On Saturday night the Detroit Lions opened their pre-season schedule by hosting the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field. It was the culmination of months of hype and eager anticipation on the part of NFL fanatics.
After watching his dazzling college career, fans of all stripes tuned into watch and see if he could really live up to the hype. We were not disappointed. When the Detroit Lions drafted kicker Nate Freese in the 7th round of May’s NFL Draft the entire world sat up and took notice. Finally. Finally, after years of heartache the Lions found a player that could single-handedly turn around their franchise.
— Lindsay Selengowski (@linzaminz) June 23, 2014
With hundreds of signs in the crowd and chants of “we want Freese” echoing through the arena, head coach Jim Caldwell had to be feeling the pressure to let the fans see their hero in action.
Over 50,000 crazed fans packed into Ford Field to see him, and when the time came the people rose to their feet and went wild. Freese did not disappoint. He converted on both field goal tries, one from a stunning 37 yards out. When the second one went through, several fans were seen tearing up and hugging each other, as if they were overcome with emotion.
Freese brought in huge ratings. The broadcast on NFL Network averaged 2.82 million viewers, which is the most that any pre-season game has ever drawn.
What’s next from the most hyped kicker ever to lace up a pair of cleats? Only time will tell.