Column

Mary Chapman: 'While I'm Still Ticked' About The Detroit Lions' Game 'I Don't Believe in Letting Up'

January 29, 2024, 3:43 PM

The author is an award-winning, Detroit-area journalist who writes extensively for The New York Times and other national media. This posting first appeared on her Facebook page and is being republished with permission.

By Mary Chapman


Mary Chapman

A few thoughts on the Lions:

In 2004, I  moved to a downtown Detroit loft on Woodward Avenue. Way before $4,000 monthly rents, a bounty of restaurants, and a public square often voted the nation’s very best.

Back then, I had to drive to most eateries, and heading out for night life meant tromping through a patchwork of development … and sketchiness. It was fun living down there then, but also fraught.

Two years later, Detroit hosted the Super Bowl. Steelers vs. the Seahawks. The run up was electric, and I could not believe how fast private and public efforts came together on safety and aesthetics. Suddenly, ALL the street lights were on, building facades were updated, and everything was scrubbed and spit shined. Shows what can be done when folks want to, but that’s another post.

Anyway, on that positively fah-reezing February night, I and others made it our business to be something of city ambassadors. We walked around chatting up visitors, offering directions with smiles, and generally ensuring a great time. Say Nice Things About Detroit, right, Emily Gail?

That’s what we wanted.

One thing I didn’t hear much about, though, were the Lions. The team had gone 3-13 that year, with little improvement in sight. Lions coach Dan Campbell played on it, I just now learned. I don’t even recall him.

Once or twice that night you’d hear some version of, “Maybe one day, the Lions...,” an utterance so unthinkable it was laughed off before it was finished.

Soooo, while I’m still ticked about last night’s outcome — I don’t believe in letting up — I recall the elation of just being around winners, never dreaming of it for us.

Now, everything’s changed. And anything is possible. The spirit of Detroit, so crucial to our city’s progress, will lift this team all the way up. 

I believe it.

And we demand it.

We’re imposing our will now, and a “taste” will just no longer do.

 



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