This idea was inspired by my fellow WSN staff member Stick. There are several adjectives and phrases that are synonymous with Metro Detroit. “Blue collar”, “hard-working”, “the motor city” and so on. When you think of the phrase “Going to work”, you instantly think of the 2004 Detroit Pistons squad. That phrase was the tagline that was used, and you instantly think of that championship team. The 2022 Detroit Lions are showing shades of that type of mentality this season.
Going to Work Pistons 09 Jul 2004, Fri The Fresno Bee (Fresno, California) Newspapers.com
The irony about the blue collar mentally that seems to be shown more and more with these Lions is where the training facility is. Allen Park, Michigan is right on the border of Dearborn, the home of the Ford Motor Company. While that is pretty obvious to anyone who lives in the area, Metro Detroit has many layers to it. People are territorial when it comes to where they live. If you live in Roseville, for example, do you hang out in downtown Wyandotte? No, because you know traffic is going to be a pain in the ass. Instead, you may say some joke about people who live in Taylor or Hazel Park.
But for Lions football, whether you live in Downriver, the East side or the West side, fans seem to be bonding more over this squad than others in the past. They come together at 6am at Eastern Market. They hit Twitter and defend anyone who speaks ill of the Lions.
Sheila Ford Hamp asked Detroit Lions fans to be patient. They have been rewarded.
As you may or may not recall, the Morning Show discussed Sheila Ford Hamp’s comments about being patient after the Lions 1-5 start.
‘We’ve got 11 more games to go, so I just don’t want everyone to push the panic button and give up the ship,’ Hamp said
‘I think we’ve got the right people in place to pull this off, and I truly believe that. I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t.’
In the past, whenever an owner says anything, like when they promise economic growth when a stadium is built, fans just shake their heads because it’s usually met with cynicism and rightly fully so. But Hamp spoke her mind and let Dan Campbell and his staff “go back to work.” As a result, the Lions are 7-3 since and have a slim chance to get into the playoffs. No one expected this.
The Lions feature three rookies starting on the DL. Three. How often has that happened in this team’s history? Two potential cornerstones of your defense have come from the 6th round. Jamaal Williams, the former Packers running back, is on the brink of breaking Barry Sanders’s record for most TD’s in one season. He is also just six yards away from being the first 1,000 rusher since Reggie Bush in 2013. Jared Goff, who came into the season with questions of him being the number one quarterback, has thrown for over 4,000 yards. There have been a few games where Goff looks just flawless when he drops back into the pocket.
A creative GM
Behind all of this is General Manager Brad Holmes. He has built this team through good talent recognition in the draft and his free agent pickups. He’s similar to Joe Dumars in having a specific vision set for the team. Holmes draft record may better in Dumars in the long run, but he has been able to secure young talent that will continue to evolve.
The crowds at the Palace during the championship run came from all over the state to watch the Pistons slay the Lakers to win the title. Pistons fans, who may have stopped watching during the teal days, came back. Hell, as cynical as I am about the Lions, they have been fun to watch. They have put in a tremendous amount of work to get to this point. It took some time before the core of the Pistons finally overcame their Eastern Conference counterparts before they won the title. Maybe what we are witnessing here is a team, rolling up their sleeves and getting ready to cause some chaos in the NFC.
Photo credit:David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
D’Andre Swift: Detroit Lions Player Spotlight
Pat McAfee Bets Woodward Sports Over Detroit Lions Game