Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell has not been one to hide his emotions. We saw tears well up in his eyes after Detroit dropped its fifth straight game to start the 2021 season. We watched on “Hard Knocks” as every roster cut seemed to hurt him just as much as it hurt the player.
This past week, Campbell got emotional again in an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast—filmed at the Lions facility. Co-host “Big Cat” simply asked the Lions head coach to talk about football, jokingly egging him on by saying, “You can cry.”
But Campbell did indeed get a little emotional. Here was his answer verbatim:
“Here’s what I’d say about football. When I think about football, man, anybody who has been able to play this sport at any level—when you’re a kid, middle school, high school, college, you’re fortunate enough to go to the pros—to me, we owe everything to this game. And the game speaks for itself. It’s not about what this group of people have done for this game, or (what) this group of people have done for this game and how this has made this game better. The game speaks for itself, and the only thing we can do is mess it up.
“To me, don’t ever disrespect this game, because it is, in my opinion, it is the greatest sport that you can possibly plan, man. It’s a team sport, there’s blood, there’s sweat, there’s tears, and everybody’s gotta be going the same way to have success. One guy is out of the boat or he’s not rowing and it’ll mess everything up. And I just think—it’s not for everybody—but I just respect the hell out of it. To me, we owe it—as players, coaches, anybody that’s associated with it—to give it everything you’ve got, because it is an unbelievable game, man.”
Watch the sequence below. The Campbell interview starts around the 48-minute mark, and his speech on the game of football starts around the 1:16:00 mark.