DETROIT (WWJ) – The Westin Book Cadillac in downtown Detroit has transformed into the “Lions Den” ahead of Monday Night Football, as undefeated Detroit takes on the Chicago Bears.
WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas caught up with Lions defensive assistant coach Don Clemons, whose silver pickup truck with the Honolulu blue stripe drew stares in the parking lot. Clemons has been with the team for 27 years and said he’s never seen the team so excited to play before.
“It’s been great right now. It’s great for the city so we’re all excited. You know, the Tigers, us, the Red Wings are winning, everybody is excited so we’ve got to keep it going,” Clemons said.
So what does the team’s day look like ahead of the game?
“It’s a longer day. It’s obviously a night game so it’s going to be a lot of, you know, we have meetings all day long and we have our meals scheduled in through there. We’ve got to keep the players moving around and get them ready for tonight,” he said. “You know, it’s a national stage and the guys are truly excited to play tonight. It’s going to be fun.”
Clemons said the Lions have their work cut out though, as the Chicago Bears aren’t a team to count out.
“It’s early in the season and teams are just trying to figure out where they are right now. The Bears are always dangerous. We certainly have not discounted them at all and I think that, you know, they’re really a strong team. So, it’s going to be an interesting game, it really will be,” Clemons said.
Former Detroit Lion Robert Porcher, who was with the team during some of their “lean years,” said Detroit is well-deserving to host Monday Night Football.
“Why was I cut at the beginning of the dry spell?” Porcher said laughing. “But, it’s been long overdue. To not be on Monday Night for 10 years is beyond embarrassment. But hey, we are where we are and we’re the hottest ticket in town right now. I’m hoping for a victory.”
And although the opening kick off is hours away, fans are already crowding downtown, taking in the experience.
J.P. Possey of Pontiac made his way downtown right after waking up Monday.
“I came down here just to see everybody downtown. I love Motown.”
Rodger Hanson, who lives in Detroit now but is originally from the Windy City, said he won’t be disappointed with the outcome of the game, but there’s one team he wants to win just a little bit more.
“I’ve got all my family in Chicago rooting for the Bears and they know I’m right here with my big “D” on. I don’t care where I’m from, I’m a Lions fan now.”
Keeran Miles of Roseville said he’s been concerned about the Lions slacking in the first half, but he’s still picking them to win tonight.
“I’m pretty geeked. I got the Lions up by a point at the end. Let’s hope. That’s all we can do is hope and support them.”
Detroit is aiming for its first 5-0 start since 1956, the year before its most recent NFL title, and to snap a six-game skid against Chicago.
Catch all the Monday Night Football action live from Ford Field on 97.1 The Ticket.