Detroit Lions Game Officially Blacked Out

Scott RiegerAnalyst IOctober 23, 2008

The Lions, despite their futility, have one of the most loyal fanbases in the NFL and that was demonstrated by the selling out of the past 50 games since Ford Field opened in 2002. 

Six years later, the streak is over!

Fans in Detroit won't be able to see the Lions play against the Redskins on local television because about 5,000 tickets were still remaining by the 1 p.m. deadline (today). The Lions requested a 24-hour extension from the NFL, but they were denied because they were not close to achieving the sellout.

Even if all the tickets are sold by Sunday, the game will remained blacked out. Some fans are sure to be happy as the home opener almost missed a sellout too, but a Detroit area business bailed 'em out by buying up the remaining tickets.

Some fed-up fans think that a hit to the wallet is the only way to get the Fords to take winning seriously. I contend that while that sounds like a noble idea, the Fords are still making money on the Lions and will continue too due to the NFL revenue sharing, TV deal and merchandise sales.

In fact, every NFL team made a profit last year and that will continue in the future. Locally though, it will be hampered on in the media and that may get their attention, not that they aren't already. 

Consider that Bill Ford Jr. came out publicly and stated that if he were in control, Millen would've been gone. A few days later, Millen was gone. Jr's father and Lions owner, William Clay Ford, Sr. likely was embarrassed by his son's public sentiments and i'm sure that got his attention.

He then signed off on the dealing of Roy Williams to the Cowboys for draft picks which will be attractive to a new GM candidate or ammunition for Mayhew if he remains at the helm.

Bottom line, I think WCF Sr., has gotten the message and will accept suggestion and feedback from Bill Ford Jr. going forward. I also expect them to spend big money next offseason to dramatically improve the team.

Buck up, fellow Lions fan, the 50 year curse of Bobby Layne is over. It will get better in the future.