Notes: Bubba Baker moved to tears after being recognized as single-season sack leader

Pride of Detroit

In Tuesday’s notes, we featured a story from Lions Wire about how Pro Football Reference updated their sack statistics all the way back through the year 1960. What makes this interesting is that sacks were not an official statistic until the year 1982, meaning PFR went back through the previous 22 years of games—scouring film, photographs, and coaches’ stats—and manually added the statistic to their history books.

That story is relevant to the Detroit Lions because defensive end Al “Bubba” Baker, drafted by Detroit in 1978, is now the unofficial single-season sack leader thanks to a ridiculous 23-sack season—in his rookie year, no less. That number eclipses Michael Strahan’s official record of 22.5 from his 2001 season.

Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon followed up on that story on Wednesday with Baker’s reaction via the “Around The NFL” podcast.

“For some reason, and I’m not kidding you, without any prompting, tears just started running down my eyes,” Baker said on the show. “And my wife was inside, I opened up the patio doors. And my wife, first thing she said was, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I said, nothing’s wrong and I said come look at this. And, you know, we hugged and then I lost about an hour and a half, two hours. My daughter called. It was really emotional for my family. I guess at 6-foot-8, 290 pounds, that doesn’t sound really tough, but, we were all crying.”

You can listen to the entire podcast here.

  • Here’s Frank Ragnow chatting it up Keven Luther, a conservation officer, about The Michigan Wildlife Council while doing his second favorite thing in the world: fishing:

*Technically, Tobin Rote was the starting quarterback at the end of the 1957 season after Layne broke his leg.

  • Dan Campbell used to sport massive shoulder pads:

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