Death, taxes and referees making bad calls against the Detroit Lions.

There is no shortage of theories on why the Detroit Lions continue to get the bad end of penalties at the worst possible times. Here are some of the favorites.

The NFL Favors Some Teams

New England Patriots fans will be the first to try to deflate this theory, but many believe certain franchises are more likely to be helped by penalties than others. Statistics from a couple of seasons ago show both the Patriots and the Green Bay Packers regularly among the league leaders in these categories.

This season's rankings show the Detroit Lions rank last in the NFL in penalties called against opponents (33) and last in yards gained from penalties (234). The Green Bay Packers rank third in penalties called against opponents (49) and first in yards gained from penalties (501).

The Curse of Bobby Layne

Legend has it ex-Detroit Lions quarterback Bobby Layne was upset after the Lions traded him in 1958. He cursed the Lions saying they would not win anything for 50 years. His son, Alan Layne recalled the following in an interview with Sports on Earth in 2016:

...as he was leaving town, heading for Pittsburgh, my mother said people were talking to him or something, and he turned around and said, 'Well, you no-good, lousy, blankety-blanks won't win another championships for 50 years.' Yeah, that's what she said he said.

Anti-Detroit Bias

It's a theory that goes beyond sports. They've made t-shirts about it.

Bad Luck

Is it simply a long run of bad luck that started after winning three NFL championships in the 1950s which is destined to end with a string of Super Bowl wins?

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