Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola angrily responded to a derisive comment made about him by an unnamed NFL general manager in Pro Football Weekly. (Getty Images)
Lions center Dominic Raiola will play Sunday's game against the Vikings with anger and vengeance — just the way the Lions like him.
The man is upset, and he should be, because he was victimized by an "anonymous" general manager who took some cheap shots at him via Pro Football Weekly.
The saga began when PFW allowed the GM to critique the Lions without publishing his name. I had no problem with this; it's how some issues are reported. The GM called tackle Ndamukong Suh overhyped, and Lions coach Jim Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew overrated. He was also no fan of defensive end Cliff Avril and Raiola.
The media went to Raiola for a response and he bit into the drama like he was attacking a steak, calling the guy gutless.
The GM fired back this week. And this is where PFW made its mistake and apologized for allowing the GM to take a second, anonymous shot at Raiola.
"I saw Dominic Raiola called me out, asking who the aimless, anonymous GM is who criticized the great Lions," the GM said. "It's the guy who rejects you every time he watches your tape and thinks you are a complete fraud. It's the guy who didn't think you could play when you came out of college and still doesn't think you can play now.
"If he spent as much time working the other muscles in his body as he does his jaw, he might have had a chance to be an average backup."
Raiola called the guy gutless again, and he's right. It's very easy to blast somebody when you never have to face them. But here's how it should work.
A few years ago former Lions head coach Rod Marinelli did not like something I wrote. My name was on it and I went to practice the day the article ran in case he wanted to say something. He did and we went into an empty hallway and he said his piece. He was not happy. I explained my side. He said something and then we parted. And we did not make dinner plans for later that night.
I've had blowups over the years with Lions offensive linemen, Isiah Thomas, Bo Schembechler and several others. The most amusing incident was when former Lions wide receiver Brett Perriman got angry at me. I wrote a column sympathetic with his desire to get more balls thrown to him. The Lions did that during a game in Tampa Bay and he dropped a couple passes and fumbled a ball that proved to be costly in a close loss.
Afterward, Lions fans threw vegetables at the team. I wrote that the rotten vegetables should have been directed at Perriman because he played so poorly. I went to practice on Monday and he started yelling something about getting his boys from Miami to come up to Michigan and beat me up.
The point is, if you're going to take a position on something, you need to face the music, not hide behind an "anonymous" label.
PFW should have demanded that the GM use his name the second time. If he said no, then the comments on the second go-around should not have been used.
Now, will Dominic Raiola use his anger to fuel the Lions on Sunday in Minnesota? Or will it cause him to lose his mind?
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