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Detroit Lions NFL Team Profile

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From 1929-1933, the Detroit Lions were once known as the Portsmouth Spartans, based in Portsmouth, Ohio. In '34, faced with financial difficulties brought on by the Great Depression, the team was purchased and moved to Detroit, Michigan.

Today, the Lions have built a persona that is relevant to football fans, even if that persona is rather infamous at this point. Other that the clean-cut tandem of quarterback Matthew Stafford and wideout Calvin Johnson, the Lions have been protrayed (rightfully so) as the "immature/bad boy" team in the league.

But it wasn't too long ago that the Lions were known as one of the worst teams of the Super Bowl era, a period that included a 2008 season that saw the team lose all 16 of its games in the NFL. This profile is meant to be a capsule into what the Detroit Lions have been and where the franchise is now.

NFL Championships: The Lions won four titles (1935, 1952, 1953, 1957) prior to the Super Bowl era that began in 1967.

Retired Numbers: Bobby Lane (22), Doak Walker (37), Barry Sanders (20), Chuck Hughes, Joe Schmidt (56), Dutch Clark (7)

Most recognized franchise player: Barry Sanders, four-time NFL rushing champion, 10-time Pro Bowl recipient, rated No. 1 Most Elusive Running Back of All Time by

Playoff Appearances:

Detroit has has a total of 15 postseason appearances. Ten of those were in the Super Bowl era.

Historical Rivals:

Green Bay Packers, Chicago, Minnesota


From 1975-2001, the Lions played in the Pontiac Silverdome. The Lions play in Downtown Detroit in an arena called Ford Field. In addition to being a beautiful facility, it can seat up to 70,000 people. It played host to Super Bowl XL and WWE Wrestlemania in 2007.

Notable players in 2012: Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, Ndamunkong Suh, Titus Young

Notable Games in 2012:

- at San Francisco (Sept. 16): After last year's game in Detroit, coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers and Detroit's Jim Schwartz got into a verbal altercation that involved players amazingly acting as peacemakers. Who knows what will happen this time?

- at Chicago (Oct. 22):

With the addition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, the Bears will have a new look on offense that the Lions better know how do deal with.

- vs. Green Bay (Nov. 18):

Despite a Super Bowl championship, I feel that quarterback Aaron Rogers is slightly overrated. The Packers have great receivers and a really, really good coach in Mike McCarthy. Still, Green Bay always gives the Lions fits. This game will prove whether or not the Lions can take the next step.

Sources:,, and Yahoo! Sports.

Aaron David Harris was born and raised in Detroit, MI. During his high school education at Pershing High School, he developed an affinity for the Detroit Lions and has not stopped loving them since. Visit him at

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