Bears linebacker Brandon Marshall also criticized the Lions for hits like this one by Detroit's Nick Fairley on Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler. Fairley wasn't penalized on the play. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Detroit — People like Brandon Marshall drive the sales of “Detroit vs. Everybody” T-shirts.
We don’t bother anybody but it seems like people love to take shots at Detroit. Twenty years ago, Marshall’s comments would have angered me to the point of writing a scathing column about him and the city of Chicago. But it happens so frequently that I simply show pity toward the ignorant and unimaginative.
The first time you get punched in the stomach, it hurts. The 100th time you get punched in the stomach, you kind of shrug it off and go about your business.
What was revealing about Marshall’s comments -- calling the Lions “little brother” and taking a cheap shot about Detroit’s economy -- was that they showed how much the Lions are in his head. The Lions swept the Bears this season, after all.
Marshall couldn’t even come up with an original thought.
He called the Lions “little brother.” He stole that from former Michigan running back Mike Hart, who sparked the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry with that comparison.
It’s funny that Marshall broke out the little bro take this week. Didn’t the Lions just beat the Bears for the second time this season? The score at Ford Field was 40-32, but the Lions were clearly the better team. Then they turned around and pulled out a tough 21-19 victory at Soldier Field, where Detroit rarely wins.
He talked about Detroit being bankrupt. He stole that from Cleveland Indians fans who chanted that this season.
Let’s credit safety Glover Quin for stepping up on Twitter and checking Marshall. He is a newcomer but Marshall understands the hurt and pain that is felt here.
“Did anyone else think Brandon Marshall’s comments regarding the city of Detroit (were) totally uncalled for?” Quin wrote on Twitter.
Later he wrote: “The talk about the team is whatever. Don’t bring the city into it and people livelihoods! C’mon man.”
I agree. Detroit is a punching bag. Most people do not see the pain and suffering here. But a millionaire can take shots at a city that is broken and needs help. Hopefully help is on the way with a new administration headed by Mike Duggan.
Hopefully, the business leaders will keep momentum going. You see roots of life downtown. I just wish I saw more in the neighborhoods. But one step at a time, I guess.
Turning to the field
Marshall took shots at the Lions’ defensive play, calling it “borderline illegal.”
“When I was looking at the film, it was kind of disgusting to see their D-line go out of their way to knock our quarterbacks down after every single play,” he said. “You know? The ball was gone. They’re pushing him down. They’re hitting him below the knee. It was kind of disgusting.
“So it seemed like it was game-planned. But it was borderline. You can’t say it was illegal.”
The Lions might have been borderline, but they smelled blood in the water. Jay Cutler was injured and the Lions knew this. They wanted to land the knockout blow, which they did. The Lions have arrived. People are paying attention to them.
There is a saying in sports: They only hit the one carrying the ball. Marshall took shots at the Lions because they not only are carrying the ball but are carrying the banner of the NFC North Division.
Destiny is in their hands as they hold one-game leads over the reeling Packers, and the Bears. After sweeping the Bears and counting in the tiebreakers, the Lions essentially hold a two-game lead over the Bears.
Marshall barks that the Lions and Bears will meet again in the playoffs and that the Lions won’t be so fortunate then.
I hope and pray that happens, even though the Bears have a lot of work to do just to make the playoffs.
If Marshall gets his wish he will be in for a world of hurt. That game likely would be at Ford Field with an angry football team and an angrier fan base.
His words will be remembered. Let me go get my T-shirt.