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Van Gundy: Blown call in Lions’ loss ‘brutal’

Terry Foster
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy did not speak as a coach. He spoke as a Detroit fan while discussing the way the Lions lost Monday night’s game to the Seattle Seahawks.

It is the talk of the nation after receiver Calvin Johnson was stripped of the ball inches from a go-ahead touchdown by safety Kam Chancellor and then batted out of the end zone by linebacker K.J. Wright.

The Seahawks ran out the clock to secure a 13-10 win and hand the Lions an 0-4 record.

It was the wrong call by officials, who ruled it a touchback. The Lions should have had the ball first-and-goal at the half-yard line with four cracks at the end zone. It is a play that is being debated across the country, including the Pistons practice facility.

Van Gundy walked into his pregame press briefing steaming about it as the Pistons prepared to open preseason play against the Indiana Pacers at The Palace.

“We got screwed,” he said.

He was asked if coaches take calls like that tougher than losing in other ways. But he did not want to talk as Coach Van Gundy. He wanted to speak as a Lions season ticket holder.

“I know a guy like Jim Caldwell is trying to get his team better and is trying to figure out what went wrong,” Van Gundy said. “I am telling you as a fan we got screwed. So I am not coming at that one as a coach. I am coming at that one as a Detroit guy and a fan. You are 0-3 going into a tough place to play and you got a chance to win a game. It was brutal.”

Fortunately Van Gundy has been in Detroit for less than two years. There are plenty of other mishaps that have angered Lions fans over the years.

terry.foster@detroitnews.com

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