Thank You, Detroit Lions, for a Season to Remember

In sports, there are moments that transcend the game itself. Moments that matter more than the final score; moments that serve to unite communities and uplift spirits.

The Detroit Lions’ recently concluded NFL season provided one such moment for the city of Detroit, as the Lions roared through their most successful campaign in so many Detroiters’ lifetimes. As we bid farewell to an unforgettable season, it is only fitting to express our gratitude to the Detroit Lions for more than just their on-field triumphs.


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The Lions’ remarkable journey this season has been a beacon of hope and pride for the state of Michigan, the city of Detroit, and its residents. Beyond the thrill of each game, the economic impact of their success has been a much-needed boost for Detroit. From increased ticket sales to merchandise revenue, the ripple effect of a successful season has been felt throughout the local economy.

The surge in fan engagement has driven up demand for game-day experiences (even for fans not attending the games), leading to higher attendance numbers and a surge in sales for local businesses around Ford Field. Restaurants, bars, and shops in the vicinity have seen a welcome uptick in patronage, injecting much-needed vitality into the local economy.

Moreover, the Lions’ success has shone a positive light on Detroit, dispelling outdated stereotypes and showcasing the city’s resilience and determination. That was made abundantly clear to one ESPN analyst, Stephen A. Smith, who took several moments on air to discuss the perils of the city until he received a myriad of real-time text messages to set him straight about the city’s evolution.

Detroit has long been a symbol of industrial strength and blue-collar perseverance, and this season’s success story aligns perfectly with the city’s narrative of overcoming challenges. The team’s dedication, hard work, and triumphs have become a reflection of the city’s own journey of revival and resurgence.

Not too long ago, fans were showing up to the games with paper bags on their heads. Those bags, this season, were traded in for Honolulu Blue ski masks. And the ski masks weren’t a way to cover fans’ faces in shame. They were a symbol of a unified call to action by first-year Detroit defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson to show the visiting teams that we were coming to take what belonged to us.


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But beyond the tangible economic impact, the Lions’ success has served as a unifying force for the people of Detroit. In a city with a storied sports history, the collective pride and joy emanating from each victory have brought communities together. The roar of the Lions has echoed through neighborhoods, creating a shared sense of celebration that transcends social, economic, and cultural divides. This unity is perhaps the most valuable dividend of a successful sports season, as it fosters a sense of community and belonging that extends far beyond the confines of the football field.

The Lions took on one of the most universally adopted adjectives to describe Detroit and used it as their team’s motto for the season. Grit. All Grit. That’s what Detroit is. That’s who Detroiters are. That’s how the Lions played.

The impact of the Lions’ success extends beyond the immediate economic gains and community cohesion, too. The positive spotlight on Detroit has the potential to attract further investment and opportunities to the city. Because even though the football season is over, the 2024 season kicks off in Detroit in April as the city hosts the 2024 NFL Draft. As the city and the team’s success garner national attention, it puts Detroit on the map as a place that not only embraces its past but also looks confidently towards the future. This newfound visibility can attract not only sports enthusiasts but also potential investors, businesses, and tourists, further contributing to the city’s growth and development.

The success of the Lions this season also has a profound impact on the morale of Detroit’s residents. In a city that has weathered economic challenges and faced its fair share of adversity, the triumphs of the Lions serve as a reminder that perseverance pays off.

Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell, at his opening press conference three years ago, described a team that would definitely get knocked down, but one that would bite the ankles and kneecaps of its naysayers as it climbed back up. And while it might have been strange to hear him describe the team in that way three years ago, we’ve seen a team and a city that has (metaphorically) given its contradictors as many return blows as they have given us.

The resilience displayed by the team resonates with Detroiters on a personal level, instilling a sense of pride and optimism that transcends the football field. The Lions have become a source of inspiration, proving that with dedication, hard work, and a collective spirit, even the toughest challenges can be overcome.

And while the city didn’t get the chance to blast Detroit rapper GMAC Cash’s hit song “The Lions Won Again” after the heartbreaking 34-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers after the NFC Championship, it’s clear that the Lions did win again. It’s just that instead of adding a “W” to the win column and preparing the city for the Lions’ first Super Bowl appearance, we’re all celebrating the positive outcomes off the field from Detroit’s most successful professional football season since a time before Black people even had the right to vote.

So, as we reflect on this game and this season, it’s essential to recognize the multifaceted impact of their achievements. Beyond the victories on the field, the economic revitalization, community unity, and positive perception of the city are invaluable contributions that will have lasting effects. The Lions have not just won games; they have won back the hearts of Detroit, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s identity, and fostering a renewed sense of pride and optimism. Thank you, Detroit Lions, for a season to remember. We are all #OnePride. We are #AllGrit. We are the Lions.

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