My name is DeQwan Young and I am one of the most loyal Lions fans on the face of this earth. I’ve been a Lions fan my entire life. I’ve sat through the Scott Mitchell era, the Joey Harrington era, and I watched Matt Millen single-handedly cripple the city of Detroit and state of Michigan with his terrible draft decisions and novice (being generous) football knowledge; that led to the economic down-turn of the once great city of Detroit (I may be being a tad bit dramatic, but in hindsight not really). I’ve seen Quarterbacks hand the ball off to James Stewart, watched Dan whatever his name is run out the back of his own endzone, and don’t make me mention the 0-16 thing. I’ve seen everything you have to offer your fan base, except something positive.
I grew up in Pontiac, MI. less than three miles from the Silverdome. One of my earliest memories as a kid was walking down Bay street to tailgate in the parking lot of the Silverdome. I played catch with my uncle and ate hot dogs while preparing to watch Barry Sanders victimize defenses. You are the reason I fell in love with football. Detroit Lions football was one of the reasons I am who I am today. The team was tough, gritty, and always were the underdogs and I loved it. From Robert Porcher, Tracey Scroggins, and one of my favorites Herman Moore; with whom I met on multiple occasions at Great Lakes Crossing and most notably at an arcade the night before the season opener vs the Atlanta Falcons in 1997 (He gave me six quarters when he left and I saved them. My mom used them to wash clothes the next week). Herman Moore actually follows me on Twitter, and as much as I like to play it off, it makes me feel like a kid again.
I’ve lived in the city of Pittsburgh for the last six years and I haven’t missed a game. I’ve been ridiculed, laughed at, and taunted for the lack of Super Bowl/playoff appearances/winning seasons in a city that is possibly considered the greatest football town with the greatest football fans in the world. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HARD IT IS TO SAY, “WE WON FOUR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS”? I’ve found minor loopholes in your obviously flawed history as counterpoints to “The Lions suck” comments I get on a weekly basis. Last season I watched you squander a guaranteed NFC North Division Championship in the final stretch of the season.
I say all of that to say this; this is your last chance. I know it’s way more important issues in the world today, I know that I seem like one of those crazy fans, I know a lot of people will see this and scoff. This isn’t just some crazy fan who takes football too seriously. This is a letter from a fan who takes pride in being from Michigan. When people say “All Detroit does is violence” or anything else negative about the city that was once the backbone of this country, i get upset. Michigan raised me to be the man I am today, and that means a lot to me. When the Lions moved to Detroit they crippled the city of Pontiac to the point where it hasn’t and probably won’t recover. Detroit is currently in despair. The bankruptcy crisis, this summer’s water crisis and a bunch of other problems loom for the city of Detroit. I’ve watched enough superhero movies to know that people cling to hope. No matter how big, no matter how small, a resurgence can come from the tiniest bit of hope. Football is just a sport. Citizens in some countries wake up and fight for their lives daily, some lack clean water, and some just fight to stay alive. This isn’t a real issue to some, but for me and the city of Detroit, your success could spark the much needed resurrection of a major american city. So with that, I will hold on to the bit of hope I still do have and cheer as the blue and silver wave. Good luck Monday, and the rest of the 2014 season
A hopeful Lions fan
Please send all “this isn’t an important issue” tweets to @Day_Qwan