The Detroit Lions will be motivated to send the Minnesota Vikings a housewarming present for their new Vikings Stadium, set to open in 2014. Much like baseball's Detroit Tigers, the Lions haven't enjoyed any historical success in the Metrodome and will be glad to see it go after Sunday's game.
Though the Lions played in domed stadiums themselves like the Silverdome and Ford Field during the same run and found a decent amount of success, they were unable to crack the code against the Vikings indoors in Minnesota. How bad have things been officially? Since the Metrodome opened in 1982, the Lions are a woeful 7-23 all-time in the building.
it's the worst such run of futility at the Vikings' locale in the NFC North. The only worse record was held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who held a 7-16 record in Minneapolis since 1982 when playing in the old NFC Central division. The Buccaneers, though, only went seven consecutive years without winning in the state unlike the Lions, and will go out on a three game winning streak to close the dome.
The same cannot be said for Detroit, who was defeated last season in Minnesota after finally breaking through in 2011 with an overtime win for the first time since 1997. The Lions lost 14 straight games against the Vikings in Minnesota from 1997 until 2011. Within that streak, the Lions lost in a variety of disappointing, frustrating ways. Detroit's most memorable Metrodome meltdown came in 2008, when Dan Orlovsky stepped out of the end zone, giving the Vikings a safety and allowing Minnesota to extend the Lions' losing streak, which would hit 16 consecutive games.
Win or lose on Sunday, Detroit fans will surely celebrate knowing the Lions no longer have to visit the dome which has been the source of so much frustration. Perhaps like the Tigers, a new stadium will help the Lions turn over a new leaf of success in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Just as long as Vikings Stadium doesn't read "Metrodome" on the outside while containing the old ghosts of Orlovsky, Cris Carter, Dennis Green and the misery of 7-23, the Lions should already have the mental ability to find more success on the site from the get-go.
In the paraphrased, immortal, misquoted words of Ronald Reagan, "City of Minneapolis, tear down that dome!"
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