Matt Stafford leading the Rams this Sunday is the closest that Detroit has ever been to being in a Super Bowl — and some fans are embracing that fact more than others.
A Michigan store went viral for selling “Detroit Rams” gear in honor of the 12-year Lions veteran finally making it to the big game. The shirt in the video depicts the classic Detroit Lion with a ram’s head in a creative crossover mascot that looks sort of like something out of Greek mythology (Minotaur vibes, anyone?).
Lions fans have been cheering Stafford on from the Midwest throughout the postseason, but this new gear has proven to be a more divisive subject than the former quarterback himself.
The shirt, which is being sold at Pro Sports Zone in Livonia, has garnered a lot of cringe and distaste from Lions fans who are happy for Stafford but feel that this is going a bit too far. The debates are raging on Twitter, and some feel that it’s not a big deal, while other fans are embarrassed by the implication that the Rams have any real connection to Detroit, or that the fans would need to do something like this to feel like they’re in the Super Bowl.
One can find the humor in the situation — the long-left-out Lions have a hometown guy to be proud of, and I’ve got to respect them for finding the Honolulu blue and silver lining in the situation, wherever it may present itself. While some Lions fans have posted that they’re upset about the lack of loyalty to the team these shirts seem to imply, the owner of the store told the Detroit Free Press that the shirts “are flying off the shelves.”
There are several other pieces for sale from the manufacturer alongside the shirts, including magnets, baseball caps, and postcards.
During his tenure in Detroit, Stafford led the Lions to three playoff appearances, in 2011, 2014, and 2016, but lost all three games. He was traded to the Rams in 2021.
In the pre-Super Bowl era, before the AFL and NFL merged, the Lions won four NFL championships, three of which were in the 1950s. So it’s not like the drought has lasted so long that no one alive remembers, but it’s been awhile. Detroit will at least be represented at this year’s halftime show, where Eminem will perform alongside Southern California native Snoop Dogg in what will likely be a less controversial crossover — although, I guess you never know.