Steve takes a look at the storied history of the Lions, including their 4 NFL Championships and their origin in Portsmouth, Ohio.
The Lion’s formed their franchise in Portsmouth, Ohio in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans. The Spartans, although only a team for about 4 seasons, have a couple of moments that became legend in the NFL history books.
The Portsmouth Spartans were the winners of the legendary “iron-man” game against the Green Bay Packers, where Portsmouth’s coach refused to substitute his players and the same 11 men played every play both offense and defense.
The Portsmouth Spartans were also the first team to play in a NFL playoff game when they tied for division champions with the Chicago Bears. And in typical, Lions franchise fashion, they lost the game.
But after moving to Detroit in 1934, the franchise dawned the name of The Lions and for the next 20+ years, they were a dominate force in the NFL. The Lions won 4 NFL championships in 1935, ’52, ’53 and ’57 before the inaugural Super Bowl in 1966. Check out a clip from their 1953 win below.
Sadly after the “golden era” of Lions football in the 1950s, the Lions have only won a single playoff game in the last 60 years and are one of only 4 teams to have never played in the Super Bowl.
That doesn’t mean that Lions fans don’t have anything to cheer about though. The Lions have seen some of the best players at their positions throughout their history. Barry Sanders is considered to be one of the greatest running backs of all time, Calvin Johnson one of the best receivers, Jason Hanson, one of the best kickers to have ever played the game, and Matthew Stafford could be looked at as one of the best comeback QBs in the history of the NFL.
Now all we need is for Stafford to take the Lions to a Super Bowl, or if we are being more realistic, perhaps he just needs to give us a playoff win. If he does that, he’ll probably go down as the greatest Lions QB in the modern era (if he isn’t already).