What Does the Word "Grit" Mean to the Detroit Lions? It's a Mantra, a Strategy, and More

Melissa Willets - Author

Jan. 22 2024, Published 12:59 p.m. ET

Penei Sewell #58 of the Detroit Lions screams prior to an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field on January 21, 2024 in Detroit
Source: Getty Images

On Jan. 28, 2024, the Detroit Lions head to the NFC Championship game in San Francisco following a franchise history long drought of ever having played in a Super Bowl.

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What could possibly propel this team forward when players and fans have experienced so much bitter disappointment over the years? The reason the Lions keep going and inspire their fans to stay with them for the wild ride may have to do with one word: grit.

Read on for details about this powerful word, which is key to the survival — and playing strategy — of the Lions.

Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions reacts to a penalty during the game against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 30, 2023
Source: Getty Images
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So, what does the word "grit" mean for the Detroit Lions?

The word "grit" is integral to the Detroit Lions' approach to football, and appears on apparel, as well as inside the walls of the team's training facility in Allen Park, Mich., and at Ford Field.

Per Fox Sports, this one word defines the team's mantra, and the city that has long supported the Lions throughout its many ups and downs.

According to Lions head coach Dan Campbell, Detroit itself, not just the team, is all about grit.

"It's not the first thing you think of if you go to L.A.," he said. "You've got the sun, you've got the beach, you've got plenty of other things going and here, man … it's harsh winters, right? Auto industry. Blue collar. Things aren't always easy and I just think that's what we're about."

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Dan further explained why the word "grit" has a special meaning to him and how he sees the Lions' strengths in the NFL during an episode of Hard Knocks on Max, when the team was chronicled in 2022.

Indeed, the coach said grit means his team "will go a little bit longer," "push a little harder," "think a little deeper," and "a little sharper."

"It means we're unbreakable," he continued, adding they will play opponents anywhere, from grass, to turf, to on a landfill.

Dan said his team "will tread water as long as it takes to bury you."

And that is grit.

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Lions players and fans are all about the word "grit."

Not only are the Lions focused on their mantra as they push forward toward a potential Super Bowl, but fans are all about grit as well.

"Lions. All grit. No s--t!" one fan merrily tweeted as the team achieved victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 21, 2024.

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"Nothing but respect for all you guys do. True grit. Lions baby," another exuberant fan cheered after quarterback Jared Goff lead the Lions to a win in its hometown.

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Meanwhile, as for Jared, he too has his own take on what grit means to him.

The winning QB told the Pardon My Take podcast that grit is about "perseverance," and "making it through a hard time."

And even Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, one of Detroit's most famous alumni, has adopted the word, using it to describe his song "Phenomenal."

"'Phenomenal' is different from 'Lose Yourself.' It's just grit and determination," he tweeted in 2015.

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