Photo by Kent Lee Platte, Training Camp 2014
1. Every Single Day is a Chance to Experience Something Unique and New
It’s sentimental, I know. I can’t help it, though, I love Detroit Lions training camp. Where else could you see someone deliver a cake to Joique Bell for his birthday at the end of training camp and find him both touched and hungry enough to eat the entire cake by hand right there on the field? You hear about things like the attitude of a team, and you can witness that in camp. Under Jim Schwartz, camp was raucous with coaches like Gunther Cunningham cussing up a storm as players stormed from one drill to another with energy. Under Jim Caldwell, it was all about focus with the coaches while it was the players firing each other up. The drills were mostly the same, but how they were ran was completely different from one staff to the next and you could absolutely tell just by watching.
My daughter liked football, but wasn’t really a fan. I took her to training camp in 2013 because she had watched a Kickaliscous video and was excited to see him put on a show. She sat with a group of kids underneath the goal posts, just behind the nets. As the punters and kickers did their thing, the footballs would slide down the nets and the kids would try to catch them through the net. On one kick by Havard Rugland, my daughter managed to snag the ball as it came down and she was overjoyed, laughing excitedly. One of the staff members, doing their job, came over and tried to get all the kids to move back (Probably for their safety, you know), and he took the ball away. She was devastated. Sam Martin, who was a rookie then, was throwing the balls back to the kickers at this time and he looked right at my daughter and told her not to worry, she’d get a signed one later. He was good on his word. Sure, it was one of those cheapo ones they sold at the tents, but it was hers and he signed it for her to make her feel better. I don’t have a good story for how I became a Detroit Lions fan. My daughter? She became a fan at Detroit Lions training camp, when a player she didn’t even know did something small but special just for her and gained a fan for life.
What about you, Lions fans? Do you have any interesting or funny stories from your experiences at Detroit Lions training camp? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter @Mathbomb or on Facebook at Sidelion Report!