No Fun League Won’t Let Dan Campbell Have a Live Lion at Ford Field
Live mascots are awesome. Many college programs have them, and not just bulldogs.
Auburn has an eagle. LSU has a tiger.
Campbell was featured on the excentric Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take to discuss many topics including the team's lofty expectations in 2023. Of course, the podcast is known for some rather off-the-wall topics and, so it wasn't too much of a surprise when the topic of a live lion roaming the sidelines at Ford Field for gamedays in Detroit was brought up.
Having considered it in the past when talking with the podcast, Campbell apparently went through with the idea. He approached Lions owner Shiela Ford Hamp and the NFL about getting a real lion in the building.
The NFL shut him down, though he did get approval from the Lions owner.
"Sheila, she had no problem with it, but the league apparently frowns upon those types of things," Campbell said.
Naturally, Campbell wouldn't throw NFL commissioner Roger Goodell under the bus over the situation stressing that it was the league's view on the matter.
The NFL isn't a stranger to having live mascots. The Denver Broncos have Thunder, a purebred Arabian horse that gallops across the endzone after touchdowns and is a part of the introduction ceremonies before the game. The Baltimore Ravens have two ravens named Rise and Conquer. The Seattle Seahawks have a hawk named Taima.
Arguably the most recognizable live mascot in NFL history was the Miami Dolphins' Flipper, a live dolphin situated in a tank that would jump through hoops when touchdowns were scored.
Of course, each of those examples are examples of animals that don't pose any sort of threat.
While the Detroit Lions have never posed much of a threat to the NFL's postseason, it's understandable why the NFL wouldn't want anything, such as a live lion, to pose a threat to its fans.
It is somewhat disappointing that we'll never see Campbell take the field with a live lion at his side in any capacity. That's a heck of an image.