By Ashley Dunkak
@AshleyDunkak

FORD FIELD (CBS DETROIT) – Before the start of their season opener Monday, the Detroit Lions honored late owner William Clay Ford Sr. with a video tribute, a chorus of “Anchors Aweigh” in recognition of Ford’s time with the Navy, and a moment of silence.

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Following a convincing win over the New York Giants, the Lions continued the recognition of Ford by presenting the game ball to Ford’s widow, Martha, and the couple’s four children.

“We just felt it was kind of to honor Mr. Ford in his passing,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said. “The guys certainly wanted to go out and do a great job for the family, so we presented a game ball to Mrs. Ford and her children because of the way in which they support us, and obviously they do a tremendous job operating this organization.”

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Ford surely would have been proud as the Lions dominated the Giants, 35-14, kicking off the season in a positive manner.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford said that while the players did not get to watch the video tribute with all the fans before the game, the whole team had watched it a few days earlier.

“Dom [Raiola] and myself, we were just talking, [it] kind of brought chills to you,” Stafford said. “It was pretty awesome to see – not only what he’s done for this team and all of us as players but the city of Detroit. It was a great way to honor him. We were happy to win. We were proud for that family, and it was a good night for that.”

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Ford, who died in March, had owned the Lions since 1964. Ownership of the team passed to his family upon his death. At the team headquarters in Allen Park, the Lions flag still flies at half-mast, and players will wear “WCF” patches on their jerseys throughout the season.