Calvin Johnson

Same old Lions? The NFL doesn't think so.

We warned you this day was coming.

The [intlink id="126" type="category"]Detroit Lions[/intlink], long the bottom feeder of the NFL, are suddenly relevant.

No, it isn’t because they reeled off four victories to close the season. It isn’t because they have Pro Bowlers like Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh.

Of course, those things don’t hurt.

The Detroit Lions are relevant because they’ll play on Monday Night Football for the first time since 2001, when they host the [intlink id="13" type="category"]Chicago Bears[/intlink] on Oct. 10. In fact, it’s the first time the Lions have had a prime time game of any kind since 2001.

Ten years of futility, ineptitude, terrible draft picks, horrible management and dismal seasons will be almost forgotten on that evening and coach Jim Schwartz will be fired up as hell.

“Obviously, we’re excited about it,” Lions president Tom¬†Lewand said. “First and foremost, it’s a great testament to our team, to our players and what they’ve accomplished at the end of the season last year and the interest that they generated. It’s a testament to our fans in Detroit, the excitement and enthusiasm they showed for our team down the stretch last year, and for the hospitality they showed for the Giants and Vikings game that we hosted last year.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Let’s be honest, there is some excitement surrounding the Lions, at least in Detroit. The NFL did the right thing giving Detroit their moment in prime time early in the season, though.

These are the Lions, after all. They could very well be totally out of the playoff race by the time midseason rolls around. The worst they can be when they host the Bears is 0-4.

Their season starts like this: at Tampa Bay, Kansas City, at Minnesota, at Dallas. If the team comes out of that stretch at 2-2 or better, they’re doing pretty good.

If not, the Bears might just end their hopes for a winning season in front of the world.

Then we’ll all know the Detroit Lions are in fact, still irrelevant.

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