After rallying to beat the generally feeble Chicago Bears on Sunday, the Detroit Lions are 8-2 this season. It's the first time they've been 8-2 since 1962, which is a long time ago even considering the lackluster history of the franchise.
It was so long ago, the Ford Family did not own the Lions yet. William Clay Ford became the majority owner in 1963. His daughter, Sheila Hamp, is now of course the owner of the team. Many fans would not be shocked to know this is the first time the Lions have been 8-2 under the ownership of the Ford family.
In 1962, the Lions were just five years removed from their last championship. The first Super Bowl did not happen until after the 1966 season. The '62 Lions got to 11-2 before losing 3-0 to the Chicago Bears in the season finale. They did not make the playoffs, since only the best team in each conference played for the championship back then. The Green Packers were 13-1 (with their lone loss to the Lions on Thanksgiving).
What was the world like the last time the Detroit Lions were 8-2?
Beyond anything tied to the team, or even beyond sports, what was the world like the last time the Lions were 8-2?
In 1962, John F. Kennedy was our president. In November of 1962, he was almost exactly a year away from being tragically assassinated in Dallas.
The average price of gas was 31 cents a gallon in 1962.
"West Side Story" won the Oscar for best picture. The No. 1 film at the box office in mid-November of 1962 was the World War II epic "The Longest Day."
Johnny Carson started as host of "The Tonight Show" in 1962.
"Dr. No", the first James Bond film, was released.
The No. 1 song in America on Nov. 18, 1962? "Big Girls Don't Cry", by Frank Valli and The Four Seasons. Sorry for putting that song in your head for the rest of the day.
The Lions had two other opportunities to go 8-2 between 1962 and this year (h/t to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News). In 1993, they went into a bye with seven wins and lost three in a row after the week off on the way to 10-6. In 2014, they lost back-to-back games after starting 7-2 on they way to an 11-5 record. Both teams lost in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.
This year's Lions are doing their best to leave some rough franchise history behind, and they'll possibly be rewriting some more as it gets later and later in the season.