DETROIT - In a nine-minute clip that spans the breadth of Matt Stafford's career in Detroit and before, the Lions quarterback thanked fans for the 12 years of support he's had as the football team's leader.
Stafford, who was the first-round draft pick by the Detroit Lions after he played college ball in Georgia, will be heading to the Los Angeles Rams for the NFL's next season.
It was part of a shakeup on the team after a management change. But as Stafford says in a video posted to Twitter late Wednesday night, it's an emotional goodbye for everyone.
"The city welcomed me with open arms. I'm talking about Detroit," he said. "It's special here. Anybody who gets to experience Motown knows what I'm talking about."
The touching tribute to his tenure follows his career, and a city on the up and up, in lockstep. It's got heartbreaking injuries, immaculate catches, and too many fourth-quarter comebacks to count.
Stafford helped the Lions to their first playoff appearance this century. He also helped the team carve out of their infamous 0-16 season. And who could forget the football wizardry on the goal line when everyone thought he'd spike the ball, and instead he lifted the ball over the goal line.