He has called out offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and quarterback Matthew Stafford. Now, Lions receiver Golden Tate is calling out the fans.
“I’m the first one to say I love our fans,” Tate said after Sunday’s 42-10 loss, via Tony Paul of the Detroit News. “I think our fans are amazing and they’ve been patient for a long time. Before the game started, I looked up, there were a lot of empty seats. Early on in the game, our team is getting booed. Later in the game, it sounded like the loudest they got was when Stafford was leaving the game and Dan [Orlovsky] was coming in. And that’s not the support that we want.
“When we win, we all win together — the city, as an organization, as a state. When we lose, we all lose together. And today, I felt like, at times, our fan base kind of turned their back on us.”
Unlike past situations, when Tate’s clarifying comments came at a later date, Tate explained that he’s simply pleading for support from the fan base.
“We have a lot of confidence in our fan base and we can’t do that without our fan base,” Tate said. “We expect them to be with us a little bit better next week. We’ve got a chance to still be special. I know that we’re not playing the type of football that we want to play right now, but we need our fans. We need them. . . .
“I consider us family. I think there’s gonna be times where family goes through trials and tribulations. There’s gonna be times where we don’t agree with each other as far as family, but at the end of the day, we’ve still gotta find a way to come together. It’s how I see it.”
Tate possibly sees it that way because he spent four seasons in Seattle, where the bond with the fans is so strong the team retired No. 12 in honor of the 12th man.
“I don’t see our fan base as just Lions fans,” Tate said. “I consider us family and what I mean by that, it’s more than football to me. It’s being out in the community trying to bring this city together, helping whoever I can who’s down. Right now, we’re just done. But we need the continuous support from our family, at the end of the day.”
No matter how hard Tate asks for it, he may not get it. Because no matter what he says, the Lions are 0-5 and showing no signs of life. Even if they win 10 of the next 11, there’s no guarantee they’ll earn a seat at the postseason table. Which means that the Lions family will, once again, be waiting for next year long before next year comes.