The best news on the field in Detroit came between quarters. The fans in attendance saw a heartfelt video of Marine Capt. Josh Munsee while his wife and children stood on the field below. And then Munsee himself greeted his shocked family, and Ford Field got a bit dusty.
While he was stationed in Afghanistan, Munsee, an avowed Lions fan, would stay up late to catch every game. He wasn't scheduled to return home until February 2014, but now will head home to North Carolina with his wife Michelle and their three children.
In 2007, Munsee was injured in an ambush in Fallujah, Iraq. His fellow Marine, Luis Castillo, was killed in the attack; Munsee lost a kidney and his spleen. His prognosis was initially grim, but he would go on to recover and serve two more terms of duty in Afghanistan.
"It sucks what happened to me," Munsee said at the time. "But everyone knows the real heroes of this war are the ones that have paid the ultimate sacrifice, like Lance Cpl. Castillo."
You know, we've seen these surprise military family reunions a lot over the last few years. You could make a convincing argument that the NFL is attaching itself to the military as a shorthand way of burnishing its own image. But check the smile on Captain Munsee's daughter:
If you're getting tired of seeing the delight on the faces of the families themselves, chances are your heart's a few sizes too small.