By Ashley Scoby
For as much negativity and annoyance that is breeding in Detroit right now over the Lions, it’s probably a good thing the team switched continents for a week. And although the team is describing its trip to London to play the Chiefs Sunday as a “business trip,” they still got to have a little fun upon arrival.READ MORE: Lawsuit Accuses 3 Automakers, Parts Manufacturer Of Knowingly Selling Faulty Airbags
“Just walking around, seeing the sights, eating a little bit of food, coming back,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “Nothing too major. Trafalgar Square … You see Big Ben, you see all that kind of stuff. I had seen it before, so I was showing some of the young guys around, some of the O-linemen.”
Several veterans on the Lions’ team have already done the whole England thing, after Detroit’s game against the Falcons in London last year. But even those who had seen the city before were excited to get back, even if their downtime was cut short by preparation for Sunday’s game.
“No one really comes to London from the US often, especially me,” tight end Eric Ebron said. “It’s one of the things you’ve always wanted to do, so to go back and sight-see again, it’s cool.”
The team is staying about an hour outside of London and practicing in Hertfordshire. So, the team’s opportunities to hang out downtown are pretty limited.
And the prospect of actually getting to the city is difficult, as running back Joique Bell (and his bank account) found out on Tuesday.READ MORE: Live Updates: At Least 19 Children, 2 Adults Killed After Shooter Opens Fire At Texas Elementary School
“We went down to London,” he said. “We went to Harrod’s. We went to Zara. I was ready to go within two hours. We had to wait three hours for Theo Riddick to finish shopping. So we left there, went to get a bite to eat and caught a very expensive Uber ride back up here.”
According to Bell, the Uber driver actually got lost on the way back, and that the trip overall cost 166 pounds (about $253).
“I footed it,” Bell said of the cost. “You know, me being the vet, I had to make sure my kids got back safely – running backs, Cornelius Lucas and Nevin Lawson.”
With the team being so far isolated from actual London, and with everyone staying in the same place, it almost brings about a training camp vibe. Once practice or team meetings are over for the day, players don’t leave and go their separate ways. They all stay together.
After starting the season 1-6 and having three coaches from their staff fired on Monday, the Lions will take what they can get, including an extra dose of benevolence among themselves.MORE NEWS: Stellantis, Samsung Plan Indiana Electric Car Battery Plant
“It brings everyone together,” cornerback Rashean Mathis said. “There’s a lot of camaraderie within the team. We’re not going back home to family, so that’s a big change for us. So training camp mode for sure, and I think it comes at a good time because we need something like that to rally us together and get this win.”