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2016 Detroit Lions POD Awards: Pride Of Detroit Moment of the Year

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What was your favorite site moment from 2016?

Next up for the 2016 Detroit Lions POD Awards is the category for Pride Of Detroit Moment of the Year.

This is a new category in 2016 aimed at celebrating the year that was at Pride Of Detroit. We here at the site pride ourselves on being a community, and while the Lions themselves provide a bunch of entertainment, the community here adds an entirely different dimension to the fun. Here are the best moments from the site during the 2016 season.

Toto’s "Africa"

If you’re looking for a background story as to why Toto’s 1982 hit "Africa" suddenly became the Victory Monday song for the Lions, I sadly don’t have an answer for you. We do our best to describe its origin in the first five minutes of this PODcast episode from early November, but like all of the best traditions, it just kind of happened. In the midst of the Lions’ wild streak of eight wins in nine games, "Africa" quickly became the theme of joy and relief. It also resulted in some excellent social media moments.

Winnemucca invades the Name Bracket Tournament

The annual tradition of our Detroit Lions Name Bracket tournament is still in its infancy, but it’s hard to see the 2016 tournament ever being topped. The tournament started out normally, with mild interest mostly coming from myself. But soon it became apparent that something strange was going on.

Undrafted free agent Jace Billingsley was suddenly mowing down opponents left and right with unprecedented voting tallies. Soon it came to light that not only had Jace’s family been tipped off about the tournament, but his small hometown of Winnemucca, Nevada (population: 8,000) had heard about the contest and were stuffing the ballots. Family friends, local businesses and every person related to Jace around the world voted in the silly tournament, resulting in a whopping 25,909 votes in the finals against Miles Killebrew. A few months later we found out Killebrew, too, was well aware of the tournament.

Chris Lemieux’s wild "Five Questions" answers

If you aren’t accustomed to our own Chris Lemieux’s writing style, it can be a bit jarring at first. I love Chris and the unique voice he brings to the site, but he can certainly rub people the wrong way, especially if they take their sports a little too seriously.

I assigned Chris to do our weekly tradition of Five Questions with the Opponent this year, and I couldn’t be more happy with the results. They were almost always my favorite sports-related read of the week, even if they weren’t published on this page. Here are a few snippets.

From Detroit vs. Washington:

At 2:25 am EDT (06:25 UTC) a great clown migration will erupt as the great veil that separates our world and theirs finally collapses. The rift will originate in the heart of Manistee National Forest and the clowns rapidly spread from there. By 4 am Grand Rapids has fallen. Two hours later, we lose Lansing and Saginaw. A line of defense is put up, but by the time we are able to react it is already too late; the swarm has grown too far. The clowns reach downtown Detroit roughly around kickoff, where they will consume Ford Field and all in attendance entirely

From Detroit vs. Jacksonville:

When two forces of bro meet in this sort of fashion, the currents create a sort of testosterone depression, pulling in strong currents and kicking up dangerously high speed winds. Eventually, as they continue to attempt to out-bro one another, the electrical activity from the glowsticks and static is amplified and creates electromagnetic disturbances and intermittent thunderstorms. This tornabro, at its full height, usually ends up causing untold damage in Oklahoma and Texas.

Almost as good as these writeups were the reactions from the stunned opposing fan base.

And Chris even managed to throw off one of the blog’s writers:

If you missed these during the season, I highly suggest going back and reading them.

Chris trolls Detroit sports talk radio’s suggestion of moving on from Matthew Stafford

After the season was over and the Lions’ collapse was complete, there were still, somehow, doubters of Matthew Stafford being the quarterback of the future in Detroit. We knew this wasn’t representative of the fanbase, but moreso ratings-hungry radio stations. So Chris came to me with an idea: Create a post that appears to be giving the talking point real attention, but really is just mocking anyone who gave the idea of trading/releasing Stafford any work. Chris did it to perfection.

Equally entertaining was the response from Facebook, a group of people who only saw the headline and did not realize the article was a joke. We probably lost a few "likes" that day, but it was totally worth it.