Dominic Raiola spent his entire 14-year career with the Detroit Lions, including during the franchise's historic 0-16 run in 2008. Known for his fiery personality, Raiola was the starting center on that team. He agreed to write this column for the Free Press entering the final week of the regular season, with the Cleveland Browns threatening to join the Lions as the only 0-16 teams in league history. It's impossible, right? Even if you play in this league long enough, there’s not a chance that you think about going winless. After a 4-0 preseason, expectations were sky high for the Lions. But little did we know, the 2008 team would become the laughing stock in the history of football. It was a snowball that turned into an avalanche, a nightmare we couldn’t wake up from. We opened the season at Atlanta. Michael Vick was gone by that time, and the Falcons started rookie first-round pick Matt Ryan. We couldn't lose, right? Wrong. We fell behind 21-0 and tried to scratch our way back in it. 0-1. On to the home opener vs. Green Bay, another loss, 48-25. It looked like a blowout, but if you were there, you know we had the lead in the fourth quarter but lost it with 24 straight points. Back-to-back pick-6's put us to sleep. Losses to the Bears and the 49ers left us in an 0-4 hole. Then the infamous Dan Orlovsky running-out-of-the-end-zone safety happened against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6. Nobody mentioned that Michael Gaines didn’t block Jared Allen and caused that to happen. We were up 3-2 at the half and ultimately lost that barn burner, 12-10.
Ex-Detroit Lions C Dominic Raiola: I appreciated game more after 0-16
Detroit Free Press | Dec 31