The old saying in battle is ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ To that end, the Detroit Lions’ fanbase sure has made some strange enemy bedfellows lately within their own division.
With the mutual interest of harming the Minnesota Vikings in mind, the Lions fanbase along with the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars, have all teamed up thanks to Reddit to try and prevent the Vikings from getting a better compensatory pick from their trade for Yannick Ngakoue. How do they plan to do this? By trying to vote Ngakoue into the Pro Bowl.
It makes sense why Jaguars fans would have a vested interest in a much better compensatory pick for their rebuild, but for the Lions, Bears, Packers and Saints fans to get involved is just ultimate levels of petty. Simply, they want to see the Vikings lose a 4th round selection instead of a 5th round pick for their deal.
Ngakoue didn’t last long in Minnesota and was quickly traded ahead of the 2020 deadline, but none of that seems to matter to fans, who simply don’t want to see the higher draft pick come into play for the Vikings in the 2021 NFL Draft. As for Ngakoue, he’s far from Pro Bowl material so far this season, with just 5 sacks, 15 tackles and 2 forced fumbles to his credit between his stops this year.
It’s certainly petty, but in this case, petty is fun. The only thing left to watch and see is if the plan can get enough votes to truly pay off.
NFC North Rivalries Run Deep
It’s safe to say that other fanbases wouldn’t hesitate to team up to try and hurt the Lions if the shoe was on the other foot, or any other team in this scenario. The NFC North is one of the toughest divisions in football, and fans typically have strong opinions about their rivals. Teams even troll each other. Chicago and Green Bay are deep rivals, Detroit and Chicago are as well, in addition to Minnesota and Green Bay and Detroit and Green Bay. It’s safe to say every fan base has a passionate amount of disrespect for the other at some point in time during a season. It’s rare to see it on such a personal level in other NFL divisions, but history and proximity mean the NFC North will always be first in this aspect due to the classic nature of their teams.
Vikings Drafting Might Play Role in Involvement
Perhaps another reason the rival teams are trying to harm the positioning of the Vikings is the fact that the team has drafted pretty well under Rick Spielman lately. In the 2020 draft alone, the Vikings netted players like wideout Justin Jefferson, cornerbacks Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler as well as tackle Ezra Cleveland. That’s pretty impressive work. Adding another high pick to the mix would certainly give Minnesota a chance at finding another difference maker like this and adding him to the roster quickly.
Perhaps the classic rivals can delay that if only they can get Ngakoue into the Pro Bowl.