Why did Dan Campbell ask Alex Anzalone to watch the Super Bowl?

Why did Dan Campbell ask Alex Anzalone to watch the Super Bowl?

Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone wrote an article for The Players’ Tribune this week, and it’s definitely a must-read. In fact, stop reading this now and read and consume it now. I will wait.

Well, if you didn’t follow the directions, let me sum it up. First, Anzalone vigorously defends Dan Campbell’s fourth-down decisions against the 49ers with this historical tape:

“I feel like if you step away from who you are in that moment, you betray the very thing that got you there.”

The veteran linebacker then goes through the highs and lows — both personal and professional — since landing in Detroit three years ago, including what he called “the happiest I’ve ever been.”

“When our daughter, Carter, was born right before the holidays, and we were playing great soccer, and all the Christmas lights and Lions flags were flying all over town, it was a special time,” Anzalone wrote.

Of course, he wasn’t ashamed of the heartache either. Like many of us, Anzalone admitted he was a mess after the brutal collapse in the NFC Championship Game.

“Hell, yeah, this hurts,” Anzalone wrote. “What day is it? I was in a daze. My phone says it’s Saturday. Well, it still hurts on Saturday.”

But, ultimately, Anzalone has a lot of confidence in the franchise moving forward, even promising, “We’ll get there” — a reference to the Super Bowl.


“What we are building here is very special,” Anzalone said. “You can talk about it all day, but the proof is in the pudding, as they say. It’s one thing to say the city, the team and the culture are unique. It’s quite another to turn down cheddar. (It’s great to have you back, Coach Ben and Coach AG.)

Anzalone ended the article with a great story about Campbell during his exit interview this season. Anzalone was asked if he would watch the Super Bowl this year. Like many fans I’ve heard from, he wasn’t sure he cared about grinding his teeth for three hours, pretending it wasn’t hurting that it wasn’t there.

But Campbell told Anzalone he needed to watch.

But Dan said, “No, you should watch it, man.” Use all second From him as a motive. “I’ll be pretty sure I’m watching that.”

Anzalone then capped it off with picture-perfect photos of Campbell watching the championship game.

I couldn’t help but see this picture of Dan sitting in a dark room this Sunday, alone, holding his coffee cup for three hours straight, staring daggers at the TV, counting down just the milliseconds until training camp would start and we could turn it on again.

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