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About The Detroit Lions
Founded in 1930, the Detroit Lions have not always been called the Detroit Lions. In fact, they have not always been located in Detroit as they started out in Portsmouth Ohio and were known as the Portsmouth Spartans. Then when the Great Depression hit in 1934, the team moved to Detroit.
Before the Detroit Lions, Detroit had four NFL teams, the first was the Detroit Heralds, then renamed Tigers in 1921, and on to the Panthers in ’25 to ’26 and then the Wolverines in ’28 which only lasted one season and finally in 1930, came the Detroit Lions and have been so ever since.
In 1934 Detroit started a tradition by playing on Thanksgiving Day, that tradition is still going on today. In ’35 with quarterback Dutch Clark, they won their first NFL Championship Game.
Believe it or not, in 1943, the Lions vs. Giants game ended in a 0 to 0 tie. This would be the last time the NFL would let a game end with no score.
The 50’s were a great time for the Lions. With quarterback Bobby lane, they won the league Championship in ’52, ’53 and 57 every time against the Cleveland Browns, but in ’54 they lost to the Browns.
After 1957, the Detroit Lions would have twelve consecutive losing seasons, not coming in any better than second place and they wouldn’t see another playoff game until 1970 and loosing that against the Dallas Cowboys. They would finish the decade with the franchises worst season since 1946 when they finished with a 1 and 10 record, they finished 1979 with a 2 and 14 record but that would give them first draft pick in the following season.
They made good use of the first round draft pick by picking up running back Billy Sims. Sims led the Lions with a promising 4 and 0 start for the new decade this would also be the year that the Lions adopted the popular hit song from the rock band Queen “Another One Bites the Dust” as their unofficial team song but after the dust settled and despite a promising start they ended the season with a 9 and 7 record knocking them out of playoff contention.
In ’83 they bounced back with a winning season of 9 and 7 but were beaten in the first round of playoff by the San Francisco 49ers. The next year proved to be tragic as Billy Sims had a career ending knee injury. The injury devastated the entire franchise for the remainder of the decade. They couldn’t finish with anything better than third place and they wouldn’t see another winning season until 1991 when they also won their first playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys but lost to the Redskins in the conference playoffs. The team still struggles today with a 485 win, 541 loss record.