Detroit Lions Fans Complaining About a Tornado Warning Are Offsides in Their Complaints

(Todd McInturf/Detroit News via AP)

Oh, my Detroit Lions.

Now, I can’t really say in all fairness my Detroit Lions because the Matt Millan era absolutely killed me, and I changed my habits of viewing them on Sundays because of it. I was lucky enough to see almost every home game that Barry Sanders ever played in; of course, he is still the greatest running back who ever stepped onto the gridiron, so I can’t really complain.

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However, I did walk away from the team because I felt the team had walked away from me.

So, I do understand the excitement of the fans, the hope of a new year being led by coach Dan Campbell, who gives you a feeling he could suit up and play at any time and make a difference. I fully understand the raw emotion that comes with the first pre-season game and endless potential, which excites all Lions fans with a wish spoken loudly in their heads—and sometimes slips beyond their lips…

“Could This be the Year?”

Calm down, folks, this is STILL the Detroit Lions.

This time, however, it was not the team on the field that got an idiotic penalty, but the fans sitting comfy in their couches and recliners at home that made the bad move.

Over a tornado warning that is usually given to save lives … or something.

Right here is an example of how some of my fellow Detroiters and fellow Michiganians’ (and not Michiganders) screwed the pooch on Friday night.

Detroit Lions fans voiced displeasure on Friday night when Fox 2 interrupted the preseason opener against the New York Giants in order to broadcast tornado warnings.

A split-TV screen showed the Lions’ game action but without audio for more than 45 minutes during the 21-16 victory over the Giants.

Fox 2 meterologist Stephanie Mead delivered tornado coverage until 9:35 p.m.

“I’d rather die from this tornado than listen to this weather lady on Fox 2 for one more minute during this Lions game,” tweeted Lions fan Chris Rai.

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Chris sounds like someone who thought the Lions had potential when they went 4-0 in the preseason, before the 0-16 season that eventually broke my season ticket streak of 12 years. I just could not go on—and I would have rather have been sucked up by a tornado, also—than support Matt Millen and his lunacy. However, I would have zero issues with letting people know nature’s own Hoover vacuum was heading their way during any game, preseason or not.

Another person who wanted to be normal but just fell a bit short tweeted this.

“I’m all for not getting sucked up in a tornado, but to interrupt my Lions game the entire second half is unacceptable,” Steve Evans tweeted.

How “unacceptable” for Mother Nature to interrupt your Lions game. Does she not know the rules? As if sports and weather are supposed to check their schedules and work together for the mutual benefit of the other, and of you, the hapless fan.

Now here is the thing that I find both funny and simultaneously grinds my gears. Some of the staff at the station felt the need to actually defend the move to let the viewers know they could be in danger.

One of the stipulations of a broadcast license from the FCC is that TV stations exist to serve public interest. Meaning, news stations have to preempt programming to cover ongoing tornado warnings within their markets or they risk losing their broadcast license. #GoLions

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#GoLions, indeed, but not so much for those complaining about this.

This is a tough situation. We are obligated to be on the air and inform if there are tornado warnings in effect. We have no choice. We are doing our best to provide the latest essential weather information while still showing the Lions game.

Football brings out a passion in people unlike almost any other sport and when you are riding high or low on emotion, it can sometimes carry you to places that encourage you to say a stupid thing or two.

I know back in the Sliverdome days in Pontiac, when the Lions played there, the parking lot after a loss was a tinderbox of uncertainty. However, we had a voice of reason in Art Regner, on the only sports station in town at the time where you could actually turn off your own radio and listen to his voice echo throughout the parking lot—being everyone was listening—and he would encapsulate what we all felt.

This team $%^& and Wayne Fontes/Bobby Ross/Marty Mornhinweg all need to be fired out of a cannon into the top of the dome.

The rants were epic, and we all usually felt a bit better on our way home and avoided any unnecessary violence, until the following home game where the vicious cycle started all over again.

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However now, with the advent of social media, everyone can do a hot take, and as you can see above or on any of the threads on X ( formerly Twitter)  some of them are super bad and cringy.

Now, I’m not immune to taking a bad take every once in a while, so I’m giving this criticism with love. Just this past week on some of the shows I’m on (which you can find here), I talked about frothy loins and whether or not someone posting a meme about farts was being misogynistic.

Yet, the Fox 2 Detroit folks have a RESPONSIBILITY to bring alerts to people on events (like weather), that could actually prevent people from being hurt or killed. As was widely reported Friday here in Michigan, we had severe weather and even a tornado on the ground in the Fox 2 Detroit viewing area.

This was not the same situation as the infamous Heidi Game back in the ’60s, where the network just cut into a game. This was a situation where people’s lives were at risk.

This is a no brainier.

Now, I might be a bit of a homer, being I watch the station in the morning and have met some of the folks on there and have found them all to be nice and decent people. (Looking forward to Ryan Ermanni’s commentary on Monday and if I see you at Costco, give me the Charlie Langton high-five treatment.) However, this action could have been done on any station across America, and I would feel the same way.

Fox 2 Meteorologist Stephanie Mead has nothing to apologize for. The producers who were part of the decision also have nothing to be ashamed of. They did the job of alerting people that a tornado could be in their area and that loved ones, who might not be social media savants or get an instant alert, might need to be alerted and checked on.

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I hope the Lions organization and the coaches come out and reinforce the need to remind some people, who are a bit too deep into their Bud Light they bought on a super sale before the game, what is actually the priority here.

Monday morning quarterbacking is for the actual games, not when it comes to people’s lives.

I have my opinion and you have yours, so make sure to check out my BIO, which is right HERE, to catch more of my shows and writings, which include many views and stories from my RedState colleagues.

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