An early look at the Lions’ 2013 schedule

Does it matter that the Lions’ draft remains a week away?

And that nobody knows who might rise or fall come training camp or the exhibition season?

But since the NFL is adamant about trumpeting the announcement of its 2013 schedule with fanfare worthy of the introduction of the networks’ fall television schedule, it’s only appropriate that yours truly applies his sardonic quill to the Lions’ march to Maintaining Mediocrity.

Game 1 — vs. Minnesota

In his debut, “Kickalicious” misses a 32-yard field goal and blames the shank on not having the back of a flat-bed pick-up truck streaking down the field at which to aim. He’s promptly released and the Lions immediately sign another YouTube phenomenon, “Bubblicious,” who’s able to kick and chew gum at the same time.

Loss (0-1)

Game 2 — at Arizona

The Lions cut “Bubblicious” after his last kick actually hits the special teams’ coach standing on the sidelines and their scouts sign another Internet sensation, “Bootylicious,” mistakenly believing that the name has something to do with kicking prowess.

Loss (0-2)

Game 3 — at Washington

Going through coaches like the Lions do kickers in the season’s first three games, the Pistons promise their gridiron cousins that if the Lions get their first victory ever in the nation’s capital, they will keep the same head coach for at least two weeks.

Loss (0-3)

Game 4 — vs. Chicago

Wily veteran Bears pass rusher Julius Peppers tosses new offensive line deity, left tackle Eric Fisher, like a rag doll and plants Matthew Stafford into the Ford Field turf. And somewhere, Jeff Backus chuckles.

Win (1-3)

Game 5 — at Green Bay

Do I really have to say anything more then simply “road game in Wisconsin?”

Loss (1-4)

Game 6 — at Cleveland

A television viewer calls the Masters Rules Committee and it subsequently disallows the Lions’ first field goal of the season, citing Rule 39-6, which states that “when these old men in green coats get bored come fall, they’re free to continue to be an utter nuisance.”

Win (2-4)

Game 7 — vs. Cincinnati

The Lions’ fourth-round draft pick, Denard Robinson, scores three touchdowns — one as a kick returner, one as a wide receiver and the last as a running back. And somewhere, Brady Hoke winces.

Win (3-4)

Game 8 — vs. Dallas

The Lions’ mascot, Roary, becomes the Lions’ seventh kicker this season, replacing Riley Reiff, who also couldn’t get comfortable at right tackle, H-back or left corner. And somewhere, Jason Hanson chortles.

Win (4-4)

Game 9 — at Chicago

It only took nine games but free agent running back Reggie Bush is already getting that look of bewilderment. He’s now officially welcomed as a Detroit Lion.

Loss (4-5)

Game 10 — at Pittsburgh

Jim Schwartz vehemently denies speculation that his job is in jeopardy, but admittedly gets a little anxious when his secretary occasionally refers to him as Coach Cowher.

Loss (4-6)

Game 11 — vs. Tampa Bay

The Lions still think they’re in contention for the playoffs, confident that they will finish strong. But the odds are better that Dennis Rodman becomes United Nations ambassador.

Win (5-6)

Game 12 — vs. Green Bay

More embarrassment awaits Schwartz as he suffers a wardrobe malfunction while protesting what he thought was a bad referee’s call. He angrily attempts to throw his challenge flag, but forgets that the NFL had it stapled to his pants to prevent any recurrences of last Thanksgiving’s snafu.

Loss (5-7)

Game 13 — at Philadelphia

The Eagles’ new coach, Chip Kelly, envisions a fast-paced up-tempo offensive and defensive style similar to what he had at Oregon. As a counter strategy, the Lions suit up as NCAA investigators to unnerve the first-time NFL coach.

Win (6-7)

Game 14 — vs. Baltimore

The Sunday night and Monday night love affair with the Lions ended after just one season. They get the Super Bowl champs in their only special non-Turkey Day marquee game. And the Ravens bring the Lombardi Trophy just to prove to the Lions that it actually does exist and isn’t some sort of urban legend.

Loss (6-8)

Game 15 — vs. New York Giants

The inevitability of yet another disappointing season seems unavoidable as Eli Manning lights up the Lions’ secondary.

Loss (6-9)

Game 16 — at Minnesota

Joe Dumars calls Schwartz immediately after the game, not exactly a good sign for a head coach hoping to maintain his employment. And somewhere, Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli are smiling.

Loss (6-10)


Posted by Tribune News Services

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