The Detroit Lions currently play in the NFC and the North Division of the NFL. This franchise has a long history, and with it many hardships and successes. They were first established in 1930, where they started playing in the NFL and were very successful, so successful in fact that they had to move to a bigger host city. Their current headquarters are in Allen Park, Michigan, and they play their home games at Ford Field; which is in Detroit. Their team colors are Honolulu Blue, Silver, Black, and White, and are accompanied by their mascot, Roary the Lion. The Lions are known for their fight song, Gridiron Heroes, which is sung by Theo “Gridiron” Spight in order to motivate and pump the players and the fans.
Lions Brief Team History
The Lions franchise was not always located in the Detroit nor called the Lions. When they were first established as a NFL team in 1930, they were based out of Portsmouth, Ohio and were initially called the Portsmouth Spartans. Even though during this time, they were a highly successful team, they could not survive in such a small city. So they were bought and moved in 1934 to their current home in Detroit and where they finally got their name, the Detroit Lions. During their time playing pro football, they have played their home games in many stadiums along the way. They started with Universal Stadium in 1930, and have had another three different stadiums until they finally got to their present stadium, Ford Field in 2002.
Despite the Lions having an impressive start to their franchise, ever since the present owner William Clay Ford, Sr. bought the team in 1963, they were unable to win one playoff game until 1991, but haven’t been able to win one since. This was known as “The Curse of Bobby Layne”. Bobby Layne was a quarterback for the Lions until 1958 when he got injured and the Lions traded him, thinking that his career was over. As Layne left, he said that the Lions would not win for 50 years. The Lions have been unable to make it into the Super Bowl since 1957, giving them 54 seasons of drought.
Notable Lions Figures
Even though the Lions have been unable to post up big winning numbers, they have still had some very important people on their team that have made great strides for the franchise.
Past Lions Figures
Bobby Layne was the infamous quarterback that cursed the Lions as he was being traded, but before that whole controversy he was an excellent quarterback that led the Lions to many victories. He led them to win two of their three NFL Championship victories in 1952 and 1953. He was able to get the team out of a losing slump and get them back into amazing winning records. It was too bad that the Lions did not keep Layne; he would have continued to be a great asset.
Barry Sanders played as a Detroit Lions Running Back from 1989 until 1998. During his time with the Lions he did some amazing things that, even with their losing streak, would put them on the radar. He managed to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, along with being the NFL Rushing champion four times. He has set some very impressive records as well, including the Most Seasons with 1,500 or More Yards Rushing. He was a very elusive and impressive running back.
Billy Sims was another Running Back that played for the Lion from 1980 until 1984. He was also able to get Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was number 20, which after his retirement was used by Barry Sanders, making that number the greatest Triumvirate in Lions history; including defensive back Lem Barney.
Present Lions Figures
Calvin Johnson, #81 Wide Receiver of the Lions has performed exceedingly well since he was drafted to the team in 2007. He is a very consistent receiver, with the ability and skills to catch for long yards with few receptions. He is one receiver on the Lions offense that has been proving his worth every game.
Justin Durant is one of the Lions Outside Line Backers, and has exceptional skill at blocking the rushing. He, as well as other members of the Lions defense, have been playing pretty well these past few seasons and are looking much better during the 2012 season. As they improve their defense, the Lions could become a great overall football team.
Jason Hanson is the Lions official Kicker, and the reason he is a very important person is the fact that he has been constantly called upon during the past seasons, as well as the 212 season to give the Lions at least 3 points with his field goals. With the Lions offense unable to get the score, it is up to him. The 2012 season just might be his highest field goal’s kicked of his career.
Present Team Personnel
The current owner of the Detroit Lions has been since he bought the team in 1962, William Clay Ford, Sr. He was the CEO of the Ford Motor Company and business man, now he focuses mainly on his investments, primarily the Detroit Lions. Even with the setbacks and slow progress the Lions have had, Ford has stuck by the team and tried everything possible to make it succeed. The current head coach of the Lions is Jim Schwartz, and has been since 2009. He has a very good background in defensive coaching, and is one of the reasons that the Lions defense is doing so much better as the season’s progress.