Perhaps the most prolific phrase in the entire state of Michigan in December is “Same Old Lions.” The slogan has become so pervasive for Detroit Lions fandom that it can be used in just about any situation for the pessimists among the fanbase. The Lions mounted a comeback and lost on a last-second field goal. Same Old Lions. The Lions got blown out. Same Old Lions. The Lions didn’t get aggressive enough in the draft or failed to take on calculated risks in free agency. Same Old Lions. The Lions traded up and grabbed a receiver coming off an injury. Same Old Lions.
Unsurprisingly, currently, Lions head coach Dan Campbell is well aware of the phrase and embraces it fully. In an interview with Pro Football Talk’s Peter King, Campbell noted how he and the rest of the team are actually motivated by the term.
“Every time we hear the S-O-L, ‘Same Old Lions,’ and all the stuff, I think it fuels our fire,” Campbell said. “We love it. I think that’s how we all feel. That’s how we all talk. That’s how we all think. There’s nothing fake about it.”
Campbell also expressed a strong level of optimism for the team, comparing their situation to racehorse Rich Strike. You may remember back in May that Rich Strike won the Kentucky Derby at the second-longest odds in race history (80-1). It wasn’t just about being an underdog to Campbell, but the way in which Rich Strike won the race, who was behind at least a dozen other horses entering the final stretch.
“One of the most inspiring things I’ve seen in a long time,” Campbell said. “It was impressive. It was beautiful. I just think I’ve got guys like Rich Strike.”
You can read the entire feature by King over at his Football Morning in America piece.