Detroit Lions And The Curse Of Bobby Layne

As a lifelong and heartbroken Lions fan, I really had hoped they had turned the page over the past couple of years under the leadership of head coach Jim Schwartz.  Finishing the 2011 campaign 10 and 6, I believed they were ready for the next step in 2012. Alas, it appears my optimism may have been misplaced.  Currently 4 wins and 8 losses with 4 tough games left on the schedule.

It’s more than just the losses….it’s the WAY we lose.  Over the years, the Lions seem to invent more and more unique ways to blow football games.  What’s the explanation?  I’m beginning to be a believer in “The Curse of Bobby Layne”.

For those of you who don’t know, Bobby Layne was a Hall of Fame quarterback who played for the LIons from 1950-1958.  He led the Lions to their first NFL Championship in 17 years in 1952 and repeated the effort in 1953.  On his way to another championship in 1957, Layne broke his leg in 3 places midway through the season.  He was replaced by Tobin Rote who DID lead the team on to victory.  That would be the LIons last ever Championship.

In 1958, wary of Layne’s ability to come back from the broken leg, the Lions traded him to Pittsburgh.  Layne was not happy!  He reportedly said after the trade, “The Lions will not win for 50 years.”

Since that statement, the Lions have accumulated the worst winning percentage 0f any team in the NFL and are 1 of only 2 teams in the league since 1970 to have never played in a Super Bowl.  While, technically, the curse should have expired in 2008, apparently Layne’s super powers exceeded even his own expectaions. There is even an entire website devoted to it.

You can view the website here.

There’s even a list of Lion’s humiliations over the decades here.

More from Jim Johnson
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