Detroit Lions face lifetime of shame after 0-16 season
Team's nightmare comes to a cold end at Green Bay
The silence in the Detroit Lions' locker-room was so heavy it was practically suffocating.
No laughter, no post-game jokes, certainly no congratulations for a job well done. Just the occasional sound of luggage being zipped up at the close of a hideous season historic for all the wrong reasons.
And really, with derisive chants of "Oh-and-16! Oh-and-16!" still ringing in their ears, was there anything left to say?
"It's over now. We're 0-16," rookie running back Kevin Smith said. "I wish it was just a dream. I wish I could wake up and it'd be over. But it's not."
The Lions didn't even bother trying to put a brave face on this one. With a 31-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Detroit solidified its claim as the worst team in NFL history.
Sixteen games, 16 losses.
"0-16," one sign read. "The Perfect Season."
"You never expect it to happen when you're starting the season," said kicker Jason Hanson, the longest-tenured Lion. "Obviously, what we did here was not good."
It took 16 games to figure that out?
It's been more than 30 years since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 0-14 in 1976 — and they had the excuse of being an expansion team.
The New Orleans Saints during their worst days, the Indianapolis Colts before Peyton Manning arrived, the worst of the New York Jets teams — they all managed to win at least one game.
Not the Lions.
They've been on a downward spiral for most of this decade, done in by one bad personnel move after another (who drafts a wide receiver in the first round three years running? Better yet, who doesn't get something out of three straight first-round picks?).
Their efforts on the field weren't much better, stringing together so many losses it looks as if an "L" key got stuck on a keyboard.
But this season was a debacle of epic proportions, beyond even what the most cynical of Lions fans could have imagined.
"As a Lions fan, we're used to them stinking," said Adam Gadsby, who drove eight hours to see the Lions make history and was climbing right back into the car when it ended. "But they've never stunk as well as they're stinking this year."