Lions quarterback Jared Goff stood at the podium trying not to get emotional.
Detroit had picked up its first win of the season, sealed on 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 was able to provide a light for the community after the tragedy.
“Sometimes special things happen in special circumstances and I think you saw yesterday what Michigan did against Iowa. And then us today getting our first win in what is it 12, 13 weeks,” Goff said. “I hope they were all watching today and were able to enjoy that win and we could take their minds off it for whatever it may be, three hours. I think any time that we can do that, it’s a lot bigger than our sport, it’s a lot bigger than us and I thought today was one of those special circumstances that we were able to rise to the occasion and make something special happen.”
Jared Goff wearing an Oxford hat at his postgame news conference, chokes back emotion when asked about it: “Sometimes special things happen in special circumstances” pic.twitter.com/r0Vs8qspTK
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) December 5, 2021
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Lions coach Dan Campbell opened his press conference by dedicating the game ball to the Oxford community, and all those affected.
“I want us to not 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’s a teacher,” Campbell said. “Those names for all those will never be forgotten. They’re in our hearts and our prayers and all the families and not to mention all those that were affected by all of this. The classmates, brothers and sisters and cousins to teachers, everybody, coaches.”
MORE: Lions feeling impact of Oxford shooting
On Tuesday, four students were killed and seven others were injured at Oxford High School, a school about an hour north of Ford Field in Michigan.
Prior to the game, the Lions honored the victims, asking for a moment of silence before kickoff, and displaying the names and pictures of the four students killed — Myre, Baldwin, St. Juliana and Shilling — on the screens. The team wore Oxford hats and had decals on the back of their helmets during the game. Lions safety Jalen Elliott honored Myre, an Oxford football player, who reportedly attempted to disarm the shooter, by wearing Myre’s name with his jersey on Sunday. Myre’s jersey number for Oxford was 42, the same as Elliott’s number.
The win by the Lions 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 just really kinda dove into it, kinda the depth of all this and just wanted them to know exactly what we were going to represent today,” Campbell said. “The shirts, the hats, the decals, the people that are affected. And some of our players know of someone that was affected and so yeah I mean I think there was some of that and I think all of them as well like to me, I just my thought was, ‘Hey man, if we can for three hours just ease their suffering a little bit, that’s worth it. That’s worth it.’ So that’s kinda how I thought of this and we did a great job. Players, they responded, played well.”