Matthew Stafford just won the Super Bowl in one of the biggest cities in the world for a team located in that city. Those outside of Los Angeles lob constant accusations to those inside Los Angeles that the city changes them. While that certainly might be true for some, it is definitively untrue for Stafford who poured out heartfelt thanks to fans in Michigan for their continued support.
Matthew Stafford Gives Thanks to Detroit; Detroit Fans Give it Back
Matthew Stafford shouting out Lions fans after winning Super Bowl 56 ❤️🥺 pic.twitter.com/5tYDm2bVD1
— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) February 14, 2022
The suffering which both Matthew Stafford and Detroit Lions fans faced over the past decade is excruciating. Few teams lose as annually as the Lions, and one of their partners in sports’ misery, played in the Super Bowl on Sunday. While the Lions are rebuilding with great potential under Dan Campbell, there remains a sore spot for everything not accomplished while Stafford was in Detroit. Stafford’s victory on Sunday reminded such fans of those years. However, not all those memories are bitter. Several memories can only be described as awesome, specifically those in which Stafford executed his patented comeback.
Yet, it also brought a moment of celebration for fans who see beyond the immediate field. Losing might bring about such perspective; that the game can be fun and gives plenty to cheer for when the final score seems all but inevitable before a match. (Ask Seattle Mariners fans, whose fans suffer in the same hole the Lions fills, just in the MLB). Stafford is one of those players, and should remain for years to come. His family has donated to the city and quietly have become philanthropists in Michigan. Fans stuck to him on the field when Detroit Media began ramping up an anti-Stafford clique. Fans also supported him off the field as Kelly Stafford – Matthew’s wife – endured, survived, and recovered from a 12-hour surgery to remove a brain tumour.
Matthew stated following the game, “To have that support all the way across the country here playing in this game means the world to me and my wife. They helped us through a bunch of tough times and are a huge reason why I’m sitting here today.” He could have forgotten Detroit – many athletes forget the cities they loveably lost in – and instead talked about the glamour of Los Angeles. Yet, he focused on Detroit, gave the city air-time, and poured out his thanks.
Detroit fans should be equally thankful. Stafford worked as a relentless leader, a comeback-enthusiast, a stalwart icon, and a defeater of the Green Bay Packers. Professional sports remains a business, and the trade to Los Angeles made business sense; and now makes more sense for Los Angeles. Soon, Detroit could be a winning team in the playoffs thanks to picks received in the Stafford trade. These years, despite the losing, have been insufferable and exhausting. Yet, Stafford left memorable games and gave the city hope and a reason to watch games every weekend. Watching Stafford break the hearts of a team gloating with a fourth-quarter lead will become nostalgic. And being thankful for Stafford’s work and heart for the city will make the winning years to come all the more joyful.