Monday was Matthew Stafford’s 34th birthday, and to celebrate it, he did what he’s always loved to do in his 13-year NFL career: spend it answering questions for over 45 minutes. As with any Super Bowl media day, questions ranged from inane (Who would play you in your own biopic?) to uninformed (Did Tom Brady inspire your trade request?).
Of course, it was only a matter of time before Stafford’s time in Detroit came up. As we’ve seen over the past month, Stafford may be done in this city, but this city isn’t done with him. Many Detroit Lions fans are celebrating Stafford’s playoff run as their own, seeing as they became fans of the player over the past 12 years.
Former Lions players, too, have celebrated the veteran quarterback’s sudden postseason success. ESPN’s Michael Rothstein put his Detroit media hat back on, and interviewed a bunch of former teammates of Stafford who are living vicariously through him.
“I do wish we’d had done it here,” former Lions long snapper (and current coaching assistant) Don Muhlbach said. “It would have been better if we all could have done it together, but I think a lot of his old teammates are thinking the same thing I do. We’re all so happy for him.”
Back to Monday, Stafford was asked if he carries the burden of his former city with him. Is he still playing for the fans and players and coaches who watched him play at Ford Field?
“I think we all are playing for, not only the guys in this locker room, but the people that have helped us get to this position. There’s so many people in Detroit, important people in my life, that have helped me get here,” Stafford said via a virtual media session on Monday.
Included in that group is Detroit Lions ownership.
“I do appreciate, so much, just everybody’s support and I know that when I’m out there playing, whether it’s this week in the Super Bowl or any other game, I’m a representation of those experiences that I’ve had with those people. I feel like every time I step out on the field, I’m playing for not really myself, but for everybody that’s helped get me there.”
Stafford also spoke highly of Lions fans later in the interview.
Asked to describe Lions fans, Stafford said loyal, passionate, everything you want fans to be. Said Detroiters were great to his family and cared about them beyond football, but as people.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) February 7, 2022
You can read recaps of Stafford’s session over at The Detroit News or MLive. You can also watch the entire 46:35 of the media session below. Note: Stafford unknowingly drops an f-bomb in front of everybody in the first 30 seconds.
- One of Stafford’s former teammates, noted wide receiver Calvin Johnson, joined the Rich Eisen show late last week to talk about Stafford’s run:
- Moving to quarterbacks that currently play for the Lions, DetroitLions.com’s Tim Twentyman caught up with Jared Goff, who went over his offseason routine and his goals for 2022.
- MLive’s “Dungeon of Doom” podcast has a timely episode interviewing new Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson... before he was given the promotion:
- Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire has a nice, quick recap of his week down in Mobile for the Senior Bowl.
- Here’s a Barry Sanders interview, because we always get Barry Sanders interviews during Super Bowl week:
- Antwaan Randle-El made some interesting comments about Quintez Cephus and Trinity Benson while down at the Senior Bowl. More at DetroitLions.com.