In this Internet era, where everybody lives on blog time, we do have to pause to understand the concept of lead time. When you're creating tangible things one can hold in one's hands, it takes a bit longer to set things up. However, the company put in charge of creating the Detroit Lions' 2013 calendar really got off on the wrong foot.
As you can see, the cover of the calendar features a picture of receiver Titus Young, who has been the primary resident in head coach Jim Schwartz's doghouse this season. Young started his downhill slide when he sucker-punched safety Louis Delmas -- his own teammate -- in a May minicamp practice. In the team's Week 11 loss to the Green Bay Packers, he was actually lining up in the wrong places and running the wrong routes ... on purpose. Last week, center Dominic Raiola summed up his own feelings about Young very succinctly.
"It's not a distraction, because we have moved on from him," Raiola said. "If he wants to be an [expletive], let him be an [expletive]. It's not my problem. What we can control is the guys who want to be here. I want people who want to be here and I think everybody else wants the same thing."
Young was recently placed on season-ending IR with a knee injury, and Schwartz said that he would undergo surgery "if he shows up for it."
Ouch. So, Lions fans, this is the guy on the cover of the calendar the franchise would like you to buy and hang on your walls as you think ahead to the 2013 season. Meanwhile, Calvin Johnson has a legitimate shot at the first 2,000-yard receiving season in NFL history. That might have been a better choice. Heck -- a picture of Ndamukong Suh kicking Matt Schaub in the man-parts would have been a better choice. We'd even settle for Lance "Vanilla Gorilla" Long, the guy who replaced Young on the roster. He's got a neat nickname, handed to him by receivers coach Shawn Jefferson.
There are other issues with the calendar. Cornerback Aaron Berry, who was released in July after arrests for DUI and simple assault, is Mr. January. Running back Jahvid Best, who hasn't played at all this year due to concussion issues, is also in there. Potential salary cap casualties Nate Burleson and Kyle Vanden Bosch are also featured. Oh, yeah -- per CBS Detroit, the calendar also featured a 2012 schedule (!) and a Super Bowl history that ... well, doesn't include the Lions at all.
The calendar, made by a company called "Perfect Timing, Inc.," (yeah, right) isn't some cheap knock-off -- it's the team's official 2013 product, with the NFL and NFLPA logos and everything. When Roger Goodell talks about "protecting the shield," this can't be what he had in mind.
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