My parents and I had the pleasure of attending Taste of the Lions a few weeks ago. We went last year and had a wonderful time, so we were excited to return this year. It was a lovely late May day in the Detroit area and Ford Field always looks so beautiful. There is no other place I’d rather spend an evening. Plus, I’m always excited to get all dressed up and actually have somewhere to go 🙂
We are big Lions fans in my house, so we love going to meet the players and support Eastern Market and their community programs. The event was far more crowded this year than last, with reports of 2000 people attending. We purchased VIP tickets, so we got to explore both the visitor and home locker rooms. It is very cool to see behind the scenes. Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, and Ndamukong Suh were in the locker room signing autographs. I met Stafford and Johnson last year, so we stood in line to meet Suh for awhile, but then he was whisked away before we actually met him. This was the only disappointment about the event; it is a bummer to stand in line and then not get to meet him.
We did meet new Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, who was incredibly nice. We are hoping he’ll be a great coach and will lead the team to victory! Before long, it was time to head up to the main concourse for the food and to meet more of the players. We perused the silent auction before making our way down the corridor with brick floor, meant to look like a real, old fashioned street. It’s my favorite part of the stadium. Dad was more than happy to eat his way through the street.
The braised veal macaroni and cheese from Ottava Via and buffalo macaroni and cheese from Town Tavern were big hits. Macaroni and cheese is always a hit with Dad! The short rib toastada from John D was really cute and a hit too! The Russell Street Deli had several offerings, but Dad enjoyed the corned beef and slaw. Dad has eaten at Lazybones BBQ before and really liked the pulled pork and bacon fried rice. (They also have amazing maple bacon paczki!) The meal was not complete without some fried chicken and red beans and rice from Beans and Cornbread.
But then it was time to meet some Lions players, my favorite part of the event. All of the players are so incredibly nice. It makes me cheer even harder for the team when the season comes around. Former players were around. We had the chance to meet Herman Moore, Jim Arnold, Eddie Murray, and Bennie Blades. Eddie Murray’s Super Bowl ring (which he unfortunately didn’t win with the Lions) caught all of our eyes right away. How cool to see a Super Bowl ring in person??? Bennie Blades was super cool; he made Dad give up his duties as not-so-professional photographer for a moment and get in a picture. He wouldn’t listen to Mom and me when we wanted him in a pic, but he listened to a football player. Go figure 😉 Plus we caught up with Roary! I love Roary!
Some of the players were super cute too! We actually ran into Jordan Thompson in the Lions store at the end of our night. He was so nice and talkative. Plus, he’s cute and my age! This single gal would love to go on a date with him. Tweet me, maybe?
It was great to meet Kris Durham and Dan Orlovsky, as well as Joique Bell, who said ladies like Mom and me made his night better. Gregory Hickman was especially nice, first calling Mom young lady and then when we lined up for a picture saying he wanted me to stand next to him, but Mom couldn’t be left out so she got on the other side of him for the second pic! It made us laugh and smile.
Just before we were about to leave, and rest our tired feet, we ran into voice of the Lions, Dan Miller again. I’m a huge fan of Dan and secretly kind of enjoy watching his pregame more than the actual game itself. His co-hosts Bob Wojnowski and Jamie Samuelsen were also there, and I totally should have gotten a pic with them all, but my brain was too tired to function properly. Next year! But Dan did remember reading my blog post from last year’s event. How super cool is that???
I have lots more pics, but I won’t inundate you. It was a fantastically wonderful evening. I want to do it again all the time, but I guess I’ll just have to wait for next year!