The 2017 NFL season is about to begin and loyal Detroit Lion fans have to wonder if the Curse of Bobby Layne is real.
The mythology about the curse goes like this: The season after Layne helped the Lions win their third and final championship of the 1950s, Lions coach George Wilson traded the Hall of Fame quarterback to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 6, 1958. In exchange, the Lions received quarterback Earl Morrall and two high draft picks. Layne was angry and supposedly said the Lions wouldn’t win a championship for another 50 years.
Well, now it’s been sixty years since this franchise has won an NFL championship despite the number of great players who have donned the Honolulu Blue and Silver. The Lions have the distinction of being one of four teams in the league that have never appeared in a Super Bowl. The other three would be the Cleveland, Houston and Jacksonville. When you consider that those three teams are essentially expansion teams, that makes the Lions’ situation even more tough to swallow for the loyal fans of Detroit.
As I watched the show 30 for 30: Best of enemies, which highlighted the rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers during the eighties. This rivalry was heightened even more so because of the Larry Bird and Magic Johnson rivalry that began with the 1979 NCAA championship game between Bird’s Indiana State team and Johnson’s Michigan State team. These two were the best players in college basketball then and everything just stemmed over into the NBA when they both entered the league in the 1979-80 season.
The show presented in-depth the three years that the two teams played for the NBA title; 1984, 1985 and 1987. It was a very good program and worth watching again and again. I was always a Lakers fan going back to when the Lakers had Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. I never was a Celtic fan, but I did respect the fact that they had Bill Russell back in the day and won all of those championships. This is a show that any basketball fan should watch.
It’s time to say goodbye to Joe Louis Arena. The Detroit Red Wings play their final game there Sunday against the New Jersey Devils, a day that’s sure to be emotional for everyone involved, from the organization to the players, from the arena workers to the fans. Here at the Free Press, we’re trying to send off “The Joe” the best we can, through a nostalgic look back at the greatest moments, plus a recollection of our favorite memories from a variety of perspectives and more photos than you can handle.