The Tigers’ wobbly state as a first place team took center stage last night on “The Knee Jerks”, my weekly sports gabfest with Big Al from The Wayne Fontes Experience.

Our guest was Johnny Lawrence, one of the featured Detroit Tigers columnists for The Bleacher Report.

Johnny gave us his take on the Tigers’ chances to finally put the division to bed, and their outlook for the playoffs. While Johnny doesn’t see the Tigers advancing past ALDS, we all acknowledged that “anything can happen.”

The chat room was chock full of folks, which we appreciate. Of course, many were fans of Johnny’s, so we’ll see what happens next week!

After Johnny’s segment, Al and I got busy in a football kind of way.

We started by eulogizing ex-Lions coach Monte Clark, who passed away last week. It was mutually agreed that Monte got shafted by the Lions, being fired just one season removed from a divisional title.

Then we lamented the deaths of so many in the Lions family, past and present, in 2009. I called it “weird and sad.”

Speaking of weird and sad, Al said, let’s talk about the Lions on Sunday against the Vikings!

So we did.

To top things off, Al ranted about NFL officiating, particularly the mysterious chop block call on Gosder Cherilus.

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Some highlights from last night:

Big Al

On the second half meltdown: “It’s talent. The Lions just don’t have enough of it. You can talk schemes and strategy all you want, but it boils down to talent.”

On Jeff Backus: “His ‘miscommunication’ damn near got Matthew Stafford killed!”

On Brett Favre: “He’s nothing more than a ‘game manager’ now. And isn’t that another way of saying that you can’t win games anymore? Brett Favre didn’t beat the Lions on Sunday.”

On NFL officiating: “Make these guys full time, number one. All the other leagues do it. And you should be able to challenge more calls than you can now. As a fan it’s incredibly frustrating.”

Eno

On the second half meltdown: “I’m concerned that this new staff is being schooled by the other team’s coaches at halftime. The Lions played reasonably well for 30 minutes then just fell apart.”

On Calvin Johnson: “I love it when the Lions run Johnson on a reverse. No one can tackle him; he’s going up against these little DBs with a head of steam. I wish they ran that play more.”

On Brett Favre: “He may be a ‘game manager,’ but he’s still an upgrade from what they had, and that’s the bottom line.”

On NFL officiating: “I’m not sure making the officials full-time is the answer. They’re still going to make bad calls. But maybe they should broaden the scope of plays that you can challenge. Video replay showed that the Gosder play was no chop block.”

You can listen to the episode by clicking HERE.

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