At 0-9, the Detroit Lions are the only winless team in the NFL. They’re also the literal laughingstocks of the league.
During their 38-14 blowout of the Lions on Sunday, the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) openly mocked members of the Motor City kitties.
“They were cracking jokes,” Lions rookie running back Kevin Smith told the Detroit News. “They thought we were a joke. They said we (stink). They were saying that to me, that I (stink). And I told them they (stink), too. And they said, ‘Well, not as bad as (you).’ And I said, ‘You’re right.’ (Because) we haven’t won one game.”
With the Lions in the midst of a franchise-worst 1-16 skid — including four home losses this year by an average of 20.5 points — Smith realizes his team won’t get any respect until it wins a game.
“You know how players talk on the field. But we’re 0-9, so you can’t look for really any teams to respect you. You’ve got to go out there and earn your respect, and you only earn your respect by winning.
“The only way you’re gonna get respect is you’ve got to beat somebody.”
In his third year as Detroit coach, Rod Marinelli has a 10-31 record and blames himself for his team’s woes. Asked Monday if his team simply wasn’t good enough to win, he quickly disagreed.
“No, it means I’m not good enough,” he replied.
Marinelli, who said “I’m miserable with myself,” likens the Lions’ sorry situation to being “in this dark tunnel and you’ve got no way out.”
“You’re waiting for the light and you see that light, so what do you do? You start digging and getting out. My shovel is sharp and my will is outstanding.”
But his team still isn’t. And there doesn’t appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel this week for the Lions, who are 14-point underdogs at Carolina (7-2).
• BYE-BYE — The Baltimore Ravens were originally scheduled to play Sunday’s road game against the Houston Texans in mid-September, but the game was postponed after Reliant Stadium was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike.
Since Sunday was originally supposed to be Baltimore’s bye week, Ravens running back Willis McGahee blamed the Texans for taking his team’s time off.
“They took our bye week, so we had to come out there and show ’em that they can throw obstacles at us and we’ll just try to overcome them,” McGahee said after rushing for 112 yards in Baltimore’s 41-13 victory over Houston.
Yes, apparently McGahee was serious.
• SLOW DOWN, HONEY — At 23 years old, Lewis Hamilton is the youngest Formula One world champion ever. But despite reaching speeds of 200 mph when he’s behind the wheel, Hamilton is apparently afraid to ride alongside his girlfriend — Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger — because she drives too fast.
“I have a Bentley, but Lewis isn’t keen to be alongside me when I’m driving it. He’s scared of my driving, and I can understand why,” the 30-year-old Scherzinger told the Daily Star. “Lewis is a speed angel, but I’m a speed demon. I’m always late.”
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY REVIEW-JOURNAL