Fans of Harvard and Yale are pointing us toward a good idea. But their actions simply took place in the wrong place and on the wrong day. Detroit on turkey day would be better.
Last weekend, they charged the field at the Yale Bowl during halftime, delaying the annual rivalry game between their schools for an hour or so (a longer delay would have been even better. Say, a year?). The protesters said they were there to demand that both universities sell some of their stocks (each of these schools has an endowment worth upwards of $30 billion, making them private equity hedge funds first and educational institutions second).
The protesters wanted their universities to divest themselves of fossil fuel stocks and cancel any holdings they have in Puerto Rican debt. Those ideas don’t seem much related to each other; it seems Puerto Rico might want more investment in fossil fuels, which would help grow the island’s economy. But I’ve vowed to avoid politics in this column, so we’ll let that one pass.
Instead, let’s face a couple of facts: Thanksgiving is a national holiday, but also a reminder that while we enjoy our holiday turkey, the Detroit Lions never take a day off from sucking.
“This is a franchise that has won a single playoff game since 1957, a level of futility that defies belief,” columnist Dan Wetzel writes at Yahoo Sports. “The only reason they aren’t famous for their heartbreak (the way losers such as the Cleveland Browns or Chicago Cubs have been) is that they never even get in position to have their heartbroken. They just always lose.”
So maybe it’s time for some climate change in Detroit, and for America to divest itself of the tradition of watching the Lions.
The fans in the Motor City could strike the first blow for change. They ought to charge the field and refuse to leave. But instead of waiting for halftime (and making Americans suffer through the inevitable 30 minutes of bad football) they should probably go ahead and do it right at noon before the teams even take the field.
That way they can spare all of us from having to watch the Lions struggle. They’d also save the Bears from possibly suffering another embarrassing defeat, which might save somebody’s job for a week or so. And while the fans are on the field, the Bears can hold open tryouts for their next kicker. It would be a good revival of the old “Punt, Pass and Kick” competition, and far better television than the football game we’d otherwise be subjected to.
Traditions can be great. Eating turkey on Thanksgiving is a great tradition because turkey is always awesome. Watching the Lions lose is a lousy tradition, because the Lions are, themselves, turkeys.
In the long term, Detroit should probably insist that the Ford family sell the Lions and allow the team to start over. I understand the Ferrari family may be in the market to snap up an NFL team if only to get revenge for the movie Ford vs. Ferrari. In any event, they can change their city’s climate and save us all some heartburn by shutting down this game before it even begins.