Detroit Lions Tickets
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The Detroit Lions are an American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. Originally the team was in Portsmouth, Ohio where it was called the Portsmouth Spartans. The team began play in 1929 as an independent professional team. There were many such teams in the Ohio and Scioto River valleys.
As the other area independents folded because of the Great Depression. the Spartans formally joined the NFL for the 1930 season,. Despite success within the NFL, they could not survive in Portsmouth, then the NFL's smallest city. The team was purchased and moved to Detroit for the 1934 season.
For the 1929 season, the Detroit Lions began play as the Portsmouth Spartans. They drew players from defunct independent professional and semi-pro teams in the local Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia tri-state area. By defeating the heralded Ironton Tanks twicely, the team was successful in making an immediate impact. Ironton Tanks was a nearby independent professional team who had regularly played NFL member teams since the early 1920s with considerable success.
In 1934, the Lions were welcomed by Detroit. But it was not the area's first look at professional football. The Detroit Heralds were a charter member of the American Professional Football Association in 1920 which was the original name of the present NFL, but the club folded after two years.
The Detroit Lions used to play in the University of Detroit Stadium before average crowds of 16,000 people. In only their second year(1935), the new Detroit Lions won the NFL Championship. The early Lions were successful in establishing pro football in Detroit under the leadership of Coach "Potsy" Clark and stars like Hall of Famer "Dutch" Clark, Ernie Caddel, George Christensen, "Ace" Gutowsky, Glenn Presnell and "Ox" Emerson.
The club was bought by Chicagoan Fred Mandel in 1940. Hall of Famers Bill Dudley and Alex Wojciechowicz, John Green, Byron "Whizzer" White, Frank Sinkwich and "Camp" Wilson were Lions' stars of that era.
Eight Year later, a group of local businessmen under the leadership of Edwin J. Anderson purchased the team. The Detroit syndicate controlled the club until 1964, when William Clay Ford became sole
owner for a price of $4.5 million.
1950s: The Glory Years:
In the 1950s, the greatest success was enjoyed by the Detroit Lions. Led by quarterback Bobby Layne, the league championship in 1952, 1953, and 1957 were won by them. In each of those NFL Championship Games, the Cleveland Browns were defeated by them.
In 1964, William Clay Ford, Sr. purchased a controlling interest in the team for $4.5 million. This began a 43-year period of futility that continues today, during which the Lions have won just one playoff game.
After the death of duet partner Tammi Terrell, Motown soul singer Marvin Gaye made plans to join the Lions and go into football. He gained weight and trained for his tryout in 1970, but was cut early on. He was successful in having good friendship with a number of the players.
In 1980, running back Billy Sims was drafted by the Lions with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.
The Lions made the playoffs in 1982 and 1983, winning the division in the latter season. However, Sims suffered a severe knee injury in 1984 which led to an end of his career. The team would not finish with a record above .500 for the rest of the decade.
1990s: The Barry Sanders Era
The 1990s era was dominated by "The Barry Sanders Show" in Detroit. During his first season after being drafted in 1989, Sanders unlucky to miss the NFL rushing title by 10 yards...because he chose not to go back into the game when the Lions already had the game won.
The Lions would go on to finish the season in last place again with a 5-11 record. The Lions would play solid football all season at Ford Field. But they lost all 8 road games for the 3rd season in a row. A new NFL record for road futility with 24 straight losses was established by them.
2004: The season started with a success for the Lions. By beating the Chicago Bears 20-16, they gave an end to 3 years of losing frustration. A week later, the Lions would improve to 2-0 with a win over the Houston Texans in their home opener.After a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles the Lions would win another road game stunning the Atlanta Falcons 17-10.
The Lions were successful in shutting down the Green Bay Packers in a 17-3 win at Ford Field in the start of the season. However, the Lions were badly beaten 38-6 by the Chicago Bears in Week 2 . the Lions lost 3 of their first 5 games.
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