Though Matthew Stafford is on the other sideline with the Los Angeles Rams, the quarterback is getting set for a huge battle with the Detroit Lions on Sunday, so naturally, he is going to have something extra to say about the matchup.
Stafford spent 12 years with the Lions, and Sunday will be the first time he will play the team that drafted him as an opponent. With that in mind, it’s natural to think there would be a lot of conflicting thoughts that would go through a player’s head. That might not be so for Stafford.
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Speaking with the media in Los Angeles on October 20 in an interview posted to TheRams.com, Stafford talked about his overall feelings about the trade now, and admitted that as far as comparing situations, he wasn’t interested. The reason? He enjoyed both places he’s called home during his career.
“I asked for a trade not knowing anywhere I was going to be. There were a bunch of different spots I thought I could go. I ended up here. I’m extremely happy to be here. I pinch myself getting the opportunity to play for this team with these players and these coaches. As far as comparing it to Detroit, I’m not going to do it,” Stafford told the media. “I just know that I am having a blast playing a bunch of football with some great players and great coaches. I loved my time in Detroit. I loved all the experiences I had, some of them were tough, but they helped mold me into the player and the person I am today.I spent some really meaningful time in my life, both on and off the field, in Detroit and I really enjoyed all of it. I’m having fun what I’m doing right now. I had a great experience for 12 years in Detroit. That’s kind of how I want to leave it.”
Stafford’s commentary on the matter is a class response as it relates to Detroit, a place he called home. It’s certainly great to see him showing the love for his former city in such a distinct way.
Stafford Grateful for Support From Lions Fans
Many Detroit fans continue to support Stafford and the Rams, pushed by not only their appreciation for the player and what he did in Motown, but what he meant to the community as well. The fans’ frustration over the Lions and their poor record and perpetual state of misery also helps this along.
Whatever the reasoning, Stafford is just glad the fans continue to remember him and support him along the way, which is something he revealed to the media as well.
“I mean, I appreciate that very much,” Stafford said. “I could see how it could be very easy for people to feel the other way, and for people to take some happiness in any kind of success a former player is having away from their building is just a testament to them, as well. That’s the kind of people they are in Detroit. Great people, both in the organization and in the city itself. I really did enjoy my time. I had great relationships built and maybe that has something to do with it. But I think that is more of a testament not to me, but to the people of Detroit that they an cheer an ex-player as much as they have me.”
Cheering for Stafford has become a major hot-button issue within the fanbase, with some folks going all-in on Stafford and the Rams in 2021 and beyond. It will be interesting to see if that continues, and knowing Lions fans, it likely will given the love they have for players and former players.
Stafford Shares More Feelings About Impending Lions Game
For his part, Stafford admitted he was planning to keep things low-key the week he would face his former team. Speaking after Sunday’s game on October 17, Stafford was asked about playing Detroit. As he said in an interview posted to TheRams.com, he is going to treat the game like any other even as he has a big history with the team and does plan to connect with his former side.
“(I’ll treat it) just like every other game. It’s an NFL opponent coming into our building. Do I have a ton of history with them? Absolutely. Im pregame am I going to be saying hey to some old teammates, some friends, Ford family hopefully if they make the trip? Absolutely. I’ve got nothing but great relationships with people over there. I have a lot of respect for the organization, the team, the ownership. It will be just another football game once the ball is snapped, but I will definitely try to say hey to some people I haven’t seen in a while.”
It’s clear that Stafford still has some good thoughts about his time with the Lions, and still appreciates the fans of Detroit that cheered him and supported him for over a decade.
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