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As much as I love the games, the draft, and other aspects of the Detroit Lions that we can enjoy during the season, there isn’t anything I enjoy more than attending Detroit Lions training camp. You get to interact with the players in a way that you just don’t get to during games. It’s more than trying for an autograph or three when practice ends, or just seeing them up close, it’s a whole world that isn’t readily available on your television sets or keyboards. I recommend it more and more each year, and if you’re within 100 miles of Detroit and a fan you should absolutely try to go at least once in your lifetime. I won’t be able to do it justice, but here are five reasons Detroit Lions Training Camp is worth your time.
5. Sifting Through the Noise
Writing for the Detroit Lions is a passion of mine, but I don’t get paid. There are folks that do, though, and for the most part I respect their work. There is part of that job that requires some…fanciful liberties. Good stories are more important to people who write for the teams than the bare bones competitions in camp. Sometimes it works out for both, like in the case of Joique Bell who came into camp a local hero just looking for a shot and ended up starting for his hometown team. Other times, they become fan favorites because they made a youtube video, or media favorites because they’re really nice guys, but end up on the street anyway. Going to training camp yourself, you get the opportunity to sift through the noise and watch the stories you’re truly interested in.
One great example of this happened last season. The first few days of camp it was being reported that Andrew Peacock was tearing up training camp, and hadn’t had a single drop. Now, again, I respect all of the Lions beat writers (Except THAT one), but sometimes they bend the truth for the sake of the story. On the day they were reporting on Peacock’s awesome day in camp (And his small school, UDFA, underdog status), Peacock dropped four passes. And not like little drops, either, but awful, obvious ones. Some fan in the end zone was calling him “Chicken” every time he ran a route and, silly though it was, he looked rattled. Peacock started training camp in my bottom 5, and after those 5 drops ended up soundly as the 90th player on the roster. As camp wore on, however, he got better and better. He dropped fewer passes and looked more and more confident. He flashed in the preseason and you could really see the improvement as he grew. The outcome was the same as the beat writer predicted, with Peacock landing on the practice squad, but if I hadn’t gone to training camp, the story would have ended there. It’s interesting to me because…
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