Christmas morning I received a tip from one of my informants that some unusual vandalism had been committed out front of at least two residences just north of the Shaw and College intersection, and that police were on their way to investigate. Shaw and College is about a fifteen-minute walk from where I live, so I decided to head over and see if the crime was newsworthy.
The weather was pleasantly mild and there wasn’t any snow on the ground, so I rode my Pake fixie to the scene. When I arrived, a uniformed officer was escorting an elderly couple of Italian heritage down the driveway of their three-storey home. A squad car was parked at the curb and a fellow I took to be a plain-clothes detective was carefully investigating the two stone lions that adorn the entrance to the driveway. I soon discovered that he is indeed a Toronto Police detective and that his name is Geordie Dagg.
I introduced myself to the other officer, who said he didn’t mind me observing as long as I didn’t interfere with the investigation or contaminate the vandalized lions. I couldn’t see anything wrong with the lions–although it seemed odd to me that they were painted blue, given that the home and stone work in the yard were both grey and the trim overall was white.
Dagg comforted the couple some and then started questioning them.
“Do you or any member of your family have any reason to believe you might be targeted by a Detroit Lions fan?” he asked, to my dismay.
“With all due respect, sir” started the other officer, who also seemed surprised by Dagg’s first question. “I don’t see how this has anything to do with football.”
Dagg looked down again toward the lion immediately in front of him and stroked its mane with his index finger. “This isn’t just blue, Jimmy.” he said, as he looked up again. “This is Honolulu blue.”
Could Dagg really be onto something? Is it possible that a Detroit Lions fanatic has targeted the homes of a few innocent Green Bay Packers fans in the city, painting their decorative, yard lions Honolulu blue? In the spirit of all things nuts, I have to admit, I hope so.
Let’s take a look at some recent history between the two teams to assess whether or not there might be something in it that could have driven our perp, and potential Lions fan, to such depths.
Detroit and Green Bay have been in the same division for over 80 years. The last time the Lions won a division title was in 1993. Since 1993, the Packers have won ten division titles. The last time the Lions won a playoff game was in 1991. Since then, the Packers have won 17 playoff games, three NFC Championships, and two Super Bowls. The poor Lions have never been to a Super Bowl or won an NFC Championship. At home in Detroit, where the Lions should have a clear fan-noise advantage, the Lions have beaten the Packers just 50 percent of the time over the last 20 years. On the road in Wisconsin, the Lions have not won a single game since 1991–an away-game losing streak that is the longest between any two teams in the NFL.
The Lions do have a potential revenge game coming up against Green Bay though, this Sunday at 4:25 pm ET. The game is at Lambeau Field, the Packers’ house.
Given the history and the tension surrounding the upcoming game, it’s really not all that difficult to imagine that an angry Lions fan might want to lash out against Packers fans. In fact, one could almost argue that under the circumstances the behaviour is warranted. Though not in Geordie Dagg’s books, it seemed.
“I want you to talk to anyone local who works in restoration, particularly interiors,” he said. “Find out who’s mixing Honolulu blue paint.”