After being hit with a scary and unexpected challenge for this offseason, the Detroit Lions quarterback and his family deserve our support more than ever.
As she announced via Instagram last week, Kelly Stafford, wife of the longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. She’s asking for prayers and support as she prepares to get it treated, which is the absolute least we as fans can do to help lift up the franchise QB.
The good news is that under the medical definition of the word, Kelly’s tumor is benign and operable. Using the other dictionary definitions though, I don’t think any type of brain surgery can ever be considered benign. According to the family, her surgery will take place sometime in the next few weeks, which will be an enormously stressful time for them.
Drafted by the Lions exactly ten years ago this month, Matthew Stafford not only arrived at the franchise in its darkest moment, but arrived right at the city of Detroit’s darkest moments as well, in the thick of the national recession, one that somehow affected Detroit even more than the rest of the country.
Over the years, through three playoff appearances, every franchise passing record, and a long-term contract extension, he’s proven time and again that he’s here for the long haul. Stafford is undeniably the greatest Lions quarterback of at least the last 50 years. And even if he wasn’t, he deserves our full support on this.
From day one, Matthew embraced the organization and the city at a time when very few others were willing to do so, which has continued to this day. At the end of the 2018 season, Stafford’s efforts within the community made him the Lions’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.
For a guy born and raised in Texas, who then went to college in Georgia, Stafford quickly became a true Michigander (to the point that it makes me a little ashamed of leaving the state after graduating college, even during the time of the decimated economy), and is now about to begin his 11th year as one. And even if he hadn’t, now is a time to rally behind him.
Last season, of course, it was disappointing when Stafford made some bad throws and was careless with the ball. That does nothing to diminish all the positives that he’s brought to the team in his 131 consecutive starts as Lions quarterback. I fully expect him to come back strong with a stellar year in 2019. And even if he doesn’t, and throws like in the Seattle and Chicago games cause you to put an axe through your TV, that doesn’t matter at the moment.
Over the past decade, Stafford’s achievements on the field and for the city of Detroit already make him worthy of legendary status as a Motown sports figure … even if the Lombardi Trophy never arrives, and only making the playoffs is the best he can do.
Facing this difficult trial in his family’s life, Matthew Stafford deserves legendary support from this fan community … even if only offering our prayers and well-wishes is the best we can do.