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Happy 11th birthday, Pride Of Detroit

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On Draft Day, we also celebrate the 11th birthday of our favorite Detroit Lions website.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo By Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

All around the NFL landscape, fans are celebrating April 27 as Draft Day. But here in our own little corner of the internet, we wanted to take a minute to celebrate our own holiday: Pride Of Detroit’s 11th birthday.

This site started just days away from the 2006 NFL Draft, when high school sophomore Sean Yuille found an outlet for his Detroit Lions fandom. “My goal is to provide you with the most information and opinion possible about the Detroit Lions,” Yuille said in the inaugural post for the site.

“Hopefully with this new blog, the Lions can finally receive some luck. With a new coach, this will be very telling of what to expect in the future.” 48 hours later the Lions would take Ernie Sims, and two years later, the Lions would complete the worst NFL season in the history of the league.

While the Lions never saw the success that Sean wanted, Pride Of Detroit absolutely did. It quickly grew to be one of the most popular Lions blogs out there, as Sean created a voice and a safe haven for Lions fans across the globe. Sean had a knack for finding great talent to complement his own natural talent as a writer, but he always took the grunt of the work. It still amazes me, to this day, the amount of effort he put into this site for nine year.

It was a huge loss when Sean stepped down in 2015. It was as much a shock to me as it was for everyone else. I admittedly wasn’t sure if I’d be able to carry the torch, and everyday I still question whether I am doing Sean’s brilliant nine years of work justice.

But at 11 years old, the site is still doing strong. Our 10th year saw some major accomplishments for the site. We grew our PODcast to record-breaking numbers. Our Facebook Live expansion gave us a new avenue to reach out to our fans. We interviewed several players throughout the 2016 season. And we even got to cover a couple Lions events as credentialed media.

In my six years as a contributor of the site and entering my third as managing editor, I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of the opportunity to man this ship. Especially in the wake of ESPN’s recent layoffs, it is not lost on me how lucky I am. Not only do I get the opportunity to cover a Lions team I have loved my entire life, but I get to do so on a site that has been so welcoming and supportive. From the top heads of SB Nation to nearly every person in the comment section, I have been given nothing but support. We have big plans for the site in 2017, and we can’t wait to take all of you with us on the journey.

Happy birthday, Pride Of Detroit. Now let’s go grab someone who can play linebacker.