Nothing says Michigan like football in the fall.
As a Detroit Lions fan since the age of 5, there is no better season than football season. I remember as a child going into the Pontiac Silverdome and chanting “Barry! Barry!” That’s when I learned what it meant to be a Lions fan.
It might be an emotional roller coaster watching the Lions play, but, boy, have I enjoyed the ride. Starting off the day tailgating at Eastern Market with my family and friends, singing “Forward down the field” after every touchdown, seeing the mascot Rory, and high-fiving the people that sit next to me (that I don’t even know), are some of my favorite memories.
But this year will be different.
There will be no high fives, we won’t be sitting next to other fans, and Ford Field will not be tremendously loud. I remember the Monday night game against the Chicago Bears where the fans were so loud, the Bears could not hear their quarterback Jay Cutler. (Now that’s some Detroit pride!)
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Unfortunately, It will not be like that this year. The Lions defensive line will not be able to look at the fans and raise their hands for everyone to stand and make noise and “pump them up.” It will definitely be interesting to see how the lack of fans affects how they play during home games.
What I’m going to miss the most is the annual Thanksgiving Day game. It is safe to say it is a welcomed tradition, especially after being a season ticket holder for over 20 years.
The day always starts off with meeting my family in southwest Detroit at El Ranchos, where we eat Mexican food and drink Mexican hot chocolate. Then we head to Eastern Market, where we toss the ol’ pigskin around, dance to live DJs, and smell all of the grilling that people are doing. The sheds are filled with cars and people and everyone is welcome to join in on anyone’s tailgate party. There, everyone is family!
Then we all go to the parade where we see the clowns on motorcycles, Captain Underpants, as well as other cool floats. Then, we head into the game. The vibe is like no other and that’s why Thanksgiving is my favorite day; we have been so lucky to have that game.
There are still a lot of unknowns about what the stadium will be like this year. We have heard very little from the Lions organization, but that is OK because everyone’s still getting acquainted with this pandemic lifestyle. We don’t know if the concessions are going to be open or if the stores within the dome will open. Fans don’t know what seat they will be sitting in, because season ticket holders are not guaranteed their seat this year.
It’s going to be weird not seeing blue and silver in the streets of downtown Detroit. Or buses of people rolling up to Ford Field. We saw this summer that Detroit was not as “happening” like it has been in previous years. I missed the sound of people cheering during baseball games at Comerica Park. And my dog Mocha missed her favorite event, “Bark in the Park.” I missed getting a ballpark frank and watching America’s favorite pastime.
Sports is just not the same.
With that being said, I hope next year will be the best year. I hope that people will appreciate things like going to a sporting events and supporting their favorite teams. This pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, and I hope we can go back to normal soon.
Makelle Barski is a 29-year-old dosimetrist from Trenton. She has been attending Lions football games since she was 5 years old.