Matthew Stafford at 40,000: 40 memorable moments (Part One)

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

The first 10,000 (Apr. 2009 to Nov. 2012)

1. Stafford can’t wait to sign (Apr. 24, 2009)

While Stafford was officially drafted by the Lions on April 25th, there was very little drama on the stage of the Radio City Music Hall when the number one pick was announced. After all, the deal was already finished the night before the draft.

With a late night phone call from agent Tom Condon, followed by calls from (former) team president Tom Lewand and (former) head coach Jim Schwartz shortly after, Matthew Stafford was a Detroit Lion. Stafford couldn’t have possibly known what he was getting himself into, but he was game from even before day one.

2. “Game over, losing streak over, NIGHTMARE over!!” (Sept. 27, 2009)

Lions broadcaster Dan Miller said it perfectly as Ladell Betts of the Redskins was finally tackled around the Lions’ 20 yard line. With a 19-14 win in front of two-thirds the Ford Field capacity, Stafford picked up his first win in Detroit, and the Lions ended that hellish 19 game losing streak.

3. Mic’d up vs the Cleveland Browns (Nov. 22, 2009)

This video is my first and final answer to anyone who questions what Matthew Stafford means to the Detroit Lions. Ten years later, the memory of listening to the radio (the game was blacked out) through those endless final eight seconds, the injury, Stafford’s grit, and the untimed down to beat Cleveland is still an all-time favorite Lions moment, and the first launching point of Stafford’s rise to a true Detroit sports icon.