Ramblings: After decades of misery, it’s finally fun to be a Detroit Lions fan

Lions aggressively improving defense in free agency

Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) runs onto the field before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – It’s been another fun week to be a Detroit Lions fan.

After the team won eight of their last 10 games to finish the 2022 season with a winning record, excitement about the Lions reached a Super-Bowl-era high. Their odds to win the NFC North have never been higher than they appear to be in 2023, despite having a defense that ranked among the worst in the NFL.

It doesn’t hurt that Dan Campbell and company endeared themselves to the entire country on Hard Knocks, either.

This is a well-deserved peak for Lions fans, who have trudged through more than their fair share of valleys. It seems like a statistical impossibility that a franchise could go 21 years without an NFC North title despite there only being four teams, all with identical financial resources.

Everyone knows it’s been more than 30 years since Detroit last won a playoff game, and they’re one of only four teams to never make a Super Bowl.

Long story short: Being a Lions fan has been a miserable experience for pretty close to everyone’s entire lives.

Until now... maybe?

Since the promising end to 2022, the Lions have only gotten better. General Manager Brad Holmes identified the secondary as a weakness and signed three of the top defensive backs in free agency. He also upgraded the running backs room in a big way, bringing in former Chicago Bears back David Montgomery.

Most of the players the Lions wanted to re-sign in free agency have returned on reasonable deals: Isaiah Buggs, Will Harris, John Cominsky, and C.J. Moore, for starters.

When you factor in that the Lions have two first-round picks and two second-round picks in the upcoming draft, it starts to feel like everything is coming together.

We can’t ignore the green-and-yellow elephant in the room, either. The Green Bay Packers weren’t great last season, but as long as Aaron Rodgers is around, they always have to be taken seriously. But Rodgers has publicly announced that he plans to play for the New York Jets next year.

As our Ken Haddad put it, it’s fun to watch the Packers squirm, for once!

With no obvious heir to Rodgers, the Lions might have the best quarterback in the division in Jared Goff, and the offense around him is loaded. Holmes has made it clear his offseason mission is to beef up the defense, and that could give the Lions the most complete roster they’ve had in years.

Now, maybe this is just the latest trick up the Lions’ sleeve to tease and ultimately torture their fan base. But for once, it doesn’t feel like it.

It’s fun to be a Detroit Lions fan right now, and some of us worried that might never be the case.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.