Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell joked that he wanted to roam the sidelines with a pet lion, and now he’ll get the chance to do so in some form.
After Campbell went on the Pardon My Take podcast and explained in a joking fashion his affinity for having a pet lion to follow him around, PETA will be giving Campbell a lion after all, even though it’s merely a stuffed one.
The latest Lions news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lions newsletter here!
The organization reached out to Campbell and the Lions after he appeared on the show, and as they said, they applauded him for referencing the fact that he knew couldn’t make such an arrangement happen, even as cool as it might be.
The message reads as follows:
“Dear Coach Campbell,
Congratulations on your new role as head coach of the Detroit Lions! We heard your comments made in jest about acquiring a lion to keep as a “pet” at the team’s facilities. As you mentioned, lions are wild animals, and they don’t belong in football stadiums (or at roadside zoos or in people’s backyards).
Fortunately, the world is more aware now than ever before of the suffering endured by exotic animals when they’re condemned to live in a barren cage, forced to interact with members of the public, and coerced into doing demeaning tricks at the end of a chain and under threat of being whipped. And this awareness has meant that more decrepit roadside zoos that are incapable of taking care of animals have been shut down, abusive exhibitors have lost their licenses (or even gone to prison), and previously exploited big cats have found new homes in accredited sanctuaries.
So while the Detroit Lions should remain the only lions at Ford Field, we thought we would send you an addition to your team: Meet Dan Detroit the Lion!
Making Dan Detroit part of the Detroit Lions’ entourage will encourage an end to the abuse and exploitation of lions and other big cats as mascots or props and spare a wild animal a lifetime of suffering. He’s a symbol of support for all lions—both on the field and off.”
As for the lion, his name is Detroit Dan. Here’s a look at him:
Campbell had joked that he wanted a real lion to follow him around that he could train to defecate on command on the field and admitted he would be willing to lose his arm for the Lions to win a Super Bowl, but it was all in good fun. PETA’s response seems that way as well by some of their standards, but they have always been serious about the treatment of animals.
Safe to say Campbell will probably play this up, love getting the gift and will make Detroit Dan a huge part of the team moving forward.
Campbell Made Lion References on PMT Podcast
Once again, Campbell proved what a man of the people he is by heading on the Pardon My Take podcast from Barstool Sports. As part of the show, Campbell explained that his wish is to own a pet lion he can roam the halls with in Allen Park, and also bring around the practice field.
Perhaps better than that, though, was Campbell’s admission of just how far he’d be willing to go in order to get the Lions to a Super Bowl title. As he said, he’d be willing to lose an arm to a lion just to get his team to win the big game.
As Campbell admitted, he isn’t likely to be able to have his pet lion thanks to what kind of safety issue it might cause with the league, but the fact that he’d be willing to sacrifice his arm is certainly interesting. Campbell played with passion in his career and has displayed that same passion after taking the Detroit job. It’s obvious how much the position means to him.
It seems plenty of fans would be willing to make the same sacrifice in order to see the Lions achieve some success on the field. Hopefully Detroit Dan can suffice for Campbell.
Campbell Becoming One of NFL’s Most Entertaining Coaches
If there’s one thing that can be said about Campbell, it’s that he isn’t boring whatsoever. The coach has injected more life and personality into the team in the last few months than plenty of his predecessors combined. Anything that Campbell can do to have fun and flip what was a negative culture the better, and it appears the coach is running with this mindset in a major way.
It’s clear Campbell has passion for the Lions, the franchise and the city of Detroit, and he is doing plenty to put the team back on the map in any way possible.