ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Dominic Raiola’s T-shirt summed up his feelings best: “God Forgives, Detroit Doesn’t.”
“I’m part of Detroit so I don’t,” said Raiola, in his 12th season as a center for the Detroit Lions.
Verbal shots fired at the Lions by an anonymous general manager in the publication Pro Football Weekly have put Raiola in the controversial spotlight again.
Earlier this season, the GM ripped defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, defensive end Cliff Avril, coach Jim Schwartz and general manager Martin Mayhew, calling them all overrated.
Raiola, one of the team captains and spokesmen, responded on their behalf at the time, saying that the GM was a “coward” for making the comments anonymously.
The GM fired back at Raiola this week in another story posted on Pro Football Weekly, which has since issued an apology for running the latest round of anonymous quotes.
This time, the GM got a little more personal, including saying that Raiola was a “complete fraud.”
What irritates Raiola the most is the anonymous element.
“I’m not going to spend too much time on this,” Raiola said. “We’ve got a big game this week.
“All I’ve got to say is to two people: Whoever’s talking (bleep) and then the person who wrote it, Pro Football Weekly … coward, gutless, balls-less.
“No name, anonymous. All I’ve got to say is (bleep) you. That’s it.”
Raiola, who has started every game in 10 of the last 11 seasons, tried to change the topic several times during an interview Wednesday following the Lions’ practice.
“Let’s talk about Minnesota,” Raiola said more than once, referring to the Lions’ opponent on Sunday.
“If I spend any more time on it, that’s what he wants so (bleep) him and (bleep) both of them.”
Naturally, the questions kept coming back to him about the GM.
And Raiola, naturally, couldn’t resist a few more responses.
“At least I could put a face with a name and kind of find out where he’s coming from,” he said when asked about not knowing the GM’s identity. “If you’re his family, how do you even call this guy a man of your house?
“You know what I’m saying? Gutless.”
Offensive guard Rob Sims wasn’t surprised that his teammate would respond with such anger.
“You know Dom, if you throw his towel on the ground, he’s pissed,” Sims said. “That’s just Dom.
“It fired him up. That gets us fired up. He’s our leader up there. We all get in line.”
They just don’t know who they’re getting in line for, and that’s what is so irritating.