Did you know the African nation of Nigeria is the most populous country on that continent by far? Part of young and dynamic West Africa, it’s no surprise that such a huge talent pool turned out some of the best athletes in the world, including a number of players on the 2021 Detroit Lions.
Today was the 61st anniversary of Nigerian independence, and the special occasion was celebrated by the Lions and their players with Nigerian roots in some fun and cool ways.
Today, Nigeria celebrates 61 years of independence.— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) October 1, 2021
Among all-time @NFL players born in Nigeria, @Lions OLB @RomeoND45 ranks 3rd with 21.0-career sacks and is 4th with 5-career forced fumbles.#OnePride pic.twitter.com/cjGFKaij8f
What better way to celebrate than with great food? The Okwara family had teammates Jashon Cornell, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Amani Oruwariye, Da’shawn Hand, and Levi Onwuzurike over for a traditional Nigerian meal. In a fantastic video narrated by Melda Okwara (mother to the pass-rushing brothers), we get to see some great bonding between the guys and jokes from dad:
I feel kind of bad for Nigerian-born Jeff Okudah, who doesn’t appear in the video and presumably missed out on what looks like an amazing dinner. Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Lions-related content on the NFL Network tonight:
Catch me on “A Football Life” premiering TONIGHT (9pm ET) on NFL Network! @NFLFilms pic.twitter.com/xLpJgabwFG— Calvin Johnson Jr. (@calvinjohnsonjr) October 1, 2021
- The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner and Chris Burke dove into the tape to see how the Lions are trying to unlock D’Andre Swift’s potential (subscription required).
- Justin Rogers at the Detroit News wrote about the guy who currently holds Don Muhlbach’s old job, Scott Daly. Although the story is behind a paywall, Rogers tweeted out some really cool tidbits from the article:
Within this story:— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 1, 2021
-- Lions wanted to keep Wirtel, but he left when Lions wouldn't guarantee him the job.
-- The Rams tried to trade Wirtel back to the Lions (yes, I laughed, too)
-- Daly was re-discovered because ST coordinator Dave Fipp got an email from the player's agent.
- Over at the official team site, video went up for Dannie Rogers’ week 4 episode of her ongoing series The Sideline.
- Our fearless leader pointed out that Romeo Okwara is currently the Lions’ highest-rated defender by PFF in his On Paper preview of Sunday’s game, but the man was a beast as far back as his high school days. The team posted highlights from WAY back on their official YouTube channel, so check that out.
- We know nobody needs more reasons to love Frank Ragnow, but here’s another one anyway. In case you missed this segment from the broadcast of last week’s game, it has relevance today:
Frank Ragnow lost his father when he was just 20 years old.— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) September 30, 2021
To support children grieving the loss of loved ones, the @Lions center and @ExperienceCamps hosted them at Ford Field to hear their stories and learn about what they’ve experienced. pic.twitter.com/TTj3TyWRvo