Welcome to the Pride: Christopher Tomke

Please welcome Christopher Tomke to Pride Of Detroit.

Greetings, fellow PODers,

Another season of Detroit Lions football has arrived, and with it, another batch of quasi-qualified columnists on Pride Of Detroit. Many thanks to Sean Yuille for making me one of those very writers.

I'm a 27-year-old displaced Lions fan in Chicago. I grew up in mid-Michigan, but came to Bears territory for college, and ended up sticking around after the fact. 

As my age would indicate, I grew up during the golden age that was the Wayne Fontes era. Considering the past two decades of Lions football, I would imagine I'm like a lot of you: kind of a masochist, but also an eternal optimist ("Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, Mike Williams, Marcus Pollard and Kevin Jones? Who are other teams going to cover?!").

I'm not a particularly superstitious fan, but my last three jersey purchases have been (in reverse order) Louis Delmas (rookie year), Shaun Rogers (post-Pro Bowls) and Charles Rogers (rookie year). I gave some serious thought to purchasing a Nate Burleson jersey last season, and he immediately broke his leg. So, for the immediate future, I'll resort to sporting a vintage Az-Zahir Hakim uniform. (Keep an eye on the obituaries!)

Anyway, here's what you can expect from me during my time with Pride Of Detroit: Every week, I'll select some individual throwaway quote from a Lions coach and spend 1,000 words analyzing it. Did Jim Schwartz make a questionable decision during a game and then brush aside questions about it during a press conference? I'll be there. Did Gunther Cunningham heap lavish praise upon some fringe special teams player the Lions just picked up? All over it, guys. The column will change from week to week, depending on the coaches, the quotes and the season. When I can, I'll use statistics to supplement my arguments, but that will largely depend on the week's topic.

Speaking of statistics, I'll be doing a few different season-long studies on the Lions that I hope to write up at the end of Week 17, or ideally, the Super Bowl. I won't get into specifics, because a) why the spoil the surprise, and b) if something goes horribly wrong, and I'm unable to deliver on my ideas, only Sean and my family will be disappointed in me. 

(On that note, if there's a lingering question you have about the Lions and would like me to try to dig into it this season, feel free to share. Keep it within reason, of course -- this obviously isn't my full-time gig.)

In closing, GRIDIRON HEROES.

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