Rare light shined upon Lions fans Monday afternoon in rainy suburban Detroit.
For a day, boos halted and focus shifted as hundreds gathered at a sporting goods store to celebrate the unveiling of a new logo.
New team president Tom Lewand used the platform to acknowledge his teams' lack of recent success, as well as showcase their new look. Yearning to begin his reign on a positive note, Lewand poked fun at the organization.
After asking some children in attendance to join him on stage, Lewand said, "I want to thank you guys in particular, because ever since you guys have been born, we haven’t been very good."
A wise public relations move for the NFL's worst team since 2001 (31-87).
In the moment, the distraction was a success. Store workers (it was a Dunham's in Madison Heights) scooted racks of new jerseys by onlookers and rolled tables into open spaces. Lion fans-turned-shoppers twisted around price tags and slipped on hats and T-shirts. Yours truly even received one of many autographed pieces of memorabilia being given away via drawing.
But only wins can permanently steal attention away from last year's miserable 0-16 campaign. Lewand hopes to lead Detroit out of football's graveyard, saying "We stand firmly committed to improving the team on the field."
Getting down to the actual logo, creators established a sleeker, fiercer version of Bubbles the Lion, Detroit's identifying emblem for decades.
Teeth were added, along with an eye, an accented mane, and black trim. The "Lions" lettering also changed fonts to a more modern look. WR Calvin Johnson led the host of players in modeling the uniforms and helmets for the camera crews and attendees.
As raindrops steadily fell outside, chants of "Don't draft Stafford" and "Curry, Curry!" filled Dunham's before and after the event—Lions fans broadcast their opinion freely, but respectfully. What better opportunity than in the presence of the Lions president?
Some took home autographed jerseys, others autographed hats. All in all, the day's public gathering gave Detroiters a reason to rally around their football team.