Lions supporters' 32-year agony ended with a thunderous jubilation in Detroit.

Detroit's howl was primal. Visceral. A generational thing. It got louder when it seemed impossible. It felt like it would end, but it never did. It shook Ford Field and flooded TVs nationwide.

Naturally, it was noisy. Over 66,000 shouting Detroit Lions fans in a downtown roofed stadium. This doesn't include the millions more in crowded pubs, living room watch parties, or alone, pacing in anxious dread until head coach Dan Campbell called for victory formation, Lions 24, Rams 23.

This was more than simply an NFL wild-card game, so crowd noise was not only to distract or celebrate. Some waited 32 seasons for this roar, while others had given up hope.

It stemmed from so many wasted seasons and chances—lost chances at what they were finally experiencing. Over the decades, Detroit rarely seemed like it had an NFL team, at least not as a supporting one.

They hadn't hosted or won a postseason game since 1991. Nobody won a playoff since 1957. Instead, they faced losing campaigns, Millen Man Marches, and other absurdities, like as a player stealing his replacement's suitcase or an assistant coach being arrested for being drunk and nude in Wendy's drive-thru.

The Lions were a daily reminder of failure in a city that badly wants to be known for what it is becoming, not what it was. They watched other fans, including expansion franchises and bandwagon followers, enjoy professional football.

These playoff runs and spectacular January evenings galvanize communities. They transcend city, suburb, boss, and worker. They cross races, faiths, and politics.

They urge old and new friends to text. They help displaced people feel at home. They bring parents and kids of all ages together on TV. Detroit never had that. Never. It seems they solely discussed next year's draft.

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