"You know, I'm the first one to say I love our fans," Tate said, via the Detroit Free Press . "I think our fans are amazing, and they've been patient for a long time. But before the game got out of hand, before the game started, I looked up and there were a lot of empty seats. Early on, our team is getting booed. Later in the game, it sounded like the loudest it got was when Stafford was leaving the game and Dan (Orlovsky) was coming in.
"And that's not the support that we want. When we win, we all win together: the city, as an organization, as a state. When we lose, we all lose together. And today I felt like at times our fan base kind of turned their back on us. But we have a lot of confidence in our fan base, and we can't do this without our fan base.
"We expect them to be with us a little bit better next week. We've got a chance to still be special. We've got two more home games, and we're expecting our fan base to be there for us and support us. I know we're not playing the type of football we want to play right now, but we need our fans. We need them."
Tate is working through the Five Stages of a Crappy NFL Season. This current stage pertains to a star player being hamstrung by a fumbling offense and projecting those frustrations on an equally perturbed fan base.
Tate is smart enough to reel in the critique of booing fans -- most of whom left well before the final seconds mercifully ticked off on the Lions' fifth loss -- by bargaining for their help and affection.
While Tate might have never lived this nightmare before, it's become routine in Detroit. The Lions are the last winless team in the NFL for the eighth time, most in NFL history. It's the first time they've started 0-5 since going 0-16 in 2008.
Football is an entertainment business. When those who are paying to be entertained are instead consistently served a hapless helping of ineptitude to digest, they reserve the right to protest.