NFL Commissioner applauds Detroit Lions, says team has built a culture 'you can feel'

(FOX 2) - Among the biggest statements that the NFL commissioner made ahead of the Detroit Lions win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday was the people taking notice of the team. It's fans, it's other teams, but also, it's TV networks.

"We're getting networks asking about the Lions," said Roger Goodell.

As the team's profile has risen in the national spotlight, so have the number of eyes paying attention to their success - and this season has brought more than its fair share to Detroit.

But that momentum actually goes back to last season, Goodell said.

"I think a lot of that goes back to the final game last season. When they went into Green Bay, they didn't have anything to play for, but they went and they beat their divisional opponent, knocked them out of the playoffs," he said. "I think people woke up to that and they saw that and I think they admire that. And then the (this season's) kickoff game, you made another statement."

The Lions overcame the Packers in the last game of the season in what was a meaningless win for them playoff-wise, but a satisfying one for those who never want to lose to a divisional opponent. But it also set a tone for the next season that head coach Dan Campbell and General Manager Brad Holmes have leaned into.

Goodell said those figures, as well as owner Sheila Hamp have been instrumental in the team's success.

"She's been extraordinary," Goodell said of Hamp. "Focused on things she needed to focus on, she's done a remarkable job. Brad and the coach, (Team President) Rob has done a great job, they built a culture that you can feel when you walk in the field."

And not just Ford Field - any field. The wave of Honolulu Blue jerseys that greet teams at Detroit Lions away games has robbed some of that home field advantage.

Detroit will have more opportunities for big-time TV coverage when the NFL Draft comes to town next year. It will be more than just a place for players to find their new homes. Detroit will also get put on the map with millions of people seeing the city.