The excitement and passion that came from the Detroit Lions sideline after the win over the Minnesota Vikings were wholesome. Lions quarterback Jared Goff played exceptionally throughout the majority of the game. In fact, he lead the game-winning drive to seal the deal for the Lions. While the game rejoiced around the city of Detroit and the locker room, Lions head coach Dan Campbell dedicated this win to the Oxford community after the tragedy occurred days prior.
Jared Goff throws a game winning touchdown for the Lions I had Vikings live I’m speechless 😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/LDHS0cOBO3
— Alex Monaco (@Alex__Monaco) December 5, 2021
Even after experiencing the emotional high of winning their first game of the season. Campbell has yet to miss the bigger picture. He closely drew his attention and focus on the tragic event that occurred in Michigan just days prior to the game that affect not only the state of Michigan but around the world.
“This game ball goes to the whole Oxford community and all those who were affected,” Campbell said, referencing the shooting Tuesday at nearby Oxford High School that left four teenagers dead and several others with injuries. “And that being said, man, I just … I want us to not forget these names: Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, Phoebe Arthur, Jon Asciutto, Riley Franz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossege, Aiden Watson and Molly Darnell, who’s a teacher.
“Those names for all those who will never be forgotten and they’re in our hearts and in our prayers.”
The game is bigger than football
The Lion’s most dynamic player, D’Andre Swift, wasn’t able to perform due to a shoulder injury. The Lions seemed to pay more inspired and passionate than normal. The shooting wasn’t approximately 30 miles outside of Detroit, per ESPN. The Detroit Lions honored the victims with a moment of silence before the opening kickoff. Additionally, wearing T-shirts, hats, and helmet decals in form of tribute.
“Like to me, I just … my thought was, ‘Hey man, if we can for three hours just ease their suffering a little bit, that’s worth it. That’s worth it,'” Campbell said. “And so that’s kind of how I thought of this and we just did a great job. Players, they responded, played well.”
BREAKING: The parents of two sisters who survived the Oxford High School shooting have filed two $100 million suits against the district and its officials for failing to stop the mass shooting. #mileg https://t.co/zb5NdEqsNz
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) December 9, 2021
The tragedy meant so much to the Lions, they had a team meeting Saturday before Sunday’s game emphasizing the magnitude of what they were playing for. Many of the players were so locked into football. Campbell decided to show them videos and media reports of the horrific event. The Detroit Lions later released a statement to comfort the people of Detroit and to send condolences to the people of Oxford.
“You never hope for a tragedy like this, but you hope to be a light for those people and a positive thing that they can have fun watching today,” Goff said, fighting back tears while wearing an Oxford hat. “I hope that they were all watching today and were able to enjoy that win, and we can take their minds off it for whatever it may be three hours. I think anytime we can do that, it’s a lot bigger than our sport, it’s a lot bigger than us. Today is one of those special circumstances that we were able to rise to the occasion and make something special happen.”