Lions quarterback Jared Goff stood on the podium trying not to get excited.
Detroit had scored its first win of the season, sealed with a last-second touchdown pass from Goff, as the team honored the victims of the Oxford High School shooting. Wearing an Oxford hat, Goff said he hoped his team could provide a light to the community after the tragedy.
“Sometimes special things happen in special circumstances and I think they saw what Michigan did yesterday against Iowa. And then today we got our first win in what is 12, 13 weeks,” Goff said. “I hope everyone has been watching today and was able to enjoy that victory and we can stop thinking about it for whatever, three hours. I think every time we can do that, it is much bigger than our sport.” He’s so much bigger than us and I thought today was one of those special circumstances where we were able to rise to the occasion and make something special happen. “
Jared Goff in an Oxford hat at his post-game press conference stifles his excitement when asked, “Sometimes special things happen under special circumstances.” pic.twitter.com/r0Vs8qspTK
– Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) December 5, 2021
MORE: Michigan Honors Oxford School Shooting ‘Hero’ Tate Myre During Big Ten Championship Win
Lions coach Dan Campbell opened his press conference by dedicating the game ball to the Oxford community and all those affected.
“I want us not to forget these names: Madisyn Baldwin, Hana St. Juliana, Justin Shilling, Tate Myre, John Asciutto, Riley Franz, Elijah Mueller, Kylie Ossege and Aiden Watson and Molly Darnell, who is a teacher,” Campbell said. “Those names for all who will never be forgotten. They are in our hearts and in our prayers and in all families and not to mention everyone who was affected by all this. The classmates, brothers and sisters and cousins of the teachers, everyone, coaches. “
MORE: Lions feel the impact of the Oxford shooting
On Tuesday, four students were killed and seven others injured at Oxford High School, a school an hour north of Ford Field in Michigan.
Before the game, the Lions honored the victims, asked for a moment of silence before kickoff, and displayed the names and photos of the four murdered students – Myre, Baldwin, St. Juliana and Shilling – on the screens. The team wore Oxford caps and stickers on the back of their helmets during the game. Lions safety Jalen Elliott honored Myre, an Oxford football player, who allegedly tried to disarm the shooter, wearing Myre’s name with his jersey on Sunday. Myre’s shirt number for Oxford was 42, the same as Elliott’s.
The Lions’ victory comes a day after Michigan won the Big Ten Championship against Iowa, winning by a final score of 42-3.
“We talked about this yesterday morning, I mean we really dipped into that a little bit, a little bit the depth of all of this and we just wanted them to know exactly what we were going to represent today,” Campbell said. “The jerseys, the hats, the stickers, the people who are affected. And some of our players know someone who was affected, so yeah, I mean, I think there was some of that and I think all of them too. They like me. ” All I thought was, ‘Hey, if for three hours we can ease her suffering a bit, it’s worth it. It’s worth it’. This is how I thought of this and we did a great job. The players, they responded, played well. “
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.