ALLEN PARK, Mich. - Rod Marinelli was as angry publicly yesterday as he's been in three seasons as coach of the Detroit Lions.

Leading the NFL's first 0-15 team didn't do it. A question from a columnist did.

Detroit News columnist Rob Parker asked Marinelli if he wished his daughter married a better defensive coordinator, taking a shot at his son-in-law, Joe Barry, after Sunday's 42-7 loss to New Orleans.

Marinelli didn't answer the question during his news conference, saying it wasn't the right stage for a response, but lashed out after thinking about the exchange.

"Any time you attack my daughter, I've got a problem with that . . . " Marinelli said. "It was premeditated. I think there's something wrong with that."

Did it cross the line?

"Big time," Marinelli said.

Parker attempted to defuse the situation.

"I apologize to Rod and his family," Parker said in a phone interview after Marinelli's comments were relayed to him. "It was never my intent to hurt anyone. It was just to lighten the moment.

"I wish Rod and his family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

The Lions will close the schedule at Green Bay, where they haven't won since 1991, hoping to avoid sealing a perfectly imperfect season. *