FOX Sports activities Insider
Do not assume for a second that the Detroit Lions have not performed a full function within the historical past of the Nationwide Soccer League, even throughout all of these darkish and dismal years wherein the Motor Metropolis usually resembled a win-free footballing wasteland.
There are all types of once-viral movies floating across the web proving this level. Like Forrest Gump manifested into franchise type, the Lions had been there for infinite jaw-dropping moments that stay on for posterity.
On the improper finish.
There was the Motown Miracle. The Orlovsky, the place quarterback Dan stepped unknowingly out of his personal finish zone for a security in a recreation in the end determined by, ouch, two factors.
You do not even need to go far again to recollect they had been on the improper finish of Justin Tucker’s longest subject objective in historical past in 2021. They have been bamboozled by shanked playoff punts and blown coverages to gift-wrap game-losing touchdowns. They’ve had issues occur like catches dominated as non-catches that led to the unofficial naming of a rule (thanks, Calvin Johnson).
They even as soon as gave up the ball after profitable the coin flip in sudden-death extra time, opting as a substitute to choose a positive aspect of the sphere. You possibly can guess how that one ended.
If NFL Movies nonetheless produced its blooper exhibits, they might dedicate a miniseries to the Detroit Lions, circa 1970-2020, highlighted by the 0-for-every-damn-week 2008 season.
All these incidents, some grainier than others, are value a search for anybody with the slightest curiosity in professional soccer nostalgia, latest and never so latest.
And so they all a part of the rationale why Lions followers are presently the happiest group of individuals within the pigskin universe.
I imply it.
Detroit’s supporters are currently happier than fans of the reigning Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs, who the Lions remarkably rallied to beat on the road in the season-opener. The Lions played loose and giddy as Kansas City labored through the absences of Travis Kelce and Chris Jones while perhaps feeling the pressure pinch of this year’s repeat effort.
Dave Helman reacts to Jared Goff, Detroit Lions’ STUNNING win over Chiefs
Detroit’s denizens are also happier than those who bleed for the Dallas Cowboys, despite their dominant 40-0 Week 1 shutout of the New York Giants. And happier than Jets fans even before Aaron Rodgers went down.
They’re more gleeful than the other teams in the NFC North, emerging as the favorites to win the division for the first time since 1993, when it was known as the NFC Central and some guy called Barry Sanders wore the silver and blue.
Look, the Lions are happier than anyone and everyone because this is a thrill ride that spanned the entire winter, with the nailbiting 21-20 victory at Arrowhead being the team’s ninth win in its last 11 games under Dan Campbell.
There was no heartbreaking exit from the playoffs to get over. The Lions shrugged off their final-day elimination from postseason contention, cheerily ruined Rodgers’ final home game at Lambeau Field, and went sauntering into the spring with a surge of optimism that looks well-founded.
Sunday’s game (1:00 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app) brings the Seattle Seahawks to town, with the Lions’ most glaring apparent advantage starting with their defensive line, anchored by second-year defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.
QB Jared Goff looks fluid and confident if not totally resurrected, presiding over a versatile offense that last week made fine rushing use of David Montgomery and a sweet receiving double act from Josh Reynolds and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
If any NFL city deserves festive times, it’s Detroit, and Campbell loves the fact the fans are feeling it.
“I know what (Kansas City was), and it was loud,” Campbell told reporters this week. “I expect it to be louder than that, I really do. I just know our fans. It’ll be to the point where you can’t hear yourself think — for Seattle anyway.”
Looking ahead to division duels, the Lions and the Packers square off in Wisconsin in Week 4, and the teams reunite on Thanksgiving afternoon in Detroit in a game that for so long has been a brief holiday distraction to take account of the league’s laughingstock. There are always turkey legs, but it’s usually someone from another team chewing on one.
This version of the Lions is bent on bucking that tradition and busting some other forlornly earned assumptions.
“We get some wins here and this place will really be on fire,” Campbell added.
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Take a peek when the cameras pan the stands on Sunday. See the smiles of fans who no longer have to wear bags on their heads. There will likely be teams who are better than Detroit this season. Who knows for sure?
But right now, who’s happier? No one.
Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the every day publication.
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