Sportress of Blogitude

Draw Play: Detroit Lions Offensive Lineman Immortalized In Comic Strip

In his tenth season as a member of the Detroit Lions, it’s safe to say that tackle Jeff Backus has experienced far more downs than ups during his NFL career. Add that to the fact that Backus plays one of least glamorous positions in the NFL, I imagine it must have come as a pleasant surprise when he opened up to the comics section of the Detroit Free Press on Monday morning only to see his likeness featured in the comic strip, “Speed Bump.”

When the Free Press inquired as to why the strip’s creator and artist, Dave Coverly, selected a seemingly nondescript player like Backus, here’s what he had to say:

“I’m a huge Lions fan, and I live in Ann Arbor,” said Coverly, a Plainwell native and Eastern Michigan alumnus. “So I just try to think of something a little personal to put in there sometimes.

“To me, Jeff Backus kind of epitomizes the Lions; he’s a good football player, but it just doesn’t always work out for him. Plus, linemen never seem to get the glory.”

I see. While I am sure Backus is flattered by the gesture, to be called the player who “epitomizes the Lions” just might be the most backhanded compliment ever. But hey, at least he wasn’t lampooned in a Ziggy strip. Once you get slammed in a Ziggy, it’s essentially the kiss of death as far as comic strip infamy is concerned.

Lions’ Jeff Backus stars in comic strip [Detroit Free Press]