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Why I’m a fan of the Detroit Lions

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To celebrate our new look, let’s share how our Lions fandom began.

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New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Welcome to the refreshed Pride Of Detroit! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card (official rules here). We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

Here’s my story into Detroit Lions fandom. To explain how I became a Lions fan is nearly impossible, because as long as I can remember I was always a Lions fan. There was no moment that sold me on Lions fandom, no play or player that convinced me the Detroit Lions were the team for me. I did not choose the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Lions chose me.

So the better question for me is: Why are you still a fan of the Detroit Lions?

As far back as I can remember, I was lucky enough to have access to season tickets to Lions games. My dad was a long-time ticket holder and was completely responsible for my football addiction. At one point, there was an obstacle to our fandom. We both decided to discover our heritage by attending a Jewish Sunday school. It only took a few weeks for both of us to recognize that football was much more interesting to us. It didn’t matter that the Lions were losers, because our fandom was an irremovable part of our identity. We quit the school program after three sessions.

But I had an easy out in 2008. That was the final year my family held season tickets. My father moved down to Florida, while I shifted coasts by making my new home in Los Angeles. The conditions were perfect for me to jump ship. The Lions had just finished their 0-16 season, I was a couple thousand miles away from the team for the first time and the Chargers were coming off a playoff run.

Here’s the part where I would love to lecture fans about the importance of team loyalty and how there is honor in sticking with a team through tough times. I’d love to congratulate myself on my patience and “true fandom” for persevering through the worst season in NFL history.

But that’s not how it happened. I didn’t remain a Lions fan out of some conscious decision to stay loyal to a team that has never done me any favors, hoping that my undying love would eventually pay off. I’m still a Lions fan because I can’t be anything else. I never even considered changing teams, because I think it is literally impossible for me to truly root for another team the way I currently root for the Lions. How could my fandom for the Lions, which is so deeply rooted in my history with the team, be transferred to another franchise with no emotional history? The disease is embedded in my brain, and any attempt to remove it may literally kill me.

So why am I a fan of the Detroit Lions? Because I didn’t have a choice and it’s far too late to change that, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Even though it isn’t the reason I remain a fan, there’s something about battling through adversity that makes being a Lions fan even more fun. It’s admittedly a bit masochistic, but when winning is so close yet so elusive, it makes every modicum of success that much more thrilling and addictive.

I may not have any control over my own fandom, but if I had any choice in the matter, I don’t think I’d change a thing.


Now it’s your time to share your story. Head over to FanPost section and write your own story about how you became a Lions fan. Share your story and you’ll be entered into a random drawing for a $500 gift card to Fanatics.com. Be sure to title your Fanpost “Why I’m a fan of the Detroit Lions” and keep your post to between 300 and 800 words. Official rules follow below.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. SB Nation Why Are You a Fan Reader Sweepstakes starts on 8:00am ET on May 25, 2017 and ends at 11:59pm ET on June 8, 2017. Open only to eligible legal residents of the United States, 18 years or older. Click here for Official Rules and complete details, including entry instructions, odds of winning, alternative method of entry, prize details and restrictions, etc. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Vox Media, Inc.