The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

For the first time in forever

The Detroit Lions win their first playoff game in 33 years and advance to the NFC Championship
Credit+to+Detroit+Free+Press
Credit to Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions have been one of the most unsuccessful football teams in the history of the NFL. The last time they won a playoff game was the 1991-1992 season, only their second win since 1957. This year is a change of pace for the team, securing their first-ever NFC North title, winning two playoff games, and going to the NFC championship for the first time since that unforgettable ‘91-’92 season. 

A large part of the Lions’ success was due to their head coach Dan Campbell. Ever since his hire in 2021, he’s received a ton of backlash for being a bad coach with little to no experience. This was a defining year for him because he proved to people what he’s capable of. Campbell already won the NFC Coach of the Year and is now a finalist for the NFL’s Coach of the Year award. Grit was a main theme for Campbell, helping him make the team into an unstoppable force. 

I have been a Lions fan my whole life. I was blessed to be born into a Detroit sports family and have stayed loyal my whole life, though it’s been hard. Watching the Lions have amazing players such as Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford yet still fail for years was one of the most heartbreaking things ever for my younger self. Still, I never switched up. My dad has been the main driving force for my loyalty to the Lions. Born in Detroit, he is the reason I am a Lions fan and he’s had it worse than me. He had to watch the Lions suck longer than me (thank god I was too young to remember the 2008, 0-16 season). 

Sports are a big thing in many families, but especially mine. I feel like being a Lions fan has not only brought me closer to my dad’s side of the family, but also to him. It’s very easy to bond over bad teams because so many conversations can be had every year; Who will we draft? Are we going to be good this year? Playoffs finally? Many of you Bears fans are probably in the same boat as me and understand where I’m coming from. Sports are a very important way to connect with my family who I don’t get to see very often because of the physical distance between us. When I’m in Detroit, the Lions are a common denominator the whole family can talk about for hours. 

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The Lions Thanksgiving Day tradition is also an important and memorable experience every year. I travel to Detroit every Thanksgiving, typically fearing the awkward discussions of my love life and school. This is easily avoidable, it just takes a “How bout them Lions!” and I start a conversation that will last a lifetime. One of the best memories with my Grandpa was going to one of the Lions vs. Bears Thanksgiving day games and I know that is a memory that will always stick with me. 

Over the weekend the Lions played in the NFC championship game. My dad and I invited a bunch of friends from the neighborhood to watch the game. The Lions had a dominant start to the game, going up 24-7 at halftime. I’ve never seen my dad so excited about a Lions game in my life, but that feeling slowly started to deteriorate as the second half started. 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk made a catch that bounced off a Lions defender’s helmet, which started the Lions epic collapse. Then after a Lions fumble, the 49ers were back in the game. In the end the Lions didn’t score a single point till the end of the 4th quarter, but by then it was too late. The 49ers won the game 34-31.

I’ve never seen my family so mad, especially my dad. The funny part of this was at half time my dad says, “Hopefully they don’t pull a Lions” almost foreshadowing the game. The Lions had a great year and I’m proud of how far they’ve come, but this game was something from the black lagoon. Either way the game brought my family closer together even causing my sister to start getting into football. My dad and I have been having conversations about it for weeks and overall it was really great for bonding. This was one of those games that I’ll even be telling my kids about in the future. Hopefully they continue to be one of the top teams in the NFL for years to come.

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Luke Gies '24, Journalism I

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