During Chad Sweet’s 33 years, the Detroit Lions have rarely given him anything to cheer about.
So on Sunday, he drove more than 60 miles from his home in Tecumseh, Mich., to a downtown bar to join a pregame march demanding that the Lions fire president Matt Millen.
Like hundreds of others, he dressed in orange, like fans of the Cincinnati Bengals, the Lions’ opponent in their final home game of the season.
And like the rest of the crowd, the bar and the rally became an outlet for watching years of lousy football.
“All of my life we haven’t had a whole lot to root for,” Sweet said. “We never really get over the hump. A lot of it seems to be ownership related or management related.”
The march, sponsored by a local sports talk radio station, drew about 500 people at its start, but the crowd grew to about 1,000 as the fans walked the five blocks to Ford Field.
Along the way, they chanted “Fire Millen” and “Ho-ho-ho, Millen must go.” Many wore “Fire Millen” T-shirts and orange hunting gear. They carried signs that said “Commitment to Ineptness,” and “Fed Up.” One wore a hat reading, “Blame Ford First,” a twist on one of the automaker’s slogans.
Many urged the Ford family to sell the team, but few thought the march would have an impact.
“I don’t think this is going to change anything, not the way the Fords are,” said Rich Lebert, 24, who carried a Millen doll hanging in effigy from a stick. “But we have to do something so that they know we care.”
1972 Dolphins’ record safe
When Keenan McCardell made an ill-advised decision to field a punt at his goal line Sunday, Don Shula angrily rose from his skybox seat, stomped around the room and then stood in the corner fuming.
“I got up and displayed some anger,” Shula said later. “I was sort of upset. Wouldn’t you be?”
Nearly 10 years into retirement, the old coach can still get worked up – especially when a team threatens to match his perfect season.
San Diego ended the Indianapolis Colts’ bid for perfection Sunday, winning 26-17. That left the Colts 13-1 with two weeks to go in the regular season.
And that means the Miami Dolphins’ 17-0 record in 1972 will remain unmatched for at least another year.
Shula and ‘72 quarterback Bob Griese watched the Chargers-Colts game on TV from a suite at Dolphins Stadium, where they attended Miami’s game.
“We didn’t have any champagne to toast each other,” Shula said. “But we did have some Diet Cokes up there. We lifted the Diet Cokes.”
Around the league
Cardinals QB Kurt Warner is likely out for the rest of the season after injuring the medial collateral ligament in his right knee after being sacked in the second quarter of a loss to Houston. … Texans running back Domanick Davis was inactive for the game against Arizona because of a knee injury. … 49ers wide receiver Brandon Lloyd left the game against Jacksonville with a sprained neck.
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