Stan Van Gundy knows what losing feels like. He lost more games last season in his first with the Detroit Pistons than he did in his two best years combined at the height of his powers with the Orlando Magic.
But what happened to the Lions last night in front of the nation on Monday Night Football?
"We got screwed," Van Gundy said.
To recap, the Lions spent the majority of their primetime contest against the Seattle Seahawks looking like a hopeless, moribund franchise. But after a strip sack returned for a touchdown and a masterful 80-yard march down the field in the closing minutes, Detroit was knocking on the door of overtime and with a good shot at stealing a victory.
Then Calvin Johnson took the pass from Matthew Stafford, lunged for the goal line and got the ball jarred loose by a perfect hit from Kam Chancellor. Linebacker K.J. Wright smacked the ball, bouncing feeling in the end zone, out of bounds.
Turnover. Touchback. Same old Lions.
But the referees should have called Wright for illegally batting the ball. This would have given Detroit possession, first down on the 1-yard line with four chances to get in the end zone.
It took Detroit's win expectancy from greater than 80 percent to just about 10 percent.
And it was painful for Van Gundy to watch. But not as a head coach who doesn't want victories snatched away from him. Instead, he felt the Lions pain as a fan.
"I know a guy like Jim Caldwell is trying to get his team better and is trying to figure out what went wrong," Van Gundy said. "I am telling you as a fan we got screwed. So I am not coming at that one as a coach. I am coming at that one as a Detroit guy and a fan. You are 0-3 going into a tough place to play and you got a chance to win a game. It was brutal," Van Gundy said, according to the Detroit News.
Brutal, indeed. But after being a Lions fan for so many years I think I am numb to the whole outrage thing. Van Gundy will learn.