If you happened to tune in for HBO’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions, you witnessed the greatest season in the history of the show as Dan Campbell, the rest of the Lions’ coaches, and some of the players (we see you, Rodrigo) really became stars.
But it was not just fans of the Lions who were tuning in for Hard Knocks. In fact, people from all over the country have been saying that this was an amazing season of the show and that the Lions have become their second team because they are so likable.
Sorry, Dallas Cowboys but the Detroit Lions are now America’s Team
On Wednesday, James Dator or SB Nation wrote an article titled, “The Lions are America’s Team after the best ‘Hard Knocks’ season in years” and I believe his is spot on with his analysis.
Here is some of what Dator had to say in his article about the Lions becoming America’s team.
This is a team who were sympathetic going into the year, and are now even more so. Part of that is simply being the Lions, one of the NFL’s perennial cellar-dwellers, woven into the national consciousness through Thanksgiving games. This season of Hard Knocks did so well at using the team as an allegory for the city itself — down, but not out. Eternally hopeful, and desperate to make a comeback. It’s to this end Dan Campbell is the ideal figure to lead this team back.
Campbell is the nexus of all things that fueled this season. The second-year, ex-player head coach is the paragon of what people imagine a stereotypical football coach is. From the opening moments of episode one, with “GRIT” written on the meeting room wall in giant block letters, to speaking in football platitudes that make absolutely zero sense.
The thing that bleeds through the screen is how Campbell wants his players to retain their individuality. He’s definitely a players’ coach who doesn’t believe in squashing personality in service of a team ideal, but rather harnessing these personalities and tweaking them into his vision of a football player on the field. Part of this is an unwavering belief in respect, not to him, but each other — as Campbell tells his team ahead of their first preseason game that the “only thing that will make me lose my shit” is if he sees starters and backups not paying attention to third and forth quarter players fighting for a roster spot.
Nation, are you ok with the Detroit Lions becoming America’s team, or would you rather stick with Detroit vs. Everybody?