DETROIT – Matthew Stafford said there are games he will never forget.
The quarterback is leaving Detroit after 12 years with the Lions. There are moments he wishes he could change, and one in particular came to mind when asked during a goodbye visit to Ford Field.
“Oh there’s plenty of those. I mean, the one that comes to mind when you say that right off the bat would be, you know, when the Packers hit that Hail Mary on Thursday night after we won on Thanksgiving,” he said.
When we’ve watched him fall and get right back up, just like Detroit the city he adopted, we learned Matthew is tough. He is resilient. We may not have always liked the outcome, but man did we appreciate the fight.
There were good times, too, that he’ll never forget.
“I still remember, we played the Chargers in 2011, and made the playoffs, clinched the playoffs here at home for the first time in a bunch of years and I will never forget the crowd,” he recalled.
FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2020, file photo, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes the ball during the second quarter of the team's NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tenn. The Lions are trading Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff, two future first-round picks and a third-round pick, a person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday night, Jan. 30, because the deal has not been completed. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen, File)
Leaving for LA
Stafford’s new city is Los Angeles, and his new team is the Rams. He is still surprised at how the trade worked out.
“It was honestly, you know, one of the two teams I didn’t think was going to be able to make it happen, if they wanted to even.” he said. “The fact that they wanted to was huge, and the fact that they were able to, I think you have to give a lot of credit to the Rams organization but also the Lions as well in being creative and figuring out a way to get it done.”
Professionally, Detroit is all Stafford has known. “The D” has become home, but it’s the people and the fans who both cheered and, yes, sometimes booed, who will always hold a special place in his heart.
“Everywhere we go in the community, you know it’s a people giving us well-wishes and that means the world to us,” he said.
Kelly Stafford and Matthew Stafford in an Instagram post on Jan. 25, 2021.