Some Detroit Lions fans claim to love him, while some claim to loathe him, either way Matthew Stafford influences every Lions fan emotions. This past Sunday perfectly summed up why fans feel the way they do, but it begs the question, do fans truly like Matthew Stafford?
Walking into Ford Field Sunday an unbiased fan would think Stafford is a beloved hero, number nine jersey after number nine jersey could be seen filing into the stands. Stafford received the loudest cheers, his face could not be shown without a roar from the crowd, but then the game commenced.
Less than five minutes into the game, on Stafford first pass attempt, a pick six was thrown, and all the sudden his fan base disappeared. Those same number nine jersey wearing people, began to boo the NFL’s highest paid player. Another bad drive escalated the hate spewing from the fans, and it was safe to say very few people in the stands were happy with him.
The hatred being thrown at Stafford does not boil down to one moment, one game, or even one season, the disdain seems to hover around him. People flock towards social media or the local radio to hate on the man the first chance he gives them, it is difficult to gauge the true feelings of these fans.
Flashing back to Sunday, three quarters and four touchdowns later the fan base is persuaded back to Stafford. The boos become cheers, and that first quarter that was filled with hate and calls for his head seem as if they never existed.
National outlets have supported Stafford from the beginning, and the lack of love for him is just a local problem. So, why is all this hate around Stafford? The answer is simple, it is the Detroit Lions being talked about here.
The fan base in Detroit has every right to be skeptical and boo, even if Stafford is the best quarterback most of their fan base has ever seen play for them. One team in the history of the NFL has gone winless, it was not Cleveland or Jacksonville, it was the Detroit Lions. The NFL has played 51 Super Bowl’s and Lions have been to none of them, the team has not won a playoff game in over two decades. Fans can no longer trust this franchise, and when something is going well, they wait for it to break their hearts.
This disdain for Stafford has nothing to do with the man himself, it is the problem fans have with the organization. It might seem unfair, but he appears to understand it. He has never fired back at fans or even recognize the cloud of angst that hovers over him, he shows up every week and plays the game. That is why Lions fans deep down, in their heart of hearts love their quarterback by the name of Matthew Stafford.
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