GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) — Thursday night football is back, and Detroit Lion fans in Grand Rapids were pumped up about the primetime game season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
If you grew up in Michigan, you know being a Lions fan isn’t for the weak and can sometimes be, well, frustrating.
“When I was a kid, my dad had a VHS Berry Sanders highlight tape, and after every Sunday loss, I would click that in and just watch the highlights,” remembers Jake Groendal, Lions fan and retail floor manager at Reynolds & Sons.
It’s no secret that Lions fans are some of the most loyal. This year, many said they are feeling pretty good about the new season.
“We’re going to win by 7. Definite. Our quarterback is going to have at least 300 passing yards. We’re just going to upset them,” Logan Marsh said.
Putt Putt’s Bar in Grand Rapids brought back their blue Kool-Aid shots to show their support for the team.
“I would probably say we are Lions homers,” said Sheri Hoving, a fan. “Been watching since we were young, and this just seems like a really exciting year.”
“Actually, I am here for the Kool-Aid,” joked Jeremy Cook, also a fan. “Been here for the Kool-Aid for years. Yeah, go Lions.”
Ryan Sampler, manager at Putt Putt’s Bar, said he is excited for the new season and thinks the Lions will do great.
“I think the energy in Detroit is good, he said. “I think this is great for the whole State of Michigan.”
The Lions certainly had to come prepared as the Chiefs have won two Super Bowl trophies in the last three years.
Last season, the Lions had a 1-6 start, but had a mid-season turnaround, winning eight of their next ten games. They finished the season 9-8, making it their first winning record since 2017.
“As a Lions fan, you always want to see improvement, you know, the way they started last year, versus the way they ended, two completely different teams,” said Groendal. I’d love to see the Lions continue that uphill trend and I want to see a playoff win.”
The next game is September 17 against the Seattle Seahawks.