January 23, 2013
Borton's Blog: Dear Denard
Wednesday's Blog features a bit of a twist. It's an open letter to Denard Robinson, whom everyone associated in any way with Michigan football dearly loves and appreciates
far too much to see him go down the wrong path.
You said the right thing. You always say the right thing. So when The Detroit News asked you about getting drafted by the hometown Lions, you mentioned that you'd consider it an "honor" to perform for that Honolulu shade of blue.
We're going to file that under J, for "Judicious Statements." It's like getting asked if your former coach would have eventually established a top-notch defense in Ann Arbor and saying, "Oh, I'm certain he would have."
Also assuming here that the paper quoted you accurately. "Honor" isn't very many keystrokes away from "horror"
but again, you're bigger than that, even at 5-10.
So maybe this history lesson isn't necessary, but just in case, here goes
-- The Lions have not won a championship of any sort since 1957. That's the year the Mackinac Bridge opened, three years prior to the formation of The Beatles, and the same year (coincidentally or not) The Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel.
-- On further review, the Lions DID win the preseason championship of 2008, storming to a 4-0 exhibition record. That's before they went 0-16 in the regular season, becoming the only NFL team to ever lose every regular-season contest since the league moved to 16 games. Tampa Bay went 0-14 in 1976, and at one point in that season, someone asked head coach John McKay about his team's execution.
"I'm in favor of it," McKay calmly replied.
-- Since 1957, the Lions have won precisely one playoff game, 38-6 over Dallas in 1992. This is not verified, but reportedly even head coach Jimmy Johnson's hair cracked after that one.
Anyway, you get the picture. Continue smiling, remaining polite whenever a well-meaning, Detroit-based reporter says, "Hey, how about playing for the Lions?" Then secretly work on hiding the trademark smile, just in case you actually interview with the organization.
Practice your scowl. Fake a bad attitude. Wear a "Plaxico Burress Straight Shooter" T-shirt, just to put them off.
Then, when New England comes calling, turn on the million-megawatt smile, be energetic, sincere, determined. In other words, just be yourself.
Tell them how two of Michigan's all-time great quarterbacks (you wouldn't phrase it that way, but figure something out) could join forces to produced ring No. 4 for the Patriots in the Tom Brady era. Don't mention the need for a defense. That can wait until after you sign, and Tom has a more established platform to speak on it.
Failing that, be nice when the Packers come calling. Or the 49ers. Or almost anyone else.
Just don't get sucked into the Tractor Beam Of Inevitable Misery known as the Detroit Lions draft.
To paraphrase Lloyd Carr, you deserve better.
The sentiment you expressed to the newspaper at a Senior Bowl event on Monday night was great, and heartening for anyone enjoying your efforts over the last four years.
"I want to stay in Michigan," you said. "Whoever drafts me, drafts me
But it'd be an honor to stay in Michigan."
It'd be an honor to have you. But not under all circumstances, for your own sake.
Autumn is beautiful in New England. You can get back to The Big House on a bye week. Summer in Michigan remains glorious. So you can have the best of both worlds, without the worst of the professional one.
Just something to think about.
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