Weston Corbitt, who writes the sports blog Season Tickets With Weston Corbitt, penned this piece as an entry to the AXE Hair/TLiW Writing Contest—and won third prize. Enjoy.
I was most proud of being a Lions fan after they defeated the Washington Redskins, week 3 of the 2009-2010 NFL Season. With the win, I saw the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. I felt the most pride in this moment, because after growing with the good and the bad, the Barry Sanders years and the Millen debacle, I saw improvement, I saw we found a leader, I saw we found direction.
I don't have to explain the pain and shame of the 0-16 season to Lions fans. I took it hard because how much I love and follow this team. But with this one win, the future seemed brighter for the first time since before Barry Sanders retired. Sure, the firing of the worst GM in the history of sports helped but that is putting a band aid over a hemorrhage. The real problem wasn't addressed yet.
My best friend came down for the game, and he asked me before the game if we were going to win. I said, "without a doubt, the streak will end today." I watched the game on the edge of my seat, with the Lions taking the lead later in a game than I would like to remember. The Redskins, down by 5, drove down the field, trying to the lead. I was afraid this would go like season and the Lions would come up just short again.
Campbell threw short, hit his man, and he ran up field. The lateral was thrown, and soon, the man was tackled and the game was over. I jumped up and down for minutes, screaming with joy. I sang "Gridiron Heroes" about fifty times. You could hear other people in my apartment complex going nuts too. I loved seeing the players coming out and shaking hands with the fans. I was happier than I ever have been watching the Lions. The relief, the happiness, the excitement the future held was all overwhelming. I was so proud because I was a real fan and stuck by the team I grew up with. I was rewarded for my loyalty just for a little bit that day. I went to class the next day with my brand new Calvin Johnson jersey on. I wore it with so much pride. I heard from a lot of people "congrats" or "way to hang in there" or "they really impressed me yesterday." That was the proudest moment in my life when it comes to the Lions. I will never forget that day or that game.