I feel Ray's pain, to a point. Historically, pro athletes have always been mercenaries, way back to the 1800s. But realistically, if someone was to offer you or me 10x more to do the same job, why wouldn't we? (Well, assuming someone's not looking for a drug mule.) More than entertainment, sports is a business. Always has been, as much as we like to think that those guys we pay gobs of money to watch are trying to win one for the greater glory of whatever city they happen to be playing in that particular season. As I get older I find myself rooting less for the home team---knowing that most players will flee for more bucks in a heartbeat---and just enjoying the athleticism of some of the players on the field.

I think what rubs some people the wrong way, especially older fans who can remember running into Charlie Ane selling sporting goods or Barney McCosky selling cars in the offseason, is the sense of entitlement modern athletes too often display. Over the years I've interviewed old Lions from the 1930s through '50s (BOOK PIMP ALERT: I have a book coming out next year on the 1950s Lions), and they mostly shared the same disgust. The old-timers' attitude could be summed up as: "Just cash your check and STFU. You have no idea how great you have it."

For decades the NFL sold its product to college seniors (and the public) as "post-graduate football." The idea was that a guy would graduate from Notre Dame or Michigan with a degree in engineering or education or whatever, play 3-5 years in the pros, and use his connections to obtain an offseason job and a toehold on a career beyond football. That still happens, of course, but not nearly to the extent as a couple of generations back. I'm struck by how bright the typical pro from that era was. Very few had the kind of bullshit degrees in sports communications or whatever that you see today. You went to class, you maintained a certain GPA, or you didn't play. For the most part, those guys truly were student-athletes.

OTOH, all those greats we old-timers love to rave about, those guys who played 10, 15, even 20 years in Detroit? Most stayed because they really had no choice. But that's a separate discussion about the reserve clause, etc.

Oh, the 2019 Lions? I was gonna say 6-10. Make it 5-10-1 now.