Lions’ Dan Campbell hands out game ball to Oxford victims after 1st win

Dec 6, 2021, 9:17 AM
Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches the first half of an NFL football game against the Cl...

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell watches the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

(AP Photo/David Richard)

The Detroit Lions are experiencing a rough season under first-year head coach Dan Campbell.

But after starting out 0-10-1, the Lions found themselves on the winning side of a football game in Week 13, scoring on a last-second touchdown to take home a 29-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The magnitude of the win can be seen on Campbell’s expression after the final score of the afternoon.

Usually, a first-year head coach is bursting at the seams to talk about his team’s win with reporters after the game, especially a victory like that.

But instead of diving right into the Xs and Os, Campbell took a different route, opting to dedicate a game ball to those impacted by the school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, last week that left four students dead and seven injured.

“First thing I wanna start with, this game ball goes to the whole Oxford community, all those who were affected,” Campbell told reporters after the game. “That being said, I want us to not forget these names: Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, Phoebe Arthur, Jon Asciutto, Riley Franz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossege, Aiden Watson and Molly Darnell, who’s a teacher.

“Those names, for all those will never be forgotten and they’re in our hearts and our prayers, and all the families and not to mention all those that were affected by all of this. The classmates, the brothers and sisters, the cousins, the teachers, the everybody, coaches.”

The tragedy was on the minds of many in attendance on Sunday, where images Baldwin, Myre, Shilling and St. Juliana were shown on the jumbotron ahead of the game. Lions helmets were also adorned with a yellow Oxford “O.”

Quarterback Jared Goff echoed Campbell’s comments.

“I’ll try not to get emotional but sometimes special things happen in special circumstances,” Goff told reporters. “I think you saw [Saturday] what Michigan did against Iowa and then us today getting our first win in what is it, 12, 13 weeks? You never hope for a tragedy like this, but you hope to be a light for those people and a positive thing that they can have fun watching today.

“I hope that they were all watching today and were able to enjoy that win, and we can take their minds off it for whatever it may be, three hours. I think anytime we can do that, it’s a lot bigger than our sport, it’s a lot bigger than us. I think that today is one of those special circumstances that we were able to rise to the occasion and make something special happen.”

Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who was on the receiving end of the game-winning touchdown, said it was the “best way to end this week.”

“Before I start, I just want to give a shoutout to the Oxford community,” Browns told reporters. “You know it’s been a tough, tough week for everyone. But to go out there and get our first win, at home, I think was just a blessing in disguise. I think it was the best way to end this week I feel like.”

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Lions’ Dan Campbell hands out game ball to Oxford victims after 1st win