The Detroit Lions and the Back To The Future Charm


I’m a nerd. I’ve never felt bad about that and I never will. If you didn’t know already, today is a very special day for nerds everywhere. Today is Back To The Future Day. In 1989 Robert Zemeckis teamed back up with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd to bring us the second installment of the Back To The Future trilogy. In that film, Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to the future to save Marty’s kids. The exact date they traveled to was October 21st, 2015. Which of course is today.

Because I spend entirely too much time looking at stats and fact-finding, I decided to see if there was any positive correlation to Marty McFly’s travels and the Detroit Lions. What I found was quite interesting. Lets take a look.


It was October 26th when Marty met Doc Brown at the Twin Pines mall in Hill Valley, California. That night the DeLorean was unveiled and Einstein the dog became the worlds first time traveler. Everything was going swell until some Libyan terrorists showed up and forced Marty to hop in the DeLorean and gun it 88-MPH. If Marty would have stuck around for an extra day, he would have seen the Detroit Lions beat the Miami Dolphins 31-21 at the Pontiac Silverdome. It was a decent game or so it looks. I was born 18 days later and missed this game. Eric Hipple went 14-19 for 239 yards and three touchdowns and James Jones rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries. The Lions defense was even able to pick of a young rookie quarterback by the name of Dan Marino twice.

Of course Dan went on to have one of the greatest statistical seasons in NFL history and led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl, where they lost, and the Lions finished the year at 7-9 and missed the playoffs. The fun doesn’t stop there though.


The day Marty got to 1955, which was a red-letter date in history if you didn’t know, The Lions had another big win. While Marty was trying to escape gunshots from Old Man Peabody and his pines, Bobby Layne and the Detroit Lions were getting ready to snap a six game losing streak against the Baltimore Colts later that day. Stats for this game are pretty hard to find. But I can tell you that former Heisman Trophy winner and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Doak Walker ruled the day. Walker scampered for a six yard touchdown to give the Lions a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter.

Walker would take another hand off at the one yard line to put the Lions out of reach for a final score of 24-14. Oh yeah, Walker also kicked a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter as well as all the teams PAT’s. The NCAA would eventually create the Doak Walker award given to the best running back in the country every year since.


What does this segment of Marty McFly’s travels have in store for the Detroit Lions? We will have to wait till this Sunday to find out when the Lions host the Minnesota Vikings. Interesting enough, the Vikings have never won a game during Marty McFly’s travels. To be fair, they didn’t exist till 1961. They did lose their 1985 game though.

If you’re curious, the Bears won both their 1985 and 1955 game and the Packers lost both of theirs.

Mike Payton is an Editor at SideLion Report. He is from Holland, Michigan by way of Warren, Michigan. He considers himself to be obsessed with the Detroit Lions. Mike’s work has been featured on ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio and Mike is also a weekly contributor on It is what is with Sean Baligian on ESPN 96.1 and a contributor for The Holland Sentinel. Follow Mike Payton on Twitter@SLR_Mike

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