When I saw we were having dinner at Ford Field, I imagined a farm with a long table down a crop row because I live in a hippie bubble. It turned out to be so, so much better. Ford Field is where the Detroit Lions play. I love football, but after this moment last year, and this, the Lions weren’t a team about whom I cared. Their stadium, however, has Candlestick Park beat. That’s not really saying much because Candlestick Park is horrible, but Ford Field is truly fabulous. After being inside for a few minutes, I was a big fan of the 49ers’ plan to rebuild a new stadium in Santa Clara. Candlestick is a concrete embarrassment.
Ford Field is lovely in ways a West Coast stadium cannot be because it’s indoors, therefore much more controlled and protected, and it has a lot of brick, which isn’t great in earthquake country. It’s so well designed, and that’s something we can emulate. The food fronts are cute, and there’s great use of light.
Getting to go on the field was awesome. I thought I’d go down and take a few pictures, but once I got there and saw that we could try to kick a field goal, I was stunned. I got in line, despite never having kicked a football before, but I knew this wasn’t an opportunity to pass up. When it was my turn, I walked up in my clogs, blue Old Navy peasant dress, and Spanx, and kicked. The ball slammed hard against the cross bar. That was too close to give up. I got back in line. The second time, I rushed it and shanked it off to the side. Deep breath. One more time.
Before getting in line a third time, I tried a practice kick at a small inflatable nearby. I missed the first one there too, but I knocked the inflatable defender so hard in the head, he had to be reworked into place. I made a comment about missing, and a man watching said, “No, you did something. That guy’s not going to defend you much next time.” Next time, it sailed over the defender’s head, and through the uprights. I got back in line for the real deal. When it was my turn, I stepped back and to the right a little, and paused. An older man sitting in the seats yelled, “You can do it, baby!” I let it go. I ran up and kicked as hard as I could, not worrying if I fell or looked ridiculous doing so, and there the ball went like a shot, through the uprights. Everyone cheered (it was a supportive group, cheering for everyone), and the man in the stands yelled, “I knew you could do it!” It was the most exhilarating moment I’d felt in a long time. It may have even softened a spot in my heart for the Detroit Lions.