Last week Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press printed a story about a local Lions fan that’s trying to chance the classic S.O.L. meaning from Same Old Lions to Stafford Our Leader to benefit a charity for autism. When I found out it was my pal Fredi The Pizzaman, I had to bring it to Pride of Detroit to say a few words about the benefit.
First, let me say that this is great. I, like many Lions fans, loathe the “Same Old Lions” narrative that’s constantly heaped upon every single Lions team for years. It’s a narrative that makes no sense and a poor excuse to just say that the team has been run like a candy store that only sells candy corn for the majority of its existence. Today’s Lions are nothing like old Lions and they likely never will be again.
But what’s truly big here is the benefit. As a man that has lived 32 years of my life with mental illness, anytime I see a guy like Fredi work to put together something like this, it absolutely warms my heart and truly shows that the world can be a beautiful place sometimes.
Fredi runs a successful pizza joint in Melvindale, Michigan—the pizza there is quite good, by the way. Fredi doesn’t have to do this, but after his son was diagnosed with autism a few years ago, he found a new calling: raising money to benefit those with autism.
@TonyDungy throw out the the new #sol on the Shep show.. Stafford our leader...its a new image for the lions they now deserve— #StaffordOurLeader New SOL (@FrediThePizzaMn) November 11, 2013
For Fredi, it was this tweet to Tony Dungy after the former Colts coach and Michigan native used the Same Old Lions term on TV. This tweet led to Fredi coining the new slogan over and over again. He even used it when I was on his podcast a few years back. Now it’s become this shirt.
I coined this phrase in 2013, New #SOL #StaffordOurLeader Same Ole Lions is old news! CLICK BELOW to purchase this shirt(s) & remember its 100% Tax Deductible and for the #Autism charity @PopThatTAB @Lions #OnePride #FtpmGolfOuting so many ways to give. https://t.co/vF91e9REMh pic.twitter.com/SdVWnIyO9G— #StaffordOurLeader New SOL (@FrediThePizzaMn) June 18, 2018
The shirt is taking off. Fredi has not only sold shirts all over Michigan, but he’s shipped them to California, Colorado, Oregon and even behind enemy lines in Minnesota and Illinois. The shirt has also gone international with sales to Canada as well. Fredi has raised almost $2,000 for his charity in the just the past week.
But the shirt isn’t all. Fredi is also hosting an annual golf outing on September 30 with the proceeds all going to the charity. You can participate in that by going to Fredi’s site and signing up before September 1. $100 gets you a round of golf, the cart, breakfast, lunch and drinks. Who would want to miss out on that, especially if it’s all for a good cause?
You can also help Fredi by popping the tab off your beer or pop cans and bringing them to his restaurant or out to the golf outing should you attend.
If you’d like to order one of these great shirts and help benefit those with autism get books, sensory toys and anything else that may be needed, click here.