As the game drew to a close and it became obvious that our Detroit Lions had made the playoffs, my eyes welled up just a bit and I shed a tear or two of joy.
This was so much different than the 2008 Lions, when I had to stop watching games so that I would not shed tears of frustration. I still followed the Lions from afar, but they made me so frustrated and upset that it was actually bad for me to watch the games. I would be in a foul mood for several days afterward and the solutions seemed so far away.
Only three seasons later, I am watching the Lions dominate a good San Diego Chargers team and display the poise and killer instinct that I have longed to see from a Lions team for decades. I am watching this team mature and come of age from week to week, and it is an experience unlike any other that I have had in my lifetime.
There were times during this season that we have been tested as fans. The early success of this season set the bar so high that I feared the Lions might not be able to meet those expectations. I feared that missing the playoffs would result in a reaction from some fans that demanded drastic, and unwarranted, changes. I thank God that I will not see those fears realized.
On this Christmas Eve the Detroit Lions have given me the only present that I asked for this year. They have made me happy and proud to be a Detroit Lions fan. Of course, I want the Lions to do well in the playoffs and in the Super Bowl. Anything can happen once you get in. No matter what happens from this point on though, I will still be proud of this team and remember this Christmas Eve as the day that the Lions proved they had turned the corner to become a good team for years to come.
Thank you Lions, and Merry Christmas to all my fellow brothers and sisters at Pride of Detroit!