6 Facts about the Detroit Lions


The Detroit Lions are one of the most storied franchises in the history of the National Football League, but far from the most successful. With only six double-digit win seasons over the last 52 seasons, the Lions have rarely seen the success of other Super Bowl winning franchises. Here are some fascinating facts about the Detroit Lions of the NFL.

6 Detroit Lions Facts

  1. While the Lions have never won the Super Bowl, they have won 4 NFL Championships. (source) In the Super Bowl of the National Football League, the Detroit Lions have been far from the most successful franchise. However, that wasn’t always the case. In the pre-1970s era, before the AFL-NFL merger, the Detroit Lions won the NFL Championship on four occasions (1935, 1952, 1953 and 1957).

  2. The Lions played their first Thanksgiving day game in 1934. (source) The Lions, along with the Dallas Cowboys, host Thanksgiving day games each and every NFL season. However, it was in 1934 when the Lions played on Thanksgiving for the first time, and their opponents were their storied rivals, the Chicago Bears. Detroit lost the game to Chicago by a score of 19-13. With the loss, the Lions fells to 10-2 on the season.

  3. The Lions used to play in Tiger Stadium, home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. (source) Today, the Detroit Lions call Ford Field home, but they actually used to share a stadium with the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. The Lions played at Tiger Stadium from 1941 through 1974, before eventually moving to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1975.

  4. The franchise was originally called the Portsmouth Spartans. (source) The Lions were originally called the Portsmouth Spartans, and played in Portsmouth, Ohio, joining the NFL for the 1930 season. Despite being successful early on, the franchise couldn’t financially survive in Portsmouth, which was the league’s smallest city at the time. In 1934, the team was purchased, moved to Detroit, and began play as the Detroit Lions for the 1934 season.

  5. Since 1970, the Lions have only had 6 double-digit win seasons. (source) This is one of the lowest totals in the National Football League over that span, as the Detroit Lions have not seen much success in the league since the NFL-AFL merger. These seasons include 1970 (10-4), 1991 (12-4), 1993 (10-6), 1995 (10-6), 2011 (10-6) and 2014 (11-5). In only one of those seasons did the Lions make it to the Conference Championship Game (1991).

  6. The Detroit Lions are one of only four franchises to never reach the Super Bowl. (source) If your favorite franchise wins the Conference Championship Game, they’ve punched their ticket to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately for the Lions, they’ve only reached the Conference Championship Game once (1991), where they fell to the Washington Redskins 41-10. The only other franchises to never reach the Super Bowl are the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans have never appeared in a Conference Championship Game, and the Browns and Jaguars have appeared in three each.

Do you have any more facts about the Detroit Lions to share with us? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image photo credit: A Healthier Michigan, 2014. Originally found on Flickr. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.

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