Lions Collaboration


The Detroit Lions franchise was founded in Portsmouth, Indiana, in 1929. The Portsmouth Spartans joined the NFL in 1930, making them one of the NFL’s oldest franchises. In 1934 the team was purchased from its previous owners, moved to Detroit, and renamed the Detroit Lions. As owner George A. Richards would be quoted, “The lion is the king of the jungle, and the Detroit Lions will be the King of the NFL.” Since 1963, the Ford family, founders of the Ford Motor Company, have owned the Detroit Lions. The team’s enduring silver and Honolulu blue uniforms have been a tradition since they moved to Detroit in 1934. The other enduring Lions’ tradition that continues to this day is their nationally televised Thanksgiving Day game. Except for a hiatus during WWII, the Lions have never missed a Thanksgiving Game since their first season in Detroit. Long before indoor luxury stadiums dotted the Midwest, the Detroit Lions would play outdoors at Briggs Stadium, which it shared with the MLB’s Detroit Tigers. Staying warm and dry on the bench was challenging during Michigan’s unpredictable fall weather. In those days of outdoor stadium play, sideline player coats were part of the uniform Rebel Nell is proud to collaborate with the Detroit Lions to produce a limited collection made from repurposed official sideline player coats from the Briggs Stadium era. These coats were donated to the Detroit Lions by Pro Football Hall of Fame Linebacker Joe Schmidt, entirely from his personal Lions collection. Joe Schmidt, retired uniform number 56, played for the Detroit Lions from 1953 to 1965 and was head coach from 1967 to 1972, cementing him as a Lions icon. Grab your piece of Detroit Lions history here!

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