I always wanted to start a tradition. I never thought that I would play a part http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-sylvester-williams-jersey
, just a part, in heaving up some song from the 80s I had barely thought about prior to 2016 and attempting to connect it, by any way possible, to a professional football team like the Detroit Lions.Now, at the end of a miserable 2018 season for the Lions, this silly little thing is the one thing I can count on to bring me joy, every time, during a Lions game.Last Sunday, “Africa” by southern California rock band Toto beat Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” They did that on the Sunday before Christmas, where the universe should have been against it. Before then, it beat Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and countless others. Each week the most suburban anthems came forward to unthrone “Africa,” and they all failed. Even the holidays could not contain it. If you’ve followed Pride Of Detroit on Twitter or listened to the PODcast, you know that “Africa” is our thing. It’s been our thing since about 2016, when we started tagging it into the Lions and their unprecedented antics in last-minute miracles and winning ways.In a way, 2016 proved a useful catalyst. It started simply enough. #VictoryMonday music. Celebrate Golden Tate smacking the Vikings with his butt to score a game-winning touchdown on a PODcast. But then it kept happening. Every breathtaking Cardiac Cats comeback had people sending us videos on themselves, usually in a bar, singing “Africa.” It was our thing, la nostra tradizione; it was our—excuse me for using a word that’s lost all meaning in the internet age—meme, lodged deeply in our minds and passed along through contact. It resonated in a collective psyche for people who were fans of what we did at POD and who also liked the Lions.This was all in good fun. We thought one day Cheap Taylor Decker Jersey
, wouldn’t it be cool, wouldn’t it be cool to have that power to make it an unofficial anthem? We kept thinking and thinking, and eventually things...Well, you see, things just started to happen.Someone on Lions social media liked the idea so much that they brought in the 2018 New Year the right way:Then they hid a message for us. Then it got on the PA at Ford Field.And then it wouldn’t go away.And it didn’t go away.AND IT WOULDN’T GO AWAYAnd now we are here, dear reader. Now we are here.(For the record, I’m sorry Mike.)Doubling back, I just need to add this. If the first line of the first paragraph above sounds like a lot of self-congratulation, then I’ll step in here a second and just try to say that it’s not. It’s just something that was on my mind. I like thinking about these things. I’m not trying to be important (BUT EXCUSE ME WHILE I WRITE A BUNCH OF WORDS ABOUT THIS), and honestly the connection of “Africa” to the Detroit Lions is something that took a lot of people, a lot of moving parts to happen, and safe to say it’s still not done. Traditions have to weather time, multiple generations and enough traction to keep going. Make it clear though. “Sweet Caroline” didn’t just pop up overnight to become the anthem of the Boston Red Sox. Flinging octopi onto the ice at Joe Louis Arena takes gumption, extended effort to circumvent bans and a good fishmonger or five. Texas A&M University didn’t get a trademark on “The 12th Man” and then use licensing to lord over the Seattle Seahawks and soap companies without a proper origin story.In many ways, 2018 was the year of “Africa.” There was the Weezer cover, which was quickly topped by Pitbull and Rhea remixing the beat and chorus in “Ocean to Ocean.” The world was down for the song. It’s uplifting and overly positive in a world of bitter cold and irony.The song itself shouldn’t really be this, but there is great joy to be found in the simple chorus, the enchanting beat, or just the longing phrases that cut somewhere deep in a non-burnished part of my soul.And now we’re going hard, H.A.M. even Sam Martin Jersey
, to see this song attached to the Lions, for good or for ill. There’s no real reason to see it happen beyond that it should, and therefore must, happen. Will the greater public burn out on “Africa”? Probably. But it is our thing in a different way. It’s not just the catchy song of the moment, but something that was set out to become a tradition; maybe subconsciously, I don’t know.Do the Lions need to be winning for this to become a thing? Not really, even if it is victory music, but it’s not like the Red Sox were winning rings when Neil Diamond became a staple of Fenway Park.Does it need to have a reason? Does it need to have a connection to Detroit at all? Why? You find a thing and you make it your own. That’s how the best traditions work. Someone goes and finds an old shoe and spins a story about it, and before you know it that Magic Holiday Shoe is hanging on the mantle every Christmas at Uncle Craig’s house.The reason becomes secondary, and then it becomes forgotten altogether. Time fades that legend, but it births something new and you accept it as fact. Think for a moment.Do you know why there are trees raised up and decorated for Christmas? Why families hang stockings by the fireplace? Do you know why we all sing “For Auld Lang Syne” at the birth of a New Year? Are the reasons you know or find verified fact or are they additional myths and legends? Would understanding the true reasons to these things help you enjoy the tradition more, or would knowledge diminish it?For that reason, I want to see this survive. But I felt like the world needed an explanation, at least for the sake of record-keeping, before it’s washed away in the sea of information. I don’t know if it’ll suffice, or if this will drift away, but until it does I would hope you join in too. Quincy Enunwa catches passes, takes big hits and dishes out some vicious shots of his own.The New York Jets wide receiver has become a fan favorite for his physical style and reliable hands — and those impressive attributes have also quickly made him a go-to guy for rookie quarterback Sam Darnold."First of all, Q is a great dude, so it's easy to develop a rapport in that way Quandre Diggs Jersey
," Darnold said. "With how smooth he is route running, he's smooth but he's also physical. He's very sudden, a very quick dude. It's awesome to be able to throw to him. The routes that he runs are very crisp, but again very violent at the same time."Enunwa was the Jets' leading receiver in their 48-17 rout of the Lions in Detroit on Monday night. He was targeted 10 times by Darnold and had six catches for 63 yards and a touchdown — a play during on which he dragged two would-be tacklers on his back as he reached over the goal line."For myself, I just try to make sure that I'm doing what I need to do, even when I know the ball's not coming to me because those are always going to show up on film," Enunwa said Thursday. "When I can do what I'm supposed to do, he's going to see that and he can know that even when his No. 1 (option) is not open, he can come back to me."Enunwa was almost a forgotten man by those outside the Jets' facility as recently as just a few months ago.After a breakout season in 2016 when he set career highs with 58 catches, 857 yards receiving and four touchdowns, Enunwa went down with a neck injury during a scrimmage last summer. He had a bulging disk in his neck, the culmination of problems he dealt with for most of previous several months, and needed surgery. A grueling rehabilitation period was next with many wondering when — or, if — Enunwa would get back on the football field."I've never had that where I just didn't play," he said, "so that was the hardest part for me."Enunwa always believed he would play again. And not only that. He knew he would re-establish himself as a key part of New York's offense.He gradually worked his way back onto the field during minicamp this spring and was a full-go by the time training camp began. After missing some time with a thumb injury, Enunwa is completely healthy."I definitely missed it and it felt good to go back out there, and I'm excited to keep going on through the year," Enunwa said. "That was just Game 1 and I'm hoping to go out there some more, play some more Glover Quin Jersey
, take some more hits and give some more hits."At 6-foot-2 and a chiseled 225 pounds, Enunwa is an imposing presence. He's strong enough to line up in the backfield as an H-back to help in the run game — as the Jets have used him in the past — and quick enough to get down the field and cause problems for smaller defenders."He's very versatile," coach Todd Bowles said, "and he allows us to do a lot of things and put him in places to try and create certain things as well."Even before this season, Enunwa endeared himself to Jets fans because of the way he never shies from contact. Quarterback Josh McCown has compared him to Anquan Boldin, who had a similar build with a rare combination of speed and power."I try to be a physical guy," Enunwa said. "I know fans love the hard-nosed player. That's just always been me, so I'm always going to continue to do that."Enunwa took a few big pops from defenders after catches, and it was a relief to him and the Jets that he was able to bounce right back up without any issues."I definitely felt sore on Tuesday from all that hitting going on," he said. "It definitely felt good mentally to know that I'm still able to give those hits and take those hits and still be able to play on."Enunwa was a sixth-round pick by the Jets out of Nebraska in 2014. After playing in just one game as a rookie, he had 22 catches for 315 yards in 2015.Then came his breakout season before being forced to the sideline."He was coming into his own then, he was a younger player," Bowles said when asked if Enunwa is better now than he was in 2016. "Just having sat out for a year, I think it has helped him mentally and he understands what his body can do and he's taking care of his body well, so hopefully that continues."Enunwa is looking forward to the home opener Sunday against Miami, and has several family members planning to attend the game at MetLife Stadium.Those won't be the only eyes on him that day. Dolphins coach Adam Gase said this week his team has identified Enunwa as one of the Jets' weapons who can certainly cause a defense problems.That's something Darnold is quickly discovering himself."It's cool to be able to throw to him and just see how much separation he creates for himself," the quarterback said of Enunwa. "It's fun when you're throwing to receivers like that."