Inside the NFL: The Detroit Lions


Bryce Ritchey

The NFL is by far America’s most popular league, and with 32 teams, its easy to find one to root for. In this article, let’s take a look at the Detroit Lions, a franchise that has had its fair share of ups and downs.


The Detroit Lions professional football team formed in 1929 as the Portsmouth Spartans of Portsmouth, Ohio. The team moved to Detroit in 1934 and were re-branded as the Detroit Lions. The Lions are members of the National Football Conference’s North Division, which includes the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. The team colors have been Honolulu Blue and Silver since their move to Detroit. They originally played at the University of Detroit Stadium, and have throughout the years played at Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silver dome, and Ford Field, their current home which opened in downtown Detroit in 2002. An annual tradition, the Lions have played on Thanksgiving Day since 1934, due to the influence of the team’s first owner George Richards, who also owned the WJR radio station.

Early On: Multiple Championships

The Lions have won four National Football League championships. They secured victory against the New York Giants in 1935, and defeated the Cleveland Browns in 1952, 1953, and 1957. The team has struggled since its last championship, only winning one playoff game since then, which occurred in 1991.

Why do the Detroit lion always play on Thanksgiving?

In 1934, owner George Richards bought the team and moved it to Detroit. The Lions, at that time, were looking for new ways to draw fans. As a marketing idea, Richards convinced NBC to broadcast a Thanksgiving game on 94 stations across the country. It worked. Every year, the Lions find themselves playing on Thanksgiving Day alonside other teams like the Cowboys and Commanders.