The Detroit Lions kicked off the season tonight with a pregame tribute to late team owner William Clay Ford that included a video presentation, several great players from the past and his family at midfield.
Barry Sanders, Joe Schmidt, Charlie Sanders, Doug English and Jason Hanson stood next to the Ford’s widow and new team owner Martha Ford and her son, vice chairman Bill Ford Jr., near the 50-yard line at Ford Field.
Actor and Chelsea native Jeff Daniels introduced a video tribute that included several remembrances and images from Ford’s family life, working life at Ford Motor Co. and his history of owning the Lions.
As Barry Sanders said in the video: “He was the Detroit Lions.”
Ford, who died in March at age 88, took over sole ownership of the Lions in 1963. He had a life-long love affair with the team since his father, Edsel Ford, took him to watch Lions game at University of Detroit Stadium after the team moved from Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1934.
After the video tribute, the U.S. Naval Choir performed “Anchors Aweigh” in honor of Ford, who served in the Navy Air Corps during World War II.
By | Carlos Monarrez