My NFL Experience

Detroit Lions Key Contributor
Detroit Lions Key Contributor

By Alexandra Hodgins @allyhodgins85

It has almost been a year since I experienced one of the best days of my life. I got to meet my favourite NFL player on the Detroit Lions, tight end Eric Ebron.

I decided to get twitter last year so I could keep up with the players around the NFL. Obviously, I followed all the Lions who have twitter, and of course Ebron. I tweeted him a photo of himself and said, “The reason why I LOVE the @Lions is because of @Ebron85, can’t wait for December 3rd.” December 3rd was when the Lions played Green Bay Packers (yes the famous Aaron Rodgers hail mary game). Ebron ended up retweeting and answering my tweet. I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

The night before the December 3rd game, I decided I wanted to make a sign. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted it to say. I eventually decided on, “All I want for Xmas is an Eric Ebron Autograph.” My boyfriend’s mom helped me create it, and I remember his dad saying, “He’s not going to see it.” I knew deep down he was probably right but I was determined and had hope.

The next day my boyfriend and I went to the game. We always go early because we like to go to the first row and try to get autographs. The players were warming up, and I had my sign hanging over the railing that separates the field from the seats. I was representing with my Ebron jersey on and holding my sign. I saw Ebron warming up but he didn’t come over. I thought he looked at me and was just too busy warming up but I thought wrong…

I look sad, don't I
I look sad, don’t I

A few weeks later, I was having a bad day. I was in school, and it was exam season. I decided to go for a walk with my dog hoping it would make me feel better. When I got home, I laid in my bed and went on my phone. I went on Facebook and saw this photo of me holding the sign.  I looked sad and lonely in the photo. I thought maybe one of my friends posted a photo making fun of me. Then I looked at who posted it and realized it was ERIC EBRON!!! He posted the picture with the caption, “whoever this fan is, please DM me. So sorry I didn’t see this.” I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. I am from a small city in Ontario, Canada and never in a million years thought this would happen.

I had to quickly make an Instagram account, as I didn’t have one. I was so nervous and was shaking the whole time. I ended up messaging him, and he said I had a great sign and wanted to invite me and two guests to the Detroit Lions walk through the next day before they left for their game in New Orleans. He also asked me to bring the sign. I was freaking out because a part of the sign was ruined at the game from beer and some of it had to be redone. I only had a few hours as I was hosting a Christmas party that night. Again, my boyfriend’s mom helped me redo it, and the next day, we were off to Allen Park to meet Ebron…

I ended up taking my boyfriend, who also is a die-hard Lions fan, as well as my little brother.  I was so nervous on the way down. I couldn’t eat breakfast in the morning. I had no idea what to expect. We pulled up to Allen Park and went inside. A gentleman met us at the door and took us upstairs. We got to stand on a balcony and watch the players go through their walk-through practice. It was such an amazing experience.

The whole reason I started to like the Lions was because of Calvin Johnson. To see him that close was such an unforgettable moment.  After watching some of the practice, we got to go down on the field. They practiced for a few more minutes, then it ended. Ebron started to run towards us.  He came over and no words could come out of my mouth.

He shook our hands, and we talked about the sign. We also talked about a video I previously added on twitter of him scoring a touchdown at the same game I brought the sign to. After that, he shook my brother’s and boyfriend’s hand and gave me a hug. Secretly, that was the best part!

After meeting him, we got to meet Coach Caldwell. We talked about how important of a role Ebron will be next year. We talked about how he’s a key player to the future of the team. We told him we were Canadian and he tried to speak French to us. Unfortunately, we do not speak French so it was funny.

To this day, that was the best day of my life. I will never forget that experience and I cannot thank Eric Ebron enough for what he did for me. I have believed in him from day one when he became a Lion, and I will always be one of his biggest fans. Thank you Ebron, for not only reaching out to me, but for making my dreams come true and giving this Canadian girl the best day of her life!

Here is a link to our visit highlighted on

Follow and chat Lions with me: @allyhodgins85

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