Today at Ford Field, the Detroit Lions will continue their quest for the NFL’s first 0-16 season against the franchise that gave the NFL its only 0-14 season, Tampa Bay.
The Lions are 0-10 and not likely to be favored in any of their remaining games. But they have a ways to go, aesthetically, to match the 1976 Buccaneers, who went winless as a first-year expansion team.
These Lions have been outscored by an average of 131/2 points a game. The 1976 Buccaneers were outscored by an average of 201/2 points a game.
These Lions have had a fourth-quarter lead three times this season. The 1976 Buccaneers had one fourth-quarter lead the entire season — and it lasted all of 183 seconds.
John Romano of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times wrote, “If you know anything about those ’76 Bucs, you know it’s preposterous to think another team could possibly be more inept.”
• ADVICE FROM SIR CHARLES — Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal insist they have no feud, but that didn’t stop Charles Barkley from “call(ing) out one of my favorite people, one of the five greatest players ever that I love watching, Shaquille O’Neal.”
During TNT’s telecast of Thursday’s Lakers-Suns game, Barkley advised O’Neal, “You’ve got to let this thing go, man. You have been one of the greatest players in NBA history and (one of the) greatest players ever. You are one of the nicest (guys) people are ever going to meet and you are great for charity.
“Hey, man, finish your career as that guy. You don’t want to be, when we all lose our talent, you don’t want to be a bitter, angry guy going out the game. You are too good of a person. Let this thing with Kobe go. The rap thing last summer. …
“Hey, man, you are too good of a person to finish your career like that. Just be one of the greatest players ever, one of the nicest guys ever, let all that crap with the Lakers go and let it go.”
• UNNOTICED PRANK — If a prank lies at the feet of thousands of soccer fans and no one notices it for four years, how effective was it?
At Wolverhampton Wanderers’ home stadium in England, a mischievous bricklayer used dark bricks to spell out the nickname of Wolves’ archrival Birmingham City — “Blues” — near the turnstile.
It took a few years, but Wolves finally noticed and replaced the brickwork.
One fan, Lisa Jones, 40, of Bilston told the Sun, “When you’re on the way in with so many other people, you don’t really look at the floor.”
• STUPID PROBLEM — Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, after the NFL reinstated Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones after a stint in an alcohol treatment center: “PacRat doesn’t have a drinking problem. He’s got a stupid problem. You can’t rehab stupid, OK?”
• THEIR IRISH IS UP — Notre Dame fans pelted their sideline with snowballs during the Irish’s 24-23 upset loss to Syracuse on Saturday.
Talk about being fed up: Even Touchdown Jesus had a snowball in his hand.
REVIEW-JOURNAL WIRE SERVICES