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Welcome to the Pride: Erik Schlitt

Get to know Pride of Detroit’s newest managing editor

Like many other Lions fans, my love for the Detroit Lions organization began with the greatness of Barry Sanders. Coming out of Oklahoma State, Sanders had a plethora of accolades and his college career was capped with the Heisman Trophy. When the Lions drafted him third overall in the 1989 NFL draft, they reeled me in hook, line, and sinker.

While Sanders was the catalyst for my fandom, it was Rodney Peete, another Lions rookie from that draft class, who started me on the path towards my writing career. The runner up to Sanders for the Heisman Trophy, Peete ended up being a sixth-round draft pick, and my curiosity was peaked: Why did the second-best player in college football get drafted 138 picks after Sanders?

I casually began examining the differences between the professional and college game, then transitioned into learning about how NFL organizations operated, studying everything from the rule book to the salary cap, and found the mechanics behind roster construction to be fascinating.

In the early 2000’s I started writing newsletters for my friends, mostly focused on how the Lions could get better. I hosted NFL draft parties, built draft boards on blank walls in my apartment, and saw what was once just a hobby, evolve into a borderline obsession.

By 2015, my wife Laura suggested I expand my hobby into writing online, so I wrote an article explaining the value of keeping Zach Zenner on the 53-man roster and submitted it to a few Lions-based blogs. I was fortunate to get an opportunity to write at Detroit Jock City, where I cut my teeth on how to write for an online audience.

My goal was, and still is, to write articles that I was interested in reading and do my best to explain them in a digestible format. Over the next year and a half, I met and interacted with several other writers—including several who currently write at Pride of Detroit—and found my voice as a writer.

In January of 2017, I started my own podcast, the Detroit Lions Breakdown podcast with my longtime friend Joe Kania, and less than a month later I accepted a writing position at USA Today’s Lions Wire. Another year and a half later, I was promoted to editor and earned media credentials with the Lions organization. After spending the last few years with Lions Wire, I saw an opportunity to expand my career with Pride of Detroit as a managing editor and decided to make the move.

Along with the terrific staff at Pride of Detroit, I plan on continuing to produce the same types of articles I have written over the last half-decade, as well as expanding the site's coverage of the Lions to provide fans with an elevated reading/listening/viewing experience.

For more on my role here and what I plan to bring to the site, I had a quick chat with Pride of Detroit Editor in Chief Jeremy Reisman: