Last year, Detroit Lions fans had every reason not to show up to Ford Field. In fact, that’s exactly what a lot of fans decided to do. In 2021, Detroit had the lowest attendance of any professional sports team, averaging just 51,522 fans per game in a stadium that holds up to 65,000.
But in the final week of the season, as the team was starting to improve the product of the field, Lions fans started to show up again. The official attendance number of 56,735 for Week 18’s Lions vs. Packers game was the highest Detroit had since the season opener. Lions quarterback Jared Goff took notice.
“It’s been fun to play for a fanbase like this and to play in a place that is so passionate. Like last year, we’re two wins against the Packers in the last game of the season. The place is sold out and we win and it’s loud in the fourth quarter,” Goff said on a recent appearance on the “Breneman Shows Up” podcast, hosted by former Penn State tight end Adam Breneman.
Fullback Jason Cabinda was also on the show—having been good friends with Breneman during their Penn State days together— and he couldn’t hold back his excitement for the 2022 season and bringing a potential winner to the city of Detroit.
“And when we get to winning this year, oh my goodness, this city’s turning up,” Cabinda interrupted. “I promise. This city is going up. I mean up, like dying-for-a-winner up. I promise. I can’t wait.”
Goff has gone through this phenomenon before. He’s taken a team at its lowest and turned them around into a winner. At Cal, he went from 1-11 one year to helping the Golden Bears win their first bowl game in seven years. With the Los Angeles Rams, he went 0-7 in his rookie season and was in the Super Bowl two years later. Those moments, to Goff, are rare and special for a long-suffering fanbase.
“That flip around, (there’s) nothing like it,” Goff said. “And doing it in a place like this—with the fanbase we have, with the people who are so passionate and the city that has been wanting it for so long—I know it’s been said a million times, but actually doing it is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
You can watch the clip here, but the entire podcast is worth your time, as Goff talks about returning to normalcy after a bunch of tricky offseasons, his favorite and toughest moments of his career, and being on “Hard Knocks.”