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Welcome to the Pride: Introducing 5 new members of the Pride of Detroit team

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We’re expanding and improving!

Pride of Detroit is expanding! This year, we are welcoming five new contributors to the site. Their backgrounds come from all over the place and their roles will vary from moderator to social media manager.

This year, we had a record number of people apply and the talent pool was, to be quite honest, overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who applied and I’m sorry I could only hire a very small percentage of you. Also, a huge help goes out to SB Nation’s Jeanna Thomas, who was an enormous help in finding the 2018 Pride of Detroit Class.

So without further ado, here are the five new members of the Pride of Detroit family, and their own introductions.

Mansur Shaheen - Deputy Manager

Hello everyone. I am Mansur Shaheen, the new Deputy Manager here at the Pride of Detroit.

Two years ago, I was some random guy with a Twitter account who started a blog because I was bored and wanted to write stuff somewhere. I registered BirdBreakdowns.com at 3 a.m. in the small basement right off campus that I used to live in. It took me around three YouTube tutorials to learn how to get a WordPress website up and running and the next morning had an article up about how the Bengals trashed the Jets the previous Sunday. Going back and reading the article again I really had no idea what I was talking about at the time. I kept going, though, and as the website slowly grew I learned a lot about football and became a much better writer.

The past couple of years have been amazing and this community has played a huge role in that. I eventually wrote for SBNation.com (the mothership), SideLion Report and The Lions Wire, where I had an opportunity to meet and interact with many of you guys via twitter. I got to know some of the staff here and even had the honor of appearing on the PODcast last Spring. It’s been incredible, and almost unbelievable, how many amazing people I’ve had a chance to interact with ever since I had the spur of the moment idea to start a blog.

I am so excited to join the team here at the Pride of Detroit and get to know even more of you guys. I’m always active on Twitter and if you ever want to know more about me or just start up a conversation feel free to tweet at @MansurShaheen. The NFL is almost back and this season should be more fun than ever.

Kellie Rowe - Writer/contributor

Let’s get a few things out of the way.

1.) Lafayette > American.

2.) Pineapple does not belong on pizza.

3.) It’s GIF as in get out if you can actually argue otherwise and still look at yourself in the mirror.

Ok, sweet. Moving on. Hi, I’m Kellie. I’ve been in the media game since I was zit-faced reporting on the sidelines of my high school football team (Go Cards) and my love for it grows each day.

I graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Journalism, and previously worked for USA Today, FOX 47, ABC 12, and the Capitol as a political nerd in Lansing. Now you can catch me over at FOX 2 Detroit.

Aside from sports, my interests include things like dogs, food, Twitter, Always Sunny, the circle game, traveling, Taco Bell, and gaming with an emphasis on late 90s systems (12-year-old boy’s interests.)

I live downtown Detroit so during my free time I’m usually derping around there, trying new restaurants and keeping the bars in business. If you’re ever in the D, let me know if you need any recommendations.

The Lions have always been close to my heart—and particularly this steadfast fan base. The team almost poetically befits a city that has weathered the storm for decades. As outsiders continue to sneer at the Motor City plagued by its reputation, the Lions face the same skepticism. But as the city rebuilds and prospers, the Lions too will rise from the ashes. (braveheartwarscreech.gif) But seriously. While there’s plenty to critique and titles left to win, I love this fan base and this team that continues to fight.

I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity and look forward to getting to know the readers. You guys and gals are the best part.

Let’s get to work.

Hamza Baccouche - Writer

I‘m Hamza, I’m a student at the University of Michigan planning to study information science. I love college football, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely prefer the NFL. That doesn’t usually go over well with the folks on campus. Having grown up in Ann Arbor, however, I still have a strong allegiance to Michigan Athletics in football and every other sport.

I’ve been a Detroit Lions fan since I was eight or nine years old. It all started when I began to pity the Lions during the 0-16 season. I went to my first game the following year—an overtime loss to the Jets that I still remember quite vividly—and have just fallen in love with the game of football since then. I played two years of high school football in which I bounced around several different positions. In college I still spend a lot of my free time playing football, whether it’s pickup scrimmages, punting across parking lots, or embarrassing my Madden challengers.

Some interesting football-related things about me: I’ve cried of joy twice in my life, one of those two times was when Shaun Hill hit Titus Young Sr. on a Hail Mary to send the Lions to overtime against the Tennessee Titans. In the first round of our intramural flag football playoffs this year, I caught five touchdowns. This past winter was particularly brutal, so I spent the time in which I was confined to the indoors learning to long snap in the hallway of my dorm. That involved lots of trial and error, but luckily my neighbor was an engineering student and repeatedly fixed the EXIT sign that my errant snaps damaged.

Prior to joining the Pride of Detroit team, I wrote for Last Word on Sports (LWOS) and Fansided’s SideLion Report. For more of my thoughts, follow me on twitter @hamzabacc.

John Whiticar - Social media manager

Hello readers!

My name is John Whiticar (@Wrath_of_John on Twitter) and I am very excited to join the Pride of Detroit staff!

I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and I am currently attending the University of British Columbia (UBC) for engineering. As someone with no ties to the state of Michigan, you might be wondering how I became a Detroit Lions fan. I wrote an article about why I’m a fan during an SB Nation contest, but the short version is that I’m also an avid BC Lions fan, and my love of football slowly evolved to include the NFL—the full article can be found here.

Outside of football, I’m a fan of the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Blue Jays. Esports are also a big part of my fandom. I love the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene and I’ve watched every match of every Major since 2014, among other large tournaments. Rocket League is another esport I follow, though not as religiously as CS:GO. I’m always keen to discuss things like film, music, and food; additionally, cheesecake is a pie, hot dogs aren’t sandwiches, and mozzarella sticks are good.

My goal for Pride of Detroit is to bolster the site’s social media and provide a fresh and friendly voice for the community. Memes are a great way to connect with people and grow your following, so I plan to invest a lot of time into these. Furthermore, we’ll look into more ways for you, the readers, to participate in the community. We want Pride of Detroit to be positive, informative, and engaging hub for Lions fan worldwide.

Levi Blue - Moderator

I was born and raised in Michigan and am now a transplant living in West Los Angeles. My favorite movie is True Romance, my lucky number is 24, and I love everything about the 90s. Things I don’t like include every other team in the NFC North, mushrooms and the events of the Montreal Screwjob.

I happily blame my dad for making me a mega fan of a team that seems doomed every year, and although I now live in California, I’ll always remain a die-hard Lions fan. I loved the Silverdome, I watched every heartbreaking game in 2008, and I’m counting on my newly-purchased Lions slippers to bring us good luck. Speaking of luck, I’d also like to mention that the Lions are undefeated since my daughter was born (1-0). She may be the good luck we need to lead us to the ship this season.

My favorite players are Barry, Big Play Slay, Robert Porcher and the best damn kicker ever, Jason Hanson. This is our year! Go Lions!

Welcome to the team, everyone! It’s going to be an amazing year at Pride of Detroit. And, don’t worry, no one else on the staff is going anywhere. We’re just building and expanding to new heights!