Detroit Lions fans, it’s time to hold the line.
Since 2016, this site has endlessly pushed to make the 80s pop-rock song “Africa” by Toto to become the team’s unofficial song. Our efforts have undoubtedly been a success. The Detroit Lions welcomed in the new year with Toto. They announced the hire of head coach Matt Patricia by summoning the power of Toto. And in 2018, “Africa” won every single Song of the Game poll at Ford Field during Lions home games.
It’s unofficially official: “Africa” is the Lions’ fan-chosen theme song.
But our efforts do not end here. While our endeavor never truly began with a tangible goal, as the general movement began picking up steam, it became clear there was one mountain to conquer: the Thanksgiving Day halftime show.
For long periods of time, the Thanksgiving Day halftime show has given us uninspiring talent that has caused at least 50 percent of the fanbase to google the performer. Getting Toto to play the nationally-televised event was a must.
But according to team president Rod Wood, it’s going to take a lot to drag them to Ford Field.
Speaking to the media at this week’s owners meetings, Wood said the halftime performer isn’t completely in the team’s hands.
“It is something that we negotiate with the league and the broadcast partners, because they want somebody that will draw attention, put on a good show and be something that is worthy of giving up commercial time at halftime,” Wood said per MLive.com. “The league has a list of acts that they have relationship with. We supply our own names that we kind of go through, and try to invite people we think that might accept.”
There are other hurdles, too. Getting a band to play on Thanksgiving is a tough sell, especially when the acts do not get paid for the holiday gig.
So in order to get Toto to play halftime, we must not only convince the Lions they’re worthy of the opportunity, but also the NFL, FOX or CBS, and the band themselves. That’s a lot of hurdles to clear, so does that mean Toto is a no-go?
“I didn’t say that,” Wood said.
There’s still hope.