Despite being as fun, encouraging, exciting, and accomplished as it was, the Green Bay Packers season is now officially over. Yes, Saturday’s loss to the heavily-favored 49ers was tough to swallow, but it’s going to be okay. Hell, it’s probably going to be much better than okay. Between Jordan Love emphatically letting the world know he’s absolutely the real deal, the noticeable development displayed by a variety of young players, and the all-around likeability of an organization that was supposed to be in a full-on rebuild mode, there’s A LOT to be excited about in regard to the Green & Gold. All that being said, that promising future doesn’t really matter right now.

Green Bay’s heartbreaking dismissal from the postseason now leaves Packer Backers without a clear rooting interest for the remainder of the playoffs. In the past, we’ve urged you to pull for the Bills during a Packersless portion of the postseason, but Buffalo was dealt a crushing defeat of their own over the weekend. However, that loss actually helped clear up what could have been a dilemma for many NFL fans without a direct rooting interest left. You can now fully shift your temporary football fandom over to the bandwagon of the Detroit Lions.

Being in the same division as Green Bay, you’d think it would be unimaginable to actually want good things for a longtime Packers rival. And if we’d be talking about the Bears or Vikings, you’d be 100% right. But for some reason, the Lions—and especially this Lions team—are a different story. With just four teams left alive with a chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy on February 11, here are some reasons why we think it’s totally okay to root for the Detroit Lions…for a few weeks.

Detroit, its fans, and the Lions organization have endured so much hardship
Prior to this playoff run, the Lions hadn’t won a postseason game since 1992. Moreover, the team hadn’t won a division title since 1993. Since then, they’ve had 13 head coaches, a bunch of starting quarterbacks, and 19 losing seasons (including a historically bad 0-16 campaign in 2008). It was once a place where young players couldn’t wait to leave and past-prime or embattled veterans reluctantly went before calling it a career. As Detroit itself is rebuilding its reputation and changing its identity in exciting and new ways, it’s actually nice to see the Lions doing the same.

They’re the most likeable of the four teams left
With the possible (and very debatable) exceptions of Buffalo and Cleveland, no team and its fan base deserves this more than Detroit. They’ve been to hell and back, so that inspiring and heartwarming story alone sets them apart from the three other teams left in Super Bowl contention. Add in an extremely likeable and unconventional head coach in Dan Campbell, should-be-superstar wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, a swarming defense, and a solid core of young talent, Detroit is even more difficult to root against when the alternatives are the 700th Chiefs title of the last five years, yet another Niners Super Bowl appearance, or the top-seeded Ravens doing the expected.

Seriously, just look at who’s left!
We’ll bypass talking about any famous fans of the Chiefs, but how goddamn boring and annoying would it be for KC to win another Super Bowl? The answer is very goddamn boring and annoying. After beating Green Bay in frustrating fashion, it’d suck to have San Francisco (who have been favored to emerge from the NFC all year long) win it all and be left knowing the Packers were a few dropped interceptions and a missed kick away changing history. We have no beef with Baltimore and would be just fine with them winning it all, but if it winds up being Lions vs. Ravens, we’re going with the Lions.

It’s a feel-good story for a maligned Midwestern city
We’ve touched on this already, but the city of Detroit has been a punchline for so long that it’s reached “the Nickleback of ____” levels of hack and laziness. Plus Detroit actually rules. Maybe our Milwaukee is showing here, but we’ll always pull a Rust Belt city when we have the chance. Also, it’s not like the Pistons, Tigers, or Red Wings have been good anytime recently. Detroit, and Detroit sports in particular, deserves this.

Think of how mad it would make Bears and Vikings fans
Yes, it’s very petty, but just think of what it would do to Vikings fans if the Lions won a Super Bowl before they (a franchise that’s been mostly competitive and had a few legitimate Super Bowl shots since the early ’90s) did. God, that would be hilarious. And the Bears, who have been pretty bad for the last decade and still are still in disarray, would no longer get to throw their one and only Super Bowl they won almost 40 years ago in Detroit’s face. If you’re a Packers fan and no other reason in this article appeals to you, this one should.

There are some parallels with how the Packers and Lions are building their teams
Okay, so this one is a little bit strained, but there are some similarities to the process the Lions started three seasons ago and the track the Pack seems to be on currently. Like Detroit, Green Bay is in the midst of a long-overdue youth movement that’s bolstered by some top-tier defenders, a potent running game, and a legitimately good quarterback. If things continue on this path, it looks like the Packers and Lions might be vying for division titles (with the other potentially landing a Wild Card spot) for years to come.

It would make Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson happy
Chances are you probably know a few people who are Lions fans. Especially these days, as many finally feel safe showing their face and displaying their true colors in public. But in the instance you’re not married to, buddies with, or a co-worker of a Lions fan, hopefully you can take solace in knowing every Lions win makes stars of Detroiters (the best TV comedy of the century in our humble opinion) Tim Robinson and Sam Richardson happy. And if that’s not enough, maybe focus on how it’ll make, like, Barry Sanders or Eminem happy or something.

With that, we now rest our case. Go Lions (for just a few more weeks)! And if the Lions lose this weekend, we’ll bypass writing another article and will just tell you now we’ll be 1,000% rooting for the Ravens in the Super Bowl. If it’s Chiefs and Niners, we’ll be rooting for tasty snacks, funny commercials, and a good Usher performance at halftime.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.