The Civil Rights movement wasn't just about black people, either. And don't forget that more than just black people put their necks on the line for equality for all.

We wouldn't stand for a team that was called the Alabama Sambos. Heck, the restaurant, Sambo's, was forced to change its name.

Why should we accept Redskins when we know what it stands for. It's unacceptable.

The name is clearly offensive, not a sense of pride for Native Americans.