Former Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is finally a Super Bowl champion. After 12 seasons of heartbreak in the Motor City, Stafford was finally able to take his new team, the Los Angeles Rams, all the way.
When it was announced after the 2020 NFL season that the Lions and Rams would be trading quarterbacks, it was clear that Lions fans were upset to see Stafford go, but had a deep respect for what he had done for the team and the city and that respect followed him all the way to Los Angeles.
Those of us who cheered him on all these years just couldn’t stop wanting him to succeed. With the Lions long out of the playoff picture, Michiganders rallied around Stafford and started living vicariously through his success. Although he was no longer wearing the Honolulu blue, he was still a Lion in our hearts.
Being a third generation Lions fan, I’ve heard over 50 years worth of complaints against the organization and how the leadership continually makes the worst possible decisions for the team. Although at times the team had star studded lineups, the Lions have never made a Super Bowl appearance and haven’t won a playoff game since 1991.
In the mound of complaints from frustrated fans, very few were usually directed towards Stafford and the few that were usually came with sympathy towards him and other Lions stars like Calvin Johnson and Barry Sanders who had to carry the team on their back to no avail. Despite the love-hate relationship fans have with the organization, it’s been all love for Stafford and even though it wasn’t going to be with the Lions, we wanted him to get his ring.
Although he moved to the other side of the country, Stafford made sure to bring his knack for fourth quarter theatrics to his new team. Throughout the playoffs we watched him recreate iconic Lions comebacks, but this time on a bigger stage and the biggest possible stage, the Super Bowl. As dumb as it sounds, it felt as if it was a nod to his former team and the fans that supported him for the first 12 seasons of his career.
Whether it be in my lifetime or not, I truly believe that one day the Lions will make it to the Super Bowl. Sit tight, our day will come, but until it does, it’s okay to be happy for Stafford. I know I am. Of course, I would have rather seen Stafford win the Super Bowl with the Lions, but a player of his talent deserved a chance to play for an organization that would properly utilize his abilities and give him a chance to play for a ring.
Congratulations Matthew Stafford; you’re a Super Bowl champ. Lions fans are proud of you and the work you’ve done. We’re happy that you’ve found success, but if you ever decide to come back and lead the Lions to their first Super Bowl in franchise history, we’ll welcome you back with open arms.
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