Dan Campbell Jokes (We Think) About Adding a Pet Lion to Practice



Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell is known for his extremely off-the-cuff, candid sense of humor, so it was only a matter of time before he made the kind of remarks that made headlines today.

And with the current trend of Americans owning big cats as pets, ferocious animals that belong in the wild now being “domesticated,” well, it was entirely natural that an eccentric coach of a team with a big cat mascot would go this route.

You can get ready for the NFL season with BetQL’s computer picks. I wouldn’t be too bullish on the Lions prospects this season, but at least Campbell should be interesting and colorful. He should be make the Lions “rebuild” easier to stomach in 2021.


Campbell appeared on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, and he said that he had actually presented to the club owner, Sheila Ford Hamp, the idea of having a pet lion on the premises of the team’s practice facility.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to do it, but I would love to literally just have a pet lion. Just a legit pet lion on a chain, a big-ass chain, and he really is my pet,” Campbell said during the pod.

“We just walk around the building, we go out to practice, we’re at 7-on-7, we’re behind the kicker when he’s kicking. There we are.”

In this scenario, the lion is highly trained, to perform certain commands (ask any cat owner how that goes in real life) and he would thus have the lion relieve itself in front of any position groups that aren’t getting it done. (At least he’s not talking about making his own players a snack for the king of the jungle.

The Lions took pride (see what I did there) in this conversation.

“I mean, think about it, that would be outstanding,” he added.

Dan Campbell is definitely not wrong. And if you kind of want to see what this would be like, check out Stryker, a F1 Savannah Cat (kind of like a leopard or a serval) who lives in a mansion in Miami. You can see why he’s a social media sensation and internet juggernaut.

However, these cats are not pets and they’re definitely not toys, as what recently happened in Houston with the escaped tiger further reminds us.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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