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Detroit Lions Choose Captains, Send Strong Message: Fan Reaction

Yahoo Contributor Network

With little more than 4 days before the Detroit Lions step on the field for their first official game of the 2012 season, one final, daunting task was yet to take place. Having toiled, bled and broken more than their fair share of sweat, the members of the 2012 Lions' team had ensured themselves a place within a roster which carries the burden of improving over a previous season that finished with high hopes and agonizing defeat. As such, this season's incarnation would need strong leadership in all aspects of the game. On September 4, the members of that roster would recognize those individuals.

The collective that would be the 2012 Detroit Lions chose their season-long captains in a player-only vote. Among those chosen were players who embodied the fight, determination and work ethic that the rest of the team would do well to model themselves after, for the season's duration.

Veteran kicker Jason Hanson led the way, garnering the respect of his teammates. Hanson, the longest-tenured of the group, has been voted captain for the sixth-straight season of his 21-year career. The eldest Lion will be looked at to lead the team through all the trials and turmoil of a 16-game regular season, on and off the field.

Also making the cut as co-captain are the offensive tandem of quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Stafford, whose gritty determination has paved the way for the new-look Lions and Johnson, Stafford's "nuclear option," are the epitome of the work ethic head coach Jim Schwartz is looking to imprint on the team.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Stephen Tulloch, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and safety John Wendling were given the honor of representing the team. Vanden Bosch and Tulloch, veterans known for their hard-nosed outlook to the game, were clear favorites, while Wendling, a first-time captain, was chosen due to his never-say-die attitude and gutsy, all-out play.

As a whole, this year's captains are obvious, yet deeply telling choices. The team is looking to shed the over-achieving, "thug" persona it has been given, though likely unfairly so. They now aim to deliver a production and consistency that will lead them to the postseason for the second straight year. Judging by their choices for captains, they are well on their way.

The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.
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