Fans are preparing for the return of the NFL as the Detroit Lions season passes sell out for the first time since the team has been playing at Ford Field.
“This is the year I mean, the excitement, the everything about [the Lions],” said life-long fan Roland Thibert.
Despite being a fan for years, this is the first time the Windsorite bought season tickets.
“Excitement is there and everybody’s hopping on board. We were just lucky to get in a little bit earlier than most. I mean, we would talk about it for years, but I couldn’t justify it,” he told CBC Windsor.
He said the team’s energy this year is different.
“Now, it’s a team. It’s a group and I truthfully believe there’s something special going on,” he said.
Thibert is also excited to see where the Lions’ coach Dan Campbell takes the team this year.
“Campbell’s everything to that team. He personifies Detroit,” he said.
Campbell was named head coach for the Lions on January 2021.
Dominic Papa, a longtime Lions season ticket holder, also thinks Campbell’s addition, as well as Brad Holmes, the team’s general manager, has made people’s interest in the Lions increase.
“They brought excitement back, the stability seems to be there. They just seem to really do their homework,” he said.
Even though Papa said he’s more of a Vikings fan, he said he enjoys a “good NFL game.”
“There’s not a game that we don’t go to at Ford Field where we don’t run into somebody from Windsor. I’ve seen our former mayor there Eddie Francis,” he said.
“They love this team.”
‘We’re gonna party like it’s 1999’
Thibert is confident the Lions will not only be at the Super Bowl soon, but win it, making Windsor the “hottest place on the planet.”
“It’s not going to be this year and it probably won’t be next year, but we’re in it to win it,” he said.
“This is a long term investment and that’s why we got the season tickets now to be part of that ride.”
Looking back at the Lions history, many moments have cut deep in Thibert’s memory.
“The biggest [letdown] has to be Eddie Murray missing the kick in the playoffs, losing to San Francisco and San Francisco going on to win the Super Bowl,” he said.
The Lions are set to kick off the regular season at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 7.
“We’re getting together, we’re gonna party like it’s 1999,” said Thibert.