The Matthew Stafford era has officially ended in Detroit. Last night, the Detroit Lions paid tribute to the finest quarterback in their history with a poignant nine-minute video. Whoever edited the video made a blatant — and telling — omission from all of those nine minutes.
The Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford pay tribute to each other
Although the public has known about the trade for over a month, the Lions and Rams could not make it official until Wednesday, the start of the new league year. Technically, until that point, Stafford was still a Detroit Lion. That’s why the team picked Wednesday night to release a tribute video for Matthew Stafford on their Twitter page.
The video, which lasts over nine minutes, consists mainly of Stafford speaking directly to the Lions’ fanbase about the next step of his career. He takes time to thank the city of Detroit for changing his life in a positive way.
On the surface, it’s an extremely poignant send-off for who is, quite possibly, the best quarterback ever to play for the Detroit Lions. It speaks to what Matthew Stafford meant to the city of Detroit and how he brought hope to a football team that had none when he arrived.
Did the Detroit Lions hide a message in Matthew Stafford’s tribute?
Take a closer look at the video, however, and you’ll notice a very important face missing from the tribute video. 4:55 into the video, Stafford thanks the various coaches who have guided him over the years. The montage cuts through clips of those head coaches, such as Jim Schwartz, Jim Caldwell, and Scott Linehan.
Noticeably absent from that list, however, is Matt Patricia — the very last permanent head coach Stafford played for in Detroit.
This may have been an accident. Perhaps the editor simply forgot or didn’t have any clips of Patricia on hand. Or maybe they didn’t have any time to include one. Or — more likely — the team simply didn’t want fans to relive the Matt Patricia era ever again.
Matthew Stafford and Matt Patricia probably didn’t get along
Worse, there have been reports that Patricia created a toxic atmosphere within the Lions’ locker room. According to Mlive.com, there are stories of Patricia chewing out cornerback Darius Slay for posting a photo of himself to social media, as well as loudly calling another player a “f**ing [c-word].”
It has been rumored that Matt Patricia’s mere presence on the New England Patriots’ coaching staff was one of the reasons that Stafford refused to sign with the team. However, Stafford has denied any ill will between himself and Patricia.
“He and I had a good relationship, no matter what anybody wants to say,” Stafford told the Detroit Free Press. “I have a lot of respect for him and who he is, as a football coach and an unbelievable mind.”