"The NFL doesn't want us to succeed!"

"This league is holding us down!"

"Detroit versus everybody!"

All common refrains among Detroit Lions fans over the years as they've exhausted every possible reason — besides, of course, taking a good, long look in the mirror — behind their favorite team's 60-plus years of ineptitude. Those were always weak takes, the kind of excuse-making befitting of a second-grader who desperately tries to keep his recess time by throwing someone else under the bus for sneaking extra snacks out of the classroom reward jar.

For those of us residing in reality, it's always been evident the NFL isn't holding the Lions down. After all, Detroit's ownership has done one hell of a job at that. If the NFL were truly conspiring against the Lions it would be the most unnecessary duplication of efforts in the history of man.

On Thursday, we got the kind of news that ought to stamp out this weak-minded conspiracy theory once and for all, even for the biggest Lions excuse-makers.

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The NFL has selected the Lions to co-star in its season-opening Thursday night showdown on Sept. 7.

This is a big deal. A really big deal. The league doesn't put just anyone in its traditional season opener. It's a spot reserved for defending Super Bowl champions and exciting teams that the NFL is eager to market. Don't believe me? Take a look at the last six season openers:

  • 2022: Buffalo Bills** at Los Angeles Rams*
  • 2021: Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
  • 2020: Houston Texans** at Kansas City Chiefs*
  • 2019: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears**
  • 2018: Atlanta Falcons*** at Philadelphia Eagles**
* Defending Super Bowl champion
** Defending division champion
*** Defending NFC champion

That's your team now, Lions fans. You're the kind of commodity the league wants to leverage.

And if that's not enough proof for you, take a look at these additional showcases the NFL has planned for the Lions in 2023.

NFL Books Detroit Lions For 5 Nationally Televised Games In 2023

The Lions' meteoric rise has captivated their fans. It's apparently captivated the NFL, as well.

The league has reportedly scheduled Detroit for five nationally televised games this coming season. The last time the Lions had even a single primetime game was in 2018.

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