The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Students remain optimistic despite Lions’ loss

GVL | Bethann Long

The Detroit Lions lost to the San Francisco 49ers 31-34 in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 28. After a momentous comeback season, Lion’s fans gathered around to watch the game, and many were hopeful that the team was on their way to the Super Bowl. 

The game-day activities, emotions surrounding the event and result of the game connected many Lions fans.

Macy Ruchty, a Grand Valley State University junior, gathered with friends at an apartment to watch the game and indulge in some classic game day foods like pizza and homemade seven layer dip. Ruchty, born and raised in Michigan, is a Lions fan and was not impressed by their performance. 

“So typical of the lions to get everyone excited then lose, but at least we got the farthest we have in a long time,” Ruchty said. 

Apartment watch parties were common amongst students. Raegan McCatty and Amy Kobeluch, both GVSU sophomores, hosted friends for the game. 

Kobeluch had tried to meet up with friends at a local restaurant, but wait times were over two hours. Originally from Chicago, Kobeluch is a Bears fan, but found herself tracking the Lion’s season and rooting for their underdog story as the season progressed. 

“Like so many people, my friends and I would have loved to go to a sports bar restaurant to watch the game and eat some good food, but the NFC championship game was a huge event here in Michigan so everywhere was pretty full,” Kobeluch said. 

Fans went into the season with high hopes, the loss came as a shock to some but a regrettable expectation of others. Some accepted the loss early in the game, like Kobeluch who predicted it shortly after halftime.

“They came out of the gate very strong and with a lot of fight at the beginning of the NFC Championship, but then the second that they blew the 17-point lead they had, that’s where their momentum fell off even more,” said Kobeluch. “It was just very unfortunate and disappointing for me to see that momentum fall off so dramatically and so fast.” 

As a dedicated fan, McCatty was hopeful the team would pull through to the end. 

“The very first game of the season, the Lions won, and I jokingly said ‘Lions to the Super Bowl’ and my roommates laughed at me and said no way that would happen. Well, they almost made it to the Super Bowl,” McCatty said. 

After seeing the results of the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens game earlier in the day, Lions fans began to expect the loss. Kobeluch, a sports management major, found herself being realistic about the outcome.

“Having watched the Chiefs beat the Ravens in the game before, I kind of concluded that the odds may not have been completely in the Lions favor,” Kobeluch said. “Plus, the atmosphere was so different for this game compared to some of the other playoff games the Lions played and even the regular season (games).” 

While fans were disappointed, many are still proud of the Lions. After decades of being let down, the fans are optimistic that the team will be able to pull through next season and allow this loss to motivate them. 

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